I spent a few hours over the weekend with Resistance: Retribution, the PSP edition to Sony’s flagship shooter series. While it’s undoubtedly an impressive technical achievement for the handheld, I can’t quite work out what the point is.
So it’s not a first-person shooter like the PS3 Resistances; instead it affords an over-the-shoulder perspective. Still, the camera is close enough to your character that it feels like a first-person game, albeit one where some dude’s head keeps getting the way.
Utilising every single button on the PSP, the controls are hamstrung by the developer's desire to give you an experience as close to the PS3 original as possible. The analog stick provides movement, while the four face buttons attempt to replicate the functions of the PS3's right analog stick. They fail miserably, leaving you unable to make swift or subtle adjustments when aiming.
Sure, there is an aim assist function, which alleviates some of the sluggishness. But it doesn't offer any help when aiming down a scope. Trying to snipe is an exercise in frustration. Worse, the simple act of turning feels like a chore.
Resistance: Retribution is one of those PSP games that overshoots the hardware. It's trying to deliver a console experience - it's got all the cinematic trappings of yer average blockbuster shooter - but it's totally ill-suited to the platform.
Ultimately it demonstrates why the DS has been such a success. Nintendo's format is home to countless unique titles that play to the system's strengths. On the other hand, far too many PSP just make you realise you could switch on your PS3 or 360 and be playing a superior version of the same game. This particular Resistance strikes me as utterly futile.