Mod Spotlight: Resistance and LiberationBy Kyle Mann | August 14, 2011 | Features | 2 comments | Share
I creep through the shrubs, weapon at the ready. Peering out from the brush, a serene meadow stretches out before me, framed by hedgerows on all sides. The scene is picturesque, the brutal war raging on all sides scarcely noticable. I’ve been lying motionless for five minutes, interrupted only by faint gunfire in the distance. A loud crack-crack-crack pierces the air. I radio my team: “No movement here.” The other squad leaders radio back; one of them also hasn’t seen movement in a few minutes, another snaps back, “Allies at hotel.”
With no warning, three soldiers clad in beige charge from the far side of the field toward my position, attempting to take the square I’m defending. “They’re rushing the square,” I warn my fellow Axis grunts before opening fire. Remaining prone, I drop one of them with my MP44 just as a grenade lands near my position. I jump to my feet, trying to fall back to a safer hiding spot, but it’s too late: the third soldier pumps my back full of lead before I can make it through the gate to safety.
Resistance & Liberation is a World War II (stay with me here!) first-person shooter mod built on the Source engine. Though the setting has been done to death, resurrected, then done to death again, R&L takes a genuinely unique approach, putting psuedo-realistic tactics and shooting mechanics along with a heavy emphasis on teamwork above all else. In line with this vision, the team put no HUD whatsoever into the current 1.6 beta build, forcing players to aim with iron sights in the absence of a crosshair, as well as keep count of how many bullets they’ve fired.
While the upcoming Red Orchestra 2 is probably the foremost shooter in the realism-heavy department, Resistance & Liberation takes things even further a lot of the time. Flying in the face of the stat-tracking mania brought on by the Call of Duty craze, Resistance & Liberation doesn’t even keep track of individual kill counts. For immersion and realism, this means that throwing that nade towards the enemy, hearing the bang, and watching the dust settle are followed by tense watching and waiting, wondering whether you’ve made the kill. Only when you see the enemy body lying there will you know you’re safe. It also promotes teamwork and objectives over camping in a corner trying to eke out a few more points for your kill/death ratio.
If there’s one thing Resistance & Liberation absolutely nails, it’s the tension. The dynamic ebb and flow of the battle is superb. Waiting several minutes for the enemy to act, or hiding behind enemy lines, or holing up in a bombed out farmhouse for an extended period of time is not uncommon. I’m the first one to voice my love of fast-paced shooters like Unreal Tournament and Quake III, but Resistance & Liberation is a welcome change of pace from the norm.