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Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising is a tactical, realism FPS by Codemasters
The gameplay in Operation Flashpoint can be described in a single word, tiresome. The game has a huge lack of checkpoints and feels extremely shoddy to play. The squad command system the game was acclaimed for on release is unresponsive and very rarely works as it's supposed to, with the AI occasionally standing motionless after being given an order. The shooting feels less powerful than it should and the sights, if lying down, can make the screen exceptionally blurry, making any potential enemies that could be walking past impossible to see. The medic system is bad, when they finally make it to your location to revive you, they occasionally stand still, unresponsive as you slowly die on the ground. On occasion, when they do actually revive you, they'll leave your character bleeding which will have you downed again within due time.
If there is anything that saves the game from being completely devoid of any gameplay fun it's the cooperative mode. You can bet that any human being, no matter who it is, will be smarter than the bots. I could place my grandma in front of the computer and she'd probably do better than some of the AI. The cooperative mode allows you and your friends to experience the bug ridden universe of Operation Flashpoint together. It's occasionally a laugh and it's satisfying when you finish the level, even though the entire team of AI is dead. The game may have been patched since I played it, but the impression stands and I have absolutely no want to go back and retry it.
The graphics in Operation Flashpoint aren't bad, but they're nothing astonishing. The game certainly knows how to use several shades of brown, and you never really visit anywhere tropical or bright. The game has a few nice effects like the Depth of Field effects when you scope, but even those occasionally break and blur absolutely everything, rendering the game totally unplayable until you unscope, which lands the game completely unplayable in another way as your weapons can't fire straight when you're not looking through their sights.
Some of the things in the game aren't bad, such as the shadows, but that doesn't matter when there is a large majority of computers that can't play it. Even unpatched Crysis ran OK on my laptop, but this? No, not a chance of grey Operation Flashpoint running on my laptop, despite the tropical Crysis ran in a satisfactory fashion on Medium settings.
The sound in the game is fairly good, the orchestral score on the menu screen certainly doesn't sound bad (that doesn't mean it's fantastic), and the voice acting is good enough to listen to for the entire duration of the game (you probably won't, due to the hampering gameplay). The sounds of the gunshots where realistic, as were the sounds of bullets impacting and the occasional explosion doesn't sound too bad. It's not the best sound in the world, but it's better than both the gameplay and the graphics, and that's still falling short of what I was hoping for.
Value for Money
Thankfully, I only payed £2 for Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising on a STEAM deal, but even that isn't worth the immensity of how bad the game is. I guess the £2 was fine, as I enjoyed a few of the first missions with my friend in coop, but, I wouldn't pay the price again, should I have known the content I would've been subjected to after buying it.
You know the game isn't worth the money when you stop playing it after about an hour. Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising has incomprehensibly short longevity as I no longer had a desire to play it after the first hour. Except there was a burning desire after playing it, the burning desire was to ensure that I would never have to play the game again. Ever.
Difficulty & Complexity
Operation Flashpoint can range from extremely easy to excruciatingly hard, and the jump is actually through the difficulty settings. The easiest settings make the aim of the enemies seems like they have broken shoulders and that they're handling the biggest weapon known to man, whereas on the hardest settings if you poke your head up, you're dead before you can even establish where the shooter was.
The Co-operative mode that the game employs was one of the only sources of enjoyment that I had throughout my playing of the game, and it's one of the only things that I can tell you I enjoyed for even a brief second.
This game doesn't contain too much mature content, it's a realistic shooter but it refrains from showing extremely bloody imagery throughout the game, a few of the soldiers utter strong language, but this is just to build the wartime atmosphere. Enemies drop to the ground following a red flash after being shot at. Your shot is confirmed by a cross appearing around your crosshair. I'd say this game is suitable for anyone ages twelve and up, providing they're fine playing a game with a realistic wartime environment.
Well, I'd definitely not recommend the experience to anyone. It's a disgrace to the original Operation Flashpoint and a bad one at that. Everything in the game is average or below, and I'd certainly not wish it upon my worst enemy for a daytime playing session. I'd recommend that you avoid it at all costs. This game is like a heavy machine gunner, don't walk into it's line of fire (unless you're AI, in which case, you won't listen either way).