PC shooter games and patience don't generally mix, but fans of semi-realistic games like Operation Flashpoint, America's Army, and the SWAT series will attest that there are a couple of titles out there that make Rainbow Six Vegas look like Unreal Tournament, especially when considering user-created mods.
ArmA 2 by Bohemia Interactive looks to top the first ArmA, which was the spiritual continuation of the Operation Flashpoint series. Bohemia created and developed Operation Flashpoint, but due to legal issues between the developer and Codemasters (as publisher), the series was disjointed.
Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising is the next official stint in the series, although loyal fans are generally dismissive of its status as a contender in the realistic shooter market. Codemasters is taking the dual roles of developer and publisher.
Despite a lack of official information from either developer, both games are aiming for a huge amount of player interaction and immersion; this screams "co-op", of course. Click "Read More" to see what is being said about each, and leave a comment.
Bohemia's Marek Spanel via a Eurogamer preview:
"Co-op is really important in ArmA 2. In our previous games, teams were often just a bunch of individuals running and shooting. Now, they have to work together because if you get hit you can bleed to death within a minute."
Character-switching (you can jump between Team Razor members) a branching plot, unscripted AI, and full co-op compatibility means that campaign should stand at least half a dozen play-throughs.
Make sure to read the entire two-page preview, as it has a lot of details regarding gameplay and the game's development. For the most part, you can speculate that many of the single-player features will carry over to the co-op campaign.
Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising
There is almost no information at all for this game, aside from some leaked developer interview footage and the transcripted details on Wikipedia. From the looks of things, though, Codemasters is really getting ambitious!
When the game was previewed by multiple press venues in July 2008, CVG writer Tim Edwards pestered Codemasters Senior Producer Brant Nicholas, to no avail:
I ask about co-operative play - about whether we could join a platoon of friends and take on Flashpoint's hardest challenges together. He smiles. "We have to hold back some things for later announcements." I ask about co-op for Flashpoint 2's entire campaign. His smile just widens.
But going back to a forum post from April 2008, it seems that Senior Designer Clive Lindop confirmed a co-op campaign from the get-go:
Now that technology has moved forward and bandwidth is better, we’re creating some interesting and unique game modes. We’ve full Co-Op for the main campaign, but also some extensive team based combat, something which didn’t really work in the original.
And finally...the Wikipedia entry for OFP 2 -- which claims to be derived from a leaked video interview with Clive Lindop -- lists the following multiplayer modes:
PC version will feature:
- 32 player (16 vs 16) in addition to the 256 NPC squad members (8 per squad per player)
- 8 player co-op in addition to NPC squad members
- 4 player Campaign + single mission co-op
Console(Xbox360+PS3)version will feature:
- 16 player (8 vs 8) in addition to NPC squad members
- 4 player co-op in addition to NPC squad members
- 2 player Campaign + single mission co-op
- Please note: aside from the number of players in multiplayer the content of this game will be the same across platforms.
Doubtless, there will be die-hard fans of Bohemia Interactive that already have their chips in for ArmA 2, but based on the limited and unconfirmed (not to mention pre-alpha) information that we have so far on OFP 2: Dragon Rising, we may have two very impressive contenders for a gritty, realistic co-op military shooter next year.
I am excited to see some more confirmed details for both titles...it wouldn't take much more than a couple of sentences from either developer to place either game firmly on the map for countless hype machines, and the prospect of full co-op integration has Co-Optimus drooling.
Sound off! Speculate! What do you think?
UPDATE: This website appears to have quite of bit of recent updates for OFP 2. Not sure if the site is affiliated with Codemasters...likely not. Take with a grain of salt.