I mentioned on Black Friday that I had taken advantage of a couple of Amazon’s video game deals, among them PS3 staples Resistance: Fall of Man and Motorstorm. I figured this would be a cheap way to beef up my library and get to know some of the franchises that laid the groundwork for this newest generation of PlayStations, and after playing them both I can see why it’s selling the way it does – poorly.

Motorstorm

Motorstorm is an off-road racing game. I’ll be honest – I wasn’t expecting a lot, and at $15, there wasn’t very much it would’ve had to do to make me happy. I played it briefly on a demo PS3 last year it seemed perfectly acceptable – all it had to do was provide some fun multiplayer and not crash. Fail.

Local play is limited to one (very bored) person. I think they made the excuse that the all-powerful God that is the PS3 couldn’t handle split-screen multiplayer. So you’ve spent months (years?) talking about how the PS3 is the be-all, end-all of console gaming, but it can’t let two people in the same room play a racing game together? Nice.

After that, I was pretty much done. The gameplay was fine, if a little unforgiving, but it’s not a game I feel like playing alone.

Resistance

There is no argument that Resistance is the better of the two. It received decent marks on release, probably because it was the only vaguely playable game available at the time. Also, it seems like it should be pretty easy to make a first person shooting game, since all you have to do is decide where and when you want it to take place. The controls are pretty much decided for you, and should never change. I am not trying to say Resistance runs contrary to this formula – I am just making an observation.

From the beginning I had intended to play through the game with Abe, much like what we’ve done with the Halo series. The story, from what I had heard, never struck me as particularly compelling (it isn’t), and so it seemed like a good “play a level here and there” type of game instead of bombing through it like I tend to do when playing alone.

And in that regard, it is good. But it’s not as good as the games it was made to compete against. The whole experience is, well, generic. The story is generic. The one class of enemy is generic. The settings are generic. And they look okay, but while the graphics go through the motions of telling you this environment is one ravaged by war and infection (broken walls, conveniently placed debris), it doesn’t hold a candle to the same style as done by Gears of War, which was released at the same time.

In both cases, multiplayer was/would have been the saving grace. Both games control just fine, and there really isn’t anything technical to complain about. But there’s nothing genuinely exciting either. I suspect that’s because I’ve seen some amazing things on the 360, and both of these games are version 1.0′s that are two years old. I hear the new Motorstorm has local multiplayer now too, so there’s that.

But as games that were marketed as AAA titles, they left a lot to be desired. I know I would’ve been pissed if I had paid $60 for either game, especially after having paid $500-$600 for the console to play it on. I’m still chafing at $15 for a racing game with no local multiplayer. Sorry. I had to.