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.
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