Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising Preview for PC

On: PCXbox 360PS3
There's probably someone in those trees trying to shoot at you
There's probably someone in those trees trying to shoot at you

There's probably someone in those trees trying to shoot at you

Back to that hill that caused so much trouble early on then. After taking out the single man ducking behind a small wall the view from the summit reveals an early warning radar - a device your squad has been tasked with destroying. It'll only take a single remote charge to blow it to smithereens, but getting there, down a steep hill that leaves you perilously open to enemy fire, isn't easy. As soon as you peek out over the peak bullets start raining in on your position, hitting the soft ground and sending dirt into your eyes, temporarily worsening your vision.

No doubt there are countless ways to tackle such a problem, but the most obvious seemed for me to lay down some fire on the enemy's position while the rest of my squad flanked them down the right of the hill. It worked, and soon enough a charge had been placed and the radar was no longer in working order. Next up came the most exciting part of the two levels on offer. An order came in to send in an air strike on an enemy-held village at the bottom of the valley on the other side of the hill. With binoculars equipped you're able to target a location and then send in a hail of howitzers. It would have been more exciting still had the work in progress Xbox 360 build actually shown the destruction as more than buildings popping out of view (presumably a glitch that won't be present in the final game), but it was fun all the same.

It was a sprint across the island to the chopper's LZ next, mopping up any enemies along the way, including a few nipping about in jeeps. Something that really needs a special mention is the audio work. With a good surround sound set-up I dare say Dragon Rising could have the most immersive audio of any FPS ever created. Jeeps growl, enemies rustle in bushes, helicopters thunder overhead, and bullets whiz past as if only millimetres from your virtual face. It really is hugely impressive and even manages to better the impressive, if somewhat glitchy open-world environment.

By the second mission - a small-scale assault starting on a beach - you'll likely feel more comfortable with the controls, but any confidence is short lived. My squad had been tasked with taking out the spotters at the top of a hill (there are lots of hills in Dragon Rising), but no sooner had one of my guys informed me of their position (issued with handy information on their compass direction and distance from you) had the three of them been shot dead. I won't lie: mission two proved too much for my simple FPS mind to take, with a later section involving a fairly heavily guarded village too tricky for my wannabe marines.

After countless failures, restarts and head scratching I'm still nowhere near to being up to speed with Dragon Rising's rules of combat. Getting your head around the slow pace, the orders menu, the reliance on cover and instant death is something that a lot of people simply won't have the patience for, and that's surely a concern for Codemasters. Easier difficulty settings don't really make the game simpler in the traditional way, instead offering more assistance in the way of highlighted enemies on your compass and illuminated bullets, and a RV system shows you where you've got to go. Only time will tell if all that is enough to give arcade action gamers a real chance of success.

Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising is due for release on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on October 9.

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clangod's Avatar

clangod

There's so many good games coming out in the coming months I don't think I can support my family and my gaming appetite... This is a must (like many others lol) and I intend on a release day purchase... I am adverse to selling any games I have except maybe MGS4 and Genji Days of the Blade as I tend to only purchase those which I am truly interested in... I can say I'm more excited to play this than MW2 as MW2 will in essence be much of the same...
Posted 11:14 on 30 September 2009
xboxlive's Avatar

xboxlive

Not long now till this game comes :P cant wait.
Posted 02:25 on 30 September 2009
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xboxlive

Thinking about Pre-ordering "Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising" from shopto.net for £31.98
Posted 18:09 on 17 August 2009
Mar27w's Avatar

Mar27w

you didint mention if stealth was an option like it was in the first ,being able to sneak up for a suprise attack or ambush your enemies was one of the best things about the original,if this is just going to be another farcry 2 with enemies knowing your exact position automatically then my interest in the game just dropped considerably
Posted 22:21 on 16 August 2009
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xboxlive

Iam so looking farwords to this game,you want to watch out MW2.
Posted 11:20 on 14 August 2009
clangod's Avatar

clangod

I agree with Machetazo. The sense of danger and urgency in FPS's has been diluted to the extent that for the most part, all you have to do is hide behind cover until your health replenishes. In the more traditional "health pack" scenarios, there is still a lack of immersion because a player can learn where they are located and play according to the fluctuating action.

I am looking forward to this one especially for the "one shot could kill" gameplay and the tactical aspect of the game. Don't get me wrong, I love the run & gun play that games like CoD and Killzone2 offer as they facilitate a more pick up and play type game, but offer nothing tactically apart maybe from certain online style games.

I'm all for the thinking man's shooter with the added freedom of an open world. Bring it on...
Posted 11:03 on 14 August 2009
asapco's Avatar

asapco

I so wanted to get this game, but now I'm scared. I think I might be better off in Afghanistan.
Posted 13:16 on 13 August 2009
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu@ Machetazo

yea what he said
Posted 11:41 on 13 August 2009
Machetazo's Avatar

Machetazo

Most of the time, in shooters, tactical thinking only serves to expose a cookie-cutter predictable AI. Which just behaves really oddly, as if lost, if you do dare to try anything beyond the expected. That's game-breaking.
But, you're moving about a space with a gun. So's the enemy. Neither faction gets on with the other. Each is probably making their way through a no-man's land, and yes, each step could well lead to injury, debilitation, or worse. Here, it appears as if the threat has been re-injected into the shooter. If you're playing a more relaxed shooter (still valid, and I hope there will always be a selection of games where you DO get to run n gun, more often than not - it's FUN to have that opportunity.) they're shooting you, sure, but you've got any number of "get-out-of-jail frees", the one in particular I've never appreciated, being the refilling health bar, for which we can blame Halo (even if the shield is cohesively tied to the lore, it still has too strong an influence in crafting gameplay). But, it speaks to its audience...

I think it's great, too, that the makers have made a focus on ensuring the game is accessible, to those who do want to take their foot of the throttle a bit. Hopefully, these measures further boost the game's appeal.
Anyway, I'm moreover, simply thankful that a broader offering is being made available, and so, this Autumn, if you're looking for a new shooter to invest in, you're likely to find something to your taste.
Posted 11:14 on 13 August 2009
thpcplayer's Avatar

thpcplayer

cant wait really cant
Posted 11:00 on 13 August 2009

Game Stats

System Requirements
Release Date: 08/10/2009
Developer: Codemasters
Publisher: Codemasters
Genre: First Person Shooter
No. Players: 1-8
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 299 8
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