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Operation Flashpoint: Resistance Review

GAME INFO
publisher: Codemasters
developer: Bohemia Interactive Studio
genre: Action Strategy

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS
PII-400, 64MB RAM, 300MB HDD, 16MB 3D accelerator
ESRB rating: M
homepage:
www.flashpoint1985.com/

release date: Jul 10, 02
» All About Operation Flashpoint: Resistance on ActionTrip


Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis was one of the most highly acclaimed first-person shooters of 2001, with its hyper-realistic offering of modern tactical warfare. An astonishingly accurate depiction of the 80's Cold War era, the game offered excellent military action, complete with a massive amount of vehicles and weaponry with which to wage war, along with a complete mission editor to extend the action far beyond the limits of the game's single player storylines. Oh, and then there's multiplayer too. It was the total tactical package.

But it was missing something. Sure, it contained all the facets of a highly trained and highly outfitted military powerhouse, complete with tanks, planes, helicopters, cars, trucks, rifles, pistols, and what have you. But what about the not so well trained and outfitted juggernauts? What about the freedom fighters, who have to scavenge for whatever they can find to fight back against an oppressive regime with the full benefits of its governments defense dollars?

So the boys (and girls) at Bohemia Interactive went back to the drawing board to bring us their latest add-on to the Flashpoint series - Operation Flashpoint: Resistance. And here it adds something the previous two OpFlash titles lacked.

Guerrilla Warfare.

The single-player adventure follows an ex-soldier named Victor Troska, who lives an idyllic life on the fictional island of Nogovo, off the coast of Russia. During the 80's, this peaceful democratic nation falls into the crosshairs of the Soviets, who seize control of Nogovo, and topple its democracy and place Communist puppet leaders in power. Victor, tired of bloodshed and war, is reluctantly drawn back into service - but this time at the head of the freedom fighters struggling to reclaim their homes and lives from the Soviets.

The gameplay is exactly like the original OpFlash games - detail oriented. The view is variable - either first or third person, but the game also offers a top-down map for the purposes of ordering troops to various locations - essential for progressing through the game. From this vantage point, you must order your men to advance, retreat, strike, and...appropriate the necessary tools you will need to fend off the invaders. The standard fleet of vehicles is offered, such as tanks, helicopters and other implementers of mass destruction, as well as new additions such as cars, tractors, boats and motorcycles to the mix. The motorcycles were my favorite, but they are far too fragile - one wrong move, and its history. You're back to walking again. Most of the 20 missions are long - usually taking 20 min or more to complete, but the game offers a replay point system in case you get so frustrated you throw your mouse through the monitor screen. (Which I almost did. Several times. I suck at tactical shooters - This kind of thing just isn't my bag, baby.) Of course, no add-on is complete without new toys to play with, so the game brings the Glock 17 pistol, the Sa61 Scorpion and the XM-177E2 rifles to the table with which to go forth and slaughter the countryside.

There is also a full-service mission editor, and 6 single-player missions that you can also partake in, which are pretty fun. They do a fine job of extending the game's life once the single-player story is ended. Not bad!

The big deal with this game is its focus on guerilla warfare, and how to properly manage it. In the previous OpFlash incarnations, you had a near-limitless supply of teammates from which to draw - if one fell in battle, he was quickly replaced by another soldier at the next mission who would arrive fully armed, fully stocked and fresh ammo for everyone. (And there was much rejoicing.) With Resistance, you have no such cushion. Since your team is extremely limited and ammo is scarce (at best), you are required to lose as few men as possible - and to make every single bullet count. Of course, in war there are always casualties, but you have to plan for contingencies while knowing there will be few reinforcements - if there are any at all. Of course, with me at the helm, more often than not I was just leading lambs to the slaughter, but it was a fun slaughter!

The AI was good - if a little dodgy. While at times I marveled at their uncanny ability to nail me from 50 miles away with artillery fire, sometimes the soldiers were slow to react when my troops came out from cover. And, the friendly AI wasn't much better, occasionally failing to obey commands and getting cut to pieces while admiring a tree, or contemplating philosophy in the middle of a firefight. Of course, this was the occasional bug, so other than that, they obeyed my commands on a regular basis...and got cut to pieces anyway.

The graphics are good...but just that. You have to keep in mind; this is the same engine that was used to power the game a year and a half ago, with minor retooling to improve the landscaping and trees. The character models are of poor quality when compared to spiffy new engine models like the LithTech Jupiter's Cate Archer (No One Lives Forever 2) or Epic's Unreal Tournament 2003 models. Some improvement was made to the skins of the models to give them more realistic faces than their OpFlash predecessors, but nice skins on terrible models still ultimately looks bad. Still, the engine is capable of rendering large quantities of troops, vehicles and buildings without choking entirely, so it's not a total wash. The engine still holds its own...but barely.

The sounds are okay as well...nothing to write home to Mom about. The voices are a bit better than the previous version's game, but the improvement is marginal at best. The sounds of battle can get confusing - sometimes it's difficult to tell where the incoming fire is from by sound alone, but it's manageable. It would be sufficient of me to say that There Are Sounds In This Game. Not good, not bad, they're just there.

All in all, Operation Flashpoint is one of those games that you either really love, or hate to bottomless depths of your soul. While as a gamer, I fall into the latter category, since my utter lack of planning ability and tactics made for a slow, painful gaming experience, as a reviewer, I can appreciate the game for what it is - an all-inclusive warfare simulator, that stresses realism, teamwork and tactics for a very rewarding experience. Resistance brings new pieces to the game, while improving upon the core engine...if only a little bit. The game, while dated by today's standards, still has some life left in it. The mission editor and multiplayer (I tried that, but it wasn't a good experience for me) are perfect additions to this extremely popular tactical game. If that kind of thing is your bag, baby, then there is no reason you shouldn't own this game by now.

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7.7   Good


HIGHS
Guerrilla warfare rocks, extra vehicles and weapons make this a fine addition;

LOWS
Dated engine, dodgy AI... Technically speaking, no noticeable innovations over the original. if you can get past this, this is a very good game.

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