'Resistance 2' challenging, but fails to dazzle

— -- Xbox 360 video game console owners are not the only ones with a hyped shooter game for the holidays. Sony's PlayStation 3 takes up arms with the long-awaited Resistance 2, a challenging action shooter missing the sizzle necessary to sway consumers toward Sony's system.

Resistance 2 is a follow-up to the release of Resistance: Fall of Man, a title that came out as part of the 2006 PlayStation 3 launch. After holding off alien invaders, called Chimera, in Europe during the first Resistance, Army Sgt. Nathan Hale must now eliminate enemies infiltrating the United States.

Resistance 2 focuses heavily on scale. Giant alien ships hover above as you carefully zip through breathtaking, wartorn landscapes. Enemies range from Chimera footsoldiers to a Leviathan that towers over downtown skyscrapers. Viewing all this activity around you leaves the impression that you're part of a grand conflict.

The emphasis on scale extends online as well. Players can join up to seven others and tackle the campaign cooperatively. The squad-based multiplayer mode can accommodate up to 60 players, an astounding number when compared to other shooter games.

Like the original, the stars of Resistance 2 are the unique weapons. For those unfamiliar with the franchise, weapons in Resistance have both primary and secondary functions. The Carbine, for example, serves as both an assault rifle and grenade launcher.

The new weapons in your arsenal are incredibly fun to use. The Magnum will fire projectiles that can be detonated, while the Splicer shoots small saw blades hacking enemies apart.

Fighting the Chimera borders on overwhelming. Enemies are intelligent and tough. They will flank or surround you to get a better shot. They make great use of cover. A group of Chimera reminiscent of zombies are relentless in chasing you down. Not only are you thinking of the best tactics to use, but doing so with precise marksmanship.

The major problem with Resistance 2 is whether it packs enough punch to woo new consumers to the PlayStation 3. It's well-crafted and entertaining, but doesn't exhibit the flash you would expect of a blockbuster title.

The Leviathan encounter best represents the problem. You only attack him a handful of times at very apparent points during the level. When you finally defeat him, he simply falls forward with little fanfare. Also, explosions pack little punch, even when throwing devices like grenades.

Insomniac Games nails down scale when it comes to the incredible imagery and the impressive capabilities online. Unfortunately, the campaign doesn't feel nearly as epic.