Operation Flashpoint: Red River review
Get Yourself Together Marine!
Extensive co-op modes, sounds, environment detailThe bad:
sluggish controller response, No MP versus modes.Summary:
The main campaign can be played either alone or with 3 other friends in co-op. The party system works in either private or public and is carried across the main menu to ANY game type. Friends can be invited with an in-game feature using the PSN message system. The game has a 10 mission story campaign and then there are single missions called Fire Team Engagements. The FTE's itself has 4 different types with 2 maps each (unless you pre-ordered at Gamestop with their early exclusive Valley of Death map pack).
All the game modes have 3 different settings, normal, experienced, and hardcore. Each difficulty increases enemy AI, and decreases elements of the on-screen HUD. I play on hardcore and it is excellent with its difficulty and really extends the life of the game.
Playing with the computer controlled AI is a struggle with shooting, taking cover, and making commands all at the same time. The AI itself sometimes shoots when you forget to command a "hold fire" when clearly the staff sergeant calls for silence. There should be a some-what AI self control. The team AI also moves slow into cover and sometimes exposes themselves.
The cutscenes between missions are stylized briefings that can be skippable but the actual in-game briefing by the staff sergeant cannot be skippable which is fine the first few times around, but the scenes are long and the jokes in between become old.
The guns sounds are nice and sounds true to real life sounds. The visuals do look good but sometimes from a distance the close details become "smeared", but it is nothing that devalues the game.
The biggest gripe would probably be the sluggish controller response time. In hardcore mode there is no stance indicator so crouch behind cover becomes even more intense when the enemy begins to fire and you try to either crouch or go prone really slow. The weapon switching is also laggy and even with a pistol as a side arm, it seems faster to load a new magazine in a fire fight. The map screen going up also burn time too. In hardcore mode, there are no on-screen way points so the TAC map becomes essential to completing a mission.
In the end, the game itself is fun with friends and is very tactical. The games hardcore mode stretches the time and value of Red River. The controller response is a definite controller thrower but in your head rather than actually committing the act. The visuals won't rival Battlefield 3 or Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 but is a very good contender. The game is a definite must buy ONLY IF you have friends to play with.
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