Resistance 3 is out there and this is one of the most anticipated shooters of the year. Insomniac Games did a good job on the two previous games and they’re once again proving why the Resistance series is widely recognized as one of the finest in the genre.
Why don’t some developers take some lessons from Resistance 3 and try to create better free-to-play MMO shooters? Here are some useful tips:
Oh, great, you can choose from an assault rifle, a shotgun, an SMG and a sniper rifle. We really weren’t expecting that, Project Blackout. Unless you’re using the recurring (meaning boring) template of military shooters and you can’t move an inch away from it, there’s no excuse for not trying to do something new. Resistance 3 has some cool weapons that keep players interested and this is one of the main features of the game. In a genre where all you see of your character is the weapon, there has to be some real care about it.
By all means, we understand that this interface was designed for console play and that it wouldn’t work on PC. However, it’s a triumph of design, allowing a quick choice of weapon and immediate view of the stats related to each piece. PC developers need to find the inspiration to offer us something as intuitive – and by the way, try giving us an arsenal with some cool weapons that we don’t have to buy, or that don’t disappear after a few days.
Besides the military shooter, it’s not often that we get to play another theme in the free MMOFPS genre. There are a few sci-fi games (Tribes: Ascend is looking good) but not much more. Resistance 3 managed to create a great atmosphere by mixing sci-fi with horror (Half-Life 2 did it perfectly with the amazingly oppressive Ravenholm area) and a game with a mood such as Left 4 Dead would do wonders for the free-to-play genre. So, give players something to look at and feel involved, not just another camouflage suit.
If I shoot an enemy in the head, that’s a headshot. But if I shoot someone in the leg, I want to see him fall down and limp around. Shooting an arm will make him loose the weapon, and so on. It’s nothing new – retail FPSs are doing this for years – but it’s still something that most free-to-play MMOFPSs are avoiding. Having such a damage system adds an entirely new layer of gameplay and hopefully the upcoming high-profile F2P shooters (Tribes: Ascend, Warface, Ghost Recon Online, Blacklight: Retribution…) won’t leave it out.
Being a free-to-play game doesn’t mean it has to look like crap and play like hundred other similar games. The time when you felt ashamed of admitting to being addicted to a F2P game is long gone and the future is promising. So, enough of the same kind of shooters with a couple of characters to choose from and maps made out of rectangles, but we’re done talking about Battlefield Play4Free. It takes money to make money, so invest some of it in your game, create some great visuals and impressive creatures and make it look like it’s from this century.
Should I choose the clichéd macho-man hero or the big-breasted female lead with incredibly short and inappropriate war garments? What about some characters with a real background and motivation to their actions? Or original, such as those from Team Fortress 2? Before going to war, Resistance 3 tries to present some characters and build our relationship with them. Being a multiplayer game doesn’t mean we have to jump straight into the action. Why not doing something like Age of Conan: Unchained, where the game starts with some solo quests, to try and offer some story to go with the shooting? And if you’re not interested, a skip solo missions button would do fine.