Up until now first person shooters haven’t worked well on handheld devices. Despite the fact that the FPS genre is currently dominating the gaming industry, the lack of dual analog sticks on current handhelds make it hard for games such as Call of Duty to go portable. Although Killzone did eventually make its way to the PSP, it required players to use the four face buttons to aim which just didn’t feel natural. The Nintendo DS tried to tackle this problem by letting you control your cursor with the stylus but playing in such a way made the system uncomfortable to hold. By comparison, The Playstation Vita almost feels like it was made for first person shooters. The system’s incredible horsepower, beautiful 5” OLED screen and second analog stick means that authentic FPS experiences are now possible on a portable!
The first game to demonstrate this is the Nihilistic Software developed Resistance: Burning Skies. Now I know, a Resistance title created by the guys behind Playstation Move Heroes might not sound like the most exciting thing in the world but I genuinely did enjoy the few minutes that I spent with the game. The demo didn’t reveal any story details and was pretty generic but at the very least it looked great and controlled beautifully. The Vita’s touch screen was also put to good use, allowing you to slide your finger to either throw grenades or to lock on multiples target who could then be attacked simultaneously with a single missile blast. Melee strikes are also performed by tapping an on-screen icon which actually felt intuitive.
Without learning more about the story it’s impossible to say whether or not Burning Skies will live up to the Resistance name but if Nihilistic can manage to capture the same intensity and sense of abandonment that Resistance 3 had, this could be the best first person shooter ever to grace a handheld.