TOKYO--While there's much to be said about Japanese efficiency, the fact that floor officials are so stringent with the game demo time limits means our demo of Resistance 2 was far shorter than we would have liked. Ten minutes to check out as much as possible of Insomniac's follow-up to the debut PlayStation 3 game? That seems almost cruel. Nonetheless, we made the most of our allotted 600 seconds and enjoyed every one of them.
The TGS demo started off deep in a redwood forest, with a pack of soldiers piled into the back of cargo truck, rolling along in a caravan. Sensing something afoot in the forest surrounding them, your character calls a caravan halt and hops out of the trailer with his heavily armed buddies. After a few tense seconds of scanning the forest around them, can you guess what happens next? If you guessed the world erupting in a hail of explosions and gunfire, then give yourself a firm slap on the back because that's exactly what happened.
With the caravan under attack and your buddies falling around you, the level opens up in what best could be described as a scene from Saving Private Ryan if that movie were set in a redwood forest and featured alien horrors instead of Nazi gun emplacements. Chimera soldiers were crawling all over the place, and it took us a few tries even to get out of the first area. The already tense atmosphere created by the whizzing bullets was magnified by a smoky haze of destruction from the ambush, and we had to rely on the sound of the enemies approaching as much as the game's visuals in order to succeed.
After blasting our way out of a rather linear line of wreckage, we took a detour into the forest where the world seemed to open up a bit. Of course that added freedom came at a price--first and foremost was the fact that the bad guys could sneak up on us from any direction. This wasn't such a big deal with the small, circular flying probes that came in a bunch and went down pretty easily, but when it came to the chimera badass that was able to cloak itself like something out a Predator movie, it was a completely different story.
With the cloaked enemies, sound plays an incredibly important role in this portion of the game. You can see them coming until they're almost upon you but you can't hear them coming--especially the evil-sounding growl they make just before attacking. We were able to fend off a couple of the evil invisible buggers but, in addition to special powers, these guys work in groups and three proved to be too much for us. And just as we were about to dive back into the woods for another go-round with the chimeras...our demo time was ended.
We've seen in previous previews that Resistance will be bringing a lot to its multiplayer game, and based on today's all-too-brief demo, it seems like Insomniac will have plenty of tense surprises in store for us with the game's single-player experience. Look for more on Resistance 2 in the coming weeks as we lead up to the game's November release.