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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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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Uncle-Buck

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…