Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising Reviews

  • Scud1888Scud1888494,181
    12 Mar 2010 08 Oct 2010
    20 1 1
    Almost nine years after the release of the original Operation Flashpoint and its two stellar expansion packs I still occasionally find myself sitting in front of my PC playing them. I think that is testament to the richness and quality of story in the original game and is also why I came to Dragon Rising with more than a touch of trepidation. The original developer of Flashpoint, Bohemia, are gone and developing their own realistic wargames in the disappointing ARMA series so can Codemasters deliver the goods with their own "Sequel"?

    First off the game looks stunning, landscapes are lush if a little repetitive, if you’ve seen one forest you’ve seen em all, and the guns, vehicles and soldiers look the part. No problems here. The audio is also right on cue with my only personal peeve being the one squadmate who sounded like he had been voiced by Agnes Skinner from the Simpsons, if you hear it you'll know what I mean.

    So far, so good.

    Gameplay wise anyone unfamiliar with flashpoint should expect an ultra low paced realistic war simulation rather than a shooter. The majority of your fighting takes place at large distances and you'll want to be in cover for most of it if you don't want to die very quickly. In my opinion, its the people coming to the game without ever having played the original game who will get the most enjoyment from it as there really is nothing much that compares to Dragon Rising on the market.

    However I was left with a kind of empty feeling on completion of the campaign purely because the only way Dragon Rising betters Cold War Crisis is in the graphics department.

    The campaign consists of 11 missions and barring the one cinematic at the start explaining about the situation with the oil rich islands and setting us up with the Chinese invasion, there is no exposition whatsoever. No Cinematics, no cutscenes and not even the soldiers diary entries those familiar with the first game would expect at the beginning and end of missions. These could be 11 completely unrelated missions as there is very little story to link them together beyond the overall battle for the islands. Its a far cry from the slightly cliche but in the end well fleshed out characters of Cold War Crisis as you never really come to know your own characters or your squadmates, they are just faceless machines for you to order around.

    Also missing is little touches that made the original special and you would expect a sequel to build upon. Gone are the vehicle rides to and from combat zones, you start on the ground and the mission usually ends by fading to black on the ground, one mission calls for you to assassinate a Chinese General and be airlifted out but the game fades to black with the chopper in the air above the LZ, how hard would it have been to program it to land and take you out?

    You never have to set an Ambush and wait for the enemy to come to you. You will never see the pilot seat of a tank or helicopter unless you dont follow mission protocol and grab one from somewhere, and even then the variety and usefulness is limited.

    You also start as the leader of your fire team so you're no longer a grunt who works up the ranks and the overall experience is poorer for the lack of these things. Indeed the only missions that come close to capturing the variety and ingenuity of the original being the stealth assault on the fuel depot and the assassination of the Chinese General.

    Everything also seems to be on a smaller scale in the sequel, the final push for the island for example, your faceless commander says "Were throwing everything we have at them!" Everything we have amounting to two tanks, two transport helicopters and twelve men. The large scale combat missions of classic flashpoint with combined arms offensives and whole squads of troops is nothing but a distant memory. There is also a disappointing lack of weaponry and vehicles in comparison to flashpoint of old.

    The AI however remains classic flashpoint. Enemies see you a mile away and your teammates run around like they have a bag over their head. Commands are relayed to your squad via a cumbersome radial menu that just isn’t practical to use during an engagement as your common sense tells you a certain order must be under a certain field which of course it isn’t, leaving you searching the other radials and sub-radials while being under fire. The delicious irony being most of the time your team will ignore your orders anyway. Its almost as if they just imported the original games AI.

    Multiplayer coop is functional and is a fun way to play the campaign but the other multiplayer modes seem tacked on and are not well populated.

    Achievements are moderately easy to get with 900 out of a thousand being easily attainable in a single playthrough and short boosting session, the last 100 being the dreaded hardcore playthrough where your hud and radar are removed leaving you cold and frightened alone in the woods with only your squad of imbeciles for company.

    In Conclusion Dragon Rising is a good game, it fills its niche very nicely and is an enjoyable experience for those who can put up with minor flaws in the programming. People who loved the original flashpoint should not be put off either but i would have expected what made the original great to have been expanded upon and it simply wasn't, thus leaving Dragon Rising ultimately quite an unfulfilling experience.

    A solid 3 stars.
    3.0
    Showing only comment.
    WhyattThrashOh the description of the AI is so spot on! I just got headshot in the back by my teammate at point blank range while sniping from behind cover. Bag over the head is exactly right. The controls frequently chooses to ignore button inputs too. Considering this I haven't decided if imma finish it yet...
    Posted by WhyattThrash on 27 Jul 14 at 23:34
  • KramerllamaKramerllama118,967
    07 Oct 2009
    30 16 19
    Operation Flashpoint Dragon Rising is the latest game from developers Codemasters. It is the most highly realistic shooters to come out onto next gen consoles which sets it apart first and foremost from every other FPS game out there (excluding ArmA II on the PC).

    The game takes place on the fictional island of Skira in the not so distant future and the US has been called in to help Russia rid the island of the Chinese PLA and gain control of the island and the oil reserves. The entire island is 220km squared, making it have one of, if not the biggest map for a video game or FPS.

    The Campaign consists of 11 missions, with each taking at least an hour and a half to complete on normal (at least, thats what it took me and a friend on co-op normal the first level). There are also 6 bonus Missions available via Bonus codes (all are universal). The Bonus missions puts the player in different scenrios (i.e. eliminating PLA from or around the fuel depot, securing base camps, etc.) with just the gun hes issued and the 3 men (believe these are co-op as well). These missions can vary from a few minutes to about 15.

    Gameplay is very smooth, all around slow paced, and very tactical. Running and gunning into a heated firefight will get you killed, end of story. You must take your time to plan an attack and execute it well for a victorious battle. The AI isn't bad either, tell thenm to do something they will do it, they aren't like Far Cry 2 where they can see you from miles away. They are smart but not FC 2 uber smart. They will take cover, follow you, shot back, etc.

    Being careful and slow is key primarily because of the health system. 8 pints of blood is flowing, get shot in the leg, say good bye to your sprinting ability. Got shot in the arm, there goes your aim. Chest? Well patch yourself up quickly. No regenerating health, and getting to cover or away from the enemy can be tricky if you're bleeding out and need to be patched.

    Controls for the game aren't really that complex to get used to but the squad command wheel can take some time to get used to. Pretty much its standard FPS controls though, RT fires, LT ADS, RS crouch and prone, etc.

    Multiplayer I cannot really say anything about as I have yet to play it as there was no one on (got it 10/6/09 when only a handful of people had it). Will be added later on. What I can say about it though is that it's 4v4 with each player controlling 3 AI bots on a 2km squared map with 2 game modes (Annihilation and Infiltration).

    Only MP I have played was co-op with my friend and in co-op each player is on a tether in which they can not go farther than 275km or 900ft. This ensures teamwork and strategy. Who ever hosts the co-op will have control of the AI, unless its 3 other human players.

    Graphics are great, scenery is very beautiful looks great in HD. Few problems but nothing major though and that would be some textures seems low res and some of the movement (if you can really notice) seem a little stiff. Again it was nothing major and easily overlooked and forgotten about, because honestly, in the heat of battle whose looking at the side of a cliff?

    Final thoughts would be that if you're a fan of Call of Duty, and Halo and any other run and gun game this may not be the game for you, and on the flip side, if you like Ghost Recon, and Rainbow Six, and those type of games this could be a gem for you. I do recommend if you're on the fence to rent it as the game is not for everyone. Some people will like the total realism others will not. Check it out if you're interested, i is a breath of fresh air in the gaming world.

    Final score 9/10

    Pros:
    Great realism
    Smart AI
    Smoother gameplay
    Huge world
    Missions are long (at least an hour and a half)
    Nice graphics

    Cons:
    Some texture issues
    Stiff movement at times
    5.0
  • xxW0LFxx TFDxxW0LFxx TFD210,867
    23 Dec 2009
    10 6 0
    War is brutal,and it sure ain’t pretty.

    Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising comes from Codemasters and is by far the most realistic shooter on the Xbox 360.

    It provides a tense experience and gives a definite feeling of being real,however this game is a mixed bag in terms of gameplay and overall quality.

    In Flashpoint a single bullet can end your charge up the beach,and chances are you wont even know where the shot came from,it’s certainly a game for the patient as you have to advance slowly and keep your eyes peeled for even the tiniest movement.

    Even then it’s most likely the enemy who will get the first shot off,and thanks to the fact your life can be ended so quickly it’s a tense feeling as you drop to the ground and scan the tree’s looking for the gunmen.

    It truly makes me feel like a soldier and it’s a great feeling as you crawl through dirt,looking for that single target who could end your life so brutally.

    Thanks to the games realism,all the guns are faithfully recreated and,just as in real life,you must adjust your shots elevation to compensate for distance,it’s a very rewarding experience when you nail your first headshot from 350m.

    In a weird choice,you can’t pick your weapon loadout for each mission,it’s a very odd choice for Codemasters to have made,and it’s frankly irritating as you often find yourself using a gun you don’t like.

    Graphically the game is unimpressive,and the lack of texture detail is disappointing,however the game world is based on a real island so everything gives you a nice sense of realism,weapons are all faithfully recreated and decently detailed. however for a game that claims to be realistic everything seems rather washed out and colourless,grass is not green,instead it’s a pale greyish green and whilst this does suit the mood of the game it does not set the games look apart from other FPS games.

    The story starts promisingly with a stylish black and white intro,however it quickly tails off and in between missions your left with a few paragraphs of text explaining what’s happening.
    As such the story fails to keep you hooked and by the end of the game you will most likely not have a clue as to what is happening.
    it’s a shame as the story has some potential.

    Your squadmates are there to provide support,overall there fairly decent but at times they will run towards a hail of bullets or fail to follow your orders.
    This is not helped by the awkward and clunky control system,and the command radial which is used to issue orders takes a long time to navigate,making on the fly flanking maneuvers awkward to pull off.
    Likewise selecting a new weapon or piece of equipment is done via an awkward scroll menu which can take valuable time to navigate through.
    If your in the middle of reloading and need to hit the dirt,you have to wait for the dam reloading animation to finish,by which time your dead.

    Unfortunately the game is a rather glitch and buggy mess,the AI often seems far to aware of where you are and then the next time you can walk up to them and they wont see you.
    Enemies will sometimes soak up bullets like a sponge even though you are clearly hitting them.

    The single player campaign is a good size,and very enjoyable if you can ignore the bugs and glitches and calling in artillery barrages never gets old.
    with a good blend of all out action and stealth missions it does keep you playing,however this game is not for the faint hearted or casual as they will find it frustrating and the usual run and gun tactics will see you get your head blown off.

    The Multiplayer is a broken mess,you can very rarely join a game and the game search function often fails to find anything at all.
    when you do get a game it’s an enjoyable affair,using a standard Team Deathmatch template and a Search and Destroy style game mode.
    each player is given a squad to command,allowing for some strategic gameplay,however thanks to the broken matchmaking and inability to find a game has effectively ended the online community which is now mostly empty.

    All in all,Flashpoint provides a good single player experience and a nice change of pace from the standard COD and Halo gameplay.
    However it’s lackluster story and multitude of glitches and bugs severely hinder this game and ruin what could have been something great.
    It does replicate the feeling of being a soldier well,and it even replicates the fact that enemies are often bullet proof sponges with a vision range of several hundred miles.

    Graphics: 80
    Gameplay: 78
    Lifespan:80

    Overall: 75/100

    If you enjoyed my review,feel free to check out my blog for more reviews,previews and news:
    http://wolfsgamingblog.wordpress.com/
    4.0
  • TheSecondLetterTheSecondLetter109,931
    10 Mar 2013
    5 4 0


    What you may like

    Players who prefer a more tactical shooter over the more popular corridoor rollercoaster rides will feel right at home with Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising. The game's open world allows you discretion to approach missions the way you see fit. Operation Flashpoint also provides a much more realistic reaction taking small-arms fire. For example, getting shot in the leg will eliminate your ability to sprint.

    Operation Flashpoint has a good amount of gameplay variety ranging from small arms direct contact, to calling in artillery, to driving humvees and flying helicopters.

    What may disappoint

    Instead of the high-octane in-your-face action you'd find in Halo or Call of Duty you're served with lengthy tactical maneuvering to set up longer-range gun fights. If you prefer regenerating health and close range, corridoor combat you will be disappointed.

    Further, the interface for controlling your character and your team is overly complicated and will most likely be the reason behind you and your team dying more than once during the game.

    Last, gamers who require an excellent multiplayer experience won't find it in OFDR. Co-Op is fun, but not spectacular. Competitive multiplayer might as well not exist at this point as virtually no one is playing the game online anymore.

    Overall

    Even with its flaws, Operation Flashpoint Dragon Rising is still one of my favorite shooters from this generation. Just know I'm biased toward these more tactical style shooters. If you prefer the open-world tactical approach to military battle games over the more hollywood-esque shooters like Halo and CoD, Operation Flashpoint may just be for you.

    As always, if you've already played, leave some commentary so readers can see a more comprehensive picture.


    You can find my original review for OFDR and other reviews @ http://www.alloyseven.com

    Also, follow me on Twitter so we can save the world together @TheSecondLetter
    4.0
  • Excuti0nerExcuti0ner40,112
    20 Oct 2009 11 Mar 2013
    2 7 2
    Well what can i say about this game without being to biased.

    Personaly, I love it and can't get enought of it. I know there are some people out there who absolutly hate this game but I'm not one of them.

    Yes it does have some bits that need improving, but that is totally weighed out by all the good bits. You just can't get enough of all the amazing shots and tatical advantages you get from this game.
    To start i have to say that what i have played of the campain is really really good with long missions and hard objectives. Also the difficulty settings make this game very good. Hardcore is pretty much a military simulator.

    Coop is absolutly awesome. Fun with just 2 people then it gets better when you have all 4 of your mates on your team owning some PLA troops.
    They have some issues that can easily be resolved with a patch/update (which is in development as we speak) but when some of the MINOR bugs are fixxed this game will top most military shooters if not all of them.

    Good Points:
    Amazing amounts of fun
    Doesn't get boring too soon
    Isn't repetative
    Online is great

    Bad Points:
    AI can be stupid at times
    Online could do with more modes and maps
    Coop could have checkpoints you could load back
    Little issues need resolving
    4.0