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Resistance 3 Senior Designer Talks Weapon Balance

In Gamasutra's new feature interview, Cameron Christian, senior designer for Resistance 3's single player at Insomniac Games, talks about changing the game's desig
In Gamasutra's new feature interview, Cameron Christian, senior designer for Resistance 3's single player at Insomniac Games, talks about changing the game's design for the most overpowered weapon in the game. In Resistance 2, Insomniac introduced the Auger, a weapon that allowed players to shoot through walls. "Yeah it was definitely a line we had to tow with the Auger, because it is people's favorite weapon, but it's their favorite weapon because it is super overpowered," says Christian, on the upcoming sequel's redesign of the gun. He admits players are willing to ruin them game for themselves just to make it easy to complete. "That's something that we definitely looked at," he said of the gun. "We've done some tuning to that weapon since it was in R2. We've changed some things. I mean, it's still pretty powerful, right? But there are some nuances to it that aren't as exploitive." But it wasn't just through "pulling it back" that the team is making the gun less exploitable, Christian said. "We pull back the range on being able to see through walls. So before you could see through walls across a whole entire level, right? And now we pull that back to a significant distance." However, nerfing the gun isn't the most elegant solution, he recognizes, and so the problem is being attacked through other design routes: "I think the biggest thing we have going for us is our AI. They're a lot more responsive and really aggressive. They will come after you. You might get a couple guys, but the other guys are going to hunt you down and find you." Since the game has also dropped Resistance 2's Halo-style "two weapons only" design and returned to a more traditional weapon wheel, the team is trying to make sure that the design of enemies encourages more strategic play. "Every weapon is generally effective against anything, but there's degrees of effectiveness. Let's talk about the Auger and that case with the Hulk fight, right? The Auger is going to be a bad choice, because there is no place for you to hide and shoot through walls. You can hit his weak points, and they'll do damage, but it's not going to be as effective as, say, the Magnum, which can stick to that guy and really do some serious damage to it," Christian says. The full interview, in which the designer explains the choices the team made with Resistance 3, and how he misses being able to include "old-school" levels of difficulty, is live now on Gamasutra.

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