Official PlayStation Magazine interviewed Sony developer Insomniac Games (Spyro & Ratchet and Clank series) about the progress and features on Resistance: Fall of Man. To quote:
“We put in some serious time playing various maps and modes in multiplayer, and despite our constant deaths at the hands of Insomniac’s seasoned testers we had a blast. Resistance should offer PS3’s Flagship online Multiplayer experience at launch. Of course, you can also play with friends offline via split-screen deathmatch, or partner up and play co-op through the entire single player game (this can only be done offline).
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Online matches are where the real action is, though where as many as 40 players can pack the battlefield (a recent eight-player improvement over the 32-player support announced at E3). We tried standard deathmatch in a small, hilly ice area, and massive 40-player “MELTDOWN” campaigns in a huge jungle-type environment with wooden bridges and platforms in the trees, “Ewok Village”-style.
Meltdown is an extension of another mode called “Node,” in which two teams race to take over as many nodes as possible. Nodes are large chambers that contain several cylinders, you can re-configure the nodes for your team. Once you control a node, you can choose to re-spawn there after you die, adding strategy to the order in which your team goes after them. Meltdowns adds the twist that these nodes are actually coolants for each team’s base, so by taking them over, you’re overheating the enemy’s headquarters. At certain heat levels a base’s defenses will temporarily go down, allowing the opposing team to get inside and deal major damage. Take a peek at this trailer to see what it’ll look like:
You can Play as either a human or a Chimeran Hybrid (the nasty fellow on this issue’s cover), and each has its own advantages: double-tapping the L2 button will make a human sprint, or send a Hybrid into Rage mode, making his attacks more damaging, there is a trade-off for raging, however: you’re constantly heating up, and if you overheat, your life will start to drain. Furthermore, while a human will regain full health if he can avoid taking damage for a short time, Hybrids can’t heal until their Rage meter has completely recharges.
Flat, circular fans are embedded in the ground in various places, and walking over one will launch you up to a higher area, one fun strategy we found was to balance ourselves at the top of the column of air, hovering there while firing down at enemies below; the up-and-down bobbing motion can make you a hard target.
Another nice new touch is that the weapon-spawn pods are circled by a series of lights that count down to the time a weapon will reappear. The radar in the upper-right corner of the screen shows all nearby enemies and allies unless they are slowly crouch-walking or standing still without firing. There is jumping in the game, but on a smaller, more realistic scale (it’s nothing like those floating Halo-style leaps).
As an FPS fan would expect melee attacks are very powerful-two will drop an enemy to zero health, and just one hit will do it from behind. Also, the game will support full voice chat through the PS3’s standard network chat function (no word yet if a headset will come bundled with the hardware). The game will have a full-featured online ranking system but Insomniac is keeping the details secret for now. They did stress that a big focus is being put on smart matchmaking, so that a new player who buys Resistance a year after launch will be able to play without having to get torn apart by the guys who bought the game on day one.
There will also be the option to play unranked matches where the player will be able to configure the game however he wants by tweaking areas such as hit points, weapon sets, and much more. Popular player-created configurations may even be made into official new modes by Insomniac and offered as downloads. Conversely, ranked matches will have very limited configurations to keep the playing field level and fair for everyone.
A couple of other notes to mention before we move on; map knowledge isn’t as important in Resistance as it usually is in an FPS. This is because a lot of work has been put into designing the levels so that there isn’t that typical one spot that everyone rushes towards to grab the best weapon. Also, the game will run locked at 30 frames-per-second online and off, no matter how much action is going on. 60fps had been the plan, but the developers decided to add much more environmental destruction and special effects, so the tradeoff was made. Even in it’s work-in-progress stage, we found that the game ran plenty smooth enough.” Quotes via Neogaf