These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Alternate Character Interpretation: A fairly minor one mostly within the backstory: was the Czarist Russian regime a heroic if tyrannical group that sacrificed itself to give the rest of the world a time to prepare, a bunch of idiots who unnecessarily destroyed Russia because of their inability to even request aid from the West against a far greater threat, or some combination of the two?
Anticlimax Boss: Both Fall of Man and Resistance 2 are guilty of this; FOM sees Hale going up against an inanimate nuclear reactor - once the four cooling rods are destroyed, it's over. Resistance 2 does have a proper final boss in the form of Daedalus, but you don't actually fight him - instead you destroy the machinery in the room. Both bosses are very easy and don't really live up to the tension set by the Nintendo Hard stages that precede them. Resistance 3 repeats the pattern; just like the first game, the final boss is an inanimate reactor... also, unlike the first game which at least had a massive firefight between British and U.S. soldiers and Chimera elite troops and sub-bosses, the reactor fight in Resistance 3 is just you vs. a few squads of Chimera and one non-unique Giant Mook.
The Leviathan also counts - after being hyped up in every single trailer and preview, and catching glimpses of it throughout the preceding level, the inevitable boss fight turns out to be a largely-automated interactive cutscene.
The battle against Mick Cutler is just a short Button Mashing cutscene.
Complete Monster: Mick Cutler of the third game was incarcerated in prison before the Chimera attack. Deciding to use the prison as a base, Cutler ran it with absolute savagery and barbarity. He disposed of any potential threats and led raids to capture other human survivors, using them for gladiator games to entertain himself and his followers or possibly cannibalizing them. Mick is first seen brutally murdering a doctor, and placing another The Hero Capelli into a gladiator arena. Even when the Chimera discovered the location and attacked, Mick tried to stop Capelli from actions that may have saved them just to keep his own power.
Contested Sequel - While Resistance 2 has generally been well-received by critics, some fans have criticized it for its sometimes irritating enemy AI and for being too much like Call of Duty. The biggest sticking point is the removal of the first game's weapon wheel.
Demonic Spiders - Widowmakers in the first game (who earn bonus points for actually looking like demonic spiders), Chamaeleons in the second due to their very annoying One-Hit Kill attack.
In Resistance 2, the A.I. of many Chimera Hybrid soldiers is set to banzai charge you regardless of how far away they are from you, even running right past your allies to shoot you in the face at point blank range. In a game that relies on regenerating health and the use of cover, this can be disasterous for you.
The Leapers, especially if you're playing on the hardest difficulty. Not only are they annoying and sometimes hard to hit, but they always attack in swarms, so if you don't kill them quickly, you'll be dead in a matter of seconds.
In Resistance 3, say hello to the Long Legs Sniper. Regular Long Legs are annoying as piss, but at least their short-range weapons make them easy to see when they land nearby. Long Legs Snipers are essentially able to shoot you from huge distances with accurate weapons you can only counter with a sniper rifle of your own, and to change their location extremely rapidly.
Ensemble Darkhorse - Mind you, there isn't much of an ensemble, but Colonel Rachel Parker is perhaps the most popular character in the series - enough to merit a downloadable multiplayer skin of her in the second game, even though she's not in it. Possibly due to her gentle British accent and the fact that Hale is almost entirely lacking in backstory and personality.
What, no mention of Stephen Cartwright? At the time of Fall of Man's release, he was easily the most popular character, which is part of the reason for his return in Retribution. Unfortunately, even though he now does have a backstory, Hale is rather bland and so he tends to be overshadowed by just about any of his co-stars.
Don't forget Joseph Capelli in R2, who subsequently becomes the main character in the sequel.
Speaking of Cartwright, it seems that Insomniac hadn't forgotten him in R3, where it's revealed that he's been promoted to Field General and leading the British resistance groups.
And no love for Henry Stillman, the reporter stranded in Philadelphia? Sure, you never actually meet him in person over the course of Resistance 2 but you'll hear a lot of his signature radio-voice, chronicling the Chimera invasion from the viewpoint of an everyman. Which becomes all the more painful as the plot progresses, ultimately ending with him committing suicide just as Hale takes the fight to Daedalus.
Indeed, Nihilistic Software seem to have been aware of Stillman's darkhorse status, as they brought him back in Burning Skies.
Fridge Brilliance - Ever wondered why Resistance 3 didn't really explain the origins and ultimate goal of the Chimera? Simple: by that point, people are more concerned with simply surviving to the next day than anything else. Dr. Malikov is perhaps by then among the few who are still actively trying to understand the aliens. But whatever insights he would have had revealed, we'll never know. Because he gets killed by Mick and his band of convicts.
At first, the turnaround pulled off by the forces of humanity at the end of R3 seems like an asspull, considering that they spent the first two games getting their asses handed to them. Then you remember that the Chimera are no longer able to convert humans due to the Hale vaccine. Without the ability to create more forces from their enemies, the Chimera are slowly ground down through attrition by the human forces. By the end of the game, the Chimera are simply too worn out to maintain the edge in the war, allowing humanity to regain the upper hand.
Add to this that Chimeran victories tend to be Pyrrhic. They might have several successes, but at the cost of a truly enormous body count. The number of Chimeran deaths from the player character alone in the second game can be in the range of a small city, not counting the many Chimera who are killed in the destruction of the Fleet or the deaths of enormous creatures like the Leviathan that represent thousands of infected human beings. The Chimeran battle strategy seems to be a sort of no-holds-barred blitzkrieg with the end goal of opening a portal to the Chimeran home world and inviting the Pure Chimera to take back the Earth. The Chimera are successful in achieving their goal, but when nothing comes through the portal alive the remaining Chimera just don't have the ability to fight a war of attrition in the long-term.
Goddamned Bats - Sentry drones and Chameleons in the second game. You will be screaming in frustration after dealing with them.
The Shield Drones in R3. Can't hit anything until you deal with them and they just fly all over the place.
Ditto on the Sentry Drones in Retribution: They're everywhere, they're highly mobile, and they make you waste a lot of ammo on them.
Growing the Beard: While Fall of Man is definitely a solid title, it has several significant rough edges in terms of A.I., gameplay, controls, and graphics, due to both being the developer's first FPS as well as one of the first titles for the console. It's only with Resistance 2 that the series begins to truely be a seamless, triple-A title.
Nightmare Fuel – Lots. From the basis of the alternate reality to the Chimera jumping at you on the screen and MUNCHING AT YOUR FACE!!!!! You will hardly be able to sleep.
Special mention to "The Swarm", basically a swarm of creatures that tear apart anything near them, as demonstrated by a person who is ripped to shreds in front of your eyes. It then chases after you. So you turn around and run right? No, if you do that it catches you. You have to run backwards while shooting it, while bullets don't kill it, it slows it down just enough for you to outrun it. It gets incredibly close when you have to reload, and if you run into a wall (quite easy to do considering you're going backwards) you're dead.
Remember the Widowmaker from RFOM? Yeah, they're back in R3, they've gone feral if they weren't already (meaning that they CAN breed in the wild), they travel in PACKS, and they are larger than their RFOM counterparts. During one level, you see what are possibly THOUSANDS of them storming across the countryside, and when your your train has to pass by them, just one casually derails you.
Shortly before the train section of the third game, you have to fight a tunneling underground monster known as "Satan". If it catches you, you get a first person view of it devouring you. Also counts as That One Boss.
Paranoia Fuel: Chameleons in R2. It'll be nearly impossible for you not to look in every single direction when you hear that dreaded bird call.
So Okay, It's Average: Burning Skies has gotten this reception from fans. It's not... terrible. Its just very bare-bones and doesn't have that special Resistance feeling. The mechanics are competent and it controls well though.