XBOX Reviews

Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising Review

There was once a time when the only way to catch a glimpse of what modern warfare was like was to enlist in the army. If risking life and limb for queen and country doesn’t really float your boat then you will be happy to hear that the new wartime simulation, Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising, does an impressive job of creating a realistic and immersive environment for you. Don’t expect to find any power ups on your travels and be aware that without healing a bullet wound to the leg could kill you. This game is about staying alive.

The single player campaign mode boasts 11 levels spread across the impressive 220 square kilometre map. You will find yourself upon an island that has suffered a long history of conflict between Russia and China. An intro video will give you some insight into the history of the area and where you come into the picture, but this is the last video that you will see. The information for each successive mission will be provided to you in the form of briefing screens, giving you just the information that you need for the task in hand.

Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Review isn’t a game that you will complete too quickly, with each mission lasting up to, or even longer than 30 minutes. And that’s if you decide on an easy setting! Up the conflict to the most difficult level and you won’t even enjoy the benefit of a HUD. No matter how many first person shooter games you have experienced you are still likely to find that Dragon Rising poses a challenge. For one thing, if you are unfortunate enough to be killed in the line of duty you can’t expect to learn what doesn’t work because your enemies will behave differently.

Unfortunately one area that tends to let this title down is that of the all important AI. As an example, let’s say you have a comrade lying wounded on the field, it might seem like an appropriate lull in the battle for you to use the “treat wounded” command, only to find your precious medic darting across an open field looking for safer ground.

Never fear however, as if you get sick of the less-than-perfect AI you can replace your comrades with three of your own buddies in a cooperative online game. Play out the entire campaign again with friends and even unlock shorter bonus missions, ideal if you only have a few minutes to play.

If working together seems too much of a trial then you can also take to the competitive online modes. The Annihilation and Infiltration modes both provide access for up to eight players as you seek to destroy the opposing team or defend your base respectively. There is still an AI element to the multiplayer mode, with each person having a squad of computer soldiers at their beck and call. While the same issues with the AI abound in this mode it is easily worked around and forgotten in the intense battles that you will find yourself in.

Even with its small bugs and annoyances, Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising still promises to be an incredibly immersive and tense experience, offering many hours of exciting gameplay.

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