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Sep
12
2009

A ‘Tanky’ Preview

Please be aware that the member in question hasn’t played the game but is basing he’s preview on video’s as well as other information currently available to us. Still, it’s very nicely written and may have some information previously unknown to you so enjoy.

[Tanky]

That Dragon Looks Awfully Like an Attack Chopper!A Preview of OFDR for Consoles by Community Member ‘tanky’

(please be aware that some of this will be info which other previews have access to but I fear that mine will be better written with less of the BS…it’ll certainly be no worse than what we’ve been reading!!)

In 2001, the world of gaming changed forever when Codemasters teamed up with Bohemia Interactive to bring us the mind-numbingly epic Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis. The game was cutting edge, ahead of its time. I remember standing in PC World with my dad, telekinetically willing him to part with his hard-earned for a big dirty Nvidia beast-card! It was for one reason alone…I wanted to do a McFly and travel back in time, back to a time of huge body-warmers, mullets, puffball skirts and most importantly, politico-military tensions between superpowers! For all you youngsters out there, this time was known as the 1980s.

The first Flashpoint saw us thrust upon a group of three islands to calm a pending international incident. The game itself was huge with plenty of missions, mods and places to cower from the Spetznatz. Among other things like driving vehicles and ordering a platoon to move on a target, it allowed the player to choose (to an extent) how to achieve the objectives set out by the commanding officers and the script was open-ended. I even remember allowing a grunt to drive me away from a successful fire-fight in one of the large forests, I’d been struggling with this mission, I finally got out alive and the guy crashed the damn jeep…back to the start!! This was realism on a level far superior to anything else before and, arguably since.

Now it’s 2009 and there’s trouble brewing in near-future Skira, a purpose-built oil-rich (need we say more?) island off the coasts of Japan and Russia (what’s with all the time travelling…I haven’t even seen a flux capacitor yet!?). Importantly, Codemasters managed to maintain the legal rights to the brand following an acrimonious split with Bohemia Interactive, now this new Flashpoint (or Dragon Rising) promises to be even more spectacular than the first, even more brutal and ultra-realistic.

The developers have utilised every inch given to them by the powerful in-house Ego engine and the game features an impressive draw-distance of over 30k. On that note, the player can wage war on (and trek or drive around) some 226km2 of lovingly crafted land mass which will feature an array of buildings and abandoned installations including houses, farms and even an oil refinery. The game also features around sixty weapons and over thirty vehicles, each optimised down to the finest detail, audio and visual. Incidentally, the graphics are definitely above average and the sounds of war in the game will make you think you’ve crawled inside the barrel of a Howitzer just before someone yells ‘Fire!’. You’ll also know when you’ve been hit because you and your men will die, probably slowly as you trundle towards your goals…better get some field dressings out!

Importantly, the player will be given control of three marines as his fireteam become tasked with accomplishing various objectives on the island (and the smaller island of Skirinka). These guys can fight like lords and will be controlled with an impressively deep radial menu which, like anything new to the FPS genre, will take a little getting used to, but it’s well worth it. About ten minutes after complaining because you sent your boys into an enemy stronghold when all you wanted was a tight spread V-formation, you’ll be ordering them to kick down doors and kick some PLA ass while they’re at it.

The single player game takes the player through eleven expansive missions with plenty of replay value added by the interesting difficulty settings which Codemasters have seemed particularly proud of in they’re Developer Diary video series. The default setting gives the player more help by having a full HUD including a target reticule, compass, ammo indicators and health information regarding the boys in your team. The next level up takes away some of this and Hardcore mode which “is turning it right up to eleven” according to lead producer Sion Lenton, strips out any semblance of the ‘help-me-at-every-turn’ HUD which some gamers perhaps expect as a result of the undoubtedly influential COD series. Gamers won’t become “bullet-sponges” because of the difficulty settings according to producer Tim Browne; instead they will just receive less help when it comes to taking on the might of the PLA.

The multiplayer game offers three modes of play. There will be a co-op mode available which allows the player to team up with three other humans and play the campaign game (though there is a tether distance of 275metres). ‘Annihilation’ will take the form of a more typical death-match, pitting four teams of four (one human, three CPU) against another four teams on the opposing side. ‘Infiltration’ is an interesting proposition which will see two teams of well-equipped spec-ops face off against six teams of ill-prepared grunts. Sparks will fly, my friends.

In terms of the fans of the game, one should expect to see the reinvigoration of the massive cult following which made the last game what it was. Having said that, the videos released by Codemasters seem to receiving a great deal of attention online, which suggests that there will also be a new glut of fans. Moreover, the forums are brimming with campers, happy AND unhappy- because it’s not out yet. There is little to no info on the release date of a demo but the game itself spawns in the US on the 6th of October and in the UK on the 9th. Very exciting times methinks.

In closing, I can’t wait to order my boys in to take down some other fool’s team online, nor can I wait to bust some PLA ass with the arsenal that Codemasters will be providing. See you on the battlefield, friends, shoot early, shoot often…actually that’s probably a bad idea in this game…PM me instead!

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