Remember Nintendo's attempts at GBA-GC connectivity? Well, Sony may be a generation late to the party, but at least they're doing it right. For this interesting gaming experiment, you'll need a PSP, a PS3, Resistance 2 and Resistance Retribution. And the results are quite interesting.
Earlier, we noted that you'll be able to use your DualShock controller with Retribution through a new feature called PSP Plus. However, there's even more fun to be had through the game's unique Infection mode. In this new feature, players can connect PSP's Resistance Retribution via USB cable to a PS3 running Resistance 2. From R2, players can go into the menu and activate Infection, which will almost instantly transform the PSP game.
PSP-PS3 connectivity transfers the Chimeran virus from the console game into the handheld adventure. Your character will gain the abilities of PS3's Nathan Hale. You'll be able to breathe underwater indefinitely, and you'll also have regenerating health (no more health packs!). Just these two changes radically alter the gameplay experience. Your character is not only stronger, but will have access to areas inaccessible otherwise.
For example, you'll be able to swim to places far beyond the reach of a non-infected player. Entirely new passageways will be open for players to explore. The reason? Well, the developers came up with a cute excuse: Chimeran pheremones that open up otherwise locked doors. These hard-to-reach places usually hide a piece of intel, which goes into greater depth of Resistance lore. There are over 60 pieces of goodies to find in the standard adventure, and then 20 more in the new Infected mode.
There are other goodies transplanted from R2. You'll also get access to new weapons, like the powerful Magnum featured in the console adventure. There are also sticky grenades you can access (but only after collecting all the pieces of intel). What we appreciated most about the implementation of Infection is the slight change to the game's narrative. The characters of this alternate Resistance story will acknowledge that you're infected with the Chimeran virus. While the overall story won't change too much, it's nice to see that you are essentially getting two distinct stories with the addition of this new bonus connectivity option.
Players will have the ability to go through the game with or without the PSP Plus DualShock option. Those that use the PS3 controller will have a rather different experience than those using just the PSP. Not only will they have expanded dual-analog controls, but they will have rumble that's as tailored as any other PS3 game. Aim assist will be turned off completely, making the play experience a bit more challenging (and perhaps, satisfying) than usual. With Infection mode, players will be creating a play environment most similar to that of R2.
However, those that opt not to take advantage of either of these connectivity options (lack of PS3, for example) need not worry. The game is easily the most impressive game on PSP to date, and these cute offerings are simply nice additions to a game that's already shaping up to be a must-have on the handheld. The third-generation Bend engine is doing things that should be unheard of on any handheld -- and does so with a steady framerate and an incredible amount of detail. Just look at these screens: this game does a great job of recreating R2's look and feel, especially on the more vibrant PSP-3000 screen.
Bend has already proven themselves with the excellent Syphon Filter games on PSP. Now, it looks like they're set to raise the PSP standard again. Connectivity is gimmicky, of course -- but this time, we can't help feel but it was done right. Looks like those PS3 fans are finally going to cave in and buy a PSP. And those PSP owners? Looks like you may want to pick up Sony's big black box some time too. You wouldn't want to miss out on something like this, would you?