DID YOU READ

Insert Credit: ‘Resistance 3’

Insert Credit: ‘Resistance 3’   (photo)

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Insert Credit endeavors to suss out where you should be allotting your video game allowance, sifting out a single title from many and crowning it as The One Game You Need to Get This Week. Don’t consider these reviews, gentle reader. Rather, think of Insert Credit as a mix of hands-on time, informed opinion and intuition.

For the week of September 16, 2011, you should insert credit into: “Resistance 3.”

The Resistance games have always been cruelly star-crossed. The first-person shooter series developed by Insomniac Games debuted on the PS3 as Sony’s best hope in duplicating the Xbox’s blockbuster “Halo” series. The comparisons to “Halo” have dogged “Resistance”, even though the PS3 exclusive series presents a very different vision of human-vs-ET warfare. The first game introduced an alternate history where an alien virus that transforms humans into freakish slaves runs unchecked through early 20th Century Europe, changing history so that World War II never happens and alien Chimera maraud westward. In “Resistance” 1 and 2, you played as Lt. Nathan Hale and singlehandely saved London and the graeter parts of the United States from the Chimera.

But, now that “Resistance 3” seems to be resonating better with players, it appears that Hale himself may’ve one of the series bigger liabilities. He was a hero that things happened to, but one that wasn’t terribly reactive. Sure, the player was controlling him but, as the game was scripted, Hale didn’t seem to care much about the war he was fighting in. He never offered up much by way of reaction in the cutscenes where we got to see his face. And his raison d’etre–to be yet another stoic, save-the-world supersoldier–was just like that of too many other games for Hale to feel especially compelling. His allies, too, in both Resistance games were flatly drawn, to the point where when they die, the player feels next to nothing. I remember when the Sentinels–other human soldiers in Resistance 2 who proved immune to the viral taker of the invading alien Chimera–died one by one, I felt nothing.

There were strains of effective storytelling moments in Resistance 2, like a moment where you come upon a suburban home made into a terrible tableau. A quiet Craftsman home silently tells the story of a father feeding his children and himself lethal doses of pills let they become transformed into alien marauders. You stumble upon the clues as you move room to room and when you see the remains of father and son (around 2:10 in the clip above) lying next to each other, the horror of the act and the world that brought it on coming through like a gut-punch. But, again, there’s nothing about Nathan Hale and his mission that made that slice of the game any more affecting.

But, with Joseph Cappelli, we’ve got a hero better suited to drive home the emotional points of the Resistance saga’s latest installment. He’s a family man who gave up on being a world-saving supersoldier, choosing to quietly meet the eventual extinction of humanity by spending as much time as is left with his family. Of course, he gets drawn back into the war but moves through a world populated with a beaten-down humanity that more well-drawn overall.

While Capelli’s a good sight better than Hale, the truth of the Resistance franchise is that their personality really resides in its guns. Insomniac’s arguably the best weapon designer in video games nowadays, consistently delivering weapons in its Resistance and Ratchet & Clank games that blend the feeling of science-gone-wrong-gone-right and/or “Looney Tunes” sci-fi. Throughout three games, players have handled a collection of arms that let them see and shoot through walls or send bullets flying that can chase down enemies. Resistance 3 adds to that imaginative arsenal with the Mutator, a gun that makes victims balloon, puke and explode.

Resistance 3’s is probably Insomniac’s swan song on the series. The FPS franchise will continue but likely in the hands of other developers. While the story and characterization still aren’t the strongest points of “Resistance,” this year’s threequel leaves the universe in an interesting place for whatever happens next. The franchise gets more and more human as time goes on. Here’s hoping we see more of it.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

via GIPHY

It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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