Operation Flashpoint: Resistance
Flashpoint gets an irresistibly engaging follow-up expansion.
Playing war is appropriately difficult if you care to remember Bohemia’s highly acclaimed Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis, and here for round two is their ambitious expansion pack, Resistance. Much like IL-2’s Forgotten Battles, Resistance can work as a sort of semi-sequel with the amount of minor improvements and stuff spread all across the board, with an especially engaging campaign spanning 20 missions beckoning the most attention.
OFP Resistance enjoys more plot consistency alongside characters you can actually root for. As the highly affable former war vet Victor Troska, you return home for a life of peace and quiet when the steaming might of the Soviet Army decides to invade your ill-prepared Independent Republic of Nogova. The locals immediately form a resistance unit to push back, but are badly equipped and have no military know-how to see the job through without getting butchered. Victor is naturally their first choice, and after some exposition he decides to hook up and push the Soviets out.
The 20 mission campaign as a whole offers quite a lot of authenticity and good writing, which is more than you can say for some ARMA games. You do the sort of stuff you’d expect a resistance force to do, like ambush convoys, scavenge for supplies and generally adopt hit and run tactics. And speaking of scavenging, you’ll do a lot of it. Because you’re fighting as a guerrilla force, much of your military gear comes from what you can collect from the Soviets on the field, whether we’re talking T-72 tanks that you commandeer in a sneaky stealth attack or various small arms collected from dead conscripts after a heated battle. Items you gather from one mission always carry over to the next, so it’s a good idea to stockpile when you have the luxury of time.
Everything from the graphics, sound and multiplayer has enjoyed a significant makeover, with a host of new weapons and vehicles complementing an already balanced armory. By far the most impressive new addon is the V-80, which serves to equal NATO’s own AH-64D. Fortunately you receive portable anti-air missile launchers to counter it, finally giving regular infantry some protection from airborne as well as armored threats, and a batch of assorted small arms to boot (the Steyr AUG, H&K G3 or Remington 600 shotgun to name a few). But because accurate, scoped weapons like the Druganov or M21 still win the range game, you’ll invariably end up playing sniper whenever possible.
Back for another round are some of the old issues that plagued the first game as well, specifically an exaggerated difficulty (retry points are few and far in between), an AI that can pull off headshots at record distances and a generally unforgiving nature that will have you crawl through most missions in a complete state of paranoia.
But there’s some definite nerve-wracking tension when staring down at an incoming BMP, or the rush of fleeing a successful ambush before the Soviets mobilize and send in their Hinds to check things out. Much of that enjoyment is squandered when you spend thirty minutes on a mission and get killed just before success, but as a whole and with careful saving you can get past these hoops and enjoy Resistance for what it is.
System Requirements: Pentium 500 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 16 MB Video, 550 MB HDD, Win 9x 2K XP
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