Players of the upcoming PSP game "Resistance: Retribution" will be able to unlock several otherwise-inaccessible features in the game if they also own the $60 "Resistance 2." Is that a fair deal?
On Friday morning I went to the basement level of a Manhattan restaurant in order to be shown what the PS3 can do for Sony's next big PSP game.
"Resistance: Retribution," a March 17 third-person shooter from Sony Bend, was wired to a PS3 in an alcove that would normally be used to feed a family of four. A flat-screen TV was on the table, and a Sony producer wanted to show me the two ways the PSP and PS3 could connect in order to enhance the handheld game.
A PSP-Plus feature allowed the game to be controlled with a PS3 controller, transferring the controls from the single-stick PSP scheme to a dual-stick via the PS3 controller. The transfer deactivated the game's aim-assist feature. The game's controls page changed to display a PS3 schematic instead of a PSP. I was told the game might control more conventionally this way, but would be more challenging to play.
Above: 'Resistance 2' without PSP Plus activated (note the aim-assist box which auto-targets enemies.
Above: "Resistance 2" with PSP Plus activated (the aim-assist box is gone, replaced with a small targeting reticule).
The other feature, Infected Mode, was a lot more involved.
It changed the game's lead-character, James Grayson, by infecting him with an enemy Chimera virus, turning his eyes orange and changing his outfit.
It dropped the game's health-pack-oriented health system (and eliminated health packs from the game), replacing it with the "Halo"-style regenerating health seen in the bulk of both "Resistance" PS3 games.
It gave the lead character the ability to breathe underwater.
It armed him with a new weapon from "Resistance 2," the HE .44 Magnum.
It changed the game's cut-scenes and dialogue, which now reflected the wariness allied characters have of the infected lead guy.
It pulled a "LEGO Star Wars" and allowed Chimera-locked doors to open and grant access to hidden areas and Intel.
It did a lot.
None of these features is accessible to people who just buy the PSP game. They are all only experienced by anyone who hooks the PSP game to the PS3's "Resistance 2." I asked the Sony reps showing the game if, as cool as all this was, it amounted to a $60 cheat code. After all, it's not like there's anything on the "Resistance 2" disc making this possible other than some sort of digital handshake. Their answer was that "Resistance Retribution" is already "a full experience." They described the game as lasting 12 hours without the Infected mode. The additions earned through connecting the two games? They say it's a bonus for fans of the series who own multiple copies.
The Infected Mode lingersin the PSP game as long as the system is powered on or asleep. It is removed when the system is powered down, which means players wouldn't be able to rent a copy of "Resistance 2" and permanently unlock Infected Mode in "Retribution." You'd need to own it.
Infected Mode can be used strategically. The PSP game will allow re-Infections at any point throughout its campaign, which will allow some players, if they're in a bind, to briefly Infect their game if they think the alternate play style is what the need to proceed.
So… fair deal? Is this a welcome reward for those who own both games, one that doesn't slight purchasers of just the PSP game? Or is it a $60 cheat code? You decide.