Resistance's first entry into the PS Vita arena isn't quite explosive.
By CHONG JINN XIUNG
THE world as you know it is coming to an end on the PS Vita. Burning Skies is the prequel to the Resistance series and takes you to the beginning of the Chimera alien invasion.
In the single-player campaign you play as New York firefighter Tom Reilly, an unlikely hero who just wants to find his family before the alien invaders start blowing things up.
Unfortunately, the story is not compelling, the characters are pretty one dimensional and most parts feel rushed.
The action is also very linear although it has big set piece moments with plenty of blood thirsty aliens and big boss fights.
The visuals, however, aren't anything to write home about. It just doesn't have the level of polish as Vita games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss. Also, while the animation is fine, characters look dull and lack detail.
But that doesn't detract you from the action because the control scheme is so good you'll forget that you are playing the game on a portable game system.
Aiming feels smooth using the dual analogue sticks and the button layout is just as you would expect on a console shooting game.
This wouldn't be a Vita game if it didn't use some of its fancy touch controls.
Double tapping the back panel makes Reilly run and the majority of the secondary fire options are accessed from the touchscreen itself.
For instance, you lob grenades by dragging them over to the spot you want things to go boom and the weird Mule shotgun/crossbow requires you to swipe across the screen to get an explosive bolt ready.
However, all the finger swiping actions can obscure the screen during intense firefights.
Sadly Burning Skies doesn't try very hard to differentiate itself from other run-of-the-mill shooters. You are basically lead from room to room to kill the Chimera aliens with a few boss fights thrown in between.
Most enemies you face are not as intelligent as their console cousins - the Chimera in Burning Skies are content to sit in one spot and shoot.
Even the larger enemies don't pose that much of a threat - it almost feels as if the game was designed for first time FPS players.
The campaign shouldn't take more than eight to 12 hours to complete and once you are done there's the multiplayer mode, which every game under the sun has nowadays.
Multiplayer is very basic, and of course, scaled down compared to Resistance 3. The action is limited to eight players and you have only six maps.
The standard deathmatch variants are here and one other mode called Survival where every player starts off as a human but turns into a Chimera when killed until there are no more humans left.
There is also a perk system that awards players with upgrades for weapons but even that won't stop you from growing tired of the limited selection of maps and modes.
Resistance: Burning Skies may not be a system seller for the Vita but it proves that the Vita is a competent platform for shooters.
It is unfortunate that the Vita's first FPS title feels dated and pales in comparison to Insomniac's Resistance games for the PS3.
The enemies are not much of a challenge when you're playing solo and multiplayer needs additional modes and maps.
All-in-all, Burning Skies doesn't quite live up to the hype and fans of the series deserve better.
Pros: Good controls, lengthy single-player campaign.
Cons: Weak story; campaign is too easy; mutliplayer game lacks depth and modes.
Resistance: Burning Skies
(Nihilistic Software/Sony Computer Entertainment)
First-person shooter for PS Vita
Price: RM139 for physical copy; RM131 via PSN
Review unit courtesy of Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong, asia.playstation.com