The PlayStation Vita, with its dual thumbsticks seems a natural home for first person shooters – a genre that’s traditionally been underrepresented on handhelds. It got some third-person action in the form of Zipper Interactive’s Unit 13 – a surprisingly fun tactical experience tailored for on-the-go shooting. The Vita’s now – 3 months after its Western release – gotten its first bona-fide FPS in Resistance: Burning Skies. Though it’s part of the Resistance franchise, it’s got a new developer in Nihilistic Software, most recently behind the awful PlayStation Move Heroes.
So what’s the first FPS on the Vita like? Critical reception is what you’d call mixed.
Here’s what reviewers have to say;
- CVG: 7.9 – Not a showcase for Vita’s visual powers, but hard proof it can handle fully-fledged first-person shooters – another solidly rousing slice of Resistance.
- Destructoid: 2 – If, like me, you’ve been waiting to see how a first-person shooter feels on the Vita, then I can say that this game proves the potential of the genre. However, if you’d like your first Vita FPS to actually be good, then wait for something else, because Resistance: Burning Skies is far from acceptable. It is visually atrocious, interactively vapid and incomplete to a degree that a full retail price is an insult. It’s tempting to buy this just to have something new on the system, but good things come to those that wait, and it’s hard to imagine anything not being good compared to this mess.
- GamesRadar: 4 – Resistance: Burning Skies doesn’t offer the Resistance experience you’d expect, period. The weapon variety that defines the series is flaccid at best, the story is forgettable, and the multiplayer isn’t even as varied as the last handheld game in the series. It’s hard to even recommend this one to gamers who’ve spent the last six years popping Chimera skulls. Even if a few rounds of Survival are rather fun, there isn’t enough unique content here to attract many people, be they long-time Resistance fans or folks looking to get their FPS jones from the Vita. Resist the temptation.
- IGN: 5.5 – Resistance: Burning Skies has the honor of being the first true twin-stick FPS on a handheld, but it doesn’t do much with it. The story here is forgettable, the action is formulaic, and the multiplayer is simplistic. If first-person action is your favorite thing in the world, Resistance: Burning Skies is at your service. Just don’t expect it to shine like we know this franchise can.
- JustPushStart: 6.3 – Resistance: Burning Skies isn’t quite on par with Uncharted: Golden Abyss, but it proves a FPS can work on a portable console. Despite this shortcoming, the Playstation Vita is perfect for FPS fans, though the genre has yet to be fully realized. With less than stunning graphics and a short campaign, Resistance: Burning Skies feels incomplete next to other games in the genre. However, if you’re a diehard FPS fan, then you should definitely pick this game up.
- PocketGamer: 7 – A conventional, by-the-numbers shooter that just about stands out for its enjoyable firefights, in both single and multiplayer, and for being the first handheld FPS to really work
- PlayStation Lifestyle: 8.5/10 – Resistance: Burning Skies it the total package for the PlayStation Vita. Insomniac’s franchise is in good hands with Nihilistic, and they’ve done a respectable job in bringing the first twin-stick FPS game to a handheld. Vita’s few remaining limitations are overcome with genius design. The single-player, while on the short side and lacking in replay value, is excellent. Gun play is grand, and multiplayer stacks up to many console shooters. If you have a Vita, and like the Resistance franchise or enjoy FPS, buy this game.
- The Sixth Axis: 6/10 – Hardcore Resistance fans will no doubt like what Nihilistic have managed to get the Vita to do, but for everyone else this is little more than a competent, hard working game that ticks the right boxes but never really pushes the boat out. The graphics are hit and miss, the sound generally terrible and the controls need some work. But it’s not a bad game, it’s really not – and for the premier first person shooter on Vita it’s likely to gain a decent enough following.
- VideoGamer: 6 – I wish Resistance: Burning Skies had been braver and bolder. It’s the first fully-fledged FPS on the Vita, and it has all those brilliant guns, but it doesn’t strut around like Vita’s first-person saviour. It’s a reserved, almost lazy attempt, and developer Nihilistic always opts for the safe bet. The shooting is top notch, but poor pacing and bland environments ensure you never engage with what’s going on, and technical hiccups and formulaic game modes sour the multiplayer. This game proves the potential power of the genre on its device, but not the potential excellence of its own franchise.
Ouch. Seems like it’s hardly what anybody (other than the obviously not-at-all-biased PlayStation lifestyle) would call good. As somebody who really enjoyed the last Resistance on the PS3, I’m a little bummed that Nihilistic hasn’t managed to carry the series torch in the same way that Bend Studio’s managed with Uncharted: Golden Abyss.