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Far slower, more strategic and more realistic than most modern war shooters – Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising is fairly sure to find an appreciative audience. At its best, it's nerve-janglingly tense as you plot and then implement the next firefight – where decisions you make have very serious consequences. But be warned, it's not a game that gently welcomes those more used to running-and-gunning, and even for the hardcore, there are serious problems with awkward command menus for your squad and bland missions at the top of the list of minus points. Online, with friends, Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising really shows off its best side – and the game is probably best played through co-operatively. If you like playing co-op, or you don't mind trading moments of frustration for a smarter, slower war experience, this is recommended.
If you like your Hollywood arcade shooters, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising may not appeal to you at all. It offers a totally different and unique experience and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. If you can get past the game’s faults – namely it’s rather dated visuals, the horrible AI and its fair share of glitches – it’s a great experience. The multiplayer like the single player offers a different experience, but with two modes you have to question whether it has the legs to keep it in your graces for too long. That aside, the game’s truly saving grace is its 4 player co-op campaign and is definitely worth a try, but expect doses and doses of extreme frustration. It’s kind of worth it though.
The competitive and cooperative modes round out the game nicely, though they suffer from occasional bugs. For example, your gun may become temporarily invisible or you may shoot bullets that appear to hit enemies, but in actuality, they neither hit nor deplete your ammo count. Both of these can often be fixed by reloading, but there is a certain roughness that can detract from the realistic tone that the game tries to set. Despite its various issues, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising is largely successful in its endeavor. The environments and core action create a great feeling of tension and immediacy. The various weapons and vehicles also give you a great array of ways to accomplish your objectives. With a lengthy campaign and solid multiplayer action, Dragon Rising is a tough and engaging tactical action experience.
Those that can look around the shortcomings will discover a shooter that's definitely not too bad. It's unfortunate that the mountains of realism that was promised is almost completely killed off by the retarded AI. Those that want to check out this game would do best to get the PC Version due to better multiplayer and easier way of giving commands to the rest of your team.
For all its shortcomings though, Dragon Rising is still an extremely enjoyable game. Almost all of the time, its atmosphere holds up well and firefights feel as close to the real thing as you’ll ever want to be. Patient gamers who enjoy more tactical shooters will likely appreciate its strong points and look beyond the bugs and glitches. Those that prefer to run and gun should probably steer clear.
Tiraillé entre des envies de grand spectacle et son penchant pour le réalisme, le FPS de Codemasters hésite, tâtonne et trouve finalement son chemin. Avec sa campagne ardue et bien conçue (tant qu'on la traversera avec des joueurs humains en coopération), le jeu prend effectivement la forme d'une simulation light, idéale pour ceux qui souhaitent s'initier au genre et découvrir ce que le terme "tactique" signifie vraiment dans un FPS.
Even so, Operation Flashpoint offers a sobering counterpoint to the riotous action of the typical contemporary console FPS and as such is very welcome. As with Race Driver: GRID, with which it shares elements of its engine, some will find the concessions to reality go too far while others will say they don't go nearly far enough. There is, however, just enough range between its difficulties to appease both ends of the spectrum: those who want an unflinching recreation of island-based warfare, and those who want a manageable, mostly enjoyable military videogame. But its mild shortcomings ensure that, until Codemasters can fill its framework with a little more imagination and purpose, neither group will come away fanatical about the effort.
Dragon Rising will not be for everyone. Many gamers will try it and be put off by the relentless hardness; a few may be put off by the ways it deviates from the previous game, or by strange concessions that deviate from realism. Still, plenty of others will love what they find, and there's certainly a chance that this game will completely open up what has long been a niche genre. For all its stumbling blocks, much of the core Operation Flashpoint experience has survived the transition from PC to console. For this achievement alone, Codemasters deserves our respect.