Operation Flashpoint: Resistance (PC)
Join the rebels and save Nogova Island from a ruthless Soviet occupation.
By Raphael "SF Commando" Liberatore | August 7, 2002

The Lowdown: An excellent expansion pack that adds plenty to an already fantastic tactical combat game.
Pros: Revamped graphics engine; plenty of single-player missions; improved multiplayer.
Cons: Hefty system requirements; some graphics hiccups and sound issues.

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Platform:  Windows
Game Type:  Action / Tactical Simulation
Developer:  Bohemia Interactive
Publisher:  Codemasters

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Last year, seemingly out of nowhere, Bohemia Interactive Studios created one of the most highly regarded tactical shooters to ever grace the PC. Operation Flashpoint's gritty combat, innovative gameplay, and deep story earned it accolades from a number of industry publications while winning the hearts of gamers everywhere.

Operation Flashpoint: Resistance is an expansion pack that closely follows the original in concept and design, which should please both fans and casual gamers. In fact, Resistance goes beyond the normal expansion recipe by offering a game so complete it's hard to call it an expansion. There are a multitude of added features, including a brand new 100 sq. kilometer island, 20 mission campaigns, five stand-alone missions, new weapons and vehicles, an enhanced graphics engine, and a handful of multiplayer maps and game types. This added depth makes Resistance the new benchmark in expansion packs.

A Resistance for Everyone

Like the original, Resistance comes loaded with both single-player and multiplayer features. The single-player game comes in two versions: a finely-scripted campaign which takes place during the cold war, and five independent missions packed with in-your-face combat if you don't feel up to the challenge of a campaign.

The campaign focuses on the life of Victor Troska, a retired Russian Special Forces soldier whose home island of the Independent Republic of Nogova is invaded by Soviet aggressors. The events on Nogova occur a few years prior to Operation Flashpoint's Cold War Crisis. You can play Victor from either a first- or third-person point of view as he leads Nogova's resistance through 20 challenging missions, from blowing up bridges and aircraft, to stealing supplies and pilfering tanks. Missions can be downright challenging, and offer plenty of objectives, adding multiple layers to an already difficult combat environment. The "Trap" mission, for example, is a combined arms operation where Victor and his forces must assault a town full of Soviets waiting for his onslaught. Trap's goal, like the most other missions, is to formulate a plan of attack, then time it perfectly. The challenge lies in coordinating these maneuvers during missions filled with battlefield mayhem and chaos. In some cases, however, players may want to avoid combat altogether. One slip up, and Victor's whole operation goes south.

Similar in atmosphere to most insurgencies and revolutions of the 80s, the real challenge lies in collecting enough gear to react to and overcome the Soviet presence. Starting out, Victor's troops are deplete of weapons, equipment, and tanks. Foraging for supplies often dictates how each mission gets carried out, where precious troop resources are utilized for both completing mission objectives and picking up gear from dead Soviets. The added ability to grab and drop weapons, ammo, and equipment makes arming the resistance something that couldn't get done in the original game. Plundering the proper gear helps build an effective guerrilla force powerful enough to repel the Russians.

Coming from a military background well versed in unconventional warfare (UW), I found Resistance's story about guerrilla warfare (GW) to be quite good. (For those less versed in military science, UW best describes operations conducted for military, political, or economic gain or a combination thereof, within an enemy occupied area, and making use of indigenous inhabitants, irregular soldiers, using local or enemy resources. UW may also be supported by an external source such as US backing in Kurdistan, likewise, in Nogova.) For the most part, Resistance's story and missions follow these elements. Though the missions unfold in a traditional linear format, early in the campaign, a pseudo-dynamic sequence allows players to make a choice on which side Victor will join -- the Soviet Army or the Resistance fighters. At some point, however, Victor rejoins the resistance and the linear game based on the tenants of guerilla warfare, continues.

Quietly traveling through the city.
Resistance also offers improved dialogue and voice acting. While sometimes tedious to watch, the cutscenes add drama, which actually helps drive the story. By the end of the game, you'll feel as though you've played through an epic movie. Without giving away any spoilers, the campaign ends with climatic thunder and is a gaming moment that players will long remember.

As a bonus, Resistance's five independent single-player missions are designed for the serious Operation Flashpoint fan. They are extremely difficult, with each mission representing a variety of mission objectives and combined arms mission types, from escorting a convoy of supplies, zipping around the map and avoiding the enemy in a Hummer, flying cargo to the resistance, or attacking an enemy base with an Apache helicopter.

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