Game Over Online ~ C-12: Final Resistance

GameOver Game Reviews - C-12: Final Resistance (c) Sony Computer Entertainment, Reviewed by - Jeff 'Linkphreak' Haynes

Game & Publisher C-12: Final Resistance (c) Sony Computer Entertainment
System Requirements PlayStation
Overall Rating 65%
Date Published Friday, September 6th, 2002 at 03:23 PM


Divider Left By: Jeff 'Linkphreak' Haynes Divider Right

It’s the end of the world as we know it,
It’s the end of the world as we know it,
It’s the end of the world as we know it,
And I feel fine…
R.E.M., It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Ladies and gents, I have serious reservations about the chances for human survival in this millennium. I’m not talking about ecological disaster, a global epidemic or a sudden case of the over-hyped Y2K phenomenon. Instead, I’m talking about human extinction by extraterrestrial means. That’s right, people, I’m talking about aliens, the kind that an overwhelming percentage of the population believe in. And unfortunately, these aren’t the kind of Reese’s Pieces-swilling, consciousness-expanding friendlies like ET. More often than not, these planetary visitors are the take-no-prisoners, “exterminate the human pests” kind from Independence Day. Inevitably, first contact leads to widespread destruction of our planet, the formation of an underground resistance and guerrilla warfare against our would-be conquerors. Sony’s latest title for the PlayStation, C-12, throws you, guns blazing, into this exact situation.

The situation for humanity has never been bleaker for humanity in C-12. In the near future, a mysterious alien race has invaded Earth. Not interested in our technology or our resources, the extraterrestrials seek the elimination of all life on the planet. This goal appears to be rather attainable: while not immune to our armaments, they display a heightened resistance to most of our conventional weaponry. Nuclear arms are just as ineffective, partially because of its reduced effectiveness and partially because of the harmful effects to the surrounding human population and environment. To top it off, the aliens have a nasty habit of kidnapping, augmenting and re-using innocent civilians as weapons. With these “Recycled” citizens looking and acting rather similar to the Borg from Star Trek, the numbers of free humans everywhere are steadily decreasing.

You step into the boots of Lieutenant Riley Vaughn, elite commando enlisted within one of the few remaining resistance groups in the world. A one-man army, Riley’s limitless bravery and proven skill with numerous weapons have made him invaluable to the struggle. However, the tide of the war takes a precipitous turn, forcing Riley and his commanders to take drastic measures. Deciding that using the enemy’s technology against them is the best, and possibly last, chance to repulse the invaders, Riley turns himself into a guinea pig. Undergoing surgery, he has one eye removed for a cybernetic implant, one that continually projects a red infrared beam out.

This implant provides Riley with constantly updated information about his surroundings, enemies, and items. Not only does it provide additional information such as potential hazards, but displays the health and range of enemies and how potentially threatening they are. He uses this, along with other alien devices, such as an alien shield and an alien blade. Like I said earlier, the invaders are highly resistant to weapons. A large amount of this is probably due to their use and dependence on shields, which deflect projectiles and explosive blasts. Conversely, it can also be used as a Electromagnetic pulse device, stunning nearby enemies. In addition, Riley’s alien blade is a unique weapon taken from an alien guard. Incredibly sharp and able to slice through shields and armor, it can also be used to discharge a bolt of energy towards a target.

Regardless of whether he uses alien or human equipment, Riley’s ambition to eliminate the alien menace will take him through 35 missions of firefights, stealth maneuvers and puzzles. These operations, however, rarely, if ever, go as smoothly as planned, resulting in multiple side-quests which must be completed before you can continue. Some of these require solving obscure puzzles, while others fall under the basic “fetch an item” and task. Often times, the sheer number of tasks you have to complete may seem daunting. Fortunately, your communications link keeps you in constant contact with your allies back at base. It also holds copies of each conversation had with teammates, which, as an impromptu journal of sorts, is useful for reminding you about what and where you need to go.

At first glance, C-12 bares a striking resemblance to Syphon Filter. Matter of fact, you might even be tempted to think this title was a twin sibling to the Syphon Filter series. The more that you delve into the game, however, you get the sense that it’s more of a bastard cousin than an immediate relation. Many of the immediate connections, like the animated facial models and realistic physical movement, have been replaced with much darker, drabber textures. Technically, it can be argued that the shadows compliment and emphasize the apocalyptic tone of the title. Unfortunately, without additional color correction, sharpening of images or manipulation, the game comes across as a bleak, pixilated mess. Anti-aliasing jaggies, clipping, slowdown, color bleeding and other graphical errors abound within C-12. And the backgrounds are some of the plainest you’ve seen in a PlayStation game. For instance, while the buildings are supposed to look gutted by fire and explosions, they merely look like bad representations of drawn rectangles with darkened squares for windows. Similarly, other items, like burned out cars, look like basic polygonal shapes. Character models fare no better, with clunky, tight movement making both Riley and his foes seem like wooden puppets. This is only exacerbated by the camera, which is, in one word, abysmal. While it attempts to track behind you for a majority of the action, not only does it get caught on corners, it has a nasty habit of getting stuck in walls or on objects, obscuring badly needed vision, especially in firefights. While it may seem like you could switch to the first person perspective to solve this, the camera issues return as soon as you release that mode. First person isn’t necessarily better, as the night-vision comes across grainy.

The sound isn’t remarkable either, with basic gunfire and sound effects echoing during battles. While there is a definite effort on the part of the voice actors who play Riley, Grisham and Carter, the sounds from the aliens seem tinny, clunky or clumsy at best. Music comes in and out during hectic fights, but that breaks into fast-paced, high-pitched techno.. You’ll probably find yourself reaching for the remote to mute the sound rather than turn it up.

I have to return to Syphon Filter: if you’ve played that game before, you can basically pick up C-12 and start playing immediately. However, there’s a few differences. First of all, the plot of Syphon Filter grabbed you by the throat and forced you to play through every plot twist until you were finally satisfied with the ending. C-12, on the other hand, is just kind of there: run around, kill aliens, help someone, kill more aliens, backtrack one or two times, kill more aliens…There’s very little, if anything, to emotionally involve the player within the story. I think this is evident at the very opening of the game, which is merely text scrolling across the screen. Second, like I said earlier, the movement of the characters seems so wound up that it feels unnatural. It’s sad to see this title as possibly one of the last ones released for the PlayStation, as it marks a lackluster hurrah to one of the greatest platforms of entertainment. I couldn’t really see anyone but the biggest action fan getting a charge out of this one.

 

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Rating
65%
 

 

 
 

 

 

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