After a month or so of waiting, Resistance: Burning Skies on Vita finally landed in my lap, and it seemed like a sure thing. It would be nice to sit in bed at night, gleefully shooting virtual online aliens in the face until I couldn’t stay awake.
Then, I played it. The campaign was a tolerable gun fest, just mediocre in a vintage sort of way. The multiplayer, unfortunately, carried those traits too.
It’s weird to be in 2012 and feel like you’re playing a late cousin of Doom. Burning Skies is a sniper/shotgun fest, the type of weapons that seem to hit from any angle at any time. By the time you find your footing, you realize the machine gun you’re using is an utter waste of time. Damage counts simply can’t combat the person mindlessly running towards you, shotgun unloading. Playing that style of game doesn’t really resonate that much anymore either, no matter my shotgun skills.
The real kicker is that Sony seems to think it’s worth $10 on its own, at least if you bought it used. The game sells for $40 new, so that’s a solid percentage of the experience. You could argue that multiplayer carries more of a time investment, but not if you give up in the first few hours, defeated by the lack of content. If $10 is the asking price, then wouldn’t it be fair to compare to other games with the same price point for their online pass?
There remains the infinite question as to what exactly the online pass pays for. It’s not server space or bandwidth no matter what publishers want you to believe. It’s purposeless free money for the company, and hey, who doesn’t want free money, right? The least they could do is offer some content that makes it appear that you’re getting your money’s worth. Burning Skies doesn’t even try.