Suicide Is Painless - Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb.
It's been some time since Operation Flashpoint hit shelves. We have actually had a war since then, and there is another on the way. In these times of boys and girls dashing off to war to defend Dubyah's Daddy's reputation, thoughts might be drawn to the protest songs of yore, and certainly the great, bitingly subversive anti-war films of the early 70's, chiefly M*A*S*H.
Balancing maudlin drama and wacky comedy, M*A*S*H dissected the human soul in war and left us all the better for it, emotionally shattered and grinning. Does this mean that its time for some soulful protest, for a little political polemic against puritanical plutocrats? Uh...maybe, but this a computer game. Fire for effect.
Welcome to Operation Flashpoint: Resistance, expansion pack. Welcome to a world of evil communist imperialists and brave Slavic resistors who inhabit a chain of islands that could not possibly be anywhere near Slovenia. You are a war weary veteran who reluctantly leads the opposition forces in a desperate attempt to drive the Soviets from your tiny island community. So this is one of those guilt-free pipe dreams where war is good and everyone on your side is squeaky clean. Eh, go with it, have fun.
Fighting a guerrilla war is a little different than serving President Muffley or Premier Kissoff, and so Bohemia Interactive has made some changes to accommodate this different paradigm. The biggest change is that your resources are limited and what you carry off the field in mission 1 can be used in mission 2. Since you spend all of Resistance giving orders rather than taking them, how you allocate your guns and ammo is critical.
To aid in this, you can now stash weapons in vehicles to carry more, and several missions involve hijacking operations to get more supplies. Sadly, much of this boils down to grabbing weapons off the dead and throwing them in the trunk, and there is no way to automate this very tedious exercise.
Aside from that snag, though, everything here is very solid. Unlike in the original Operation Flashpoint, you only play one character with one story, so it is easier to get attached and therefore care more, which is nice in the midst of battle. The missions themselves are well designed and challenging, with a good variety of situations and tactics.
Regrettably, there are no secret operations scenarios like there were in Operation Flashpoint, which afforded opportunities for creative mayhem. For example, you will never get the chance in Resistance to sneak into an enemy base, rip off a helicopter and go hog wild, but then guerillas don't really do that sort of thing, right?
There are also some nice graphical improvements to be had for those with powerful enough rigs, but graphics were never a huge problem or attraction of Flashpoint. But some things not addressed are lingering AI frustrations, and although this expansion is essentially the fourth patch, there are still a few bugs.
Essentially, Resistance is a solid new campaign for Operation Flashpoint which, like any good expansion, gives you many of the same thrills is a slightly new way. It is not, however, a substantial enough addition to really evolve the game. Flashpoint was always about openness, about having an electronic battlefield in which to freely frolic. First you got to play as the Americans, later you could download a free expansion to play as the Soviets, and now you get to play as the locals caught in the crossfire. It is a slightly different angle on the same thing, but it's all good fun. That is, if you can still stomach war as being fun.