TGS 2008: Resistance: Retribution Connectivity Impressions

Sony Bend talks about connecting Retribution with Resistance 2--literally and figuratively.

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TOKYO--Resistance 2 is shaping up to be one of the PlayStation 3's big holiday titles this year, but unless you're the type to completely abstain from portable gaming, you'll know it's not the only Resistance game on the horizon. Resistance: Retribution, developed by Syphon Filter veterans Sony Bend, is a third-person take on the series slated for release early next year on the PSP. We've known since our first look, at E3, that Retribution's story will attempt to fill the gap between the first and second games in the series, but earlier today at the 2008 Tokyo Game Show we were treated to a demo by members of the development team about some of the other ways this PSP spin-off will link up with Resistance 2.

Well, it turns out it's a far more literal connection than we'd thought. There are two features you can unlock in Retribution if you connect it to a PlayStation 3 running Resistance 2: Infected mode and PSP Plus. Infected mode is a clever nod to one of the big plot points in Resistance 2--the fact that Nathan Hale is now wrestling with a Chimeran virus that blurs the line between his humanity and new alien powers. In this case, you can download that virus to Retribution's protagonist, the bristly Englishman James Grayson. Doing so will change his abilities and subtly alter the story of the game to reflect his newly infected state.

In gameplay terms, Infected mode will benefit you in a number of ways. For one, it will give you the ability to regenerate health rather than go around picking up first aid kits to heal yourself, and the access to the HE .44 Magnum will assure you're able to deal more damage to enemies. It will also give you the ability to access points in the game normally unavailable in order to collect more intel. For example, you can breathe longer underwater, opening up new areas you can explore and collect the Infected intel. If you get all 20 of them, you'll unlock some sweet plasma grenades to further tip the balance in your favor. And in story terms, some of the voice-overs will change so that conversations become a bit more focused on people's suspicion towards Grayson's condition, adding a bit more complexity to the plot.

The other feature you can unlock by connecting a PSP running Retribution with a PS3 running Resistance 2 is something called PSP Plus. This option lets you control Retribution using a PS3 controller--complete with vibration if you've got a DualShock 3. Considering you'll need to keep your PSP hooked up to the PS3 to do this, it's certainly something that's aimed at those who are less keen on using their PlayStation Portable for portable gaming. But if you're playing at home anyways, it strikes us as a nice way to squeeze a bit more accuracy out of the control scheme. However, if you've got PSP Plus running, you won't be able to use the aim assist function that's enabled when playing with the standard PSP buttons.

With the introduction to this new suite of connectivity options out of the way, the folks from Sony Bend rounded out the demo with a run through the new Rotterdam level. This level introduces you to female Chimera called Boilers (an actual WWII-era slang term for less than attractive ladies). They're a bit smaller than the males, but unleash a psychic attack that makes your vision go blurry when they get near you. These are initially found in the sewer system that begins Rotterdam, but you'll see them again later on after you get through a conversion center being dismantled by worker drones.

The end of Rotterdam is when you really see Retribution pushing the PSP's hardware. You'll emerge out onto beachside dock at the height of sunset with a really nice view awaiting you. Unfortunately, a pair of massive Chimera are also awaiting you, but so is an impressive visual experience. Clearly, a lot of effort is being put into Retribution to make sure it not only fits in with Insomniac's impressive alternate-history backstory, but also to make sure its presentation is on par as well. We'll see the final product when Resistance: Retribution is released in early 2009.

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