Resistance Retribution – Developer Interview and Walkthrough

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In case you guys haven’t heard, Resistance: Retribution is coming to the PlayStation Portable, and has been making it’s way around the world from E3, to Leipzig, to PAX; gathering awards everywhere it goes (we’re up to 23 now!). We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Co-Directors John Garvin and Chris Reese to give you a look into what we’ve been showing, where the game is headed, and more.

Here’s a walkthrough from the PAX show floor, with Sony Bend’s Chris Reese:

And John Garvin helps round out the story by answering these questions:

1. How will you translate the PS3 Resistance experience onto the portable screen?

    For us, Resistance is all about killing powerful aliens with powerful weapons in a cool alternate-history 1950’s setting. Our goal from the beginning was to capture the essence of Resistance’s core gameplay, while at the same time putting our spin on it. The “Bend Game Studio” spin is all about creating a fun game that is also a dramatic, in-depth story. We knew we wanted a sequel that took place right after Resistance: Fall of Man, but before the events in R2. While playing through RFOM I had discovered a few elements that I thought were great story hooks — things like the Cloven, or the fact that we never saw any female Chimera, so I spent some time talking to Ted Price and the guys at Insomniac, pitching ideas I had about where we could take the Resistance story on the PSP. They loved our story so we just went with it. The PSP game is probably a little more “intimate” — if you can use that word on an experience where you’re blasting the hell out of aliens — because the game focuses on the personal story of a new character we created — a British private named James Grayson. After a personal tragedy, Grayson goes on a vendetta to destroy every Chimera conversion center he can find. Eventually he learns that his efforts have been futile… in France, Germany, the Netherlands, the Chimera have evolved and now use a new method of converting humans to aliens. The French resistance, called the Maquis, enlist Grayson’s help, and he joins Cartwright and Parker in Operation Overstrike — the beginning of the war to retake the European continent. So we have a great personal story, as Grayson tries to come to terms with his own demons, set against the backdrop of a horrible war fought in places like Rotterdam, Luxembourg, Bonn and Paris.

2. What is the best thing about developing for PSP?

    The thing I like best about PSP is the team size. At Bend Game Studio we have about 40 team members, which is a great size for a team. We have enough key talent to make AAA games that have high production values, but we’re small enough that everyone knows everyone and we get stuff done without a lot of middle management.

3. What is your favorite game on PSP?

    My personal favorite is still Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror or Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow, mostly because I poured so much creative energy into them. Two games that I finished this year, and really loved, were God of War and Patapon. Two really different games in terms of subject matter, genre, and style, but each a lot of fun in it’s own way. In fact, these two games are really good examples of why the PSP is such a great hand-held platform. You have a quirky game like Patapon that sort of carves new territory in the “rhythm / action” genre, and a really good translation of a hard-core console action title, side by side on my gaming shelf. And you won’t find a game like GOW on competing hand-helds anytime soon.

4. What is one of your guilty pleasures when it comes to PSP games?

    Playing games late at night while in bed. Seriously. It seems like the only time I can find to catch-up on my PSP games is late at night and there’s no more comfortable place to kick back than in bed. With the headphones on, I don’t keep my wife awake, though she was getting irritated when I was playing God of War because it’s hard not to get vocal when you die. To me, portable doesn’t just mean “play on a bus or an airplane,” it means, “play anywhere that isn’t your couch in front of your PS3.” :)

5. Where is the weirdest place you have ever played your PSP?

    See above.

6. What is your favorite non-gaming PSP feature? Why?

    Probably the web stuff. The PSP’s a pretty good platform for checking news… the screens a little bigger than my Blackberry’s, and websites are easier to navigate. Next would be the ability to watch movies on it — while flying, it’s a lot more convenient to watch a movie on my PSP than on my laptop.

7. How will you push the PSP hardware with Resistance?

    We’re pushing it pretty hard. As you know this is our third game on the platform and we’re constantly making improvements to our engine. Chris Reese, the Technical director and co-studio director, pushes his tech team pretty hard. We’ve done a complete upgrade on our animation system, adding support for multiple skeletons so we could implement all the different types of Chimera; we’ve upgraded our character system, adding specular highlights so you can see light reflecting off of Grayson’s leather jacket; we’ve also upped the size of our character textures so everything looks crisp and clean; we’ve put in a more robust streaming system so we can have more detail in the levels, more sounds, more character models, more animations; we’ve created an entirely new enemy system so that we can have more of them on screen at once — in Logan’s Shadow, you might see 4-6 terrorists at a time, not in Resistance: Retribution, you can see 15 Leapers at once. We’ve also optimized a lot of systems in order to push out our drawing distance so we could attempt to capture the sheer scale of the Resistance vistas. So far the team is doing a great job capturing the Resistance look and feel.

8. This is your third PSP game; what have you learned over the last two projects that you can apply to Resistance?

    Aside from all the technical and engine enhancements noted above, we’ve learned a lot about making shooters fun on the PSP. We’ve taken the aiming system that we refined in Logan’s Shadow and Dark Mirror, and we’ve simplified it into an aim assist system that we think is pretty revolutionary on the PSP — we wanted to make the game as easy to play as we could by reducing the reliance on using the four face buttons to aim — but at the same time, not take away the sense of “skilled” shooting that a game like Resistance provides. The other thing I think we’ve learned how to do well on the PSP, is crafting a compelling player experience. For us this is a combination of challenging combat scenarios, creative level design, and dramatic storytelling. We don’t want the game to get repetitive, so we break up the pacing of the game play, we add new challenges, we create unexpected story hooks, we give the player reasons to look around, we create areas where they have to use their heads as well as their weapons. As long as we end up with a game that we want to play ourselves, we’re pretty happy.

What else do you need to know about Resistance: Retribution?

Comments are closed.


  • JordanBlack68

    Sweet I might buy it!

  • Definitely looking forward to this

  • Day one!


    if i still had it, i would definitely buy this

  • when is it out?

  • My advice to you Sony if you want to sell more PSP software. Change the price. $39.99 is not a logical price for a handheld game. $30 would be awesome!

  • I might actually use my PSP for something other than music, podcasts, internet radio, and remote play now.


  • enrichovega

    This is the game that will finally get me to buy a PSP!!!

  • How about some sort of interactivity between the PS3 version and the PSP version.

  • chitownfan23

    you should make this available at the playstation store when it comes out. especially because my umd drive is broke and i dont want to get a new psp and this is the only game i really want.

  • wolverine81

    Looks good! I’m looking forward to picking this up.

  • Seeing how Resistance Retribution plays, I am thinking it would be sweet if Insomniac’s Resistance 2 would have a third person shoulder view option as well. :)

  • enrichovega

    Too bad this comes out after R2 releases since it’s supposed to take place before the events of R2. I like playing my games in chronological order however I doubt I’ll be able to hold off playing R2 until this…LOL!

  • Bought.

  • I was so elated to hear Sony Bend was behind this Resistance title. I absolutely loved what they did with my all time favorite series (Syphon Filter), by far my favorite 2 titles on the PSP. When Resistance: Retribution is done please make another SF, the ending in Logans Shadow is a highly unacceptable cliffhanger.

    I’ve looked over the upcoming games and this is the only title that peaks my interest, I hope it comes out early 09. Patience is not one of my virtues. Oh almost forgot, for those of us who love the Syphon Filter control settings, can you add it as an option? I am not sure how Retributions control scheme is.

  • Edit- I should of watched the video before hand, great to know the control scheme when moving the character is the same!

  • This game looks GREAT and will be a nice holdover until RFOM 2.

  • Is there going to be a demo on the psn store?

  • Good suff…good stuff!

    A fact about the Resistance story line keeps bugging me though. If chimera are now attacking the US, why arent they attacking Britain again to re-take it?

  • willskate4free

    great job guys the game is looking amazing.

    what can we expect from multiplayer?

    and will our psn logins be tied to it, like the syphon filter mp only game?

  • Stinkin Mushroom

    The shooting gameplay makes me think of ratchet & clank.

    great stuff

  • Loving it :D Also, I WANT ONE OF THOSE JACKETS! :)

  • Thanks Brian.

    Don’t have the PSP yet, only the PS3, but after I saw the new PSP 3000 and it’s abilities and resolution, I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting one.

    Many of my PS3 friends are waiting for this game to come out.

  • CaptionLoken

    i would love to buy this game, but i dont have a psp, nor the money for a psp, so i guess ill have to be a complete loser and just read the story off some site :(

  • looks great

  • a must buy for me

  • wow, this game looks amazing!

  • I heard in 09 everything released in retail would hit the PSN at the same time on PSP.
    Can we get that going for RR? Thanks

  • ima get this game

  • Sony Bend ftw. Day 1 Confirmed.
    Also please make Syphon Filter for the PS3.

  • great! I can’t wait to buy the PSP3000 and play this game in all it’s portable glory and then revisit some of the older PSP titles.

  • P_tear_griffin

    Will we see a similar reward system in R:R as we did in the PSP Syphon Filter games (including he unlocking bonus stages to play and deleted game scenes, etc)? That’s what made me play the SF games repeatedly :)

  • Looks solid.

  • Finally a decent looking 3rd person aspect game since ftb2. BUYING!

  • meepmoopmeep

    nice, i can’t wait to get this game!

    i’m glad it’s 3rd person, much like Killzone: Liberation went to 3rd person for the PSP.

    can’t wait for Resistance 2 as well. already paid in full for my pre-order.

  • Chaos_Bladez

    With all the console games coming out, I find I never get games I want for my PSP. :(
    I hope that changes. :D

  • Letters2Kay

    Nice job, boys. Looks amazing! I can’t wait to get my hands on it… :)

  • @ 30

    That would be an amazing idea new graphics, polished gameplay , better physics, better mechanics omg i would drool if it happened

  • skaterricky

    I cant wait to get my hands on this game :D

    lets hope it makes the PSP scream for mursy!

    pump that hardware full of stress ;)

    Cant wait!

  • I wasn’t even considering this game even though I am a Resistance fan. But after seeing your aim assist system in action in the video above I am completely sold. Great job. Looking for more of Retribution. Did you just say female Chimera? Sweet.

  • Brian thanks for the video!!!

  • cant wait

  • This looks good

  • Keysersoze10033

    Looking good, I need something for my PSP ASAP.

  • don’t have a PSP yet, but i know AAA games like this will help the Sony bottom line..any way the 2 versions, (the new PS3 sequel and the new PSP game) will be able to communicate with each other if you buy them both?

    just wondering..

  • That’s incredibly impressive graphics. The fact that you guys have been working on the PSP for such an extended period of time shows through brilliantly. Strike up another success for the PSP! :D

  • ThomasAnthony

    Looks great, keep up the good work.

  • will this game have a multiplayer mode?? I don’t care if it’s only local… I need multiplayer!!

  • Looking good!
    Multiplayer would rock!

  • Hey guys ,did Insomniac share any assets from Resistance :FOM ? Like sounds,textures,models …

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