Gorbatsjov is proclaiming Perestroika, Reagan is putting his best performance as an actor as President of the US, and you are a grunt soldier trying to stop some rampage Soviet troops invading your country.
Yep, you’re playing Operation Flashpoint : Cold War Crisis.
And cold war it is… While you are on training (you’re a really stupid US grunt soldier) you get the news that some renegade Soviet troops don’t really care about Gorbatsjov’s Glasnost and Perestroike and are trying to invade your country. It’s up to you and your fellow combat soldiers to stop them.
That’s about the story of OF, there’s more but I’m not going to spoil it for you.
The game has gotten alot of hype before it was released and seeing most of the comments, the hype was quite justified. OF has some really neat aspects and it’s one of the most realistic tactical shooters ever released.
The team behind Cold War Crisis are a bunch of Czech developers who’ve all served in the Czech army and have taken their own experience as a background for the features in the game, and it shows.
Everything you see in the game is made extremely realistic. From the weapons towards vehicles to even the atmosphere when you’re hiding because some snipers are trying to but a bullet in your head.
So what makes Operation Flashpoint so special ?
Well, next to the realism, the fact is that you can use about every vehicle you come across, going from a normal army jeep to tanks and even helicopters. I don’t think any other game has ever succeeded in doing that.
Don’t think that this is so great though. Driving an army truck for instance has nothing special about it. That’s where the realism spoils the fun a bit in my opinion.
There’s technically absolutely nothing wrong with the game. The graphics are good, the gameplay is well-done and the AI is above standard, but still I didn’t really enjoy playing the game.
Before you start flaming me, I’ll tell you that it’s probably me. Let me explain.
The cut-scenes can be somewhat dull, the missions are sometimes plain boring (getting a truck to the rest of your troops is defenitely not something I call exciting) and since there’s only 1 saving possibility per mission, you sometimes find you getting killed, having to play over the whole sequence before you get into combat (which sometimes is a pretty long time).
The problem that I have with the extreme realism is the fact that one sometimes gets frustrated with it… For instance : you’re running towards a certain point during nightfall and suddenly you’re laying on the ground, bleeding to death… no idea where the sniper is located, no idea from where he shot you… No warning what so ever…
Of course, this is realism. In real life one does not see a sniper sitting in a barrack 3 miles ahead, but it does make the game a bit less enjoyable.
Also, the sound is not always as it should. When you’re giving or getting commands in combat, the voices constantly sound like they’re given through a radio which was made in the 1950’s, even when your captain who is giving you the orders is running right next to you.
When you’re reading this text, you might wonder why the game still gets 79% since most of what I’m saying is pretty negative.
The answer to that is pretty simple. I’m here to give an objective view of what I’ve seen and to be honest : Operation Flashpoint is a great game if you’re into this type of realistic FPS. Don’t bother buying it if you’re looking for a shooter where you can just sit back and start blasting everything that moves, having infinite ammo and no-one to look out for.
In Operation Flashpoint, as said earlier, you start off as a grunt who has to follow orders, but while you gain experience, you’ll get to give orders to a team of soldiers yourself aswell. You’ll have to tell them what to do and make sure that you and your crew don’t get killed while trying to succeed in the mission.
Also, don’t think that shooting the enemy is an easy job… you have to aim really careful and if you try shooting while you’re running, you might just aswell throw away your bullets because the chance of you hitting your target is just as much as you winning the grand price of the lottery.
All in all, Operation Flashpoint is the number 1 game for those that like realism in tactical shooters, but don’t bother if you’re looking for a Soldier-of-Fortune type of game.