Title  : C-12: Final Resistance
Platforms  : Sony PlayStation
Publisher  : SCEA
ESRB Rating  : Teen
Game Rating  : 7.4
Review by  : Ken Gagne

New video game consoles sentence their predecessors to the shadows, and eventually, the closets. These older systems often cling tenaciously to life, but their days are numbered. 

The original PlayStation, perhaps encouraged by its successor's backward compatibility, has now been around for two years beyond the launch of the PlayStation 2. It can postpone the inevitable for only so long, however, as proven with Sony's C-12: Final Resistance. 

C-12 is a 3D action-adventure in the style of Syphon Filter. Aliens (akin to Star Trek's Borg) have invaded Earth. Lieutenant Vaughan has been fitted with a Borg optical implant, allowing him to gather information about his surroundings. This minor device somehow makes him Earth's last hope. 

From humble beginnings comes a humble game. Players control Vaughan as he attacks a variety of aliens in dilapidated cityscapes. New and strange weapons can be acquired and, with experience, powerful secondary uses can be discovered. The occasional puzzle can be solved by collecting alien keycards or pushing crates into place. 

There isn't much to the storyline. The good and bad guys are clearly defined from the get-go, leaving the missions to focus on rescuing hostages, restoring allied bases, and capturing enemy materiel. Vaughan's eyepiece is overrated, as it gives minimal information on the setting. Unlike in Metroid Prime, his device is for observational purposes only, and does not interact with his environment. 

Controls are standard for this type of game, with primary and secondary attack buttons, crouch, and the like. The ability to target-lock an enemy is defeated by Vaughan's tendency to whip his weapon in whatever direction he's running. Thus, target-lock becomes most effective when Vaughan himself is a stationary target. 

Enemy AI varies oddly. Scout drones can detect Vaughan and summon reinforcements, prompting him to stealthily evade their sensors. But should Vaughan spot the shoulder of an enemy around a corner, the alien will stand there as his shoulder his filled with lead to the point of fatality. Two sentries may not acknowledge each other, especially if one should suddenly be riddled with bullets. The boss encounters, however, are challenging; not only does laser fire fill the air, but defeating the attacker will take some amount of brain as well as brawn. 

The effects wrought by these invaders' presence can be seen in the destruction of immediate surroundings. Players can't see very far ahead, though, and local surfaces have a habit of warping weirdly as Vaughan approaches — a visual, if not functional, anomaly. 

Most levels have no musical accompaniment, with boss encounters attended to by only minor fanfare. For the rest of the time, we get to hear perky British voice actors over the radio, reminding us of new and changed objectives. 

Sony's original PlayStation has been around for six years, and in that time, has defined and explored several genres. C-12 is a final entry in a fine area that's been nearly exhausted by the PlayStation's capabilities. There's little new here, suggesting it's time to stop resisting change and move on to another platform.


This article is copyright (c) 2002, 2007 by Ken Gagne. All rights reserved. Not to be distributed without permission.

Original publication: Sentinel & Enterprise, 26-Aug-02