Operation Flashpoint

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a game by Codemasters
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 2 reviews
User Rating: 7.3/10 - 12 votes
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See also: First Person Shooter, Operation Flashpoint Series
Operation Flashpoint
Operation Flashpoint
Operation Flashpoint

The Operation Flashpoint series tends to be one that you either love or hate. The game I am looking at today is the first game in the series, Cold War Crisis which was released the better part of 20 years ago as I write this! I know that shooters of this age tend to have a hard time aging gracefully. However, the fact that this game was trying to be a more realistic type of war game at the time really made it stand out.

Making Up History

While “realism” was a real goal of what was intended with the Operation Flashpoint series. The conflict that you are part of in the game is not. We have a “Cold War” storyline, but it is a fictional war that has the USA and the Soviets at each other’s throats on a bunch of made-up islands. While this was ok for the time, I do feel that they could have gone a bit more realistic in the setting of the game, especially as realism is what they were going for with the gameplay.

Bowling Shoe Ugly

Much of the press this game got when it was first released back in the day was to do with the graphics. Not because they were amazing and showing why gamers needed a PC over a console, quite the opposite actually. The first Operation Flashpoint is not a good-looking game at all. The textures are muddy, the whole game has a very low budget feel to it in every single regard.

This was released at a time when shooters were starting to get more cinematic and as a result, it makes the whole game have a very barebones kind of vibe about it. This is a real shame as even though the conflict is not a real one, I think they could have come up with a fun modern (well for 2001) Cold War style story.

Making Each Shot Count

I would wager that more than half the people who fire this game up for the first time, turn it off after a short while due to the brutal difficulty! This game is all about trying to be realistic. As a result, you cannot just soak up bullet hits like you can in a Call of Duty game. You get hit in the arm; it is harder to aim. You get hit in the leg; you have to crawl. You get hit in the head…. Well, you are dead! This kind of thing is not for everyone, but it does make you think and you cannot rush in.

You play as part of a squad and sometimes you are just a cog in the war machine and other times you are in charge and need to give out orders. You can play the game in first and third-person views which is cool. There is no radar showing where you are being shot from or anything like that to help you! Each mission has its own objectives such as destroy this, protect that, and so on. You get a briefing before each one that lets you know what the objectives are.

I will say right now that Operation Flashpoint is a shooter that is not for everyone. You have to be willing to really invest some serious time in order to get good at this game. It is brutally difficult, to the point where you will probably not be having fun at all. It is an older game that feels like an older game if that makes sense. I have played many other “realistic” first-person shooters over the years that have managed to be hard but also be fun at the same time.

7

Final Score

Pros:

  • There is a decent selection of weapons
  • I like the idea of this Cold War
  • The game is very rewarding when you manage to “get it”
  • Plenty of missions to do
  • You can play in first and third-person

Cons:

  • The game is very light on fun
  • It has aged very badly in pretty much every regard

Download Operation Flashpoint

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Overview

News Flash! 1985 -- A new Soviet regime has seized control of an island community and underground resistance groups have mobilized in opposition. The new Soviet government, unable to fight the resistance groups has called on NATO to act as a peacekeeping force and help restore order to the region.

Welcome to Operation Flashpoint (OFP), where you get to step back to the era of the cold war in Codemasters huge first/third person strategy and shooter game. You assume the role of Private David Armstrong who is going through basic training on the island of Everon. You’ll take control of Pvt. Armstrong through 30+ missions that will have you assaulting small towns, commandeering vehicles and launching sniper attacks. One of the best aspects of the game is the fact that you get to operate so many different types of vehicles. There are jeeps, tanks, helicopters and many more vehicles that aid you in squashing the rebels. Played in either first or third person perspective, OFP is comprised of three sections. You have single mission mode that lets you choose individual missions. You then have campaign mode, which is by far the best way to go because of the cinematic storyline that unfolds before you. The last mode is of course Multiplayer which lets up to 16 people wage war with each other or work cooperatively. If that still isn’t enough for you, then maybe the mission editor that lets you add even more replay value will convince you. Anyway you look at it, Operation Flashpoint is a huge game that will have you itching to get on the battlefield.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

When I say this is a thinking man’s shooter, I’m not kidding in the least bit. If you try to be Rambo in Operation Flashpoint you’ll find yourself in a black body bag being shipped to the USA, next day air. Cooperation from your computer controlled squad mates is a must for survival. From the very first mission until the last, the storyline sucks you in and makes you want stay until the very last bullet is fired. The last time I became so immersed in a storyline was with Max Payne.

Controlling the game is a lot like any other first person shooter, you generally use your mouse and keyboard together to maneuver your character. The vehicles that you can operate can also be controlled with this method but joystick and gamepads are also an option. One slight negative would have to be the huge amount of keystrokes you have to remember. As a soldier, you’re able to communicate with your squad, so there are radio commands that must be learned. Once you become a squad leader you then have to also issue orders, so combine that with the radio keys and the movement and firing keys and there is a whole lot to remember. The other negative has to do with how the story was scripted. OFP is very rigid in regards to how the story unfolds; you must go from point A to point B and then C. If you veer too much either way the story doesn’t push forward -- this frustrated me at first, but once I understood the idea behind the plotline, it was easy to progress in the game. Both of the negatives I mentioned don’t really take away from the game at all. You’ll find yourself following your character, David Armstrong, through all the missions of the cold war with immense attention.

Multiplayer

I tried unsuccessfully four times to play online at Gamespy, but my latency was way too high for most people to tolerate me in the game room. I can say this though: I’ve played a lot of Rainbow Six and Counter-Strike online and thoroughly enjoyed myself and I see no reason why Operation Flashpoint would be any different. I suspect OFP might even be better just because the sheer size of the maps will make for some great firefights.

Graphics

At first I wasn’t too sure about the graphics, but I quickly realized I’d been playing too much Max Payne and have become overly pampered. The attention to detail in Operation Flashpoint is wonderful. The actual characters in the game are nicely done. Everything from camo BDU’s to A.L.I.C.E backpacks are included on the player models, really giving you the feel of being an Army grunt. All of the weapons in the game were modeled very well. The M-16 looks like an M-16, as do the grenades, machine guns, sniper rifles and last but not least the RPGs.

As mentioned above, there are tons of vehicles in the game that you can drive or operate and this is where OFP sets itself apart from every other game. Every vehicle is done with great attention to detail -- gauges move up and down, steering wheels move back and forth, windshields crack and break.

The last section I’ll cover in the graphics is the terrain that you will encounter in OFP. Each map in the game seems so vast and huge. You will really get the feeling of being out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by heavy forest with the occasion dirt road. You’ll come across small villages, fuel depots, enemy bases and even a rebel base now and again. And all of this is done in beautiful first or third person view. The only negative thing I can find with the graphics would have to be that the colors seemed muted or dull, but after a serious game session you won’t even notice it.

Audio

I have one word for you about the audio. Wow! I was really blown away by the audio in Operation Flashpoint. Never before has the audio helped immerse me in a game like the audio has in OFP. While on patrol you will hear radio chatter from other units and, if things start going bad, you can hear the desperation in their voices. Teammates in your squad constantly report over the radio the current situation, enemies spotted and so forth.

The weapon sounds were very nicely done. You can definitely tell the difference when you’re firing an M-16 as opposed to an AK-47. Grenade explosions had me ducking for cover under my desk, peeking to see if anyone was left alive. All of the natural sounds such as birds, bugs and weather add to the feel of the entire game. Something that I thought was really cool were the sounds from your character in the game. When you’re running over long distances you obviously get winded. It was really cool to hear the character breathing heavily from the exertion of running and then to hear his breathing slow after a bit of rest. All in all, I would have to say great job on the audio because it really sucked me into the game even more.

System Requirements

Win 95/98/ME/2000, PII 450Mhz or better, 64MB RAM, 450MB hard disk space, DirectX 8.0, 3D Graphics Card with 16 MB RAM, 16bit Sound Card, 8X CD-ROM, and a Modem.

Bottom Line

I’m going to make this really simple for everyone. Go out and buy Operation Flashpoint, you will not be disappointed. OFP provides hours and hours of fun gameplay that will have you staying up way too late and ignoring your spouse. This is one of the most enjoyable first/third person shooters to come along in a long time. On that note I’m going to give the game a score of 92/100. Sorry I can’t talk more, but I have some Russians that are trying to take over a small village. Jeez, it’s tough saving the world!!

Snapshots and Media

PC Screenshots