Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre: Video GamesFirst Person Shooter
Release Date: 05/29/2012
Platform(s): PlayStation Vita
Online Enabled: No
ESRB Rating: M
ESRB Explanation: For Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language
Common Sense Says: Gruesome sci-fi shooter is best suited for grown-up players.
Common Sense Rates It:
Parents need to know
Parents need to know that Resistance: Burning Skies is a bloody and violent sci-fi-themed first-person shooter. Players spend their time engaging aliens in vicious gun-based combat that often results in gushes of red blood and gore. Characters occasionally spout profanity in the game's dialogue. Parents should also be aware that this game supports open voice chat in online play, which means players may encounter inappropriate language from other players and risk exposing their identity.
- Families can talk about violence in media. Does it matter if a bloody, gory game is viewed on a portable device? Does a smaller screen lessen the impact of violent material?
- Families can also discuss online safety. When is it OK for a kid to start playing online games that allow open communication? Have you asked your kids what they would do if they ran into someone who is suspicious or abusive while playing an online game?
What's the story?
Set in an alternate history in which aliens invade the world in the middle of the 20th century, RESISTANCE: BURNING SKIES puts players in control of a firefighter named Riley who finds himself attempting to save his family and helping to repel the extraterrestrials' invasion of the Eastern seaboard. The first handheld first-person shooter ever to sport dual-analog joystick control, the game looks and feels much like its PlayStation 3 predecessors, with fast-paced battles and a variety of weapons. Series fans will recognize some of these weapons, such as the alien Auger, which lets its wielder see and shoot through walls. The game also offers 8-player competitive online play, complete with voice communication.
Is it any good?
It's not quite the larger-than-life experience delivered by the franchise's PlayStation 3 games, but Resistance: Burning Skies offers adult players a surprisingly console-like play. With its story-driven campaign, empowering dual-stick control scheme, and online multiplayer, it's essentially a PlayStation 3 title shrunk down to fit a handheld device.Unfortunately, it lacks the depth of its predecessors. Its quick campaign delivers linear, lackluster levels; many of its weapons feel more or less the same; and the multiplayer lacks much variety. Plus, the addition of touch-screen is a mistake. Taking your thumbs off the sticks to stretch them over to the display and load a special weapon or fire a grenade wastes precious time in a game in which split seconds can mean the difference between life and death. Burning Skies' slick dual-stick controls prove that the PS Vita has strong potential to deliver an excellent first-person shooter experience, but a great shooter requires more than two thumbsticks.
How to play
Playbility: A few modes of difficulty let players of different skills and experience find a level of challenge that suits their ability. The game's twin-stick control configuration -- one thumbstick for the camera, the other for movement -- makes it feel a lot like playing a shooter on a console, so it should be easy for most players to jump in.
The Good Stuff
Messages: This game is meant to entertain via visceral sci-fi violence. Beyond the gore, its alien invasion plot gives rise to heroes who sacrifice themselves in order to save those they love. The strength of family bonds emerges as a strong theme as a man risks all to save his family.
Role Models: The player's character and the humans he interacts with are heroes of the human race, people who fight to save the world from alien invasion. Violence is the primary tool for resolving situations, but they're left little choice if they want to survive.
Ease of play: A few modes of difficulty let players of different skills and experience find a level of challenge that suits their ability. The game's twin-stick control configuration -- one thumbstick for the camera, the other for movement -- makes it feel a lot like playing a shooter on a console, so it should be easy for most players to jump in.
What to watch out for
Violence Players use a vast arsenal of human and alien weapons, including rifles, grenades, an axe, and energy weapons that can shoot through solid objects in this gruesome first-person shooter. Enemies consist of aliens and humans who have mutated into alien forms. They bleed and scream when shot, and sometimes lose their heads in crimson gushes. Players don't fight humans, but they do see humans killed in violent ways.
Sex: Not an issue
Language: Profanity occurs infrequently in spoken dialogue. However, expect instances of strong language, including the words "f--k" and "s--t."
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs & smoking: Not an issue