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A PS3 exclusive where aliens are invading our planet and humankind is on the brink of extinction from an enemy that has us outmatched and outgunned, okay… now the question is am I talking about Killzone or Resistance? That’s the problem with Sony publishing both of these games. To take a step back, after E3 it struck some people as a bit odd that Sony showed off Killzone 3 before a Resistance sequel. Mainly due to the fact that Resistance 2 came out before Killzone 2, so logic would dictate that Resistance 3 would release prior to Killzone 3. Especially with Resistance developer, Insomniac Games, development schedule of alternating between releasing a Ratchet and Resistance game every year.
Now with Killzone 3 being announced and playable, is there really a need for Sony and Insomniac Games to keep making Resistance? The FPS genre is already overly saturated and two tent-pole games that are so similar seems redundant. We already have enough redundancy in the genre between Black Ops and Medal of Honor battling it out this holiday. Now imagine if both of those games came from the same publisher… yeah. Of course, Sony is smart enough to allow some spacing between their similar franchises. Resistance 2 came out November 2008 and Killzone 2 followed it in February 2009. While that is a small window, Sony did give them enough time to release without either getting overshadowed by the other. Especially when you take into account how fast “video game time” moves, hell, it feels as if I was playing God of War III and Red Dead Redemption about a year ago.
From a business point of view, perhaps it is a smart move for Sony to alternate between a big shooter every year, since mainstream video game fans seem to eat them up. The big difference between Sony’s plan and what Microsoft does with Halo and Gear of War is that Microsoft’s two games are vastly different. Of course, Resistance and Killzone aren’t the same game, but back to the case of Black Ops and Medal of Honor, all of them are a bit too similar. Sony is forcing an either/or type of situation and cannibalizing its audience. Sure, us hardcore gamers don’t mind buying a FPS in November then another one in February, but many casual gamers are going to pick one or the other, especially in this economy.
I will leave the financial talk to advisers and Sony stockholders. From a gamer perspective, I would much rather have a talented developer such as Insomniac Games create something that pushes the video gaming boundary, not have them add to the pile of “alien invasion” shooters coming out yearly. That’s not to say Guerrilla Games is untalented, but so far they have only proven themselves from a technical standpoint. While Insomniac Games look great and have fantastic game design, level design, characters, gameplay, and probably the hardest thing to nail in video game development… humor. Sadly, most of those things are void in their Resistance games. Which is why I am hopeful that the game they are currently teasing us with, is the original IP they’re working on and not another Resistance. Their original IP being a shooter is fine, as long as it has the same amount of originality, personality, and distinction that a Ratchet game would.