Operation Flashpoint: Red River - Xbox 360

Game Description: Building extensively on the successes of Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, Red River brings wide-ranging advancements including a deeper narrative-led campaign, streamlined inventory and control system, a refined enemy and squad AI system, player class roles including customizable XP upgrades and loadout choice, close-quarters combat, new air support options and comprehensive tutorials.
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Operation Flashpoint: Red River Preview

Operation Flashpoint: Red River Preview

By Christopher Monfette - Posted Nov 23, 2010

The Operation Flashpoint series has been a presence in the tactical military shooter genre for years now, existing alongside massive releases like Call of Duty that somehow manage to hog the FPS spotlight year after year. But with the upcoming release of Operation Flashpoint: Red River, the folks over at Codemasters have made a concerted effort to tighten up the core gameplay experience while adding greater depth and realism to the overall plot-poitnts and character dynamics. Mini-series such as Generation Kill are cited as a huge influence in how the various squads interact with each other, and genuine military strategy is clearly a consideration when creating missions and mulling over the proper strategies.

Red River is set in the near future in the real-world country of Tajikisatan. Having successfully flushed a great portion of the resistance from the soil of Afghanistan, the remaining fighters have fled across the border into Tajikistan, establishing a firm hold on the countryside there. Not only does this simple premise offer up something mildly different from your standard modern warfare set-up, it also provides a visual break from the sun-baked visuals to which we’ve grown accustomed. Ostensibly the buffer zone between the sepia tones of Afghanistan and the greener, snow-covered terrains of Eastern Europe, Tajikistan offers lush valleys and sprawling mountains in addition to the more arid areas in the borderlands.

This is meant to be a cooperative experience, so much so that there’s no competitive gameplay to be found in Red River. You can play with A.I. companions, sure, but when you jump into a multiplayer match, don’t expect to be lining up head-shots against your friends. From the story campaign to the online modes, you’re meant to play this game with your buddies.

From the start, you’ll choose between four classes – Rifleman, Auto-Rifleman, Scout and Grenedier – each with their unique load-outs and possible upgrades as you earn XP throughout the game. Visually, the game doesn’t seem quite up to par with larger, more prominent shooters, but the surrounding landscape and dilapated villages in the demo we played looked fairly solid. We’re also assured that building destruction – which was not in this presentation – will appear in the final game, no doubt adding a layer of depth to the visual experience.

Your three squad mates – or your entire squad – are mapped to your D-pad, allowing for easy selection when issuing individual commands. These commands are broken up into four categories – Maneuver, Suppression, Follow and Tactics – with sub-menus for each containing orders such as rush, hold position, flank left, flank right, etc. And you’ll want to keep a firm handle on your commands because heavy fire and intense action can rattle your men, making them break ranks and act on their own. So issuing frequent orders will help keep your men focused on the task at hand. And Red River is not a forgiving game. Don’t expect to be able to take much damage and walk away. One good shot and you can be down for the count, so keeping up a solid strategy is no doubt key to making it through.

Multiplayer offers four distinct modes, namely Last Stand, Rolling Thunder, Search & Rescue and Clean Sweep. We had the chance to go hands-on with a game of Last Stand, a Firefight-esque mode in which increasingly heavy waves of enemies attempt to assault your squad’s position. Here, you’ll be able to rain down some thunder by issuing artillery commands as you earn XP and hold the line. Overall, the mode proved entertaining as we sniped down into an open field, but the spawn time was fairly long between waves in the build we played, though we’re told that’ll speed up significantly in the final game.

At the end of the day, Red River doesn’t look as if it’ll put a bullet through the head of Call of Duty, but for gamers looking for a bit more interactivity and strategy in their military FPS, it may indeed be worth checking out.

Comments are Closed

  • Goldenboy1975

    only Call Of Duty fanboys hate this game i like the change of pace realism is a good thing if you cant take the heat stay out the kitchen!!

    Posted: November 24, 2010 10:11 PM
  • bryo4321

    Meh, Dragon Rising was wonky crap compared to ARMA. Code Masters knows this. You should've seen there forums back when the game was released, a total mess. The menus and etc were great, the actual gameplay and realism pales compared to ARMA 2. I have a feeling CM will be working hard on this game though, let's hope this game end up being a nice treat!

    Posted: November 23, 2010 10:03 PM
  • littleb242

    this game actually sound pretty decent

    Posted: November 23, 2010 9:03 PM
  • Luck702

    Op Flashpoint died a long time ago. Arma is what flashpoint used to be.

    Posted: November 23, 2010 8:40 PM
  • Viper12

    it doesn't need to compete with Call of duty. this game focuses on realism and the soldier's story, not over encompasing doom and unrealistic health regeneration. this game is military realism at its best. Dragon Rising was amazing and this one will no doubt be even better. thank you code masters for you dedication and focus on realism....oh one thing...GET BETTER VOICE ACTING PLEASE!!!!!

    Posted: November 23, 2010 7:25 PM
  • psykogunner1


    Posted: November 23, 2010 6:19 PM