Stand back people, this is one battle not for the weakened hearted
If you’re used to the Hollywood cinematics used in the likes of games such as Call of Duty and games where your bullet sponging armoury is your greatest ally then this game isn’t for you.
In Operation Flashpoint Dragon Rising, if you get a flesh piercing bullet through the leg, be prepared to limp your way across the battlefield. If you got shot in the shoulder and blood is gushing everywhere fast, you better fasten up the bandages or you’re going to die soldier!
This is combat on the battlefield like you’ve never seen it, through the eyes of a soldier with realism its intent purpose. If there’s one thing players will learn, it’s that a bullet in the wrong place will take your life instantaneously.
Dragon Rising takes place on a fictional island named Skira where political chaos has been home to the island since 1905. In a modern turn of events Russia’s involvement with oil on the island has caught the attention of China. You play as a leader of a four man US marine squad sent to Skira to stop China and Russia breaking out an inevitable war.
Skira Island is an impressive 220 square kilometres just ready to be explored. The draw distance is notable considering the sheer size of the sandbox environment. One flaw I have with the presentation is the loading times of the environment i.e. trees, bushes etc. The overall graphics and textures are good but not great, and on the whole outdated.
Squad commands are decently arrayed and ready to use if your AI team-mates actually obey what you ask them do. At frequent times I found myself loading the last checkpoint of a mission I was in because my AI team-mates were disobedient, jumping into enemy line of sight leaving me a one man army. In this game, one is truly the most lonely and dangerous number to come across.
This is combat on the battlefield like you’ve never seen it.
Players will really be pleased with the realistic shooting mechanics and weapon models replicating their real life counter parts. Ammo crates in this game are scarce, so if you’re all out of ammo you better hope your trusty pistol will save your life on the battlefield.
Missions in the campaign are relatively repetitive with only a moderate amount of missions with vehicles and helicopters. Depending on how many times you die in this game the campaign should last you at least 9 hours. Replayabilty of missions completed in the campaign can be accessed from the main menu under the name single mission.
On the other hand, there is the option to play the campaign online in co-op mode with 3 other friends. This is certainly less stressful than commanding the computer AI. At least the human players obey your commands and try not walk into enemy fire.
Seeing as this game was made with the same game engine (EGO Engine) that powered Race Driver Grid, you would have high expectations of the physics on the vehicles but in fact the vehicle handling and controls are atrocious.
In terms of multiplayer there’s not much here, just your standard team death match and infiltration. To make matters worse, console owners only get 4 on 4 multiplayer matches in comparison to 16 on 16 multiplayer matches on the PC.
One abnormal occurrence that happened when I was playing team death match was a missing model of my weapon. It was almost as if it vanished within the first minute of playing online, and the issues didn’t stop there. During a team death match my entire squad was shooting this one guy for ages and he just wouldn’t die. It’s issues like this that ruin the online experience, but none the less will more than likely be resolved with an update or patch.
This is a tactical military shooter that fans of the genre don’t want to miss. This is as real as it gets, there’s no reward for being a hero, the fact that your still breathing is a reward in it self. If you try to be John Rambo on the island of Skira you will most certainly be John Doe without hesitation.
One of the core features of this game is playing on hardcore difficulty in the campaign. In Hardcore there’s no HUD, compass or cross-hair just the map, truly suited towards the hardcore Operation Flashpoint fans. This is a true soldier simulation; all you got is your iron sight and the 220 square kilometres of Skira.
Put aside the graphics and cumbersome AI you’ve got the most realistic tactical shooter to date that has definitely captivated its goal and audience. This realistic approach no doubt brings intensity and rewarding gameplay for players who are willing to give this shooter a chance.
Most importantly though, this is not an easy game even on normal difficulty. With pace comes satisfaction, while loading your last checkpoint isn’t exciting, it definitely drives you to the challenge of overcoming Dragon Risings nut cracking campaign.
The Bad: Cumbersome teammate and enemy AI; Outdated Graphics for today’s standard; Glitches and bugs within the game;