Operation Flashpoint Review

Once you complete the campaign game, more gameplay awaits.  Operation Flashpoint provides a variety of individual missions and if none of those are to your liking, you can use the included mission editor.  Finally, you can play the game against other human players online via Gamespy Arcade.

Operation Flashpoint does an excellent job of immersing the player in what feels like a realistic portrayal of combat.  Battles can be confusing at times as you try to figure out who is shooting at you and from which direction.  One minute you are running through the woods and the next a bullet from an unseen enemy sends you to the great beyond.  Firefights are chaotic and exciting and will get your blood pumping.  Don't be surprised, though, if you find the quiet times disconcerting too - walking into a dangerous situation without any idea where the enemy is hiding can make you quite tense.

Weapons are accurately modeled, and you'll have to take distance, movement, and other factors into account when trying to hit your enemy.  However, hardcore sim fans should take note that vehicle control and weaponry has been been somewhat abstracted for gameplay.  Also, it's not too realistic to have an arrow directing you to your next objective or to your position in an advancing formation, or an overlay which helps you to identify friendly forces, but some compromises need to be made for the sake of playability.

The graphics in Operation Flashpoint are realistic and generally of high quality.  The game environments make you feel that you are really on a quite large island, with large forests, rolling hills, and villages and towns - Operation Flashpoint does not suffer from the claustrophobic feeling generated by many action games.  Missions can take place at any time of day or night, but the twilight missions are incredible looking.  Everything is cast in a fuchsia colored glow, and the brightest stars still manage to shine in the colorful sky.  The faces of your fellow soldiers are well-rendered and very animated.  They subtlety change expression as they speak or even as they sit in the back of a truck on their way to a mission - they look like they are actually mulling over apprehensive thoughts as they approach combat.  On the down side, though, the bodies of the soldiers appear to be slightly blocky, as if they were designed during a polygon shortage.  This is a minor complaint, though, when taken with the game's graphical excellence on the whole.

In closing, it should be noted that this game might not appeal to all action gamers.  The lack of power-ups, health packs, and weapons on steroids will put a few of these gamers off, and they'll be especially despondent over the fact that rushing into a dangerous situation with guns blazing is a good way to get dropped by an enemy round or two.  For everyone else, though, Operation Flashpoint is an immersive experience loaded with gameplay that deserves a very close look.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 91%. It's probably as close to real combat as you would want to get.  It's probably too realistic for hard-core shooter fans, and not realistic enough for sim fanatics, but everyone else will find it to be a thrilling game.

System Requirements:  400 MHz Pentium II CPU; 64 MB RAM; 16 MB Video RAM; 8x CD-ROM; 450 MB Hard Drive Space; Mouse.

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