Operation Flashpoint: Red River Impressions

By Quintin Smith on March 1st, 2011 at 3:52 pm.

If only we could /talk/ to the guns.

After an hour spent waiting around in belly of London’s only Tajik restaurant, a fifteen minute presentation on Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising’s refinement into Red River and a testosterone-powered 5 minute briefing video, I’m pumped hard and tight like a bicycle tire. Soldiers! Camaraderie! Death! All under an untrustworthy and powerfully foreign Eurasian sky. What followed was painful and awesome in equal measure, and you can read it below.

Where Dragon Rising seemed uncertain about precisely what it wanted to provide, Red River is a confident creature. It’s forte is co-op. As well as a campaign centering around a four man fireteam, its multiplayer extends to four kinds of co-op missions.

Fire Fight tasks you with sweeping into an area, killing the insurgents present and bugging out. Last Stand has you killing increasingly large waves of insurgents before “banking” your score by calling for extraction and bugging out. In Rolling Thunder you escort a Generation Kill-style convoy of humvees and trucks through a dangerous landscape just crawling with people who want to kill you (but you want to kill them too), and in Combat Search and Rescue you rescue downed pilots lying in the middle of a whole mess of people who want to kill you (and killing these people is recommended). You got that? Ooh-rah! This would be a manly bit of fun, I thought to myself.

So you can imagine my dismay when I was ushered into a room containing my fireteam for the day and saw, in no particular order, a lady journalist who was already commenting about how shit she was going to be while giggling with the tempo and intensity of a tumble drier, a geeky guy next to her who couldn’t decide whether to agree or laugh at everything she said and most often expelled a mutant hybrid of both, and an empty chair. We’d be rockin’ our first mission with a team of three. Ooh… rah.

Whatever! Screw those losers. I would at least prove myself as the most competent of the team. Doing my best to fade out the exact words of the girl’s stream-of-consciousness commentary so it simply sounded like a parrot belting out an unknown national anthem, I send my character sprinting down a hill to take cover behind some sandbags. What were we playing? Last Stand? Right. No problem. Now, if I could just figure out the precise controls…

My character lowers his rifle, and a grenade pops back into view. Ah! Right. That’s how you select grenades. Now, how do I get back to my gun-

I press something that causes my character to pull the pin on the grenade and lift it overhead. This is not- no, this is not ideal. How do I throw it? Is he cooking it, or holding the pin in? What’s-

*BOOM*

Silence falls across Fireteam Disabled. I’m left staring at the various parts of my character’s sundered body. My flak jacket has kept my torso in one piece, but everything else has been detached from it. I consider calling for a medic.

“OH MY GOD,” comes the feminine blare from the other side of the room. “DID SOME IDIOT JUST BLOW THEMSELVES UP?”

A little while and a few slightly more successful respawns later, and I take a break to talk to Sion Lenton, the Creative Director on Red River. I decide to start with the obvious- how do the team feel about Dragon Rising in the light of an underwhelmed critical reception?

“The one word I’d use to sum up Dragon Rising is ‘ambitious’,” says Sion. “In hindsight, we probably tried to be too much to too many people. There’s obviously a rich heritage of hardcore PC gaming in Flashpoint, and we tried to cater for that and make a console game, and personally? I don’t think you can do it. But from a business point of view, we had to get the game on consoles.

“We went back to the drawing board for Red River, both technically and philosophically… The word I’d use for Red River is ‘focused’. We had an idea, and I’m thrilled to say that we’ve gone from Dragon Rising to realising that idea in just under 14 months, and that’s a very rare things in games development.

“The three areas that we really wanted to sort out are accessibility, co-op, and visuals. Accessibility- what do we mean by that? We don’t mean dumbing it down. It’s still the same game under there, and one shot still kills, but what we’re doing is giving the player more tools to help them out- things like help text and aim assist. But obviously we’re still giving the player the option to turn all that off.”

The impression I’ve been getting all morning is that Red River is far more focused on simply having fun than even Dragon Rising was. Yet it strikes me that the original Operation Flashpoint was the definitive “not-fun” game.

“I’m glad you said that, and not me. Simulations aren’t about fun- they’re about immersion and providing an exact experience. But when I play games I like them to be fun. So we’ve been throwing buckets of fun into this game. Things like getting Sgt. Apone from Aliens to do the mission briefings. Points and scores- unheard of in the old military sims! ‘Simulation’ is almost a dirty word in the studio now. Authenticity, that’s fine. But realism, that’s another thing. Realism is facts without the fun, and authenticity is fun with the facts. That’s my take on it… at the end of the day, we’re in this business to make a AAA commercial tactical shooter. That’s what we’re doing.”

And what defines a tactical shooter, exactly?

“It means thinking. You know, I see people playing CoD [Call of Duty], and I don’t really see them thinking. I see them reacting. The thing about Flashpoint is it’s not about how quick you are, but about how smart you are… that’s where the co-op comes in. You need to talk to each other to succeed in the game.

“It’s about working as a team. And it’s also about working with those four fireteam classes. I describe them as magic user, fighter, dwarf and elf, because that’s how different I wanted them to be. The grenadier, for instance, is my favourite. I like the MP5 and I like the grenade launcher. I like the physics of it- I love watching people go bouncing up into the air.”

The joy of watching people go bouncing into the air, eh? Do you feel Red River’s identity might have gotten a bit tangled up in the name of Operation Flashpoint, at some point? Do you feel it’s a little misleading?

“I don’t at all. I’m proud to have that name, that brand, and it’s got a great heritage. But it’s Codemasters’ IP, it’s our franchise, and it’s ours to do with what we will, and we want to blow it wide open. I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t make an Operation Flashpoint RTS game.

“The way we look at it from a brand point of view is that we have what we call the core DNA of Flashpoint, which is things like authenticity, global superpowers, tanks and choppers- we’re not CoD, you know? We have more open levels, we give the player choices- that’s the core DNA of Flashpoint. I hate using the word reboot, but it’s kind of what we did from Colin McRae to DIRT, or from ToCA Race Driver to GRID. You’ve got to try something new. I can’t stand stagnation. You’ve got to just keep changing stuff.

“You know, if people want to say ‘Ohh… but… bring back Flashpoint’, I’ll tell you- there are other games out there, made by the original developer, that do it! It’s like- play that game! No-one’s putting a gun to your head and making you play this game. Knock yourselves out!”

After my interview I’m assigned to an entirely different group of gamers. Pros, this time- fans of Dragon Rising plucked from Codemasters’ forums. It is, predictably, a world apart from playing with people new to the game, and everything Codemasters are shooting for becomes clear.

Red River’s still a lighter game than the original Flashpoint or Arma II, with a forgiving healing mechanic, closer range firefights and less nerve-wrackingly dangerous AI, but there’s still all the room in the world for you and your friends to play soldier, and with Red River Codemasters are refining that into something more structured and much prettier, wiith a more entertaining and personality-driven single player campaign.

The vets and I are playing a game of Rolling Thunder, the four of us having bundled into a single one of the convoy’s armed humvees. The attention to detail in its interior is awesomely immersive, and outside the window Tajikistan’s lunar landscape leering at us from out of the window. We’ve been silent for some 20 seconds when the blast from an RPG erupts just next to the lead convoy vehicle, leaving it momentarily balanced on two wheels. With… not quite precision, exactly, but certainly enthusiasm, the four of us go flying out of our humvee and begin fanning out across the landscape, dropping to one knee or going prone behind houses, in ditches or in thick patches of grass. “I’ve got a visual,” calls our rifleman. A beat passes, followed by the faint pop of a rifle. “He’s down,” calls our scout.

The next half an hour passed in a haze of excitement and vague interpretations of military tactics (“I’ll cover you!” “Flanking them!”), climaxing perfectly with us calling in the chopper at the end of a brilliant run of a Fire Fight map, only for one of our number to be crushed like a paper bag when the extraction helicopter landed on top of him. And it wasn’t even me.

All told, I had a great time. Red River might not appease anybody upset with the direction Codemasters are taking Flashpoint, but it certainly seems like a much more competent product, ready and able to tap into some of the ennui surrounding Call of Duty. When this game lands at the end of April, I’ll be very keen to take a closer look.

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94 Comments »

  1. Rhodri2311 says:

    This actually looks ok but I don’t think I’ll ever trust codemasters again after how they messed up flashpoint so royally, then simply dumped it after 6 months. Terrible, after-support deserves no fan support.

    • ShawnClapper says:

      I agree completely. I think companies shouldn’t be able to just come out with a new game and all is forgiven. All too often it seems a company decides to just make a new game and cash in on that before taking the time to fix the old game customers have already bought into. I don’t care how good you think your new product is, if you have already treated me like crap in the past.
      Companies need to know that working with your existing customers is important, instead of cutting all strings and jumping to the next new game.

    • Commisar says:

      if you want a great mil sim game, get Arma 2 and its expansions

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      Well I must say that I agree with this I dislike the fact that they jumped up and down so much about ArmA and ArmA 2 etc, claiming that their game was a sequel to OPFP, when clearly ArmA 2 has more inline with the old school sim em ‘up.

      My Props go to ArmA 2, They get my money Yay!
      Although this RR looks a lot better then DR ever did, it may appeal to some, but I’ve had my fill of these real-modern day spec shooters, Keen for some Serious sam and Bulletstorm!

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Arma 2 ran over 9000 times worse than Crysis on my Core I5 750 + AMD 5770 + 4gb RAM, and had broken textures/a broken gfx engine/felt utterly alpha.

      Left me completely disappointed.

    • notjasonlee says:

      arma2 has never been able to draw me back in, and this is my third time reinstalling it for some new mod that is supposed to be incredible but feels exactly the same due to the SHIT ASS SHIT FUCK CUKC AK AI. FUCKING AI I HATE YOU

  2. Joe Maley says:

    If they even want to consider reviving this franchise, they would give (at the very least) a significant discount to people who purchased OF:DR at full price.

    I’m still super mad about spending $40 on that garbage.

  3. Alex Bakke says:

    More games should contain Rudy Reyes.

    All games should contain Rudy Reyes.

    • Moni says:

      I would probably buy a game if it just had Rudy Reyes’s baby-oiled forearms on the cover.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      You would, wouldn’t you?

      Yeah. You would.

  4. CMaster says:

    I don’t quite get this idea you can’t have a serious simulation on consoles. Surely some people would love that sort of thing? I mean, it’s not going to sell CoD 9:MW 5: CLOGS numbers, but then in all likelihood neither will your CoD clone, unless you also spends 100s of millions on marketing.
    Anyway, sounds like this could be fun, but I’m not sure. Team-based tactical shooters can be great coop, but at the same time, the ethos seems to all be a bit crazy arcadey with a touch of war movie thrown in, and I’m not sure that TF2, Borderlands and UT don’t do that better really.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I think there is possibly scope for consoles to sport some of the most accessible FPSims due to the nanture of the controller and console gaming environment really. I mean, the biggest hurdle with the old OF and ARMA etc is that they are really rather confusing.

      Bringing such a thing to the console toys would have the advantage of very straight forward hardware. There are quite a few buttons on a controller really and I think there is scope for quite a lot of command function.

      Naturally, there would have to be some slimming down of functionality. An unfortunate side effect but not necessarily the end of the world. Handled correctly, with smart context sensitive controls i think it might work.

      Then, you’ve snuck in a heavy sim into the hands of the masses, comfy on their couches with intuitive control devices in their mitts.

      I HAVE A DREAM….

    • CMaster says:

      I wasn’t even talking solider sims necessarily.
      I was just struck by the idea that there was no space for say a flight sim, or a serious attempt at emulating racing, or space shuttles, or whatever on a console. Why? Some people already like these things, others would but need to try it. Are we seriously supposed to believe that there is no overlap between these groups and “people with access to an Xbox360 or PS3?”

    • ShawnClapper says:

      I think you might be on to something there CMaster. The PC has had a long history of being more “hardcore” than consoles. Originally it was because consoles mainly had arcade ports and arcade games needed to be quick so the next person in line could use their quarter. But that’s no longer the case. Maybe it is time for consoles to get some sim action.

      However I suppose another argument is that sim games in general don’t make sales. I’m disappointed that games like the Rainbow Six series have turned into “just another fps” from their roots of a hardcore tactical shooter, but it doesn’t change the fact they sold more copies than ever before once they decided to go arcade. So what company wants to make something only a handful of people are going to buy?

    • Sadraukar says:

      I really think it does come down to a lack of buttons on the controller for most of those sim types that you are talking about (in particular flight sims). I’ve been playing the new DCS: A-10 sim and it would just be impossible without a keyboard. I think this is why we see heavily streamlined flight games like Ace Combat or H.A.W.X. instead. No need to adjust trim, set flaps, or learn the intricacies of a laser range finding targeting pod system.

      Racing sims have been done and done well on both 360 and PS3 (Forza and Gran Turismo). In fact, I wish that we could get either of those franchises or something like them on the PC.

    • BobsLawnService says:

      The problem with simulations on a console is that you need precise control and plenty of buttons to simulate all the actions you typically have at your disposal doing pretty much anything. A console controller just doesn’t allow for this.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Forze is a great example actually. Because it’s both a sim and also and accessible arcadey racer if you want it to be.

    • EthZee says:

      To be fair, there are simulations on the consoles. I’d say something like Gran Turismo is fairly accurate, apparently, as far as driving simulators go.

      And as for mil-sims, there are titles like IL2 Birds of Prey, and the unfortunately much-ignored Apache: Air Assault. Both games which have some serious sim-handling going on, but with (optional) concessions to inexperienced players in the form of ‘arcade’ handling models.

      They’re not LOMAC or Black-Shark levels of authenticity, but they’re certainly getting there.

    • bill says:

      i wonder if it’s more about hopes than reality. It’s like the MMO space – you’d think developers would be trying to create original MMOs that don’t clash with WoW and which can have a smaller but profitable market. But they are all looking at the success of Wow and thinking “we could have that” and trying to create another Wow.

      Console devs are all looking at CoD and thinking “if we make a game like that we could be the next CoD!” – when probably the next huge console game won’t be anything like CoD.
      (then again, MoH sold a bunch and it was a total CoD clone… so maybe they’re onto something.)

      Personally, i think i have a different mindset when i sit down to play a console game and when i sit down to play a PC game, so i’m not sure i want the same type of game experience on each… but i’m sure some people would.

  5. GraveyardJimmy says:

    “You know, if people want to say ‘Ohh… but… bring back Flashpoint’, I’ll tell you- there are other games out there, made by the original developer, that do it! It’s like- play that game! No-one’s putting a gun to your head and making you play this game. Knock yourselves out!”

    Then why use the IP? The team themselves realise it is not faithful to the original. All it will do is push away those who couldnt ‘get’ the original and it will irritate those who did enjoy it. As far as i can see its a lose-lose situation.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Richard Beer says:

    I don’t know what you’re talking about when you say Op Flash wasn’t fun. Some of the most hilarious co-op I ever played was in OpFlash missions with a load of old clan mates, accidentally blowing each other up and so on. On one occasion, I actually laughed so hard that Jack Daniels & Coke came out of my nose.

  7. MiniTrue says:

    Operation Flashpoint is an extremely fun game, if you’re good at it. Isn’t this the case for every game, though? To say “it’s the definitive not-fun game” is just ridiculous. As an example, I don’t personally find racing games fun, but I accept that others do. Please don’t try and prescribe “fun”. I for one find OpFlash in its original form a dozen times more fun to play than any Call of Duty (since the admittedly rather good first installment of that franchise, that is).

    • ShawnClapper says:

      Yes, I don’t see that either. Operation Flashpoint (the original) IS fun and I still play it. Just had a big online game with friends this weekend.
      One thing I would say OFP has over other shooter games is water cooler stories. In a game like COD or TF2 when you die 100 times per minute, there really isn’t many instances that stand out as a cool story to tell someone. However in the pace of OFP there is always something good to tell:

      “I landed my helicopter next to the forrest where I knew the enemy was hiding. Crawling through the trees I spotted the enemy hiding and took him out. I didn’t realize there was another person hiding in the forrest though and before I could blow their head off, I took a bullet which crippled me from walking. I crawled out of the forrest toward my heli as fast as I could but once it was in sight I saw tanks barreling up toward my location. When I finally mounted my helo a shell shot blasted the ground next to me and barely destroyed it before I had a chance to take off. Finally in the air, with more enemies encircling me I pointed the nose toward the ground and got the hell outta there.”

      It’s those type of stories that make all the slower parts of the game completely worth it. When it’s constant shoot shoot/die die, nothing in particular stands out.

      I don’t agree with calling one “fun” and the other “sim”. I find what he is referring to as fun boring as hell myself and what he is calling boring I find fun as hell. Seriously my friends have never had more laughs than when playing OFP.

    • Wilson says:

      I thought that what was meant by ‘not-fun’ was that it was aiming to be a simulation over having lots of traditionally ‘fun’ elements. Not that the game wasn’t fun for some people (obviously it was) but that it did include elements which on their own weren’t there to be fun. Like the having to crawl when being shot in the leg. That isn’t fun, it’s annoying. Except within the context of the game, it is still entertaining.

  8. Ravenger says:

    I take it this was being demoed on a 360? If so it really should be disclosed in the article. If it was being played on a PC then my apologies.

    • Flakfizer says:

      I agree. Given the huge differences between console & PC versions of the same games it would be useful to know which flavour we’re tasting …

  9. GoldenNugget says:

    “I don’t at all. I’m proud to have that name, that brand, and it’s got a great heritage. But it’s Codemasters’ IP, it’s our franchise, and it’s ours to do with what we will, and we want to blow it wide open. I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t make an Operation Flashpoint RTS game.”

    It was BIS’ franchise and I can definitely see why you couldn’t make an OFP rts.

    Simulations aren’t about fun- they’re about immersion and providing an exact experience. But when I play games I like them to be fun. So we’ve been throwing buckets of fun into this game. Things like getting Sgt. Apone from Aliens to do the mission briefings. Points and scores- unheard of in the old military sims! ‘Simulation’ is almost a dirty word in the studio now. Authenticity, that’s fine. But realism, that’s another thing. Realism is facts without the fun, and authenticity is fun with the facts. That’s my take on it…”

    Sion never learns. This article was extremely difficult to read. Also grenadiers typically have a m16/m203 combination, not a MP5 and whatever else he’s going on about.

  10. Bilbo says:

    ““The one word I’d use to sum up Dragon Rising is ‘ambitious’,” says Sion.”

    That’s so funny, because the one word I’d use to sum up Dragon Rising would be “total and utter rubbish of the worst order that needs to be taken outside and shot repeatedly, that also manages to usurp Operation Flashpoint, the name of a game I once loved from developers who are still working hard at their craft but have to use the inferior title “Armed Assault” and honestly to assert that Dragon Rising’s failure stemmed from its ambition is laughable hogwash, so get out of here”.

    Oh wait, that’s 71 words. My mistake.

    • Premium User Badge

      Joshua says:

      Two things. One of them minor.

      The first: There is such a thing as ambitious but rubbish. It is a pity there was a screw up, but there is no reason to start blindly hating the people behind Dragon Rising. The new Arma games don’t really live up to the original either, especially in the SP section. If you really hate OFP so much, don’t put so much energy into hating them. Play Arma instead. There’s an RPS server.
      Just don’t Friendly Fire me :P.

      The Second: It’s called Arma. ARMA. As in the Latin word for warfare. Not ‘Armed Assault’, you should know that by now… And it’s in no way an ‘inferior title’. What makes an title inferior?

    • Bilbo says:

      A) Yes, but if you’re picking ONE word, pick the right one. Besides, I *do* play “Arma” (which I always assumed was a contraction of ARMed Assault), and I generally think since it’s the real sequel it should be allowed the right title. Incidentally, this answers
      B) “Armed Assault” is an inferior title to “Operation Flashpoint X” for the same reason that “Soldier Man” is an inferior title to “Call of Duty X” – if you’re trying to establish a brand you don’t change names voluntarily.
      I don’t “hate the people behind Dragon Rising”, I just think Dragon Rising was a fucking appalling game that had about as much to do with Operation Flashpoint as Desperate Housewives has to do with Prime Minister’s Questions.

    • Nick says:

      To be fair, Dragon Rising was offensively bad.

    • Wilson says:

      Edit: Ignore that, I misread the conversation. Duh! Although I might have described the Arma name as unknown compared to Flashpoint rather than inferior, since that suggests you don’t think it’s such a good name in terms of quality, when you meant that it put them at a disadvantage to not have the recognition that Flashpoint had.

    • Bilbo says:

      @Wilson Yeah, that’s what I meant. I didn’t phrase it very well.

  11. Brumisator says:

    Well at least the creative director is not a moron, and knows why they failed in the past.

    Good things could come of this, and I won’T be dropping my Arma2 for this.

  12. Premium User Badge

    RaveTurned says:

    “I hate using the word reboot, but it’s kind of what we did from Colin McRae to DIRT, or from ToCA Race Driver to GRID. You’ve got to try something new.”

    So why call it OpFlash? Why not just change the name to RAID or some-such and have done with it?

  13. ghost4 says:

    I read the interview but all I saw was “herp derp herp derp.” Clearly this game has nothing to do with OFP, and they’re just using the “brand” to maybe get more sales. Pitiful.

  14. Legionary says:

    If only you could talk to the insurgents.

  15. Inigo says:

    I realise this is may be unfair as I have not met the man personally, but the way Mr. Lenton talks makes me want to shove a frenzied Rottweiler up his arse.

    • Sassenach says:

      I did suspect that the interview had maybe been edited to deliberately make him look foolish, and cannot remember similar instances of this suspicion associated with RPS. That poor word ‘authenticity’ never knew what hit it.

  16. scut says:

    Let me preface my upcoming hateful comment by stating that I’d probably rather play Red River than Arma II, I tend to enjoy games that lean on the fun side rather than the simulation side these days.

    As soon as I read “core DNA” my blood runs cold. That’s the exact sort of bullshit term that hack designers and marketing goons vomit out on a daily basis. It’s utterly meaningless. It’s a way of alluding to a heritage when there is no real connection. It’s a cloak. Cut the shit.

    Stop talking to your customers like we are children or shareholders. If head office forces you to label a product with an acquired IP, fine, just do your job I guess, but don’t waste your time covering for your bosses. Talk about what makes /your/ game good. Talk about the game.

    • Dominic White says:

      “Let me preface my upcoming hateful comment by stating that I’d probably rather play Red River than Arma II, I tend to enjoy games that lean on the fun side rather than the simulation side these days.”

      Then you should probably still play Arma 2 anyway.

  17. CalleX says:

    “You know, if people want to say ‘Ohh… but… bring back Flashpoint’, I’ll tell you- there are other games out there, made by the original developer, that do it! It’s like- play that game! No-one’s putting a gun to your head and making you play this game. Knock yourselves out!”

    Yea.. but.. your naming the game OPERATION FLASHPOOINT! Duh…

    • ShawnClapper says:

      I know more than one person who was confused and bought the sequel instead of ARMA because they don’t follow gaming news and thought it was going to be like Cold War Crisis.
      They know their fooling customers. There’s probably still a bunch of people out there that don’t even realize what ARMA is.

    • Premium User Badge

      Joshua says:

      But then i’d become just like Call of Duty! The same thing over and over again… People generally seem to loath that because of lack of innovation, and now people think OFP is… innovating too much.

      Blergh.

    • ShawnClapper says:

      But…it’s not innovating. Arma Innovated on the mechanics of OFP as well as ARMA II took some more steps forward in gameplay.
      The codemasters OFP is a completely different game than the original OFP but it’s moving AWAY from originality, not toward it.

  18. jplayer01 says:

    I’m looking forward to this. Dragon Rising was a mess, here’s to hoping they’ve learned from their mistakes.

    • P3RF3CT D3ATH says:

      Did you not read the article? They obviously learned nothing.

  19. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    Simulations are fun.

    The notion that a complexity and difficulty don’t equate to ‘fun’ is utter bullshit, it’s a different brand of it entirely.

    Which is why ArmA II was much more ‘fun’ than the mediocre middle ground that Dragon Rising was. Ugh.

  20. fer says:

    Was the Codies PR having a little sleep during this interview? Lenton’s needlessly combative comments about ‘our franchise’ either demonstrate an insensitive attitude towards the decade-old OFP/ArmAx community, or a desire to alienate that same group so the ‘reboot’ can build an entirely new following. If it’s the latter, why bother drawing on the OFP name at all? Such a disingenuous move will likely undermine the reception the title might otherwise have received as a standalone IP.

  21. Xiyng says:

    I’d find it much easier to respect the game if they didn’t actually call it ‘Operation Flashpoint’.

  22. HeavyStorm says:

    Triple A Commercial game, right? So why should I buy this one instead of, say, Battlefield 3? With Op. Flashpoint, I knew I was buying a game no one else was doing, but now, I think that, while “fun” (how they like this word, huh?), this game will be yet another war shooter. Like we needed more, right?

    • GT3000 says:

      BF3 isn’t out in April. Which means Steam sale within 3 months of launch.

  23. westyfield says:

    “‘Simulation’ is almost a dirty word in the studio now.”

    Interesting, because ‘Codemasters’ is a dirty word amongst mil-simmers as well.

    • Ravenger says:

      Ironic, because in Codemaster’s 8-bit heyday they were famous for releasing games with ‘Simulator’ in the title which weren’t simulators at all.
      A common joke at the time was their next title was to be ‘Simulator Simulator’.

  24. mcol says:

    I enjoyed Dragon Rising, I only played coop with a friend, and we had a great laugh. Arma2 has always been a bit inaccessible and serious faced for our tactical style shooter needs. Op Flashpoint (at least the modern incarnation) fills that notquitesoserious niche.
    Certainly buying this. I played and loved the originals, but I don’t care for all the naval gazing about what they’ve done, or plan to do, with the Op Flashpoint name. I like what they’re doing currently, and slightly bemused at some of the rage.

    • Bilbo says:

      It isn’t navelgazing – we’ve established that you aren’t a fan of BiS’s games, but the detractors are, and what Codemasters are doing is hugely offensive to us. You like the game – good for you – leave it there.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I liked both. The idea that the franchise belongs to Bis is a silly one. It’s not, it belongs to Codemasters.

      Arma is fantastic and it wouldn’t be any better if it was called Operation Flashpoint. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

    • Bilbo says:

      It isn’t particularly silly – it’s the same argument as 2K’s new alien shooting game being called X-Com. It’s needless, and it pisses on the fans.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @Bilbo
      XCOM looks promising and is clearly inspired by the previous series. Who are you to say that every brand must re-iterate the same exact genre over and over?

      No one flipped their shit when Halo Wars was announced. No one flipped their shit over Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. Try to be a little more open-minded.

      Making a terrible game, or lying about the game during development, is “pissing on the fans”. Not a simple genre change.

  25. GT3000 says:

    Sure is a lot of butthurt going on in here..Operation Flashpoint as we knew it is now called “Armed Assault.” Why is this a problem? This isn’t the first or last time someone has warped a series beyond recognition. Our bullshit tolerance should’ve been nigh unstoppable at this point, people.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      +1
      If I want to play Operation Flashpoint, but modern then there’s ArmA.
      This might be an attempt to cash in on the name but isn’t this the sort of thing we expect from a big company like codies?

      And on a different note, if you like OFp or this sort of thing, then you ought to go watch Generation Kill. It’s not quite as good as The Wire (it’s by one of the same writers), but it’s still damn good. I always thought the reference to the commander as Capone in Dragon Rising was a nod towards Godfather from Generation Kill.
      One thing OFp:DR got right was the radio chatter, certainly a step up from “Enemy! Man! 500 Meters!”.

  26. Premium User Badge

    Phinor says:

    You didn’t mention if they had FIXED the FOV or if the game is still completely and totally unplayable making anything and everything else completely irrelevant. It could be the greatest game ever but if it has Dragon Rising FOV, it’s all wasted effort.

  27. mlaskus says:

    I found the Dragon Rising to be a rather enjoyable game with terrible mission design. The campaign was incredibly boring, nowhere near as exciting as the campaigns of the original game.

  28. Jesse L says:

    Slightly off-topic…

    From the first paragraph: “…I’m pumped hard and tight like a bicycle tire. Soldiers! Camaraderie! Death!”

    I don’t always check who the author of an RPS article is until I begin reading it. Here I became mostly certain the author was Quinns at approximately the word ‘camaraderie’. I think I would have suspected the same even if I’d been on Eurogamer. Not sure why.

    It may be the peculiar mix of enthusiasm and the sexualization of inanimate, non-sexy objects.

    Edit: also, thanks for the preview. Sounds fun.

  29. bascule42 says:

    Damn, I thought you were going to do an impression of RR. Oh well.

  30. coldvvvave says:

    >Tajik restaurant

    Did you eat plov?

  31. Al3xand3r says:

    Is it a bit more like Ghost Recon? I thought the last one felt a bit like it. That is, not a COD deal but not a super realistic & unfun (to me) sim like ArmA either.

  32. Dominic White says:

    “There’s obviously a rich heritage of hardcore PC gaming in Flashpoint, and we tried to cater for that and make a console game, and personally? I don’t think you can do it.”

    Funny. Bohemia themselves did a fantastic port of the original OFP for the Xbox. Original Xbox, at that. It even had better graphics in places. And basic level editor/mod support. It was a full-featured hardcore military sim on an aged-at-the-time console.

    But apparently that’s just too hard to do on a modern system. Pffft.

  33. Sobric says:

    I bought Dragon Rising on a 90% discount, so I’m not that upset about how it turned out. Nonetheless, there is still something about Sion Lenton’s attitude in this interview that rubs me completely the wrong way.

  34. Juiceman says:

    Your gaming politics is petty and tiresome. This game sounds fun, therefore I will play it.

  35. konrad_ha says:

    I remember the teaser-trailer making Cod and MoH look like critical statements on the horrors of war. I’ll gladly pass on this one.

  36. Premium User Badge

    Joshua says:

    This game actually sounds like… ehrm… What I thought the new Medal of Honour was going to be. I’d love to see this game in full. My personal problem with Arma is that it’s focussing too much on the realism and not on providing… say… a decent campagin (leaving it up to the fans, mainly). This sounds like Wings of Prey, GRID, and all those semi-realistic games I love :D.

  37. Paul says:

    Sion Lenton is a fucking idiot.
    That is all.

  38. Ilinx says:

    I got as far as the words “aim assist”, then all the text seem to blur together and I awoke later feeling like I’d had the most horrible nightmare.

  39. Jimbo says:

    “You know, if people want to say ‘Ohh… but… bring back Flashpoint’, I’ll tell you- there are other games out there, made by the original developer, that do it! It’s like- play that game! No-one’s putting a gun to your head and making you play this game. Knock yourselves out!”

    You know, I don’t think the Kris Kringle approach actually works in real life.

    If it plays like the old Ghost Recon games then I’ll give it a go.

  40. baekgom84 says:

    I quite liked Dragon Rising. It’s not nearly as detailed as ArmA II of course, but I felt that the campaign was much more polished. I didn’t even get through the first mission of ArmA II – not because it was boring or buggy or anything, but because the dialogue and voice acting were so horrific that I simply couldn’t withstand it. Why on Earth a hardcore sim like ArmA would want to emulate Call-of-Duty-style theatrics, I have absolutely no idea. In that regard, the presentation of OF:DR’s campaign was far superior.

    As for “dumbing down” the experience of OF, I don’t really blame them; I think it’s a smart move from a business perspective. They’re clearly trying to carve a niche somewhere in between the Hollywood guns-blazing Call of Duty games and the hardcore ballistics-simulating ArmA.

    • BAshment says:

      The main problem i think people have is that using the ofp ip is quite disingenuous, as the game seems to stray quite far from the series sim roots.

  41. Madlukelcm says:

    Has anyone seen the trailer? Worst voice acting I’ve heard in a while.

  42. mda says:

    Haha. Love that the chopper could land on someone and kill them :D

  43. Dominic White says:

    Just to drive home how big a failure the previous OFP game was, here’s something to compare to.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGb2UGTl8UM

    Operation Flashpoint on the original Xbox, running a battle involving 160+ troops. OFP2 on the 360/PS3? The engine can only handle a couple dozen entities in the world at any given time. Such a scenario, even on VASTLY better hardware, would be impossible.

    • Premium User Badge

      Chaz says:

      But you can’t do sims on consoles!

      At one point BiS were talking about doing a 360 version of Arma 2, alas it never happened.

  44. Premium User Badge

    Chaz says:

    Well I’m certainly not getting this. They sold Dragon Rising off the back of a truck full of lies. A go any where open world, a dynamic campaign, destructable scenery and terrain, configurable weapon loadouts, these features were all talked about in the dev videos before the release, and yet the actual released game could hardly have been more different. The game engine looked great and the co-op worked well, but the rest of it felt like it had been frantically knocked together in a few months when it became clear they wouldn’t be able to deliver on their promises on time.

  45. krz9000 says:

    sion is a idiot that obviously cant handle the pressure and starts to talk BS whenever possible. the main problem is that infinity ward does close combat best and Dice the bigger style maps. flashpoint was best doing milsim type of games,…that was their nieche. that the sion idiot thinks that he can compete with COD and BF is beyond me. the only place for flashpopint to exist is the milsim genre and they proved that they cant deliver that. the sadest thing about all this is that bohemia cant deliver the milsim genre as well. arma2 is a ridiculously bugged game that delivers zero fun. sad times indeed. im just happy that dice and infinity ward know how to up their games. the bf3 footage and focus is excellent

    • BAshment says:

      “arma2 is a ridiculously bugged game”

      I have played arma 2 since launch, and have yet to come accross any of these game breaking bugs.
      maybe i am just lucky?

    • Dominic White says:

      Arma 2 was pretty buggy, but now? It’s hugely improved, runs WAY better than before (I haven’t upgraded this PC in about 4 years, and run it at high detail without issue), the AI is cleverer (without being unfair) and generally they’ve tuned it up to near-perfection.

      I’ve got the full Combined Ops install here – Operation Arrowhead with Arma 2 Vanilla added as an expansion, and both the British and Merc campaigns too. All of them run well. I’ve found it works a lot better as a singleplayer game if you set friendly AI to 80% accuracy, and enemy AI to 60, too.

    • Premium User Badge

      oceanclub says:

      I really must re-install Arma 2 with patches. I bought it on release on a whim (am not a mil-sim fan at all), and while I enjoyed the first mission, the slide-show that was the second put me off the game.

      P.

  46. Radiant says:

    The Tajik place on Brick Lane with the Soviet era rugs with the tank embroidery?

  47. RegisteredUser says:

    “There’s obviously a rich heritage of hardcore PC gaming in Flashpoint, and we tried to cater for that and make a console game, and personally? I don’t think you can do it. ”

    ORLY????????????????????????????????????

    head => desk

  48. notjasonlee says:

    operation flashpoint flying dragon or whatever was a day one purchase that i will regret for the rest of my life

  49. dsi1 says:

    “There’s obviously a rich heritage of hardcore PC gaming in Flashpoint, and we tried to cater for that and make a console game, and personally? I don’t think you can do it.”

    Sadly DICE is going to have to ruin BF3 before they learn this.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      yeah like you would know. this line of comment is so terribly useless and tiresome…

  50. SomeOneSaid says:

    Unfortunately I preordered this game and now wish I didn’t.
    1. You cannot manually save games on a PC which to me is just an extraordinarily stupid idea. This is the same as in Crysis 2 which is one reason why it was disappointing.
    2. You must be connected online even for the checkpoint saves to work.
    Why don’t the developers state this up front before the game is released? I would not have bought this game on these two factors alone.
    The opening scene to set up the story is just regurgitated propaganda about the “War on Terror”.
    After 10 minutes of play the whole bonehead grunt, redneck dialogue was too much, I could play it anymore.