Most videogame launches are pretty uneventful affairs, consisting primarily of a spacious venue containing numerous playable demo pods, enabling members of the press to get a bit of early hands-on time with the game in question. Sony are always striving to do something different however, and they proved this in fine style earlier this year when they turned a disused underground car park in central London into something that looked like it belonged in a Mad Max movie, and then held a hotly contested Motorstorm Apocalypse tournament there. To read more about that event, click here.

The Resistance 3 launch was even more unusual, and even more inventive. A collaboration between Sony and the theatre group Punchdrunk, it took place beneath the dank arches of Waterloo train station, and was an interactive piece called “… and darkness descended.” Taking some of its cues from the much-missed Alien War (which once lived in the basement of London’s Trocadero for nowhere near long enough) this was a thoroughly nerve-wracking experience that left everyone who took part in it palpably rattled. The Crystal Maze this most definitely was not.

Following a very convincing actor (sorry, resistance leader) through a series of dark (and often pitch black) environments, we were tasked with sending a distress beacon to Resistance 3‘s hero Joseph Capelli, via a code that was scrawled on a small piece of paper, and barely legible. Making our way through the “world” was a consistently chilling endeavour, with Punchdrunk using every trick in the horror movie book to set us on edge; with distant footsteps, random pieces of amplified, abstract noise and shuddering beams of intermittent light all causing us to forget that this was all just a game.

The final act was easily the most memorable, as we were ordered to pigeon-step our way towards the blinding floodlights of an expertly re-created military checkpoint. The hulking figure that subsequently emerged from behind the gates (masked by the bright light) quickly revealed himself to be a non-friendly, and our small group of eight didn’t need any further encouragement when our host loudly invited us to, “F*CKING RUN!” In perfect Alien War style, we all bolted straight into a chill-out lobby filled with PS3s (in addition to a bar and a DJ) to the sound of scattered laughter from pockets of the previously perturbed.

This event actually shed new light on Resistance 3 itself, which is a much more subdued and horror-inflected experience than the first two games were. Our brief hands-on time with the game (after the near-heart attack) showed off a grimy new art-style, the standard roster of deeply cool weaponry and a control scheme that’s as tight and intuitive as fans have come to expect. We can’t wait to get properly stuck into it when it releases in the UK this Friday.

Resistance 3 is released on the Playstation 3 on Friday 9th September 2011.

Watch the Resistance 3 trailer here:

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