E3 06: Armed Assault Impressions

Forget Operation Flashpoint. The creators of that game are now working on Armed Assault, and it should definitely appeal to Flashpoint fans.

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LOS ANGELES--Bohemia Interactive made quite a splash in 2001 with Operation Flashpoint, a military-themed first-person shooter that had an incredibly unique take on the genre. Rather than blasting through level after level, Flashpoint put you on the ground on a virtual island that was more than 100 square kilometers in size and tasked you to carry out a series of missions (on foot or in vehicles) to defeat the enemy. It was incredibly immersive and very cool. Unfortunately, Bohemia had a falling out with publisher Codemasters, but now we get to talk about Armed Assault, a game that for all essential purposes is the sequel to Operation Flashpoint, though we should point out that it's an entirely new franchise and a new setting.

Armed Assault is a modern-day, military-themed game that's set on a fictional island that's split in two. The northern part of the island is a totalitarian dictatorship that is equipped with Soviet bloc weapons and equipment, while the southern part of the island is a democratic nation that's allied to the United States. (Shades of the Korea peninsula, anyone?) The US military has deployed trainers and advisers to help train the south's military, but when war erupts, it'll be up to you to help turn the tide and win the war.

The island in Armed Assault is quite a bit larger than the one in Operation Flashpoint, and the campaign will have approximately 20 missions spread out across the map. We're told that 12 of these missions will be critical to the plot, with the remainder being side missions that you can pursue to make the main plot missions a bit easier to accomplish. The cool thing now is that you get to choose what you do next, as you'll have a map of the island and a list of what missions are available to you.

If you played Operation Flashpoint, then you know that these missions can be downright huge in scale, covering multiple kilometers. As before, you have a variety of vehicles at your disposal, ranging from Cobra gunships to M1 tanks, as well as a number of other vehicles from the US arsenal. Or, you can always hoof it on foot as an infantryman. The good news is that in Armed Assault, you'll now be able to switch to different troops in your squad (in Operation Flashpoint you were always limited to the central character of the mission). We got a chance to see this in action, as the US troops mounted an assault on an enemy-held town. The demonstrator showed us the M1s in action and then switched to a sniper on a distance hill, picking off enemy troops hiding in town. And for those of you with nightmares of Operation Flashpoint's difficulty (you only had one save game per mission, and since missions easily took more than an hour each, that led to a lot of frustration), the good news is that it sounds like there are a lot more autosave points in Armed Assault.

Multiplayer sounds pretty cool, as well. There will be cooperative support for two players, at least. And if you're looking for more conflict against your fellow humans, there's a capture-the-island mode that takes place on the entire island. What's really impressive is that we're told that there's basically no limit to how many players can jump in this mode, so you can have huge teams battling for strategic points on the vast island. Think Battlefield 2 but on an incredible scale. If that's the case, then we're definitely going to keep an eye out for Armed Assault. The game is scheduled to launch in the third quarter of the year, though Bohemia is still looking for a North American publisher.

Discussion

15 comments
Norwegicus
Norwegicus

It`s not worth it. "From the creators of operation flashpoint" That has to be good, i thought. I was wrong. It do manage to make you angry and frustrated about everything that wont work.

rmj
rmj

I just got the game 2 days ago major disapointment! many many bugs! get ready to be killed many times while you are trying to get the aim button to work correctly! just to mention 1 of the many bugs! I have a highend system! and I have found many video nightmares when all you see are triangles and cubes of many colors! I have played the first 3 missions of the campain and I have turned the game off many times in agravation! If your a OFP vet like myself, you will allso be disapointed! I warn everyone get the demo before you buy this JUNK! hopefully in a year or 2 they may get this to run well enough to where you won,t wanna take the disc out in your yard and burn it! GRRRRR!

madmachinegun
madmachinegun

coop should be expanded to more players....it would be awesome if a human from LAN or online could replace an AI mid-game, switching from singleplayer to MP on the fly. thats a feature i'd like to see in a lot more games, making coop an integral part of the game, even having coop as a full substitute for singleplayer

gamapg
gamapg

Wait wait wait.... so this is going to be like WW2 online except free, more players (possible) better graphics etc etc?!!! (THIS IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE) GIMME SYSTEM REQUREMENTS NOW!

patmacfad
patmacfad

The MIssion Editor in Operation Flashpoint was great. I've just recentley figured out how to make missions properly, and it's wicked awesome. I hope there's an equivilant to it in this game. I've logged tons of hours into that "Bomberman" mission as well.

marcocat
marcocat

I really can't wait for this game, I can't believe there are just 8 replies to this news. This game is the best I've played, and I've played AA, MoH, CoD, and a lot of FPS, and I sincerely say that Flash Point is the best game yet. I can't wait for this new release.

loper
loper

I really don't like the idea of being able to swap between soldiers, they had it in BF2 and it just poorly cut into the gameplay. It forced me to do everything mission critical instead of working strategically with my team towards the objective.

gakselso
gakselso

Looking forward to this release. I logged so many 100s (1000s, even?) of hours playing Flashpoint that I still twitch in my sleep if I hear a heli. (covvvverrrr, take cover! :) I've been play BF2 lately but as long as they've got the same formula with updated graphics I'll switch over as soon as it's out. I don't think the ability to switch squad members will be a bad thing, it works out pretty well in Rainbow 6... just lets you "do things right" if you don't trust the AI to take out a tank properly. (haha, probably 100 hrs just on Bomberman... anyone else just love that "training" mission?)

Tanith_Ghost
Tanith_Ghost

NOOOOOOOO, the messed up the game play, its gona be stupid with the abilaty to swtich from one solder to another.

aallison05
aallison05

If this game is half as good as Operation Flashpoint was it's going to be freaking awesome!!!

HK-Ghost
HK-Ghost

I'm a fan of simulations, and this is going to cut BF2 in half :D This kind of game always tend to find publishers.. Hopefully it won't be EA...the Microsoft of gamming..so bad tech support among other things.. -Ghost