Why Did Resistance Never Get As Big As Halo?

Why Did Resistance Never Get As Big As Halo?

Resistance started out as a Halo clone. It was to be Sony’s answer to Microsoft, the PlayStation’s own sci-fi shooter and killer app. It was to sell millions and earn its own base of rabid fans.

That never happened. While Resistance did OK, it never quite became the blockbuster Sony and developer Insomniac were hoping it would be. And the developer officially called it quits on the shooter series earlier this year (although Sony could very well keep it going with a new developer — the poorly-received Resistance: Burning Skies was made by a different studio, Nihilistic).

So why did Resistance never become Sony’s Halo? I asked Insomniac CEO Ted Price for his thoughts during a recent interview.

“We have theories internally about why Resistance wasn’t a Halo,” Price told me. “One is that we changed the game a lot in Resistance 2, and we surprised players in a way that perhaps wasn’t what was expected. And that may have not been a good thing. By changing up some of the core mechanics and — we got a lot of strong feedback when we did that.”

Maybe that’s why the series never sold gangbusters: it changed too much.

“On Resistance 3, we went back to some of our more traditional core mechanics that players did love, and then built a story that was more personal,” Price said. “That in our opinion was the way to move the franchise forward in a way that was unique for first-person shooters. We’re really proud of Resistance 3. The team felt very personally connected to Resistance 3.”

I also asked Price how he felt about the Vita’s critically-panned Resistance: Burning Skies.

“For Resistance, we didnt have the bandwidth to move onto the Vita,” Price said. “We were really happy that Nihilistic went ahead and created their own vision of Resistance, and we feel very close to the franchise cause we created it, but it’s always interesting to see what other people do with it.”

“Did you play it?” I asked.

“A little bit of it,” he said.

“Did you enjoy what you played?” I asked.

Price paused. “I thought that what they did with the game made a lot of sense, in terms of the decisions that they came to with their core mechanics. So I felt like it stayed true to the universe…

“Frankly, I was spending a lot more time playing our own games.”


    • Not to mention launching its first installment five years later.

      And not being much more than a slightly above average experience overall.

  • My only reason for not playing it PS3 exclusive.
    Could never justify buying a PS3 only ever wanted to play 2 PS3 games and one isnt even out yet
    (little big planet and the last of us).

      • This.

        The PS3 controllers are dreadful, they really are.

        I know people make excuses for them, but really, they are junk for shooters. I mean, the lack of triggers? Inexcusable.

          • When I owned just a 360 I too was in doubt about the PS3 controller.

            Now that I own a PS3 Your comment looks foolish to me.

            And if I really wanted to play with a 360 controller so badly on my ps3, I could turn one of my 360 controllers into a working ps3 controller.

          • Sorry, lack of DECENT triggers. 😉

            You shouldn’t have to buy add-on triggers just to get this gamepad usable.

            It’s really strange. The rest of Sony’s hardware is pretty good. But I think they can be arrogant at times, and they think they always know best.

    • On the other hand, at least Halo HAS a sandbox.

      Resistance doesn’t. Yes, it has larger maps than than the typical PS3 shooter is capable of (see: Killzone) but it’s still not a physics-based sandbox.

      Resistance 1 was your prototypical linear shooter for the most part. It was very Half Life 2 (pre-Episode 1) in many respects.

        • Yes, I have played the game. As I’ve already said, it’s a big favourite of mine.

          And yes, the maps can be biggish, but it’s not a sandbox environment.

          You don’t get to play with weapons/vehicles/props of your choice. Instead, Resistance doles out specific weapons/units/whatever at certain times, and limits where you can go.

          There’s not an underlying unified physics model behind it all, allowing you to play it like a Halo sandbox. There’s no warthog grenade jumping here.

  • Cause it wasn’t even half as good. Played both and I really enjoyed both. But Halo redefined FPS on consoles. Much like Golden Eye. Resistance was good but hardly ground breaking. Uncharted now that’s a great PS3 exclusive which lives up to the Halo franchise.

  • I liked Resistance a lot. I liked the retro setting, and the novelty. They really tried hard to make interesting weapons.

    As to why it was no Halo… well, it was a little esoteric. Halo is the prototypical Super Soldier game. It let kids of all ages pretend they were awesome big-gun wielding heroes, and it did it with style and with an interesting sci-fi story.

    But Resistance was a smaller, more personal story, with an everyman kind of protagonist. And a setting which didn’t appeal to everyone.

    Also, Resistance 2 basically tore up the rule sheet a little too much. Not enough consistency there.

  • BEcause Resistance was an clone, so the product was designed without an mythos to begin with. Where as Halo was an original idea from the start.

    • *so the game comes off as an clone – even though the game is designed well. Sort of how Saints Row is great, but doesn’t garner the cultural significance that GTA does.

      • Yeah played Marathon, also interesting to see Halo started off as an RTS! Also interesting is that when Bungie actually made an Halo RTS – it bombed!

      • Marathon is no Halo, all raycasted corridors and sprites, it comes off as a Doom ripoff more than anything. Halo is incredible, all things considered (and I’m of the opinion that Goldeneye was actually the watershed moment in console FPS’ but)

        Halo introduced a control scheme which was by and large stuck
        Halo introduced the 2 weapon limit which everything now has
        Halo was a 3rd person game disguised as a FPS – most shooters you play your character is merely a floating gun, in Halo they draw the whole model and not only that they render things going on in all parts of the world (the incredible theatre mode demonstrates how much effort they put into it.

  • I never played the multiplayer, but I’ve played through the single player of the first Resistance game and wasn’t impressed. It was okay, but the gameplay felt a bit clunky and dated and the story wasn’t presented in a good fashion. Halo games offer great multiplayer, but they also offer an excellent single player experience.

  • I always thought Resistance was meant to be a Gears of War clone, since they both launched around the same time and were console exclusives.

    Go figure.

    • Does anyone actually know what makes a clone a clone? It shouldnt be based on what time period it release it should be based on gameplay and Maybe a bit of story

  • Resistance 2 lost me when you end up in the suburbs. Making my way through a super linear set of backyards and houses when a super soldier could jump the fence. Shit

  • I played the first one only. The shooting mechanics were tight, but damn was the universe bland. The story sucked big time, with completely unlikeable characters and a weird narration thing going for it. When I heard the creators of Jak and Daxter and Ratchet and Clank were moving on to games with human characters, I always thought Insomniac would nail it, but Naughty Dog made a game series I freaking loved while Insomniac made a stinky pile of poop. They redeemed themselves with the amazing Quest for Booty and Crack in Time, but I really hated Resistance.

  • A friend left his x-box and the original Halo at my place for a weekend while he went away many years ago.
    I played it for a few levels and got bored.
    “Maybe it’d get better after I played a few more levels and unlocked some weapons that were actually fun to shoot”, I remember telling him when he came back.
    He told me that, no, at the point I reached I had all the weapons.
    This is why I fell in love with Resistance, I actually enjoyed using the varied weaponry. Particularly in Resistance 3 where the weapons would level up and become even more fun to shoot. Like the shotgun that would set enemies on fire.

  • To me, Halo has the most generic, bland, space marine setting that just bores me to tears.

    Oh, and in response to the thread, Halo is more ‘pure’ and polished, and the PS3 controller is terrible for FPS’. Try strafing right while turning left. Bleugh.

  • Yeah It’s interesting that it never really took off, though i’m not a halo fan I would happily play coop with a friend and have a good time mucking about in the open area, trying to crash cars into each other, resistance seperated into small levels and there isn’t much to do but shoot the aliens and walk forward.

  • Resistance annoyed me, despite enjoying it. Easily the best level in the game for me was the bit where you’re in the tunnels, it was so much fun. But most of the time you just spent above ground in big over-the-top setpiece battles that really didn’t excite me the same way the tunnel bits were.

  • To me halo is the biggest waste of time ever… Call of Duty cops alot of crap for being a copy and paste game where the only thing that gets updated is the story and the multiplayer but that is the exact same thing as halo. Halo is the epitome of copy and paste, I challenge anyone in the comments to give me one example of how halo is not just copy and paste.

      • x’D… Hey kid, try looking up Halo on the “World Wide Web”! If you say it’s just copy-paste.. Please try and.. You know.. Open your eyes! Or get a brain or something.. xD

    • Halo 1: really defined what a good console FOS could be. Was also plot-heavy, and changed (gameplay-wise) things up greatly halfway through, becoming more of a survival game than the RE series has been recently.

      Halo 2: introduced dual-wielding and vehicle jacking. Two simple twists that greatly affected the way the game played. Also, still plot-heavy, with a bigger, yet sensible, sandbox.

      Halo 3: equipment and refined gameplay. Also, the addition of Forge (map editor) and Theater mode have forever changed the franchise, and have put the pressure on other developers to provide similar tools (see Black Ops’ theater mode) I’m not a huge fan of Halo 3, but I respect the polish.

      ODST: changed gameplay up in many subtle-yet-important ways, making you more vulnerable, and played a lot like Halo 1. A large open world, a Firefly reunion, firefight mode, and a plot focused on the ODSTs? My absolute favorite game in the franchise (so far).

      Halo Wars: RTS, not by Bungie, and a standalone plot. It doesn’t really count in this comparison, but it is a solid RTS on a console.

      Halo Reach: Armor Abilities, for better or worse, can completely change the possibilities of any combat encounter. With their inclusion, there was no longer a “typical” way an encounter could play out. Also, the addition of weapon bloom helped put focus on more level-headed combat (which caused a huge rift in the multiplayer fanbase). Also, the increased level of innovation allowed by the Forge system has brought about many different ways to play the game (see Griffball and Action Sack games).

      Halo 4: essentially a reboot for the franchise, helmed by 343 industries. We’ll see just how different this is come November, but for now, your challenge has been fulfilled.

      • Well I will agree with some points but what I was getting at is games like CoD cop crap for being re-skinned versions of the previous ones when alot of the points you mention there have been done since the 90’s and the only real innovation was the RTS on a console (Which was aDAMN good one might I add) but a theatre mode and level editor are hardly and thing to write home about. Plot heavy games where around way before halo (See Half life 1) And IIRC you could duel wield guns in Duke Nukem 3D (Way before Halo) And Firefight mode was just a wave fight in disguise (See the far superior BO Zombie mode, Or even the alright GoW Horde mode), Also Armour abilities Are perks in disguise (Which was done 3 Years Earlier by CoD 4 ) . Halo gets alot of credit for being INSANELY innovative, when granted it was the reason to get the original xbox. In recent times nothing much has changed.

        • CoD catches a lot of flak because it releases every year with very small improvements. That said, I love Treyarch’s last two entries in the series (and no doubt will love BO2), because that’s where the risk and innovation are. Treyarch have added Zombies, Theater, and a strong focus on combating cheaters. IW (and the thirty other developers working on the MW series) just puts out the same multiplayer and mediocre campaign every time (Besides CoD4, of course).

          But that’s a discussion for another day. The point is that Halo is not “copy and paste” when every game has enough differences to make each game easily distinguishable. If you want to say that Halo doesn’t innovate because of the fact that the new features that each iteration brings to the table have been done before, then really no game in any genre has innovated in the last ten years. Even the ability to drive vehicles in a infantry shooter could be traced back to Body Harvest on the N64 (and beyond, maybe).

          The point is that there will not be any more significant revolutions in gaming; just evolutions. It’s not about new ideas, it’s about implementing existing ideas better. It’s about making something work in a genre that defies the trappings/conventions of the genre. Before Forge (which gets its name from the same feature in Marathon), what console shooter allowed you to edit maps to your heart’s content, with a chance to have them included in matchmaking? Before Bnet’s connection with Halo 2, what console developer put such a focus on a game’s community? Before Halo 3’s Theater, what company let you render film clips and screenshots on a console? Even the term “Banhammer” was popularized by Bungie’s implementation of a hard drive scan that could detect and ban cheaters (Banhammer already being an existing term in the PC world).

          I challenge you to really name one franchise in the past decade that has truly innovated, and I can likely point out where it borrows many elements from. That’s the thing about the Halo franchise. Sure it’s nothing amazingly new, but it’s always implemented in a way that just works. That’s why people love Bungie as a developer who innovates by constantly evolving (Halo itself was just their poster child), not because they’ve reinvented the wheel. The same can’t be said of the CoD franchise.

          • Reading back my post “copy and paste” maybe was too harsh of a word, I probably should have said Less-Innovative but from what I remember doesn’t halo release a iteration every year aswell:
            Halo 3:2007
            Halo Wars:2009
            Halo ODST:2009
            Halo Reach:2010
            Halo CE Anniversary:2011
            Halo 4:2012

  • I’ve never played Halo, so I can’t really answer this question very well, but I can give my opinion on Resistance. Though I should first mention that I don’t like console FPSs. The gamepad controls are so inferior to mouse/keyboard (to me) that the game has to be really something special for me to get into it. The only ones I’ve really gotten into have been Far Cry 2 (not entirely sure why, to be honest, but it just really grabbed me) and the Portal games (which aren’t typical FPSs in that there’s almost never any urgency in those games, so my lower accuracy isn’t a problem). I finished BioShock and Resistance on the PS3, and got to the last level of Killzone 2 (where I’m stuck), but the controls probably played a large part in my not particularly liking those games.

    Anyway, Resistance wasn’t without its charm. The graphics were nice (at the time), and the setting and premise were very cool. The enemies were also pretty neat, and of course there were some very spiffy weapons. But the level design never really did anything for me — it occasionally suffered from everything-looks-the-same-itis, resulting in me getting lost. And more importantly, the story and the way it was told really sucked. I didn’t give a single shit about any of the characters; they had no personality (even less than the Killzone guys, which is saying something), and you never really even saw them outside of one or two short cutscenes. The only advancement of the story was done through poorly-acted voice-over and still-shots between missions — pathetic. I’ve never played Halo, as I said, but my impression has always been that the franchise’s storyline is really cool and well-told. I can’t speak to my earlier point about level design vis-a-vis Halo, but I think the story thing has to at least be part of Halo’s success, and it’s my best guess as to why the two franchises performed so differently from one another. Though I imagine it’s actually more complicated than that.

    • yes, but each of those brought fresh ideas, stories or gameplay aspects.
      Halo 3:2007 – end of the trilogy. introduced equipment
      Halo Wars:2009 – an RTS.
      Halo ODST:2009 – a new perspective/story, new/different ways of playing it ie having to adapt to not having a shield and strong armour.
      Halo Reach:2010 – a new perspective/story, armour abilities.
      Halo CE Anniversary:2011 – not the first game to retool and re-release for an anniversary. updated with the latest engine
      Halo 4:2012 – not a reboot.
      ‘ Also Armour abilities Are perks in disguise’ – really? in CoD, you unlock perks as you go along, and they can change outcomes and even encourage noob behaviour. where as armor abilities dont really change the dynamic that much.

      ‘Firefight mode was just a wave fight in disguise’ – true, but like korny said there are only evolutions.
      zombies was okay, but the customization of firefight imho refreshed the whole idea.

  • I have Played resistance and all of the halo games. I liked resistance 1 and I didn’t think it was a halo clone when it came to gameplay because u could hold more than 2 guns and it has some elements of its own but it wasn’t as good as halo 3. resistance 2 just became a bit too unoriginal and it is hard even on the easy difficulty and I can’t be bothered finishing it. I also can’t be bothered buying res3

  • Resistance 1 was really fun and really good and whenever i did play the multiplayer in it i had an amazing time. Resistance 2 somehow wasn’t as good and 3 well it was buggy on launch, the art style didn’t look great and on day 1 of its release people with better weapons who had already played for 6+ hours were able to destroy any new players to the game.

  • Resistance wasn’t Sony’s Halo because there already was a Halo. Setting out wanting to clone something else seems like a great way to end up with a mediocre game, and mediocre sales if that’s how they marketed it. I imagine many consumers looking for a game like Halo would just be playing Halo, not buying a new system so they could play something similar.

  • tbh resistance was never that good, I was playing gears of war before i ever played resistance and just found resistance boring. I wouldn’t draw comparisons between halo and resistance but gears and resistance big difference in compelling gameplay

  • When I first played Resistance at work – briefly – I dismissed it as a Gears / CoD clone. However when I sat down with it properly once I bought my PS3 I loved it, particularly since I’d been disappointed with every Halo game since 2. The issues I had with the Halo franchise just weren’t there.
    Fall of Man is still my favourite of the series. There’s something about it’s stripped-back, action-based gameplay and amazing weapon design which leads me to finish it again every year or so.

  • Tried Resistance 2 and 3, but couldn’t play for more than a few minutes before motion sickness started. Maybe it’s because of the view bobbing being so exaggerated, or maybe the FoV was too narrow, or maybe there was motion blur (really can’t remember). The visual aesthetic was also terrible, and I never really liked the weapons – too boring.

  • I got Gears of War 3 the same time resistance 3 came out. After playing Gears 3, which was polished beyond belief and easily the greatest game on 360, Resistence 3 felt broken to me in comparison.

    Resistance 3 had a good story and brilliant weapon designs. It’s just a shame the clunky shooter controls and glitches everywhere, and lack of smooth realistic physics, altogether made the game really average.

    I traded Resistence 3 shortly after finishing it. Still play Gears 3 with friends.

    Lack of polish. Inconsistent quality along the franchise. That’s why Resistence was never as strong as Halo.

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