Resistance vs Halo; Why Nathan Hale Always Wins

Resistance vs Halo; Why Nathan Hale Always Wins

I stopped by the store today to pick up a copy of the Resistance 3 demo for the wonderfully low price of 18 bucks. They even threw in a copy of Battle: Los Angeles, which was a nice perk. After finishing my third run through the demo, I came to a realization. In the battle for alien themed, console specific series, Resistance is far and away better than the often trumped up Halo, and as a public service, I’ve gathered up a few of the reasons why.

Heroes make games: Game protagonists used to be built on image. Mario wasn’t a hero to us because of his character traits or his personality; it was because he was a mascot, an icon. Yet even he grew over the years. Halo’s protagonist, Master Chief, is simply drawn to be a mascot, a face for a franchise. His actions are certainly heroic, but he never moves or evolves. He’s a Teflon hero. Nothing sticks to him, and nothing ever changes. He remains the perfect hero throughout, with no real growth. The men and women we step into in Resistance are the exact opposite of Master Chief. Nathan Hale was a broken man, a simple soldier thrust into a terrible situation, simply trying to survive. James Grayson is an angry, vengeful bastard. Joseph Capelli is a failed soldier, but devoted father. These people have flaws, ones that echo with all of us. We can relate to them because we understand them. The choices they face and the actions they take are done in spite of their flaws, and that makes their bravery and selflessness far more real and compelling than an invincible hero literally created to show no fear. Games have grown up, and we need characters that reflect the complexity of life and can show us how to be heroes in our own lives, and Resistance has always provided just that.

The best hero a lab can make

Stories do matter: Try as I might, I can’t find anyone that can accurately lay out the story of the Halo universe without them citing the book spin-offs or the Wikipedia entry. There is a story, certainly, but it is so tenuous and mashed together that connecting events make little to no sense. By Bungie’s admission, they design great levels for the game play and then write the story to fit the level design. That leads to the story being second rate, and becoming essentially meaningless. You can beat any of the Halo games without listening to a single snippet of dialogue or reading a line of the subtitles and have the same experience. What sets Resistance apart, not only from the alien-invasion genre it rests in, but most games in general, is its focus on the story and characters that drive it. Every action has a purpose, a reason and a reaction from the people involved. The world is living around them, and nothing is done in a vacuum. The motives of Hale, Capelli and Grayson are rooted in their story arcs. Resistance Retribution told an incredible tale of family loyalty and self-destruction. The first Resistance made clear the horrors of war and the hesitation of every soldier. In September, we follow the trail of a man forced to leave his family, a father who carries around his newborn baby’s mitten to give him a tangible tie to his home. These are incredibly powerful stories. Even without having a child, seeing Capelli clutching the mitten tugged at my heart. Stories like those in Resistance are where games transcend from entertainment into art.

Go big or go home: One thing Resistance can never be accused of is going small. With each game the enemies became larger, the sets more elaborate and the payoffs more massive. Fighting a 10-story Chimera over the dilapidated rooftops of flooded Chicago will always stick with me. In the new demo, your boat floats past the carcass of a Kraken, an incredible beast whose corpse became home to numerous creatures. These immense aliens add variety and awe to a game, something that first person shooters need due to the repetitious nature of the genre. Battles on such a scale often break up the monotony of moving from room to room, corridor to corridor and shooting whatever is thrown at you. Even during Master Chief’s battle inside the Flood nest, the formula was the same. The scale of the battles never changed, simply the décor. It is hard to forget the last leg of the original Halo, where hours are wasted walking through a bland, silver corridor, facing a wave of bad guys, then turning left and repeating the process over and over. Halo never really got out of that habit. At this point in gaming, even mobile games are offering more variety in enemies and levels than the Halo franchise.

3 1/2 feet of squeeky fury

Enemy Mine: While big monsters certainly help add variety to a game, you can’t create a game based solely on that idea. Well, you can if you’re Monster Hunter, but typically it’s bad form. The baddies you conquer from level to level need to be just as varied and exciting as the large battles you face at the end of major events. The Chimera offer countless numbers of variations, forcing you to adapt combat strategies and weapon choices constantly. Each one is more terrifying than the last, featuring more disturbing combinations of teeth and eyes. They range from the technologically advanced to the mindless brute, but all are deadly. Sadly, the Covenant hasn’t branched out much in its recruitment. Facing wave after wave of vertically challenged aliens who sound like they are attempting a rendition from my Alvin & the Chipmunks Christmas album doesn’t exactly inspire fear. The influx of Brutes and Jackyls offers limited variety. After you’ve seen them, you know what you’re getting. Having fought them over the course of four games now has helped them lose any impact they once had. I don’t want the enemies in my sights to be the comic relief.

This is what an enemy looks like

My loyalty lies with Earth: I realize that this is absolutely a personal preference, but I just find Earth to be a much cooler setting than random space stations and moon bases. If done well, ala Mass Effect, space can be an incredible setting, but too often game designers fall into the conventions of 1950’s sci-fi movies. Without the right characters and motivations, space is just boring. However, Earth is still rich with possibilities. The alternate history of Resistance allows for fantastical departures from reality while still giving us solid footing to grab onto and relate to. Fighting in our own backyard always adds a gravitas to a game that quickly assembled fantasy settings can never touch.

When the original Halo premiered, it set the world on fire because of the incredible execution of the multi-player, and while it isn’t beyond reason to give Bungie credit for making the multi-player market what it is today on consoles, it just isn’t enough anymore. Every game has multi-player, but not every game has a rich and verdant world from which compelling characters speak to us and pull us in. The time of tacking a story onto a game as an afterthought is over. Halo went into its twilight period with Reach, and it went out with a bang. Now it’s time for something new, something rich and wonderful to step up and show us where the first person genre can go. Right now Resistance is the best representation of how a franchise should develop and progress. Catch up now, September 6th is coming up fast.

Having spent his youth avoiding the outdoors, which is where scary things are, Adam became entrenched in games and the gaming world at a young age. Deciding to use his minor talent for squishing words together to justify his gaming lust, Adam will find just about any excuse to talk or rant about games, especially if you disagree with him.

  • True Gamer

     Halo>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Resistance

    • Greened

      What a well reasoned and thought out response!

      • True Gamer

        Thank you, I mean why explain something every fps fan already knows.

      • True Gamer

        Thank you, I mean why explain something every fps fan already knows.

      • roebuck

        Lol..Greened Bueller     youre my hero..

    • Bueller

      Ehhh better made…yeah…there’s more of a formula to it though and it HAS to be good everytime…that’s Microsoft’s failsafe when they need lots of money…

      I like multiplayer a lot more in Halo but storywise and premise wise it’s Resistance…Halo goes over my head… and Resistance s the story of struggle and is somewhat relatable…I just generally like the uniqueness of Resistance weapons and the gameplay is just perfect for me….plus there will be a big hammer this time…

  • True Gamer

     Halo>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Resistance

    • Greened

      What a well reasoned and thought out response!

      • True Gamer

        Thank you, I mean why explain something every fps fan already knows.

      • roebuck

        Lol..Greened Bueller     youre my hero..

    • Bueller

      Ehhh better made…yeah…there’s more of a formula to it though and it HAS to be good everytime…that’s Microsoft’s failsafe when they need lots of money…

      I like multiplayer a lot more in Halo but storywise and premise wise it’s Resistance…Halo goes over my head… and Resistance s the story of struggle and is somewhat relatable…I just generally like the uniqueness of Resistance weapons and the gameplay is just perfect for me….plus there will be a big hammer this time…

  • Thom van Vliet

    You can have your opinion. 
    The thing is, Resistance is bland in It’s alien invasion, whereas Halo gives the aliens a motive, and it has It’s own hierarchy, species and rules. Each species has their own back story in which they were taken into the covenant.
    It gives the enemy life, and It makes them much more interesting than chimera, whose only goal is to wipe out everything, and nothing else is really known about them.

    Seriously if you know both games, Halo has so much more diversity in it’s story, and I admit, resistance is scarier because of the aliens and atmosphere, But halo has a sort of mystery about it, because of the backstory.. the forerunners.. and the giant pre-man relics.. which gives the story a balance of winning/losing against the covenant.. It all depends on doing it perfectly right.. 

    And that’s what the gameplay is about.

    Bungie makes it perfectly clear that they always do story and characters before gameplay.
    It just fits great together in the halo franchise.. especially when you follow a close squad of spartans in reach…

    • Wowadrow

       you have no idea about the resistance story line the chimera aren’t aliens thers no invasion. the chimera are the first intellent life earth ever had they wiped out the dinosaurs. all ther technology was buried for hundreds of thousands of years russia dug some up and the infection started. what you see in the resistance games are modern forms of life infected by the chimeran virus we have no idea what the first chimera looked like the angel is the oldest weve seen. you can’t invade something that you already own humans are simply the vermon that took root while some chimera sleept away other visited space for a very long time.

  • Thom van Vliet

    You can have your opinion. 
    The thing is, Resistance is bland in It’s alien invasion, whereas Halo gives the aliens a motive, and it has It’s own hierarchy, species and rules. Each species has their own back story in which they were taken into the covenant.
    It gives the enemy life, and It makes them much more interesting than chimera, whose only goal is to wipe out everything, and nothing else is really known about them.

    Seriously if you know both games, Halo has so much more diversity in it’s story, and I admit, resistance is scarier because of the aliens and atmosphere, But halo has a sort of mystery about it, because of the backstory.. the forerunners.. and the giant pre-man relics.. which gives the story a balance of winning/losing against the covenant.. It all depends on doing it perfectly right.. 

    And that’s what the gameplay is about.

    Bungie makes it perfectly clear that they always do story and characters before gameplay.
    It just fits great together in the halo franchise.. especially when you follow a close squad of spartans in reach…

    • Wowadrow

       you have no idea about the resistance story line the chimera aren’t aliens thers no invasion. the chimera are the first intellent life earth ever had they wiped out the dinosaurs. all ther technology was buried for hundreds of thousands of years russia dug some up and the infection started. what you see in the resistance games are modern forms of life infected by the chimeran virus we have no idea what the first chimera looked like the angel is the oldest weve seen. you can’t invade something that you already own humans are simply the vermon that took root while some chimera sleept away other visited space for a very long time.

  • truthhurts

    No matter how many fanboy articles you ppl write, numbers dont lie. And halo is the better game by a great margin.

  • truthhurts

    No matter how many fanboy articles you ppl write, numbers dont lie. And halo is the better game by a great margin.

  • The-Smiling-Man-Nxt-Door

    Loved it, great article, so true! Halo is incredibly over rated. It’s a simple sci-fi shooter- boring! But Resistance feels real, it seems like something that actually happens man! It’s wicked! 

    • Thom van Vliet

      simply said.. after my already too long explanation a couple of comments down..

      Halo is more fun. It has more atmosphere, fun, colours, different types of enemies, and it doesnt look as flat as the textures and shadows in resistance.

    • Thom van Vliet

      simply said.. after my already too long explanation a couple of comments down..

      Halo is more fun. It has more atmosphere, fun, colours, different types of enemies, and it doesnt look as flat as the textures and shadows in resistance.

      • DarkMatter

        I would say rfom has more enemies and a very different atmosphere. The atmosphere is dark while halos is plain and has a more uplifting quality to it. Also for me resistance does not feel flat, each area in the game is different while halo tends to stick with the same setting almost always by the end it feels 2d

      • DarkMatter

        I would say rfom has more enemies and a very different atmosphere. The atmosphere is dark while halos is plain and has a more uplifting quality to it. Also for me resistance does not feel flat, each area in the game is different while halo tends to stick with the same setting almost always by the end it feels 2d

  • The-Smiling-Man-Nxt-Door

    Loved it, great article, so true! Halo is incredibly over rated. It’s a simple sci-fi shooter- boring! But Resistance feels real, it seems like something that actually happens man! It’s wicked! 

    • Thom van Vliet

      simply said.. after my already too long explanation a couple of comments down..

      Halo is more fun. It has more atmosphere, fun, colours, different types of enemies, and it doesnt look as flat as the textures and shadows in resistance.

      • DarkMatter

        I would say rfom has more enemies and a very different atmosphere. The atmosphere is dark while halos is plain and has a more uplifting quality to it. Also for me resistance does not feel flat, each area in the game is different while halo tends to stick with the same setting almost always by the end it feels 2d

  • dee23

    Personally I think Halo as a franchise is overrated. I tried the original when I had my first generation Xbox and the game didn’t do it for me. I was more able to relate to the locations in the Resistance games what with the games being set on earth. I was able to see a building or a landmark and appreciate the games graphics that much more than the game designed ficticious locations in the Halo franchise. I felt the same way about Killzone so it’s not that i’m a playstation fan boy.

    Now when looking at the 2 games protagonists Nathan Hale felt more real to me. I had more of a connection with him because he was uncovered and not wearing a helmet throughout the games campaign. I could see his facial expressions and his grief. He seemed like a real person not a super soldier Iron man time hero. I felt sad when he died at the end of the second game because I felt I had been through a lot with this character, the epic battles we had fought and hoped that there would have been a way for him to come back for the 3rd game.

    I agree that Halo is a more successful franchise since it has a larger following but i’m not sure that makes the Halo games better than the Resistance games. Halo has been followed since it was released on the xbox and it’s sequel was also on that console during a time where there wasn’t much fps competition. It had already established a solid fan base. I often wonder if Halo would still be regarded so highly if it was no longer an xbox exclusive.

    Halo makes many game sales but will the games continue to be of good quality and if they are not will 360 owners buy them anyway? They probably would because they have invested in the story.

    The mark of a good franchise is when the game’s sequels in that franchise score higher than their predecessors. I’m not sure this can be said of the Halo games. When you check the game reviews on ign or gamespot some of the earlier halo games score higher than the newer ones unlike the Uncharted series where each game improved on the last, Uncharted 3 scoring a perfect 10 out of 10, Resistance 3 scoring higher than Resistance 2, etc

    Maybe Halo 4 will be significantly better than Halo 3 but if history is anything to go by there is a possibility that it won’t. halo 3 scored 9.5 out of 10, halo wars scored 8.4, halo 3 odst scored 9,halo reach score 9.5,halo anniversary scored 8 of 10. Are Halo developers rewarding their fans with new innovative sequels or are they wallet raping them? You decide.

  • dee23

    Personally I think Halo as a franchise is overrated. I tried the original when I had my first generation Xbox and the game didn’t do it for me. I was more able to relate to the locations in the Resistance games what with the games being set on earth. I was able to see a building or a landmark and appreciate the games graphics that much more than the game designed ficticious locations in the Halo franchise. I felt the same way about Killzone so it’s not that i’m a playstation fan boy.

    Now when looking at the 2 games protagonists Nathan Hale felt more real to me. I had more of a connection with him because he was uncovered and not wearing a helmet throughout the games campaign. I could see his facial expressions and his grief. He seemed like a real person not a super soldier Iron man time hero. I felt sad when he died at the end of the second game because I felt I had been through a lot with this character, the epic battles we had fought and hoped that there would have been a way for him to come back for the 3rd game.

    I agree that Halo is a more successful franchise since it has a larger following but i’m not sure that makes the Halo games better than the Resistance games. Halo has been followed since it was released on the xbox and it’s sequel was also on that console during a time where there wasn’t much fps competition. It had already established a solid fan base. I often wonder if Halo would still be regarded so highly if it was no longer an xbox exclusive.

    Halo makes many game sales but will the games continue to be of good quality and if they are not will 360 owners buy them anyway? They probably would because they have invested in the story.

    The mark of a good franchise is when the game’s sequels in that franchise score higher than their predecessors. I’m not sure this can be said of the Halo games. When you check the game reviews on ign or gamespot some of the earlier halo games score higher than the newer ones unlike the Uncharted series where each game improved on the last, Uncharted 3 scoring a perfect 10 out of 10, Resistance 3 scoring higher than Resistance 2, etc

    Maybe Halo 4 will be significantly better than Halo 3 but if history is anything to go by there is a possibility that it won’t. halo 3 scored 9.5 out of 10, halo wars scored 8.4, halo 3 odst scored 9,halo reach score 9.5,halo anniversary scored 8 of 10. Are Halo developers rewarding their fans with new innovative sequels or are they wallet raping them? You decide.

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