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Hands on with Resistance: Burning Skies for PS Vita

Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar + Posted by Jeff Rubenstein on Aug 18, 2011 // Sr. Social Media Manager

Ever since the PS Vita was unveiled in January, the handheld’s dual analog sticks have promised a proper first-person shooter experience on the go. The reveal of Resistance: Burning Skies at PlayStation’s gamescom press conference showed that the future of portable shooters will be bright from the outset.

Immediately after the conference ended, I met up with Rob Heubner from developer Nihilistic, who detailed some of what we can expect from the Vita’s first FPS foray. The next morning, Huebner and producer Frank Simon presented an extended play-by-play for international media.

Huebner said the studio’s core mission was to create a ”no-compromises experience with all the elements you’d expect from a Resistance game.” The Burning Skies demo fit neatly into the Resistance universe, but brought significant new features that evolved the game’s interactivity. As mentioned in the press conference, you’ll battle new Chimeran enemies with new weapons, all through the eyes of protagonist Tom Riley — a New York City fire fighter.

Resistance: Burning Skies for PS Vita

Burning Skies takes place right before Resistance 2, filling in the lost years and giving players a ground-eye view of the day the Chimera came to NYC. Huebner and Simon guided us through Ellis Island, which in the game’s alternate universe isn’t a tourist trap but a SRPA research facility. The base is under attack by the Chimera, who are dead-set on recovering something of interest. A weapon, perhaps?

A playthrough of the demo revealed a few surprises in that realm. I quickly got my hands on a Chimeran weapon referred to as the CFG (cluster fire gun). This weapon discharged short bursts of brittle ordnance that shatter on impact, a great tool for attacking soft targets such as tender Chimeran flesh. The CFG has an alt-fire mode, a Resistance staple. The manner in which it’s deployed, however, is PS Vita-only. A quick tap of the screen sets crosshairs on multiple enemies. Press fire, and they all fall in rapid succession.

Resistance: Burning Skies for PS Vita

This touch alt-fire method extended to the more familiar Carbine rifle. To fire off the underbarrel grenade launcher, merely touch in the direction you want to lob one, and off it goes in a fragmentational ‘splosion. Tossing a grenade works in similar fashion: When you touch the screen, an icon appears above your finger so you can see how long you’re cooking the grenade, then a “throwing” motion arcs them on their way.

The touch-sensitive screen also takes on the melee duties. An icon of a fireman’s axe (naturally) resides on-screen, just next to the Square button. Slide your thumb over when a Chimera closes in too close, and it’ll quickly be reduced to a pile of extraterrestrial giblets. Demo driver Frank Simon landed a one-hit stealth kill on an unsuspecting grunt as well.

Resistance: Burning Skies for PS Vita

The developers also demonstrated the weapon wheel, a feature near and dear to any Resistance fan’s heart. You can swap guns as you’re used to on the console games, or just tap the rifle you’re looking for directly on-screen.

It might sound like there’s a lot of touchscreen interaction in the game, but Nihilistic is being selective with its implementation. Heubner says they’ll only take advantage of “as many features of the PS Vita that make sense” for Burning Skies. Touch is used to keep you in the action and out of the menus.

The final new-to-Resistance feature is a first-person cover system, not unlike that found in the Killzone series. If you’re crouching behind certain structures, you’ll automatically go into cover. You’ve got the optional of tilting the Vita to see over or around cover, or you can just aim down the sights the old-fashioned way with L1. If you stand up or back away, you’re out of cover – no getting stuck.

It should be said that Resistance: Burning Skies is an attractive shooter. “We don’t have to compromise on the visual side just because it’s a mobile platform,” said Heubner. “It’s got all the special effects you’d expect on a PS3 game. And the game demo was presented seamlessly from beginning to end – not a loading screen to be found.

Resistance: Burning Skies for PS Vita

Back to the demo. Now equipped with a minigun, Riley ventured deep into the Ellis Island underground facility where human scientists labor to reverse engineer the Chimeran weapons. Fortunately, they left an an ammo upgrade for the minigun, which made it even more deadly.

And you’ll need all the firepower you can muster, because Resistance: Burning Skies throws a lot at you. The devs showed off the horsepower of Vita by filling a huge room with hordes of Chimeran attackers of multiple varieties. After raining liquid hot death on the enemies (and their reinforcements), the real threat reveals itself: a huge Chimera that loomed three times larger than most you’ve seen… and apparently, it’s just a mini-boss.

The demo ended there, but it not before making it clear that Resistance: Burning Skies is well on its way to delivering on the promise of becoming the first proper portable first-person shooter.

//Add Your Own

42 Comments

1

+ Brawl96 on August 18th, 2011 at 12:45 pm said:

or not


2

+ Seeing_Red_Again on August 18th, 2011 at 1:00 pm said:

Looks awesome. Will this game have online multiplayer?


3

+ remanutd5 on August 18th, 2011 at 1:01 pm said:

after the interview im really intrigued to know why they chose Resistance Burning Skies as a title , from all the videos i have seen it looks to me that the game feels right on a portable console , i have a question are we gonna be able to use the cover system on Multiplayer online ? or is it like killzone that we can only use it on single player campaign ? , cant wait to get my hands on RBS !!!!


4

+ remanutd5 on August 18th, 2011 at 1:01 pm said:

at 2 , yes it will have online multiplayer


5

+ J-Eagle22 on August 18th, 2011 at 1:04 pm said:

This games looks awesome.


6

+ BulletTooth228 on August 18th, 2011 at 1:05 pm said:

will i be able to play Retribution on Vita?

Please i would really really like to know.


7

+ TheCrazyMerc on August 18th, 2011 at 1:06 pm said:

Can we get a firm release date on the VITA becuz i cant wait!!!


8

+ remanutd5 on August 18th, 2011 at 1:07 pm said:

oh 1 more question i think i read somewhere that RBS wont have loading times , is it true ?


9

+ Mobius2525 on August 18th, 2011 at 1:22 pm said:

Can’t wait to collect my Vita trophies.


10

+ blackghost826 on August 18th, 2011 at 1:26 pm said:

@TheCrazyMerc
The Vita is supposed to release on December 31st

Really excited about the Vita and all of its cool features, I’m personally hoping that RBS and Call of Duty are T.


11

+ blakseed on August 18th, 2011 at 1:40 pm said:

@blackghost?

Dec. 31? Where did you pull that from? I haven’t heard a launch date yet.


12

+ mcbuttz78 on August 18th, 2011 at 1:41 pm said:

Are these real in game footage screen photo’s. wow im impressed..

mcbuttz78
vp- psn legionairre group


13

+ Airwalkinman17 on August 18th, 2011 at 1:49 pm said:

This + VITA = Instapurchase.


14

+ LilWayneSuckz on August 18th, 2011 at 1:50 pm said:

Please don’t screw this up Nihilistic, Resistance 3 looks awesome so should this and your game catalog looks incredibly weak.

@BulletTooth228

Yes. And you’ll be able to play Retribution (if you bought it on PSN) with dual analog controls


15

+ ultimate-remag on August 18th, 2011 at 1:51 pm said:

seriously cant wait 4 this and the vita!!!! please release in the US for christmas!!!!!!


16

+ kivi95 on August 18th, 2011 at 1:56 pm said:

So is this a release game or more like a late 2012 game? Can se that the graphics need’s a little work here and their.


17

+ materclobber on August 18th, 2011 at 1:59 pm said:

this mini PS3 has some freakin awesome games!!!!! keep up the good work guys


18

+ SEVIREDgamer on August 18th, 2011 at 2:03 pm said:

I heard the writter for the 2 resistance novels, The Gathering Storm \, and Hole in the Sky also wrote the story and penned alot of the dialog for this game, is this true? if so it seems the resistance franchise is set to go really big because those 2 novels are amazing!Just finished reading the second novel and i’m just blown away!


19

+ lisatsunami on August 18th, 2011 at 3:02 pm said:

Yikes but this looks good. I suck @ shooters but the Vita’s multiple controls may give me a fighting chance.

Dear Sony staff, please get Vita versions of all the IPs I love–Dragon Age, Elder Scrolls, InFamous, to name a few.


20

+ The_Ottsel on August 18th, 2011 at 3:17 pm said:

Please, P L E A S E!!! This new Resistance game should have a health bar instead of an auto recovery system. IMO it is part of the Resistance legacy and personality. Give it identity, dont make another Call of Duty clone. I love the series, I´m still playing R:FoM online, and it´s always a great time but it´s because I´m playing what I want: a great, gritty, with awsome guns and self-love 1st person shooter, not another yearly FPS made only to make more money (yes, I´m talking about you CoD, and you too Medal of Honor).


21

+ Link01 on August 18th, 2011 at 4:02 pm said:

It looks good for a handheld and I’m definitely interested. My main concern consists of some textures and why the Chimera just explode to nothing when they die.


22

+ laZardo on August 18th, 2011 at 4:16 pm said:

Will there be connectivity with R3 like Retribution had with R2?


23

+ Type-F- on August 18th, 2011 at 4:37 pm said:

Kind of dissapointed with the graphic. I mean, it does look good for a handheld but not what I expected. Hope the graphic looks way better when game is out.


24

+ Dessron on August 18th, 2011 at 4:44 pm said:

Can’t wait for Vita’s release. Give us a release date already!


25

+ Falaut on August 18th, 2011 at 5:04 pm said:

This title looks is really impressive for a hand held and is one of the games (the other being Gravity Rush/Daze/Newname ;)) that is making me interested in the PSV. The part where the water tower topples over is boss. The control scheme also looks very intuitive and has a purpose as opposed to just adding something just to showcase a feature of the hardware.

off/on topic. Continuous Play Sony. It is my opinion that this should be one of the things front and center of your PSV push. Being able to play in my living room, save to the cloud, and then pick up the same game with my PSV! Wow. Imagine being able to do this with Resistance 3, Borderlands 2 ;), or many other upcoming titles. This feature in itself has multiple benefits for you all while giving huge perceived value to the customer.


26

+ Falaut on August 18th, 2011 at 5:04 pm said:

From selling PSVs and PS3 to giving what would finally in my opinion be a legitimate plan against used games sales. Instead of gimmicky passes that just give fodder to internet forums and general chat rooms, why not try this? You buy a PS3 game new, you register it with a pass or whatnot…and you automatically get the PSV ver (slightly reduced in visual quality) for free. I know, what a concept.

Now this would only work if current PS3 titles are as easy to get running on the PSV as reported.

I understand the need to differentiate the platform with killer apps (such as Burning Skies) that are not simply extensions like aforementioned. Why not get out the contract pen with Square Enix and make an exclusive installment of the Chrono series. You would sell so many units, you’d have trouble keeping up.

Cheers.


27

+ ThreeLeggedFreak on August 18th, 2011 at 5:48 pm said:

Nihilistic sucks and it shows. The game looks mediocre. RR is the real Resistance playstation fans should play on the device.


28

+ Chapulin140 on August 18th, 2011 at 6:57 pm said:

Release date for Vita and RBS bundle pls..


29

+ blackmnm6v on August 18th, 2011 at 7:31 pm said:

jjj


30

+ XenoNative on August 19th, 2011 at 1:46 am said:

looks like the camera man was having a lil too much fun. oh yea the looks cool too.


31

+ delkata777 on August 19th, 2011 at 6:38 am said:

FRICKIN. AWESOME. DAY 1. PURCHAAAAAASE……..


32

+ Deathspear666 on August 19th, 2011 at 9:06 am said:

For all you x-game chat whiners…

h ttp://play stationlifestyle.net/2011/08/19/sony-says-cross-game-chat-on-ps3-not-possible/

Just take out the spaces


33

+ WelmoscaBR on August 19th, 2011 at 12:18 pm said:

yup I’ll buy I love resistance.


34

+ wolfman-11 on August 19th, 2011 at 12:27 pm said:

Looks like Im getting the Vita haha. They are having so much new release games when it comes out not like the 3DS. Hope Uncharted will be fun same as this game I loved Retrabution. PSV FOR LIFE!


35

+ finaler on August 19th, 2011 at 1:07 pm said:

This game looks awesome, hope it has multilayer.

Will vita games have trophies?


36

+ Detective-E on August 19th, 2011 at 6:52 pm said:

Showing Resistance 3 and Resistance Vita at the same time is confusing!

They look similar!


37

+ Rival_31 on August 20th, 2011 at 6:53 am said:

I’ll probably be picking this up as well.


38

+ gammer_king89 on August 21st, 2011 at 2:42 pm said:

i pre-ordered this and i cant wait


39

+ Phillyblunz on August 24th, 2011 at 8:20 am said:

The PSP was Playstation portable, as in PS1 portable. And had some PS3 abilities. (Remote play with LAIR)

I was more hoping for a PS2P. With a few more PS3 abilities.(Remote play with many existing PS3 games)

Basically it would be really cool to play our favorite PS2 games on the go, with two analog sticks, this is now possible.

I would love direct ports of PS2 games like Starwars Battlefront 1&2, The Matrix Path of Neo, Mercenaries,
Psy Ops, Battlestar Galactica, Monkey Ball Deluxe, Starwars Episode 3, etc.

These games are out there, just convert, uprez and release, easy money, just dont get greedy with price.

Dual packs for $40 is the right way to do this. Digital download so can play on PS3, or Vita.

This shuts up the PS2 compatibility guys(me), and makes everyone huge profits on proven franchises.

Any game that sold over a few million on PS2 already made money, and will again if you just invest.

Cheers.


40

+ whillum on August 26th, 2011 at 12:58 am said:

Wait a second. If Nihilistic is developing this game, then that means Insomniac isn’t. What happened there? Is RBS still going to have the same Resistance ‘vibe’?


41

+ ironjhonthefirst on September 5th, 2011 at 12:06 pm said:

the better not make it like the old psp version


42

+ Adam_We_ on September 14th, 2011 at 4:35 am said:

This sucks lol, I mean I know alot of people will buy and enjoy this PSP vita and all but it seems like they make a new PSP evey 6 months.So now all those who got a PSP 1000 2000 3000 or go wont be able to play the new games with dual A. sticks … lol. I know Sony wont stop producing games for older PSP versions, but still I wouldnt buy this one since they’ll probably make a new one in less than 1 years.They should announce them earlier so we could know before investing 300$ I bet alot of people who bought the PSP go would have waited for this one if they had known.

This game look great tho, the PSP was like a weak PS2 with smaller games due to the 1.9 Go CDs but this look like a very weak PS3 or a good PS2.5 portable which is totally awesome XD


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