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Resistance: Burning Skies is a first-person shooter video game for the PlayStation Vita, part of the Resistance series. The game was developed by Nihilistic Software and published by Sony Computer Entertainment in May 2012. It was announced in August 2011 at Gamescom. In the game, players control the character of Tom Riley, a firefighter who fights against an enemy called the Chimera during their invasion of the United States.
On August 14th, 1951, one month after the liberation of the United Kingdom, the Chimera have begun their invasion on the United States. Caught in the middle of the conflict is New York fireman and family man Tom Riley. After being seperated from his family in the midst of the invasion, Tom decides to take up arms, and aid the local militia known as the "Minutemen", with one main goal in mind: to find his family.
The story begins with Tom Riley, along with Engine 174, driving through Staten Island. They eventually arrive at a burning power station. Not long after entering the station, Tom is seperated from his fellow firemen, when he falls through a weak floorboard. After making his way back up the station, Tom witnesses a fellow firemen get abducted and killed by a Longleg. Startled, Tom gathers his wits, and fights his way to fellow firefighter Smitty, the only other survivor. The two eventually make it out of the station, and into the war-torn steets of Staten Island.
Once outside, Tom learns that the Chimeran invasion is in full swing. Riley then makes his way through the city, eventually picking up a broadcast, asking him to assist with the evacuation. Tom then follows the broadcasts's directions, eventually meeting up with a woman named Ellie Martinez, the leader of the self-titled Minutemen. Then, with the support of Ellie and her ally Mac, Tom shoots his way to a highway bridge, where Tom reunites with his wife, Natalie, and daughter, Rachel. Tom then sends his family to safety, promising to find them. As more Chimera show up, Riley is forced to stay behind with Ellie to buy the survivors some time. Along the way, Tom and Ellie come across a mysterious shipment in a military truck called Gray Tech, which demonstrates the capabilities of upgrading their weapons. Guarding this truck is an infected soldier. It is revealed that the shipment was being sent to someone named Richard Gorrell. Before they could leave the highway however, an Executioner attacks them. Tom and Ellie able to destroy the Executioner and escape from bombardment of Spires and Crawlers.
Then, they make their way to a military base in Bayonne of New Jersey, where Ellie introduces Tom to her ally Colonel George Amherst, who notifies Tom that his family has been sent to a Protection Camp in Union City. Immediatetly after, the Chimera ambush the bash. Riley assists in fending off the attack, which includes saving a wounded soldier, killing a gargantuan Chimeran creature called the Abomination.
As Tom and Ellie progress towards Ellis Island, they sight some Chimeran reinforcements traveling along the George Washington Bridge. Ellie calls in an air strike in an effort to eliminate the reinforcements. Unfortunately, a VTOL then crashes on the bridge, but it is too late to call of the air strike off. Tom then drops onto the bridge and begins to make his way to the crashed VTOL's crew. Tom eventually locates the VTOL only to find a sole survivor. Tom provides cover for the soldier as several Chimera lay out heavy fire. After searching the destroyed VTOL, Tom discovers an injured soldier trapped inside the VTOL. Tom then rescues the soldier, and reunites with Ellie. Tom and Ellie then make their way to the end of the bridge, encountering Grims along the way. They eventually reach the exit, only to find that it has been sealed off by the government. As Ellie attempts to find an escape route, Tom faces off againts an Impaler. Tom and Ellie then jump down an emergency exit just as another air strike hits the bridge.
Tom and Ellie eventually regroup with Mac, who helps them reach Ellis Island. Tom and Ellie then are ambushed by some Chimera. After clearing out all the hostiles, they eventually reach the laboratories where they reach a sealed vault door. A man then contacts them asking for help. Tom and Ellie begin to fight their way to the man, only to learn that he has been infected. Once Tom kills the man, he proceeds towards Richard Gorrells office. Tom and Ellie then find a projector which plays an instructional video. They then learn that Gorrell is working on Project Phoenix, and was kidnapping several humans for testing, including Rachel and Natalie. Tom and Ellie then ride a VTOL to a protection camp in Union City, in hopes of rescuing Tom's family. Once at the camp, Tom and Ellie split up. Riley fights his way to a crashed VTOL, discovering an injured pilot. Once the pilot is saved, Tom sets out to regroup with Ellie. He fights his way through Chimeran infested mines and buildings, eventually learning the location that Natalie and Rachel. Tom then catches a quick glimpse of a Chimeran carrier taking his family to a near by conversion tower. Riley and Ellie then board a floating Chimera in an effort to follow Natalie and Rachel.
Tom and Riley finally reach the conversion tower. They are separated when Ellie decides to search for Gorrell while Tom looks for his family. After clearing out several groups of Chimera, Tom eventually finds an infected Natalie. Tom performs a mercy kill on Natalie, shooting her with his carbine. Tom continues to search for Rachel and Ellie. After fighting several Chimera, Tom eventually regroups with them. Ellie and Rachel proceed to help evacuate some survivors while Tom hunts down Gorrell. Once Tom finds him, Gorrell convinces Tom to trust him as he awakens and unfinished Leviathan, in an effort to show Tom his potentional power over the Chimera. Gorrell fails to control the beast however, and immediately flees. Once Tom escapes, he is contacted by Ellie, who informs him that some other Minutemen had arrived. Tom then confronts the Leviathan, eventually killing it. While making his way to the tower's exit, he is ambushed by Gorrell. Tom quickly uses his fire axe to finish Gorrell off. Tom then reunites with Ellie. He warns her about the desperate government, and how they allowed to Gorrell to proceed with Project Phoenix. After ditching all his Gray Tech, Tom parts ways with Ellie as he and Rachel walk off.
Burning Skies offers a console quality experience on-the-go. Players are given an arsenal of eight guns, a fire axe, and two types of grenades to use throughout the course of the campaign. Every gun has a secondary fire mode that can be activated through touch controls (i.e. swiping the Vitas' touchscreen diagonally loads a molotov onto the Mule). The touchscreen is also used to drag and throw grenades, as well as to swing the fire axe. Additionally, double-tapping the Vitas' rear touch pad activates sprint mode. Originally, Burning Skies was going to utilise the Vita's SixAxis controls to peek over cover. However, this feature was not added into the final game. Once you have completed the campaign, you are given the "New Game+" option which resets you back to the beginning of the campaign, but allows you to keep the weapons you earned in your previous play through. Hidden pieces of intel are also scattered throughout the campaign for the player to find.
Burning Skies offers a 4-8 player online multiplayer mode across six unique maps and three modes. These modes include Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and an all new third mode called "Survival" which starts off with two Chimera attempting to infect a team of six humans; the latter being somewhat similar to Resistance: Retribution's Infected mode. The player is given the options to create loadouts, and view their character in a human or Chimeran form. You also earn experience from getting different types of kills and assists. With the experience you receive, you may purchase weapons for use in matches. You also receive "infections" that grant you extra experience points. The game does not feature lobby chat. On release, Burning Skies' multiplayer mode was very buggy, kicking players out of matches. However, Nihilistic eventually posted an update that fixed many of the games multiplayer issues.
Resistance: Burning Skies received mixed to negative reception from critics. IGN's Greg Miller gave it a score of 5.5/10, his closing comments being "The story is forgettable, the action is formulaic, and the multiplayer is simplistic." Gamespot's Chris Watters also gave the game a 5.5/10, acknowledging the game for its solid multiplayer and well-implemented touch controls, but criticizing it for just about everything else. Destructoid's Jim Sterling game the game a 2/10 calling it a disaster. It currently holds a score of 60/100 on Metacritic.
- Burning Skies is the first game in the series to have the protagonist without ties to the military.
- The game disables the PS Vita's built-in screenshot function.
- Burning Skies seems to recycle a large amount of material from Resistance 3, including some weapons and ideas only previously encountered in that game such as the late-war Auger scope, Bullseye, and enemies such as Longlegs.
- It is the first game in the entire series to feature a Spire attack during actual gameplay, though it is not clear where it originates from.
- In keeping with the Resistance: Retribution tradition of PSP games having characters use nicknames for the Chimera, in Burning Skies characters refer to the creatures as "stinks," a term also used in the Metastasis comic and in the books, Resistance: The Gathering Storm and Resistance: A Hole in the Sky. This includes Henry Stillman, who never used this term during Resistance 2.
- The level and C.F.G. shown in the Gamescom demo were cut from the game.
- It is the first twin-stick FPS ever on a handheld.
- Insomniac Games played a small part in Burning Skies development.
- There is a mission in Resistance: Retribution named Burning Skies. It is unknown if this is a mere coincidence.