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Comic-Con 2011: Insomniac devs and PS3 shooter voice cast talk shop about upcoming game, reveal new spin-off strategy game Global Resistance.

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Who was there: From Insomniac's Resistance 3 team, there was creative director Marcus Smith, art director Grant Hollis, and animation director Kevin Grow. This trio of developers was joined by voice actors Robin Atkin Downes, who voices Resistance 3's protagonist Joseph Capelli, as well as Crispin Freeman, the voice of Charlie Tent.

Smith (left) and Hollis (right).
Smith (left) and Hollis (right).

What they talked about: In a panel discussion that covered the past, present, and future of the Resistance franchise, the big news of the hour was Insomniac's announcement of a new "Web-based companion game" called Global Resistance. This strategy game allows players to choose sides in a global war between the human and Chimera, and it uses common strategy game elements, such as building placement and player-versus-player battles in a persistent online battle.

According to Smith, Global Resistance incorporates a player's Facebook and PlayStation Network accounts. Players can login with Facebook and use social features like friend invites and update sharing, as well as link the game to their PlayStation Network accounts to unlock special Resistance 3 features down the road, such as multiplayer skins and XP boosts. While the game does incorporate Facebook elements, Global Resistance won't be played on Facebook.com. Rather, players can access Global Resistance at myresistance.net/global, where the beta version has already gone live.

Outside of this announcement, the group of panelists also covered their experiences planning out the framework of Resistance 3. Smith describes the upcoming first-person shooter as a "greatest hits compilation" of features from the first two games, with elements from the original Resistance, such as the weapon wheel and non-regenerating health, making a return.

Talking about the overall tone of the game, Hollis knew the trajectory of the franchise meant Resistance 3 had to have a darker look and feel than previous games. Grow described Resistance 3 as the "end days" of humanity, with the war between mankind and Chimera having been lost and little to no hope on the horizon. Grow suggested Resistance 3 isn't a military shooter like its two predecessors. As such, there's more of a focus on civilian life and the impact of this war on everyday people.

According to Insomniac, this added focus on the human element was aided by the new motion-capture technique the studio used. Using Sony San Diego's capture technology, Insomniac was able to record body, facial, and vocal performances simultaneously, rather than do the body capture and add voices later at the studio like it did with Resistance 2. Moreover, Insomniac was able to have actors perform alongside one another rather than record voice work individually in a recording room.

Smith suggested that this allowed actors to deliver performances with more "nuance and subtext." Freeman echoed this sentiment by suggesting that the old style of actors working apart from one another in a recording booth was like trying to record an orchestra one instrument at a time.

Downes (left) and Freeman (right).
Downes (left) and Freeman (right).

Quote: Smith was a consistent source of entertaining jests during the panel, offering no shortage of clever responses to audience questions during the open-mic Q&A.

POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT
When one audience member asked whether former protagonist Nathan Hale would return in Resistance 3, Smith responded by saying, "You won't see [Hale] as a half-human, half-Chimera boss. It's not Metal Gear that we're making here."

Another audience member pressed the panelists on how much they borrowed from the Halo franchise for the original Resistance. Smith bluntly acknowledged Bungie's legacy on console first-person shooters, stating, "any developer that wasn't stealing from [Bungie] was foolish."

Takeaway: The Resistance franchise has made great strides since its appearance as a PlayStation 3 launch title. Not only has the series taken on a much different look and feel with the dark and somber Resistance 3, but the universe has also now been spun off into new genres with Global Resistance.

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