Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis - PC
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Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis is a first- and third-person tactical combat game set in 1985 detailing a fictional conflict between NATO and the Soviet Union. As a soldier fighting against the Soviets, you're on the frontline of the conflict and charged with a number of missions, including sabotage, recon, combat, assassination, and fending off enemy attacks. The game is very successful in its approach, but stumbles when it forces you to play vehicle-only missions where you control a tank, an attack helicopter, or an A-10 tank killer.
Over the course of the game's 50 single-player missions and campaigns, you'll assume several combat roles, running the gamut from a grunt armed with an M-16 to a tank commander commanding an M1A1 Abrams tank into battle. The bulk of the game consists of you tromping around on foot in first- or third-person mode, and those missions are a great deal of fun. Firefights are intense, chaotic, and often confusing, and they capture what it must feel like to be an infantry soldier caught in a battle. In addition, the included multiplayer mode is a lot of fun, although it can lag at times.
Getting used to the controls can take awhile, and will definitely be a hurdle for folks used to the simple keystrokes of most action games. Everything is handled in a realistic manner: standing from the prone position takes a few seconds, the sight on your weapon bounces around as you move, and you can hear your soldier's labored breathing when you sprint across open ground. In fact, you can only sprint for a short distance before tiring (and slowing), which encourages players to make short advances from cover to cover--just like a real soldier. Even the gunfights are realistic: instead of the extreme close-quarters combat and bright crosshairs found in most action games, Operation Flashpoint challenges you to line up a faraway, crouching soldier in the fixed iron sights of a real-world rifle. Successful missions earn a promotion in rank for you and the men under your command; controlling your squad is simple and straightforward and involves just a few keystrokes.
On the downside, the difficulty with the complex controls is compounded a million times when you play as a tank commander, where you must issue move and fire orders to the rest of the tank crew. These missions are very frustrating, especially because you can only save once per mission. Because of that, you'll find yourself replaying the tank missions again and again and again.
Operation Flashpoint sports a decent graphics engine that is capable of rendering massive and realistic outdoor areas. These large areas really make you feel like you're part of a huge battlefield, complete with forests, scrub, and dozens of vehicles and soldiers. The price you pay is in the form of blocky player models and pixilated plants. In addition, graphical glitches, such as soldiers' heads being on backward, rear up from time to time.
Fans of quick-twitch games such as Quake III will probably be turned off by Operation Flashpoint's realistic gameplay and slower pace. Everyone else will find an exciting, engaging, intense cold war combat game. --Kilmic Robbins
- Intense action
- Decent AI
- Multiplayer is a blast
- Realistic combat
- Accurate representations of 1980s military technology
- Vehicle-centric missions stink
- Control takes some getting used to
- Only 1 save per mission