Grogheads Impressions! Total Conflict: Resistance

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Total Conflict: Resistance is a tactical first-person shooter set in a real time global world with a strategic overview.  Many other games have attempted to create the experience in which the player can manage production, resources, and moving units around on a global map and then resolve combat in first-person mode.  The gaming market is filled with failures trying to master this formula but in Total Conflict: Resistance there is much hope.  Although the game is still in a state of early access, the player has a lot to work with in terms of features, gameplay mechanics, and more.  This impression is based off approximately 50 hours of play time in the early access build.

By: Steve Keledjian,

Total Conflict: Resistance is published and developed by ‘Thunder Devs.,’ the developers of The Last Haven released earlier this year which is a base building game set in a post nuclear war environment.

Stats for Nerds:



Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system

OS: Windows 7/8/10 64-bit

Processor: Intel or AMD processor, 3.0 GHz or faster

Memory: 8 GB RAM

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti or AMD Radeon RX 570 series card or higher

DirectX: Version 11

Storage: 30000 MB available space


Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system

OS: Windows 7/8/10 64-bit

Processor: Quad-core Intel or AMD processor, 3.5 GHz or faster

Memory: 16 GB RAM

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 or AMD Radeon RX 5600XT series card or higher

DirectX: Version 11

Storage: 30000 MB available space

I’ have a system slightly better than the minimum requirements and the game runs smoothly and loads relatively quickly.  I’m quite happy with the game performance on my aged Win 10 machine even with the game’s graphic settings set to high.

General Overview:

Released on April 21, 2023, this early access game has already gone through multiple patches to improve the experience.  Thunder Devs. has been quite active and is responsive to the player base.  I have high hopes for this game.

Upon loading the game and watching no introduction video the player must click any button to continue.  They are then greeted with the main menu shown below:

Total Conflict Main Menu

Total Conflict Main Menu

Players can choose to play a Full Campaign complete with a strategic map, a Tactical Campaign, in which the player tries to win through a series of tactical battles, or Quick Battle.  I will focus on the full campaign in this impression.

The Full Campaign:

The full campaign is set on a fictitious island world where various factions battle over resources and territory in a bid to rule the island under a single banner.  A brief paragraph pops up to explain the current political situation on the island.  The text varies slightly depending on which faction you choose to play.

Once you’ve chosen the faction you want to play you are shown your starting location on the strategic map.  The fog of war will not let you see much past your borders so the first time you play the full campaign you will not be able to understand where your faction fits in with respect to the big picture.  This is somewhat annoying, but I can live with this limitation considering this is an early access game.  I like to think that I’m playing a ‘Civilization’ type game where you don’t know what the full map looks like at game start.  The map is not randomly created each time you start a new campaign and appears to be a fixed map.  During faction selection when a new game is started you can somewhat see the full world map.  I say somewhat because the zoom button will not allow you to zoom out enough to see everything in one take.

The factions all have their own histories and political leanings but basically, they all function the same.  There are no faction traits that give advantages or disadvantages.  Other than a faction flag there are no other visible differences when viewing units both on the strategic map and during the tactical battles in the field.  There are only two ideologies in this world, and they are democracy and communism.  Your weapon load outs, vehicles, and ammunition will be determined based on current real world military hardware.  If you select to play as a democracy then your men will be using Humvees, M-60 tanks, and FALs to name a few of the many weapon types in game.  Communist factions will have access to AKMs, BRDMs, etc.  Your tech tree will be dictated by which ideology you choose.

Production & Research:

When you’re on the strategic map portion of the game you will see the layout of your empire.  City and town locations are clearly shown on the map and clicking on any of these will pull up a popup window showing various information.

Total Conflict Strategic Map

Total Conflict Strategic Map

As you can see from the image above, you can view a tool tip popup when you hover over a town that will give you a summary of some basic information.  Clicking on the town will then bring up a popup window that shows on hand supplies and resources in the town, as well as the garrison size (if any present).  Some towns will have a long list of items that they contain.  Inventory items can range from various ammunition sizes and types to personal weapons and vehicles and finally raw materials and processed goods.  Unfortunately, there is no master table view to see the inventory in all your towns in one screen.  I’ve been using a paper notebook to plan my logistics needs in my empire as a solution.

To control what your towns produce you need to visit the production screen as shown below.

Total Conflict Production Screen

Total Conflict Production Screen

It is on this screen that you will plan on building what is needed for your military and civilian population.  Certain key items must be placed in the queue, or you will get a warning that not all production needs have been met (ie. a red flashing production icon in the lower right of the main map screen).  All raw materials and the factories that make processed material or finished goods from them must be activated on the production screen.  Items such as ammunition, vehicles, weapons, etc. need not be placed onto a production line.  Therefore, if one chooses to do so, you can focus only on building food for your people while buying everything else you might need from the market.

Research is straightforward and consists of picking items on a tech tree.  The tech tree is broken down into three categories listed in three different screens.  The three categories of research are ammunition, personal weapons, and vehicles.  Each category will contain all the tech you need to support building the gear your army requires.  Research time on each tech is fixed but can be sped up somewhat if you build science centers in your towns that can support them.  See research screen below:

Total Conflict Research Screen

Total Conflict Research Screen

Construction and Diplomacy:

To produce the items you’ll need for war visit the construction screen.

Total Conflict Construction Screen

Total Conflict Construction Screen

A list of towns with their existing buildings is shown to the left.  Click on an empty black square (if available) in that town to bring up a list of structures which will be shown to the right.  There are some limitations on what can be built in any given town.  Some towns are strictly farmland so you will not be able to build structures such as iron smelters or military factories.  On the other hand, you have large cities which are not able to build tobacco fields but can build science centers and factories.  It’s a simple system but sufficient for this type of game in my opinion.

Diplomacy offers some very interesting options.  Actions cover topics such as improving relations to offer non-aggression pacts.  You can also negotiate to trade on the market with a faction.  That’s right, as an aside, you can only buy and sell on the market with trade partners.  Factions that you are extremely friendly with but have no trade agreement will not sell their goods to you nor buy anything you have to offer.  To me, early game trading is key to building up a sufficient economy and military to even think about declaring war on a neighbor.

A time to fight:

So now onto the FPS portion of the game.  Once you’re ready for a fight you’ll move your units around on the strategic map much like you would in any traditional grand strategy game.

The Strategic Map

However once two opposing armies make contact you will be taken to the tactical portion of the game.

The tactical map will load, and you begin the fight in first person view.  Pressing the M key will take you to the overhead view which will allow you to issue commands to all your squads.  If you prefer you can play the tactical battle without ever going down to the first-person level.  Simply command your squads and watch the battle unfold.  There will be times however where it will be better if you take personal command of a soldier yourself and enter first-person mode to accomplish a specific task.  Be advised it is not recommended to lone wolf a battle and try to win on your own.  Teamwork and coordination will minimize your losses while at the same time effectively dealing more damage to your enemy.


First-person combat is quite standard where you use the WASD keys to move around, right mouse to aim down sights, and pressing shift to run.  I found the gunplay to be satisfying but not overly complicated or realistic.  Any vehicle you brought to battle with you can also be controlled in first-person mode.  There is a wide variety of vehicles available as well as many different personal weapons.  As long as you have researched the tech and have factories to make your gear, you’re good to go.  If that seems like a chore to you one can always simply purchase what you want on the market (provided someone is selling the desired item, the market varies from in game week to week).

Combined Arms Action

The overall feel of the tactical combat is smooth and a joy to play for both casual and intermediate FPS players.  Firefights can be tough at times even for veterans so situational awareness is key in this game mode.  Thankfully the player can set the combat difficulty to be as challenging or easy as desired.

Difficulty can be punishing.

If you are a hardcore gamer however, you may find some details about first person combat in this game to be annoying.  One example being having a red glow around enemy troopers and vehicles when looking at them either through iron sights or the naked eye.  Although this option can be turned off, this feature still might not sit well with veterans.  Bullet drop is not as detailed as some of the other hardcore FPS games on the market so this might not give everyone the challenge they want.

Spray and pray is a viable strategy


So, what do I think of this game so far?  I am enjoying my experience.  There are, however, some items to consider before you decide to buy.

Once you figure out how tactical combat works it becomes easy to beat the AI in battle, even on the hardest difficulty setting.

Production and logistics are a fun aspect of this game but can become tedious after a while.  There is no efficient way to see what needs to be produced or what supplies need to be delivered other than manually checking all your units and towns.  I’m sure as early access goes on the developers will help in this department.  For now, I advise bringing a piece of paper and a pen to jot down the supply status of your units and factories across your empire.

The AI has, to put it gently, advantages over the human player in terms of supply, troop numbers, etc.  I don’t mind this too much because I have got to the skill level required in this game to beat the AI.  Your mileage may vary, buyer beware.

That all being said I enjoyed the learning curve with the game until I got to the point where I knew my way around.  If you’re looking for a game that is fun but not terribly demanding and good for scratching that strategy/FPS itch, then Total Conflict: Resistance is for you.  If you are looking for a hardcore sim with an efficient and well thought out strategy layer, I would wait until the full version is released and hope for the best.



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