Operation Flashpoint: Red River Review

Two things in life that offend me; being yelled at by Muppet’s with serious ‘mommy’ issues and getting shot at, by anyone.  Anyone that shoots at me will offend me, you could have an eye out. These two reasons are why I never joined the forces.  I much prefer well… Not getting fucking shot for one!  I have always viewed the Flashpoint series as a more ‘true to life’ shooter, therefore to be totally honest I was slightly underwhelmed at the prospect of the new offering Red River.

However what true gamer can resist the temptation of four player cooperative play?  Not me!  Unfortunately for this title, its come around right in the middle of the whole Playstation Network issues.  So all I have to review is the single player mission.  With a little luck I can follow this up with a kick ass video review on the multi player Cooperative play, but for now – here goes with with the single player missions.  On my own, without friends…. sniff.

Operation flashpoint: Red River is tactical game play to the extreme.  I feel this is very much a marmit game, my friend and fellow gamer (who convinced me to pick this title up) lives for flashpoint. Me, not so much.  I like my video games to be totally over the top and unrealistic.  Otherwise I could just go sign up for the front line.  You are the team leader of ‘Bravo Team’, you can either leave your team mates to their own devises or issue orders as you go along.

Straight away I recognised that with four pals playing at the same time this would be more fun than sticking a live squirrel down your passed out drunk friends pants and giving him a nice big slap on the ass.  Without your pals your left with pretty dodgy A.I team mates who will follow your orders blindly without one bit of common sense.  “No no no Jim, the man with the large gun is shooting you. Might me an idea to get BEHIND THE FUCKING WALL”

You will be led into battle by your friendly Staff sergent, I think what codemasters were going for in this character is Jamie Foxx in Jarhead.  They almost got it, however for some reason they mixed this character with Droppy?!? For legal reasons? I hope.

Almost constantly he comes out with more and more pointless one liners, at least 90% of them will involve you being penetrated in some capacity.  Very odd bloke to be honest.

If I wanted to nitpick I could point your attention to the animation of your team mates faces.  Yes their mouths move however it makes no difference to their present situation their facial expression stays exactly the same.  Not much attention to detail here im afraid.

Moving onto game play, your tactical game begins before you even enter the battlefield. Your given your game setup page where you can add/change/upgrade your weapons.  All of this was learned via trial and error as there is no tutorial that I could find.  Codemasters assume that you are a veteran Flashpoint player… Which I’m not.

Oh my god Dave, your in a ROCK? MEDIC!

Once you have chosen your weapon setup its into battle.  Once you are ready, hit your start button and go make a nice cuppa tea.  It will be a while, loading times for this title are a little over the top.  The first mini mission as you would expect is the classic firing range job, to show you how to fire your weapon and a few basic controls.  All goes well then who would have thought it, it all kicks off and its off in the Humvee to your first mission.  Be prepared for your first speech from your ‘special’ staff Sergent.  There is no option to skip this and it takes a bloody age to get anywhere.

Now you could argue that this is all about keeping the ‘real to life’ feel of the game but after a while it does begin to just feel unnessasary.  I can see (or I hope I will see) allot of updates for this title as it can be very glitchy, first time I got shot and asked a team mate for help I woke up inside a rock… Not the best place to wake up to be totally honest but hey.

Speaking of your team mates, they are a funny bunch.  Both their and your enemies AI is dodgy at best.  Team mates have no common sense what so ever, you tell them to move and move they will.  But they will take cover in front of the wall rather than behind it and you know how that story ends.  This just reconfirms that I think this game really is designed just for cooperative play rather than on your lonesome.

Who ever was in charge of the script must have been having an off day, as your team talk

Job welldone, now to go do something weird to your sister...

goes from constant talk of male penetration or team mates sisters/mothers.  To incredibly robotic.  ‘TEAM’…. ‘DEFEND’…’100 METERS’…  They are also very very excitable, if a bad guy can be seen on the top of a ridge way out of range screams of “We are taking heavy fire, we are losing marines here” and such.  One line I got was “WE ARE BEING SHOT AT” Are you fucking surprised you total Muppet.

There is not much attention to detail at all with this game, when getting your team together some will just teleport to your position.  Gameplay is slow and boring, I get why.  True to life.  Yes in real life if you have to run to the next position which is half a mile away its going to take some time but C’mon.

If your an avid fan of really true to life shooters or of course the previous flashpoints then this might be for you.  If you can ignore the lack of attention to detail, I cannot.  Again, I’m sure that will will be 100x better and more enjoyable playing with friends in the cooperative mode.  However with PSN still down this isn’t possible right now and I’m not sure if Red River is going to survive my trip into town and not get traded.

Operation flashpoint: Red River just doesnt stand up against the FPS available right now, gameplay is glitchy and longwinded.  Its only upside that I can see is the co op play which I cant have a look at right now.  Watch this space for a follow up video review of co op play, once PSN sorts itself.

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Barrie Matthews

Head & Official PSN Writer - No one tells it like it is, like he does. Follow him on Twitter @Bazil81

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