Operation Flashpoint: Resistance Review
Operation Flashpoint: Resistance is an expansion game for Operation Flashpoint, and you'll need the original game to play it. If you're not familiar with the original game you can read our review of it to learn more about it - this review will only cover the new features and gameplay that are a part of the Resistance expansion itself.
Now that that's out of the way, what's new in Resistance? Well, the heart of Resistance is the new 20-mission campaign game that is set a few years before the events of the original game. The action this time around takes place on the island of Nogovo. You are placed in the role of Victor Troska, a former special forces soldier who's seen enough of the world and all of its violence. You have retired to Nogova in the hopes of finding some peace in this quiet backwater. Having escaped from the world, the world comes looking for you in the form of a Soviet invasion. Of course the Soviets just want to help everybody out, so they launch their invasion under the guise of support at the request of a new communist government seeking to take control of the island. Reluctantly you are drawn into the conflict, and must use your military knowledge and leadership skills to lead the resistance against overwhelming odds.
The game's storyline sets the stage for Resistance's different style of game. No longer are you a part of a well-equipped main battle army as in the original game and the first expansion, Red Hammer. This time around you are undermanned, under-gunned, and up against some long odds. On the positive side, you begin as a leader, and won't have to spend time working your way up the chain of command.
The missions in Resistance are more integrated than in the original game, because your performance will have an effect on your resources in future missions. As a resistance fighter you must make due with whatever weapons that you can capture, and in Resistance any weapons that you do capture are carried over to the next mission and are available for use. To facilitate weapon capture, the game now allows you to stow weapons in vehicles. While it can sometimes feel tedious to trudge back and forth moving weapons into a truck, it can add an extra touch of tension if you know enemy reinforcements are on the way. You'll need to decide just how long to stick around and which weapons and ammunition are more important. There is also a certain thrill derived from making the right choices when capturing weapons - when you find yourself facing a squad of enemy armor, you'll be very happy that you made that extra trip under fire to grab a rocket launcher in the last mission.
The mission to mission continuity doesn't just apply to weapons, it also goes for your personnel. Throwing your men into the thick of things in an attempt to bull your way through a mission might work in the short-term, but doing so will cost a high price in terms of experienced manpower. This adds a level of realism to the game, as risks will have to be carefully weighed against the consequences failure will create - consequences you'll have to deal with in future missions.
Resistance's storyline is moved forward by the extensive use of cutscenes. For the most part these are well done and make you feel much more a part of a story than you ever could from simply playing through a series of missions. Sometimes the cutscenes can feel a little excessive, though, like in the game's opening sequence. If not a world record for longest opening cinematic, the prolog for Resistance certainly ranks among the all-time leaders. It seems that the game's designers were aware that things were on the long side, so they give you an opportunity to take control of the action in the middle of the opening story. However, this 'action' takes the form of waiting for a bus and taking it to work. Yes, you read that right. While the work in setting up and progressing the game's story can be appreciated, the game's cinematics would have definitely benefited from a little editing.
A very nice touch in the game's campaign is the inclusion of decision points where your choice of action will have an effect on how the next (or next several) mission will play out. Some decisions have a bigger effect than others, including one early on that will change the nature of your next several missions. In addition to giving the game some replay value, it makes you feel that you have greater control over the flow of events, making you feel more a part of the story.