We contact Codemasters Game Designer Andrew Wafer in the field to find out more about its upcoming Operation Flashpoint expansion, Resistance 12:55 Although developer Bohemia Interactive has already released several free updates and the Red Hammer add-on for its title Operation Flashpoint, Resistance is the first full-blown expansion to grace the acclaimed war-sim game. Introducing a whole new storyline that sees the island of Nogova invaded by Soviet Forces in 1982, Resistance puts players in the shoes of ex-Special Forces militia soldier Victor Troska. Against his better wishes, Troska picks up arms and joins the inhabitant's attempts to resist the incursion, and eventually finds himself in command of the fighters who are trying to kick the Soviets off their turf. The expansion promises to offer fans of the first game fresh challenges. This time around there's no government backing and no fat financial resources, so players are forced to scavenge for weapons, equipment, vehicles and even willing volunteers to bolster their own force. The brand new gameplay element is seen as vital by Bohemia Interactive for "conveying the realism of actually being in a Resistance militia.". There are plenty of other additions coming as well, including texture updates, re-hashed Net code, new multiplayer maps - a whole plethora of improvements in fact. To find out more about what's in store with the expansion we had a chat with Andrew Wafer, Game Designer in the External Development Studio at Codemasters who has worked closely with Bohemia Interactive on all aspects of the game. You've said that Resistance is set years before the original game, but what year are we talking about here and can you give us a quick overview of the story/plot? Wafer: Resistance is set in 1982, three years before Cold War Crisis. The story revolves around a Soviet invasion of the peaceful island Republic of Nogova. Unwilling to lay down to occupation forces and a Soviet regime, the local inhabitants form a Resistance militia which the main character Victor Troska is eventually coerced into leading. But the new Resistance army is seriously under resourced, early missions involve ambushes and guerrilla tactics as building up men and weapons become your priority. When the Resistance forces are sufficiently reinforced, the skirmish turns to full-blown war and Victor's quest for revenge. Can you give us a character summary of the main man Victor Troska? Wafer: Victor has a shadowy past and is known to have spent much of it in the service of foreign Special Forces. Exiled from Nogova as a young man he returned in 1974 to take the lead role in the island's anti-administration demonstrations, which were successful in overthrowing the Soviet government and installing democracy. As a local hero, Victor joined the island's police force and soon became its chief. After several years of service he recently became a Judge and that's where the story of Resistance begins. The scavenge-for-equipment feature in Resistance sounds intriguing. How will it work in the game? Wafer: As a Resistance force you don't have a government financially backing you, which means you're on your own when it comes to finding weapons, men and transportation. What you gain or keep in one mission will be carried over to the next. You can scavenge the battlefields for weapons and equipment that can be collected and transferred to your ammo trucks or distributed between your men. It's a new gameplay element for Flashpoint and one that is vital for conveying the realism of actually being in a Resistance militia. We understand that missions in Resistance are closely linked. Is this to give it a stronger sense of story, and is this something that you think the original Flashpoint was lacking? Wafer: With Resistance we've had the chance to not only draw on the experience gained from the development of the first campaign but also to take the time to make the story elements flow more naturally and with more depth and meaning. Cold War Crisis had you playing four main characters, each with his own story. Resistance is much more focused on one central hero, which allows for greater character development and a deeper sense of immersion in Victor's world. Are players going to have the freedom of movement they had before, or are you trying to direct them more with the storyline and narrow their options? Wafer: Flashpoint has always been about player freedom, and that's something we've wanted to extend and Bohemia has been extremely keen to work on. In most cases you'll notice an increase in the number of options available to you in missions when compared to the original game. Far from restricting the player, the new storyline has been written to work with a wide range of player responses, so much so that it includes branching depending on the actions undertaken in missions. We get the impression that there will be more urban and industrial environments included this time around. What prompted you to move in this direction? Wafer: We wanted to make the island appear as real as possible. Nogova is supposed to be a former colony of the Soviet Union, recently turned democratic republic. It would have to support itself in the world economy right? That's why it has housing developments, industrial areas, tourist spots and beach huts, to make the simulation seem more real, and to make Nogova seem as though it could really exist as a functioning country. Can you tell us what new weapons and vehicles you plan to include in the expansion? Wafer: Expect lots more civilian vehicles, as there is a larger civilian population in the game, new buses, cars, motorbikes and boats. Bohemia is also introducing the new weapon class of pistols which weren't in the original campaign game, as well as additional equipment such as laser-sight scopes. We understand that Resistance is going to have better visuals through the use of high-resolution textures. What other changes or adaptations have you made to the game engine? Wafer: A lot of work has been done to the terrain engine. Mountains now look smoother and more organic, and the way trees and foliage are drawn in the game has been completely rewritten to give a far more realistic effect. Some new special effects have also been included. What will the Resistance expansion pack add to Operation Flashpoint in terms of multiplayer? Wafer: Multiplayer has been an area that has had one of the biggest overhauls. The new Net code has been completely re-written and especially optimised for Internet play. There's a newly designed lobby area and nine new multiplayer missions (to complement the 5 new single-player missions). All in all with the additional 20 mission campaign, new single and multiplayer missions, improved Net code, new gameplay features, high-resolution textures and enhanced game engine, we think Resistance is the most tightly packed expansion ever. We're sure the players of Operation Flashpoint are really going to enjoy Resistance, we've tried to listen to their feedback from the original and incorporate as many of their great ideas as possible. Resistance will give them exactly what they want.