Sony's continuation of the PS3 classic "Resistance" on the Vita turns the alien-invasion series into a ho-hum affair.
Any disappointment one feels playing "Burning Skies" comes from a place of love for the franchise. Anyone with previous engagement in the human-vs.-Chimeran struggle knows the stakes, which makes the events that unfold on the Vita such a letdown.
Players take the role of Tom, a New York City firefighter whose quest to save his family naturally (and rather quickly) morphs into a battle for humankind. With the Chimera attacking, all hands must pick up a rifle -- or auger -- and start whipping up on some yellow-blooded fools. No new weapons surface in this release, but the mainstays from the series still pack a punch.
Of course, when your opponents lack the will to live, it makes the various corridors and open spaces easier to clear. Oddly, the angry Chimera from the console games didn't make it to "Burning Skies." Instead, players face the B squad of invaders, those who likely failed basic alien soldier training and have been sent to the front lines for easy killing.
"Burning Skies" makes valiant efforts to better incorporate the Vita's touchscreen for weapons use, but even those attempts only marginally improve the overall experience. Most of the campaign breezes by without much trouble (save for an occasional set-piece battle against large waves of enemies). For stronger challenges and the best action, head over to the online modes of the game.
There are certainly worse games available for the Vita -- how's that for a ringing endorsement? -- but "Burning Skies" is a weak effort from a trusted franchise that knows better.