Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising is a 1st person shooter war game. It features the most realistic gameplay ever created, while employing military tactics and strategy. It takes place in a future war between Russia/America and China.
Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising is unlike any other 1st person shooting game around. The main reason for this difference is due to its extremely realistic gameplay. It is completely opposite of the Halo or Call of Duty series. It provides a new style of gameplay that is desired by many, but rarely found.
Graphics: The graphics provide a realistic game experience. The weapons are greatly detailed, as is the landscape and terrain. The soldiers on either side move relatively smoothly and have distinguishable characteristics. No soldier looks alike, whether the variety comes from the weapons each carries or the way they fight in battle. Vehicles have a realistic look to them as well, from nearly any angle they are viewed. There is one minor problem associated with the graphics, which happens when hitting an enemy with a vehicle. The enemy is seen as simply as being pushed, not as being driven over. Other than that minor tweak needed, the graphics seem pretty solid.
Sound: This is where the realistic aspect is at its best. During gameplay, there no music, no extra sounds, just you and the communication between your team. Explosions and gun fire are pretty spot on, with each weapon having a unique sound. Vehicles have this same trait, with helicopters sounding much like the real thing. When giving orders to your men, the orders sound as if they are real, with military coordinates and lingo. To sum up, it provides the gamer with an experience as if he or she is one of the soldiers fighting at that moment.
Gameplay: As already stated, this is a one of a kind game. The three game modes are campaign, single player, and multiplayer. In campaign, you start off as a fireteam leader of an American force on the Russian island of Skira. Chinese forces have just invaded and Russia has called upon its ally to help win the battle. As the leader of the four man team, you are able to issue commands such as follow me, attack, defend, and flank. The actual command menu is detailed and has many options that allow you to deeply customize your attack. Each member of the team has a specific specialty, such as a medic, machine gunner, or engineer, as well as each member having special weapons and specific capabilities. To be straight forward, this game is not for those that are run and gunners. Operation Flashpoint requires patience, time, and well planned attacks. One shot from an enemy is all it takes to kill you or a member of your team. Health is not regenerated automatically, but requires a member of the team to bandage the wound to stop the bleeding. The friendly AI does not always work the best, but has its shining moments. The enemy AI on the other hand are extremely skilled and at times can seem impossible to beat. It is at this moment that the command menus become your best friend. Any struggle can be won by careful planning and great execution. Single player mode is where you are able to replay any single mission that you have completed. Mutliplayer has game modes such as co-op story, one on one battle, and four on four deathmatch. Each player is given control of a group of soldiers, with one selected as the master coordinator. They are able to issue commands such as one is able to do is the story mode. After that person has died, a new player is put in charge. Each player is also able to focus on a certain specialty, just as the story mode offers. One is able to be a sniper, marksman, engineer, or anti-tank specialist. Games are played and scored just like other team deathmatch style matches.
Replay Value: This game offers a great replay value for the sole fact the game is never the same. Each play through offers something different. The differences occur in enemy forces, friendly forces, and general gameplay. It makes every playthrough unique.
Learning Curve: Most shooting games out there are arcade style or lack realism. Due to this there might be a slight learning curve for some players. They must get used to the realistic bullet damage and tactics needed to win a mission. After this is overcome though, the gamer has the best possible experience with the game, since there is a great amount of variety and freedom.
Extras: The game has seven secret missions/downloads. The codes can be found online by just simply searching them. The extras include: OFPWEB1 ( Encampment), OFPWEB2 (Debris Field), AmbushU454 (Ambush), CloseQ8M3 (Close Quarters), StrongM577 (Coastal Stronghold), RaidT18Z (Night Raid), BLEEDINGBADLY (Fire Team Engagement). Each of these adds to the excitement of completing the missions.
Overall: Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising is part of a new genre of games that focuses on realism and true warfare. It provides players with accurate weapons and known military formations. There might be a learning curve of getting used to the gameplay, which is nearly opposite of games such as Halo and Call of Duty. After this curve is conquered though, the player will enjoy the game with its great variety and freedom. I highly recommend this game and believe any fan of realistic games must have this one.