Conflict: Denied Ops
Last year quite a number of decent shooters saw the revue. Top games like Call of Duty 4 managed to surpass our expectations and whether we’ll be as lucky this year is something we’ll just have to hope for. Conflict: Denied Ops is already one of the first to see the light of day in 2008. Lock and load!
The first thing you’ll notice when playing Conflict: Denied Ops is that many elements from other games are present. It looks like a mix from the “Delta Force”-series, Call of Duty 4 and Soldier of Fortune. The gameplay therefore sometimes feels a little aged and unfortunately the whole experience is very linear. Although it’s all quite recognisable the game does have its charm and might even bring forth some nostalgic feelings for some.
You play a unit from the US Army that consists out of two people. A heavy black guy with a big machine gun, and a white one who packs a nice sniper rifle are in the spotlight. There are several loose campaigns that all more or less are connected to each other. The idea is to stop groups that trade in arms or drugs and although we’ve seen it all before in previous games, it does bring some nostalgia.
The missions play in very different climates which brings a lot of variation. One time you’ll be in cold Russia and another moment you’ll be shooting black people with sunglasses in Rwanda. As extra you can also play missions with vehicles so in warmer countries you’ll for instance ride with tanks or amphibious vehicles while for instance Russia will let you control a cool hovercraft. The addition of these is also done in an oldfashioned way. You can’t choose when to use them which automatically makes everything even more linear.
Very well-done is the AI and the switching between the two characters. If you’re hurt you can let the other one come reanimate you by calling out for him, or you take control of your partner and fight a way to you.
As previously said, the main gun (sniper or machine gun) depends on the character but each time you finish a mission you get new upgrades like for instance a new kind of grenades that can be unlocked, but this doesn’t really help much.
The gameplay is more or less a mix between stealth and full frontal combat, but mostly the latter. At times you’ll be able to go ahead really quietly, but you’ll quickly get noticed and the rest of the time you’ll just be shooting at anything that moves. This is too bad as you know in advance that you won’t make it far before an alarm starts.
To see enemies in dark environments you’ve got night vision and this is something you can really use well. Also the surrounds help you to survive, they’re filled with barrels of fuel and bottles of gas that you can let explode so your opponents starts burning like torches and end up as little piles of ashes.
Graphically the game can be compared a bit with Saint’s Row. It all looks a bit more drawn and this also gives a more aged feeling which this time is clearly a negative. The cut-scenes on the other hand are very beautiful and impressive. The devs did make work of several details and there are a lot of things in the surroundings that can be destroyed.
Personally, I wasn’t all too impressed with the sound. The weapons sound a bit numb and there’s quite a lot of background music present that starts to become a disturbing factor after a while. On the other hand, the environment sounds are quite good.
Conflict: Denied Ops is not an easy game to give a conclusion about. On one side the well-known approach of gameplay will bring back nostalgic feelings to certain people, but this will be quite a negative point for others. The game does have a pretty long single player mode but this is necessary due to the lack of life in multiplay. If you don’t mind the oldfashioned gameplay combined with beautifully scripted events and cruel endfights you might want to give this one a try