Colonel Parker: In the 1930s, reports of biological experiments began leaking out of Russia. Whole villages disappeared overnight... then, entire cities. We feared that the Russians had developed a weapon of unparalleled power. The truth was far worse.
"Brotherhood, strength and fortitude... in the face of the angry night."
- The last radio transmission received from Russia, looped endlessly over 12,000 stations before the fall of the Red Curtain.
Resistance is a series of First-Person Shooters (beginning with Resistance: Fall of Man) by Insomniac Games. Yes, the guys who did Spyro the Dragon and Ratchet and Clank.In this era, World War One was mostly contained to Europe and its ideological fallout greatly diminished by the lack of US intervention and the triumph of the Russian Monarchy over the Bolsheviks. With the only conflict being a simmering tension with Moscow, and with the lack of American capital to fuel rebuilding- and to go under during the Great Depression- the nation-states of Europe are forced to unite to both reconstruct themselves and to contain the Russian Czar, who isolates Russia from the world behind the 'Red Curtain'. As a result, the mutual hostility within Europe largely fades away and their economies are relatively quickly rebuilt. As such Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler and their compatriots never rise to power, and World War II never happens.Or, rather, never in a way humanity could have predicted.After a few decades of tension between the West and the Russian Empire and some disturbing reports from those spies who manage to evade the Czar's secret police, Russia apparently disintegrates overnight. Refugees come to nearby countries pleading for help before dying mysteriously. A team sent to investigate disappears, and shortly afterward, the Red Curtain falls apart, to let loose a deluge. Within months, most of Eurasia is overrun by a race of creatures called the Chimera.A year passes, and the British Isles alone escape the Chimeran horde that has all but destroyed humanity on the mainland thanks to the English Channel. Until the Chimera dig under and pop up in the middle of London, decaptitating most of the surviving UED leadership and delivering England into enemy hands in one fell swoop as the survivors flee North to Scotland and try to hold off the horde. The US quickly sends help, but upon arrival their force is slaughtered save for one man - Nathan Hale, who is resistant to the virus.Cue a long slog through the UK, and the destruction of a Chimeran Angel (more or less a telepathic General) which allows the humans to kick the Chimera out of Britain and allows a stalemate in the European theater to ensue. In the end Hale is kidnapped by American troops for unknown reasons.Resistance: Fall of Man came out on the same day as the PlayStation 3, and was the system's Killer App for several months as Sony tried to figure out what they were doing.Insomniac released Resistance 2 in 2008. In that, the US has captured a strange Angel called "Daedalus". Its appearance has caused the Chimera to greatly increase their tactical capabilities, and they have staged a massive invasion of the United States from the West and East coast. Nathan Hale is put in a platoon of soldiers who can also resist the Chimera virus and sent to track down the Russian scientist who can stop Daedalus. Notable for hinting at major revelations regarding the origin of the Chimera. The ARGProject Abraham was a lead up to Resistance 2 that detailed what happened before Fall of Man.An Interquel, Resistance: Retribution was released for the PSP in 2009. It features James Grayson, a Royal Marine with a personal reason for hating the Chimera and several of the first game's supporting characters and their quest to help The Maquis free France and Germany from the Chimera. Notable for switching from the main series' First-Person Shooter gameplay to being a Third-Person Shooter, and hinting at yet more unresolved plot points for the fans to fill with Epileptic Trees.Resistance 3 was released in 2011. After the events of Resistance 2the Chimera have succeeded in invading the U.S. and the remnants of humanity live a meager existence in hiding. One of Nathan Hale's old comrades, Joe Capelli, is persuaded by the Russian scientist from before, Fyodor Malikov, to go to New York and destroy a giant tower the Chimera built that is freezing the planet. Like its predecessors Resistance 3 raised questions about the Chimera, and failed to answer a single one.A second portable game, Resistance: Burning Skies, was recently released on the Playstation Vita. Burning Skies takes place during the Chimeran invasion of America, and focuses on Tom Riley, a New York City fireman who joins the fight against the Chimera. Unlike Retribution, Burning Skies uses the same first-person gameplay style as the main games, and also makes use of the Vita's touchscreen.
After the End: Near the end of R2, pretty much the entire United States (if not the world) has been wiped out by the Chimera, while the setting of R3 focuses on the few survivors trying to stay alive. The multiplayer of R3 focuses on areas where humans have managed to stick together to form coherent armies, such as Chad and Wales.
All There in the Manual: Most of the game's back story and character development is explained altogether in the comic series and the Project Abraham, and events between the first and the second game are expanded upon in the novels.
Alien Sky: Done in the ending of R2, to show that a wormhole has opened up above Earth.
Allohistorical Allusion: It's mentioned in R2 that Douglas MacArthur eventually became President of the United States, after the whole government crashed down when the Chimera overran the Liberty Defense Perimeter.
Alternate Universe: See above, though the cultural implications aren't explored. (The technological ones, however, are - tilt-rotor aircraft and assault rifles with grenade launchers similar to modern-day ones were active in the 1940s. Word of God says technology went pretty far when the Chimera showed up.)
America Saves the Day: Averted. America gets its ass kicked. Twice. There are three million Americans left over from the initial attacks.
More played with than anything else, given the crucial US aid to Britain and elsewhere, and the fact that they are one of the few nations out there that is still...well, out there; think "America Saves The Day But Dies To A Man Doing So, And Tomorrow Ain't Looking That Sunny."
Anachronism Stew: As a result of being an Alternate Universe. Human technology is now on par with stuff from the real 1990's or 2000's, but civilian design aesthetic is still rooted in the 1950's, as you especially see in Resistance 2 when cruising through a few towns in Iowa. There are also a few 1950's-style weapons which have been enhanced by alien technology, like the Fareye, a conventional sniper rifle with a time-slowing scope for better headshots.
An Axe to Grind: Burning Skies features a fire axe as the player's melee weapon.
Apocalyptic Log: Interestingly played with in Retribution. You do find a couple of documents, but the majority of the files you find are actually the protagonist's personal thoughts on whatever object he found, or intel report he just read at the location.
R3 plays this trope straight.
Arc Symbol: The SRPA logo, which appears prominently in all three games. In the first game it's a mystery as to what the symbol actually means; it's only in Resistance 2 that SRPA and the central role it plays in the plot is finally revealed.
Arm Cannon: The Executioner in Burning Skies wields on of these. The glowing rods on it are the creature's weak point.
Cartwright in Fall of Man manages to single-handedly survive several impossible situations, made even more impressive by the fact he's an unaugmented human without Nathan Hale's Chimera powers. On at least two occasions the game leads you to believe he's been overrun and killed by Chimera, only for him to turn up unharmed and kicking ass.
Retribution's protagonist, James Grayson, definitely counts. He's just an average soldier with no special abilities who can plough through armies of Chimera on his own. Not to mention he decides to go out on his own and destroy 26 conversion facilities, just because he's angry.
Specter team in the Co-op campaign of Resistance 2. Despite being simply normal soldiers, they face much tougher opposition than the Sentinels and complete all of their missions successfully.
Capelli in Resistance 3 is this, as he gets cured of the Chimera virus at the beginning of the game and loses all his Sentinel powers (no more Regenerating Health for you!). Also, from the same game, Charlie Tent, the commander of the Remnants in St. Louis, who assists you in the last mission against the Chimera.
Riley in Burning Skies is neither a trained soldier nor a superhuman Sentinel, yet manages to kick just as much ass.
Badass Preacher: Jonathan Rose from R3, who defines the Chimera invasion as God's final test on mankind, and fights to get through it. And he identifies a giant Chimera living underground as Satan.
Averted in R3. Capelli manages to destroy the black hole over New York, resistance groups around Earth start reporting successes against the Chimeran forces, and humanity starts to rebuild after several years of war (a shot of the Statue of Liberty being repaired is shown during the credits).
Chain Lightning: The Arc Charger and the Atomizer. The first one shoots a bolt of energy that jumps from enemy to enemy, and gets stronger with each body it passes through; the second one shoots lightning at its enemies
Chainsaw Good / Deadly Disc: In R2, the Splicer. Its main fire mode launches circular saws that ricochets on walls and splices everything that gets in their way. And with the secondary mode, it can rev up the saw (it can double as a melee weapon during this phase) and when fired, it hits the enemy and splices it from within. For bonus points, some fans call it "Evil Chainsaw".
Checkpoint Starvation: Fall Of Man was pretty bad about this: each level only had 1 or 2 checkpoints, with many major firefights between each checkpoint. Given how quickly you can go from full health to completely dead in this game, it's very common to get booted back 15-20 minutes of progress or even right back to the beginning of the level just as you're about to hit the next checkpoint. The sequels used a much more conventional and forgiving checkpoint system.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Hale's U.S. Ranger battalion gets utterly slaughtered during the first level of Fall of Man, and U.S. forces are not seen again for the rest of the game. The British resistance seen later in the game, by comparison, are still outmatched by the Chimera but manages to do noticeably better. The remarkably poor performance of the U.S. troops is attributed to the fact that the American leadership didn't even bother to brief their soldiers regarding the threat they were facing, so the Rangers went in expecting to fight Ultranationalists and ended up facing infectious aliens backed up by Humongous Mecha.
The former alt-fire (L1) button now aims down the sight.
The new alt-fire button (R2) was once the weapon-menu button.
Melee is trigged by the R3 button, while Triangle switches weapons.
The circle button causes you to crouch, while grenades are mapped to the R2 button.
That said, all three games also give players the option to map any control to any button, which allows players to negate most of these changes. (although since the aiming mechanic is altogether different between the first two , mapping it to the R3 button won't work very well in the second)
Lighter and Softer: Resistance 3 may count as this too. While the situation is pretty hopeless at the beginning, the characters do manage to make a difference and eventually turn the tide back in humanity's favor.
Deadly Gas: The secondary fire mode of the mutator from R3.
Decoy Protagonist: Hale is the protagonist for the first two games. However, in R2 he finally succumbs to the Chimeran virus and is killed by Capelli. Capelli himself takes up Hale's position as the main protagonist in R3.
Diabolus ex Machina: Literally every single time humanity seems to have the upper hand, they get stomped into the dirt. Grayson discovering a vaccine/prevention fluid for conversion? The Chimera evolve to become immune to it, something that they were never shown/implied to be capable of. Hale killing Daedalus and destroying the Chimera fleet? There are randomly dozens more Angels, and the fleet was only a fraction of the Chimeran full force!
Eiffel Tower Effect: In the part of Resistance 3 that takes place in St. Louis the Gateway Arch is prominently depicted, though the game is set well before it was built in our own universe.
Eleventh Hour Superpower: In Resistance 2, after Hale defeats Daedalus, he touches him and gains rather interesting abilites. He can basically cause chimeras to spontaneously explode by waving his hands around.
Enemy Civil War: Feral Chimera (mostly Grims and Leapers, with a few Widowmakers around) against Military Chimera (Hybrids, Brawlers, Longlegs, basically any Chimera that is armored and can carry a gun) in Resistance 3.
The humans also get into this as well. One faction, the Wardens, capture humans and lock them up in Graterford prison, making them fight in the occasional arena brawl (ala the Roman Empire). This marks the first time in the Resistance series that features human enemies in campaign mode. Otherwise, expect humans to team up with each other as much as they can.
During the R3 campaign, the player would encounter a Widowmaker fighting a squad of Hybrids in New York. The player gets a trophy for assisting the Hybrids in fighting the Widowmaker (i.e not killing the Hybrids whilst fighting the boss).
The Goliath walking tank in Resistance 2 also counts - they are many times bigger than they were in Fall of Man, scaled up to emphasise Insomniac's "bigger and better" approach.
Glass Cannon: Chameleons can kill you in one swipe of their claws but also die to a single blast.
Gorn: And quite a bit of it. Somewhat averted with the Chimeran Hybrids, as you can blow up bullets inside of them and they stay in one piece, until the end, where Hale temporarily gets the ability to blow them to pieces with his bare hands.
R3 features even more, by having Chimera Hybrids blow up left and right even by impaling them with a bayonet or attacking them with a sledgehammer.
Gory Discretion Shot: You'd think with all the Gorn in these games, they wouldn't mind showing Malikov getting decapitated by Mick.
Hand Cannon: The Magnum pistol. Against Chimeran Hybrids it is a one hit kill weapon (the carbine isn't, and it's a rifle) and once there's a bullet in something you can make it explode.
Happy Ending Override: The first game ends on a somewhat triumphant note, with the Cimera being driven out of Brittain after a long, arduous war. Then the sequel happens, which involves the Chimera having overrun the United States.
Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Hale loses his G.I. helmet during the first level of the first game, and completely fails to get a replacement even after multiple missions and 2 deployments. This is especially noticeably when he's seen alongside other soldiers, who are all wearing their helmets.
Heroic Mime: During cutscenes, the protagonist can speak (but even then he rarely does), but he never utters a word during first-person sequences, not even when other people are talking to him. It's kind of jarring, like his mime-ness has an on/off switch.
Hale's Heroic Mime tendencies are even lampshaded in-game, where a British Commando describing him uses the words "shaved head, kind of quiet."
Averted in Resistance 2, Hale will give orders and communicate with his squad over the radio.
The player-2 characters in RFOM and R3's co-op campaign play this trope totally straight. They never contribute a line of dialogue to the story. The only time we hear their voices is when they call their partners.
Capelli's partner in R3, John Harper, may have a good reason to be silent- his family was slaughtered by the Chimera.
Capelli himself is weird about this in R3. He does not talk at all during the levels, even when other people are talking to him, but talk regularly during cutscenes. This was lampshaded by Yahtzee in his Zero Punctuation review.
The protagonists of Retribution and Burning Skies avert this, having lines both in and out of gameplay.
Heroic Sacrifice: Inverted in Resistance 2. Instead of Hale going down as the man who was infected with the Chimeran Virus and spent his last hours delivering a crucial blow to the enemy, he'll go down as the Chimera who basically started Judgement Day.
Not necessarily. Hale's blood was used as part of a cure for the Chimeran virus, as R3's beginning shows Capelli and other infectees being cured. Capelli actually gets all of the flak for killing Hale to begin with. To quote him:
"Hale was the hero, and I was the villain."
Hide Your Children: Averted, after a fashion. Some of the Grim are quite noticeably smaller than normal. Combined with some distinctly child-sized conversion cocoons, these smaller Grims were almost certainly children once.
Notable because this is appears to be one of the rare inversions. The events that brought the Chimera invasion were independent of Hitler or much of history in general (they apparently came during the Tunguska Blast), the West exited the Depression early, and the most pressing conflict of the day was a Cold War with Czarist Russia that burned far cooler than even the historical one. While we don't know what the Japanese, Chinese, or miscellaneous Communists were doing at the time, it seems fair to say that humanity would have been far better off in general in this time line were it not for the fact that they share it with a race of genocidalsuper-aggressive hivemind alien zombies.
Hive Mind: Somewhat. The Angels are all linked together and give commands to the foot soldiers. If one dies, its subordinates die. According to Retribution, the Cloven are this as well.
In the case of the Cloven, this hive mind also extends to their numbers, becoming more brutal and savage if their numbers are depleted.
Hopeless War: Humanity has been almost entirely wiped off the face of Eurasia, the British have lost England and are barely holding on in Scotland, the enemy is vastly more numerous, more technologically advanced, and can turn those of you it kills into more it itself. It Gets Better when the Chimera are kicked out of the British Isles and mainland Europe starts to get taken back, only for it to get a LOT worse when the Chimera invade North America. And humanity is desperately short on warm bodies.
But wait, there's more! The Chimera are also using their technology to make the Earth much, much colder than normal as they have a higher metabolism and otherwise require personal cooling devices. One level in the first game takes place in July in England that is under at least six feet of snow. Assuming that small pockets of people could survive after the world falls, it would not really matter as they would probably freeze to death.
This is much more noticeable in Resistance 3, because the Chimera are starting to terraform Earth and only a handful of humans are left to fight them.
Subverted in the end of R3. After the portal to their homeworld is destroyed, the Chimera start to lose momentum and humanity is able to start beating them back.
Hostile Terraforming: The game has massive temperature shifts - most obvious in Resistance 3 - due to the Chimera terraforming the planet to be more suitable their own needs.
Humongous Mecha: All of the Chimera's war machines, like the Goliath, the Hammer and the Stalker.
Hybrid Monster: Most of the Chimera are not merely mutated humans, but surgically altered to have cybernetic implants, most often large radiator rods sticking out of their backs, because their heat output is too great to survive normally. No word on whether or not Grims get cybernetically augmented later; they generally resemble unenhanced Hybrids (the stock enemy) upon emerging from their cocoons.
Hyperspace Arsenal: The weapon wheel system in RFOM makes every new weapon the player discovers a permanent part of their arsenal. This setup was ditched in R2 in favor of a conventional two-weapon limit, but has been brought back for R3.
Idiosyncratic Logo Art: On each game, the "A" of Resistance has a landmark from the game's setting (Big Ben on the first, Golden Gate Bridge on the second, Eiffel Tower in Retribution, Statue of Liberty in the third). Burning Skies breaks with this tendency by showing a silhouette of a firefighter, who is the main character.
I'm a Humanitarian: The Chimera and the Cloven are known to eat the flesh of deceased humans. While it is only alluded with the Chimera, the Cloven example is much more unsettling, as they actually prepare the flesh from corpses of the women being stored on the Paris storage facility, as Grayson attests in Retribution.
Invincible Minor Minion: The Furies in R2 are unkillable despite the fact that part of their bodies is exposed and that they don't look more special than any Chimeras. This is because they primarily exist to railroad the player into the intended path.
In R3, the shotgun can be upgraded to fire incendiary buckshot.
Burning Skies has a chaingun that shoots fire as its secondary function.
La Résistance: The Maquis in Retribution, Freedom First in The Gathering Storm, and the Remnants in Resistance 3.
Left Hanging: While Resistance 3 isn't as definitively conclusive a finale as Gears of War 3 or Halo 3, the ending is ambiguously hopeful enough to serve as a finale (and Word of God is that their current plans are for it to be the last game). By the end of the game, the true nature of the Chimera is left unrevealed, the hinted-at True Chimera are not encountered, and the Cloven fail to play any role in the main plot despite the significant build-up they receive throughout the series. Burning Skies does not answer these questions.
Les Collaborateurs: In The Gathering Storm novel, President Noah Grace attempts to make a deal with Daedalus where the Chimera are left to conquer the rest of the world unnopposed as long as the United States are left alone. Daedalus is not impressed and Hale kills him for trying to betray humanity.
Literally Shattered Lives: In R3, you can do this to enemies frozen with the cryogun by either hitting them with the secondary fire or simply hitting them with a melee attack.
Lost Technology: The Gray Tech, technological objects found in Chimeric towers but not originating from the Chimera, suggesting an even greater force than the current Chimeric threat. The half chimeric/human Cloven who watched both sides scrambling for the unknown artifacts obtained the objects themselves in hopes of wiping both sides out, resulting in them collecting the most Gray Tech. Unfortunately for them (and fortunate for humanity and the Chimera), the only use the Cloven found for the Gray Tech was as objects of worship. Had they reverse engineered the components instead of holding rituals for the objects they could have potentially wiped out all the other combating races.
Magic Antidote: Believe it or not, if one reads the background materials in Resistance 3, it becomes clear that the Chimera vaccine actually works like an actual vaccine rather than a cure note Vaccines and cures, despite what Resident Evil would have you believe, are not the same thing. A cure helps someone who's sick already, while a vaccine gives the person's body the ability to avoid getting sick in the first place: it must be administered beforehand, and if it hasn't, it won't do much good, forcing the medical folks to adopt much more primitive means of treatment.
Meaningful Name: Deliberately invoked with the Widowmakers, which were named as such by the British because their combination of high-lethality attacks and the rallying effect even a single one has on nearby Chimera foot soldiers tends to destroy entire batallions of soldiers.
Mêlée à Trois: Several times in Resistance 3, between Capelli and the human Remnants, the military Chimera, the feral Chimera and a group of ex-prisoners called the Wardens. The Widowmaker battle in New York is especially notable, as the military Chimera will largely ignore the player if left alone (there's even a trophy for acknowledging the very brief truce).
Monogender Monsters: Pointed out in Resistance: Retribution. All the Chimeran soldiers were apparently male. In Retribution we get to see where they were taking all the female humans for conversion. Then inverted in Resistance 3, where the Remnant leader mentions that Feral Chimera can breed.
More Dakka: The Wraith cannon boasts a fire rate of 1200 bullets per minute.
New Game+: In a second playthrough of R3, every weapon you acquire will be at the same upgrade level you brought it to at the end of the first playthrough.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In R2, it's heavily implied that literally everything Hale did in the game was all part of Daedalus' master plan.
It was. The nuclear bomb kick-started the Chimera global tower network (which had been routed to Daedalus' ship) and opened a gigantic wormhole above New York City.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Related to the above: Daedalus' My Death Is Only The Beginning master plan was entirely contingent on the superportal remaining open long enough to bring the Pure Chimera to Earth. It also had the effect of causing the Chimera to lose their leadership structure as well as lose control of the lesser Chimera lifeforms, which helps accelerate the Chimera's downfall once Capelli closes the portal and causes the Pure Chimera to fail to show up to start running things.
Nintendo Hard: The Resistance series is significantly tougher than any of its major contemporaries (i.e. Killzone, Halo, Gears of War, or Modern Warfare). Resistance 2 takes the cake by a wide margin, as even on Normal difficulty you'll die more than a dozen times even in many regular encounters, and unless you progress through a firefight using the exact piece of cover the designers want you to, you'll end up mowed down by pop-up Chimera. It's not clear if this is because Insomniac games doesn't know to properly balance level design because they don't specialize in FPS games, or if they're just sadistic bastards.
In Resistance 3, towards the end, the game designers would like to introduce you to their good friends, the Long Legs Sniper. All over the place.
No-Gear Level: At the beginning of the Graterford Prison arc in R3, Capelli is stripped of his weapons after being captured by the Wardens. He doesn't get them all back until his escape and the subsequent level outside of the prison.
One-Winged Angel: At the end of Retribution, Raine Bouchard mutates into a giant monster called the Chrysalis that looks like the Distaff Counterpart of Daedalus. Daedalus himself may also count, though we never see what he looked like before he mutated.
Pinned to the Wall: The Hedgehog Grenade is noted for its ability to impale victims multiple times to the point of sticking them to walls at its maximum kill-range.
Psycho Prototype / Psycho Serum: In the backstory, Malikov's attempt to create a serum that prevents soldiers from turning into Chimera resulted in thousands of Cloven, half-human cannibal mutants.
Real Is Brown: Resistance goes for a mostly-monocrhome look in the original game. For the sequel it completely averts this trope, with gorgeous, highly-colorful locations and skies. The third game takes a "Kodachrome" approach, looking like a retro, faded photo from the 50s.
It gradually averts this as the game progresses. The earlier levels which take place in areas where humans are still dominant are mostly brown, while the later levels which take places in Chimera-controlled areas are mostly green, blue and grey. The multiplayer in the game shows this off, with humans being color-coded yellow-brown and the Chimera being colored blue.
Redshirt Army: Absolutely everybody in this series: the Chimera die like flies but are limitless, and the Humans are better trained but less powerful and are running out of replacements.
The crown goes to the Army Rangers in the first level of the first game, who get utterly slaughtered by artilery, Chimera, and even exploding cars. The British resistance forces later in the game do noticeably better during war sequence levels, although they still need your assistance to make any headway.
Regenerating Health: Fall of Man utilizes a segmented health meter. As long as their was some health remaining in one segment, it will refill as long as the player avoids getting shot. To restore a fully-depleted segment, you have to pick up a Sym-bac canister.
R2, on the other, does away with the health meter and uses the "bloodied-screen" effect commonly seen in other shooters.
R3 scraps the health-regen concept altogether, due to Capelli losing his Sentiel powers, making the player rely on Sym-bac canisters entirely to keep their health up.
Burning Skies brings back the Call of Duty-esque system, although no in-story explanation is given for this.
Revolvers Are Just Better: The Magnum, able to one-shot kill most non-elite enemies, PLUS its alt-fire causes the bullet lodged in the target to explode violently. You can kill many enemies with just one shot this way.
Rise to the Challenge: A few times you have to run away from a watery area as it's flooding, lest you be devoured by the shark-like Furies.
Scary Scorpions: Arguably the Leapers and Rollers, which look strangely like a Chimeran version of modern scorpions.
Scenery Gorn: Beautiful 1950s America and England, utterly destroyed by warfare and alien flora and fauna.
Secondary Fire: All of the weapons have a secondary function of some sort.
Second Hour Super Power: In the first game, Nathan doesn't get his signature regenerating abilities until a little while in. In fact the only way to restore your health in the first level is to get killed and be booted back to a checkpoint.
Sequel Escalation: Resistance 2 is bigger and insaner than the first game, with several humongous bosses and more War Sequence levels. Resistance 3 actually reverses the trend, with an even smaller setting than the first game, and telling a much smaller-scale, more personal story. This even extends to the gameplay, with much fewer war sequences or boss battles in favor of Half Life 2/Metro 2033-style survivor communities to interact with, as well as removing the protagonist's Chimera superpowers and thus taking away the series' staple regenerating health and replacing it with more traditional medkits.
Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Hitting an enemy with the upgraded mutator will cause it to charge other enemies before exploding.
Shaggy Dog Story: Deadalus' death and the destruction of their fleet turns out to have been only a temporary setback for the Chimera, and in fact was All According to Plan. However, as it turns out, Daedalus' defeat and Hale's actions also led to the development of a vaccine against the Chimera virus, which sets the stage for humanity to slowly but surely regain control of their planet.
The real Shaggy Dog Story in the series is Retribution, as Grayson and Bouchard sacrifice pretty much everything to stop the Carriers, only for the Chimera to upgrade to Spinners like nothing ever happened.
Sigil Spam: The SPRA logo is stamped onto a remarkably large number of objects throughout the game, despite supposedly being the logo of a top secret covert organization that presumably wouldn't want to advertise its existence.
Smug Snake: Roland Mallery in Retribution (He stole a lot of things from people who needed them most and undermines James Grayson's efforts just because he doesn't like him), and U.S. (corrupt) President Noah Grace in the novels (who sets up a fascist regime in the United States, refuses to send aid to Europe, kidnaps and tortures Adam Shepard's, (Daedalus) wife to lure him, and when finally Daedalus meets him, he tries to force him to spare his life in the event of a Chimeran invasion to the United States).
Staking the Loved One: Grayson is forced to kill his brother at the beginning of Retribution after finding him halfway through the Chimera conversion process.
Tom Riley is forced to do this to his wife Natalie near the end of Burning Skies. Those Gaiden Game protagonists just can't catch a break, can they?
Super Drowning Skills: You actually can swim in Resistance 2, but the waters are almost all invariably filled with "Furies," who kill you instantly the moment they swim up to you and cannot be harmed in any way. Therefore, avoiding water like it's lava is essential, and a few times you have to hop onto cars or whatever else is in a flooded area to proceed. Resistance: Retribution, conversely, has lots of watery areas for you to traverse and if you're in Infected Mode you can even hold your breath indefinitely.
Take Cover: Retribution and Burning Skies feature a cover system. In Retribution, it's activated simply by approaching the object you wish to use as cover, while Burning Skies uses a "crouch and pop out to shoot" mechanic similar to Killzone.
The Faceless: Tom Riley, the hero of Burning Skies, never has his face shown in-game, even in cutscenes until the end of the game.
The Unfought: And the unseen, for the most part. The Cloven are only directly seen in Resistance: Retribution, so far, but they prove to be a hugely important part of the backstory. As a bonus, they also act as a sort of Metal Slime because some of the Skill Point challenges in Retribution are sniping the distant Cloven you see sneaking around in the background.
The Pure Chimera also fail to show up, despite being hinted at several times throughout the series as the true enemy.
The Virus: The Chimerans use this to kill humans, then convert the dead to soldiers and a working force.
Tsarist Russia: The opponents of the West in the post-WWI Cold War and the first victims of the Chimera.
Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The American Government's propaganda machine, which covered up the Chimeran invasion of Europe as an influenza pandemic, and dismissed all warnings that the Chimeran invasion was only a matter of time. This doomed the continental U.S. to retreating to the "Liberty Defense Perimeter" (which got overran anyway).
Upgrade Artifact: This is how Grey Technology artifacts work in Burning Skies. You find a glowing, shapeshifting cube (usually near a dead Army soldier) and slap it onto your weapon to instantly improve it in some way. The plot revolves around a sinister SRPA plot to collect a whole bunch of them at any cost.
Viewer-Friendly Interface: The Chimera computer just shows an attack plan of the Chimera, which... consists of a map and a line.
Was Once a Man: All the Chimera, but special mention goes to Daedalus, whose former identity (Jordan Shepard) is a major plot point.
We Have Reserves: The foot soldiers are more-or-less things to be thrown at humans until the humans died, and dead humans are collected and formed into new Chimera.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Big Bad of Burning Skies is a SRPA scientist, Richard Gorrell, who intends to control Chimera creatures using Grey Tech and use them to fight the Chimera. In order to do this, he actually lures the Chimera to a refugee camp so they'll capture all the civilians and turn them into a Leviathan, which Gorrell plans to hijack using his Grey Tech.
Why Am I Ticking?: The Titans in Fall of Man will look around questionably after the cooling unit on their back overheats and beeps loudly, and then roar with defeat when they realize they're about to blow up.
Xanatos Gambit: In R2, if Hale fought back against the Chimera, he'd open a portal and doom humanity. If he didn't fight back, the Chimera wouldn't need the portal to kill everyone.
In R3, this happens to Mick Cutler after Capelli shoots him in the chin with a Magnum, and then detonates the bullet.
Zerg Rush: The main tactic of the Grims, which are unarmed but almost always charge you in huge swarms and deplete your ammo VERY quickly. Leapers also do this.
Zombie Apocalypse: Menials in the first game, Grims in the second and third, Boilers in Retribution.
Zombie Infectee: A human scientist goes insane and attacks you in Burning Skies, becoming a sort of boss battle. It's unclear if he's infected by the Chimera virus, as he looks completely human and was acting perfectly normal prior to attacking you, but he behaves like a typical Fast Zombie complete with animalistic growls. The scientist later appears as a Degraded Boss alongside normal Grims.