“Hoo-ha marines it’s time to saddle up and kick some Tajikistan ass! We’re taking names in this G-D forsaken hole!”
That opening line is about as exciting as this game gets. Operation Flashpoint: Red River is a first person shooter set in 2013 and for once the threat isn’t Russia but rather a combination of Afghan and Chinese guerrilla fighters. So, it’s not exactly original.
I’m usually a huge fan of Codemasters’s productions but Operation Flashpoint is just a tad boring. You are Bravo Actual (leader of a team of three named Bravo). Unlike COD or Battlefield you are not some superhuman battle hardened machine but rather an order following (and giving), single-shot withstanding weak-ass marine.
Also unlike the aforementioned games you depend more on ordering your three squad-members around to take anyone, or anything, out. This can become rather tedious as the action is happening faster than you can place the orders efficiently. Even if the order is placed your team moves slowly and extra-retardedly! Thus, you must choose: forget to order and your team gets killed, and shortly afterwards so do you; or hide behind something order your team somewhere, watch them get picked off, then run to their rescue and whilst healing them suffer the same fate. Not my idea of a fun time!
Do not fret because checkpoints are so far in between that you usually die right in front of next one and then you restart basically at the beginning of what just caused the restart. To add insult to injury, a fatal one as it stands, one shot and you begin to bleed out thus needing immediate attention but you can only self-heal… while not moving! Brilliant! To further rub salt into the wounds if one well-placed shot hits you go down and calling for a “Corpsman” (any one of your team to heal you) is ineffective as making orders!
However, there is a reason for the AI being so utterly disastrous and that is because this game is meant for human players. An internet connection and three friends that have this will make a world of difference. Orders being followed with instinctive and intuitive movements, a comradery that is only possible between online friends and all of a sudden you are kicking ass and taking no prisoners.
However, on the open maps, you get very vague instructions from Knox (your platoon leader), his ten rules to survival and you still feel a tad lost at times and not completing all objectives.
Ultimately the cons severely outweigh the pros.
With COD MW3 and Battlefield 3 on the way Operation Flashpoint: Red River should’ve capitalised and released something much better.
Missed that opportunity by a mile! At least the eternal mission lengths and constant deaths will keep you busy until the others are released.
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