Even though I say I'm from Chicago, I'm not. Most of my life was spent growing up in a suburb outside of the windy city, and my college years were in the middle of a cornfield (the same town where "Saints Row" developer Volition is).
I've never seen a movie or played a video game that rendered a place I was intimately familiar with -- a place I called home -- as rubble. But I've been in San Francisco for a year and a half now, a place I'm happy to call my second home, and "Resistance 2" gave me a taste of what that's like.
New Yorkers are probably used to this by now, but I'm not. Seeing massive alien capital ships and a flaming Golden Gate Bridge gave me pause.
There's less exploration of a devastated San Francisco in "Resistance 2" than I wanted. It's limited to a massive backdrop encompassing the Golden Gate Bridge and a far-off view of the city as Chimera battleships burn it to the ground. For at least five minutes, I sat and watched the mostly static scene unfold. I was transfixed, and found myself briefly looking outside my own window, towards the skies.
I'm a big fan of alien invasion movies, especially "Independence Day." "Resistance 2" evokes the awe I had when viewing "Independence Day" for the first time. The game wraps merges that with a fear over what would happen if my town was destroyed by such an unthinkable scenario.
But the awe didn't last. doesn't have you moving through the hills of San Francisco and sniping Chimera from a trolley car or defending the Fisherman's Wharf from invading boats. You simply see a glimpse, a tease of what's happening to the citizens of San Francisco, as the Chimera stake their claim on the Bay Area.
San Francisco is a city ripe with interesting gameplay possibilities. "Resistance 2" missed an opportunity by setting only one of the first levels in San Francisco, far from the heart of the city. You could have swapped that backdrop out with another city and it wouldn't have made much of a difference.
I do appreciate what the game made me briefly feel. Now, I have a better idea what people in New York feel like when watching "Cloverfield" or "King Kong."