Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising

Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising Preview for PC

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Dragon Rising puts the hardcore into military FPS
Dragon Rising puts the hardcore into military FPS

Dragon Rising puts the hardcore into military FPS

If Codemasters is going to have a big hit on its hands with Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising the game's going to have to sell to more than just the hardcore military fans. While sales up there with Halo and Call of Duty is probably out of the question, a big multi-format project like this will need to sell millions of units to be classed as a success. With this in mind I donned my Call of Duty helmet and Halo battle armour to check out a few levels of Codies' war sim in order to find out if normal people will be able to last more than five seconds in Operation Flashpoint's brutal battlefield.

To give you the answer you probably didn't want: yes and no. Chances are that anyone groomed on the likes of Call of Duty, Halo, Resistance, Gears of War and Killzone will run up the first hill they encounter during Dragon Rising's tutorial level and be gunned down before they even get a whiff of any danger, let alone see it. This will then be repeated a few times, with a man hiding behind a small wall at the top of the hill taking you out over and over again until it becomes quite obvious that you're doing it wrong. This is not that open world Call of Duty you've dreamt of for years. This is a completely different take on the military first-person shooter, and you're going to have to learn the hard way.

Most of the time you'll be fighting against enemies that you can't even see, taking cover from tracer fire originating from a position only clearly visible through binoculars. Fire from that range isn't too accurate, but it's still dangerous to be walking about in the open. In order to move from position to position you'll need to get your squad mates to lay down suppressive fire on the enemy's location and then leg it to a new cover spot, repeating the procedure every time you move. It makes for a hugely tense experience, always knowing that your next step might be your last, but it's also not something that'll please everyone.

Part of what makes video games so enjoyable is how you can lose yourself in the experience, but in Dragon Rising you're constantly being taken out of it to take a look at the 'restart from last checkpoint' screen. It's part and parcel of the military sim experience, but that doesn't mean it's good fun and will be jarring to many gamers until they've come to terms with how the game needs to be played. Using your squad mates correctly, issuing orders to set defensive or offensive positions, and sending them to locations on the map all needs to be done if you're going to have any chance of completing a mission.

One shot to the head can be instant death, as you'd expect it to be, but you can do some running repairs to yourself and squad mates while out in the field. By equipping bandages you're able to patch up wounds to stop the bleeding, keeping you alive but not acting as a miracle health pack. There's also none of the usual 'keep out of trouble for a few moments to replenish your health' - you can hide, but you might bleed to death if you sit there doing nothing.

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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: 235 3
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