Must-have for any Operation Flashpoint fan!!!!!!
Set during the 1980's, in the peak of a Cold War, original Operation Flashpoint offered a vast and dynamic campaign, giving you a chance to fight as a foot soldier, tank commander, Cobra gunship pilot and even lead your own squad of men in an epic confrontation between NATO and Soviet Union. And despite it's flaws, as well as some technical issues, it turned out to be adored worldwide for it's gritty realism and immersive gameplay.
But now, after having a chance to fight for both east and west, here comes the second, and the best expansion pack in the series. That's right, my dear friends, this time you're fighting for la resistance... So forget armored support, bombers, gunships, and nearly unlimited supply of ammo, this time you're leading a bunch of average Joes who are down on their luck. The only supplies you will get are those you scrap from your fallen enemies, including ammo and gear. Also your men are not so easily replaceable as the faceless grunts you lead before. Which adds a whole new dimension to the gameplay. For the first time, you manage your supplies and men the best way you can, and each and every time you go on a mission you have to think carefully about which weapons and ammo you will take, will you risk getting caught in order to steal some more supplies, etc., etc.
You're fighting a brutal guerrilla warfare, and there's no room for mistakes, mercy or miscalculations. You have to be fast, exact and brutally efficient in order to pull off your mission. You need to wager your pros and cons all the time, plan ahead and use every advantage you have to beat your enemies.
Yes, this is not a game for beginners. This is a masterpiece intended for Operation Flashpoint veterans only.
From the very beginning of the game, you are thrusted into position of command, so you have to be completely familiar with commands system and interface in order to pull it off. And that's where we reach the first big issue - controls. Even tough your character moves and feels just like and other FPS game hero, issuing orders to your squad is still a pain in the butt. Simply because there are far too many commands available. You access them by number keys, as well as F1 - F12 keys on your keyboard, which in theory is not a bad solution. It's just that it's so hard to figure out what's what, and separate useless commands from valuable ones. You have to get used to it, and memorize some important key combination in order to lead your unit effectively in the field. This is especially clunky when you have to order your men to pick up guns and equipment from your dead enemies. Even tough these issues were present in every other Operation Flashpoint sequel, they still didn't do a darn thing to fix it.
Other big issue is the AI. Yes, your enemies are still smart and capable. So are your men, but the new "experience" system is here to make your life miserable this time... Meaning? Your men become better at what they do as time (and campaign) goes by. And yes, they start off as almost good-for-nothing pacifists you need to shape into real soldiers. This is particularly bad during the first missions, when you're desperately trying to fend off the Russian onslaught, or ambush your enemies, and 2/3 of your team is crawling on their bellies without a single shot fired. I know they're not special forces, but dammit!!! For the love of god, you're not boy scouts, you don't get points for resolving conflicts by non-violent means, holding hands and singing Combayah!!!!! Just start shooting at them before they kill me!!!!!!!! This issue gets fixed after a few missions (assuming you don't lose half of your men every time), but it also gets in the way once you start driving tanks. I had to restart one mission over and over again, simply because my tank was the only one actually engaging the enemy. Grrrrrrr...
That being said, all I have to add is that this is the best Military sim up to date. At least until Operation Flashpoint 2 is released. The campaign is long, immersive, challenging, and extremely rewarding. There's no better feeling then hitting your enemy hard, right where he's weakest, stealing all his equipment, and disappearing into the hills and forests while leaving a trail of burning tanks and dead bodies behind. Little by little, you get a sense of progress, as flames of rebellion fire up all across country and Soviet casualties begin to mount. Yes, once again you're faced with a typical story of a small fictional republic invaded by Warsaw Pact forces. Your character, Victor Troska, is a former special forces operative that decided to leave a life of violence behind, and live the rest of his life in his homeland, curled up in front of a warm and cozy fireplace. But his peaceful life comes to an end when two guerrilla fighters knock on his door and ask him to lead the resistance against evil Russians. At first, he refuses, but after a close encounter with a few Russian soldiers, he decides that "die with your boots on" politics is far better then just taking it up the bum. All this is presented to you in a series of movie-style cutsceenes that I particularly enjoyed.
I'm not gonna reveal any details about missions, or the story, because I don't want to spoil it. Let's just say they're simply great! Well-balanced, interesting, and challenging without being frustrating. That alone is enough to keep you playing for weeks. But unfortunately, some technical issues, and buggy trigger events system makes it hard sometimes to truly enjoy it. But at least it's patched up better then the previous versions so it's far less painful, as far as the bugs are concerned.
So, what to say? Don't even think about this game if you're not Operation Flashpoint veteran, but if you are, then you simply must have it!