Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising has two multiplayer modes: Annihilation, and Infiltration...both are fun in their own respect. The former is an all-out deathmatch. The latter pits three Americans against five Chinese and their subsequent AI squads, the objective for the Americans being to regroup inside a designated Chinese compound while the Chinese camp out. Both modes split up to eight players into two teams and throw in AI soldiers to bring the count to 16 on each side. Unfortunately, a match cannot start without at least one human player on each side, so strictly comp-stomping is ruled out. Players can choose to lead one of the four squads, or join one that has a human leader already; it is completely possible to have all four players on one squad and let the AI take care of the rest, or for all players to each lead a squad. Teamwork is varied and has tons of potential.
Where the versus modes fall, however, is in the lack of maps and modes. Two maps each for two modes can get old fast, despite the large size of the maps (four square kilometers, I believe). The co-op campaign is where it's at, and Codemasters knows this as well as we do: the default filter on the online server search is the "Cooperative" mode. You can choose an open room from the server list, or choose Quickmatch. Drop-in support would greatly benefit this game, but players can leave a mission without ending it, so long as they are not the host; that counts for something. All players keep their progress, and can join a game in any mission, whether they've made it that far solo or not. One subtle co-op addition to gameplay include being able to collectively turn over a toppled vehicle...this is one of a few surprises in store, and the more you play, the more you'll find better ways to meet all of the primary and secondary objectives.
I've spent a good deal of time scrutinizing this game, I can see that. Truth be told, it invites scrutiny by flaunting its pedigree. In the end, though, I've enjoyed myself immensely and will continue to play with friends. I recommend playing Dragon Rising, closely behind an even higher recommendation to try it before you buy it, as the game appeals to a select group of gamers.
The buzz hitting the 'net this week is that updates are coming down the tubes for all versions, which should address some of the glitches. According to Codemasters, we can also expect more maps and weapons for the game within the next few weeks. The game as it is, however, can hold its own as a unique and fun experience, if a little too brutal for some. Co-op makes all the difference -- as it should -- making Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising a recommendable game with some flaws that can be largely ignored by sticking to the campaign and its backstory.
The Co-Op Experience: Up to four players team up in this highly realistic, tactical shooter.BackgroundSequel to Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis. Experience the intensity, diversity and claustrophobia of realistic modern warfare from the unique perspective of Infantry Marine, Helicopter Pilot, Special Forces and Tank Commander engaged against the full force of the Chinese military on a scale never previously experienced in video games. Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising takes players into the most realistic war game experience they'll have ever encountered. It provides an unparalleled scope of different military disciplines, vehicles and equipment for players to utilize, and simulates an immense conflict between two advanced military forces. The player's journey is tied into a believable and dramatic storyline set in a vast and incredibly detailed environment.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.