An ambitious army sim, but with probably the same ratio of fun to tedium to frustration as the real thing

User Rating: 5 | Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis PC
I know that playing a game 3 years after it's release might sway the results of this review, as I'm sure it has a bit. But a good game will be approachable even long after its prime. And bad games definitely stay bad. Cold War Crisis was somewhere inbetween.

The gameplay is tacky. This is my most picky subject when judging a game because if the gameplay sucks, then the game won't be worth playing - graphics, sound, replayability, theme, and story be damned.

Unfortunately, gameplay in Operation Flashpoint is it's lowest point. I didn't beat it because I just couldn't stand it anymore. I got through the first 4 levels without a single kill to my name. It's all about fighting with a squad, but it didn't even feel like I was part of the team. They were doing more than fine without me. Even when most of them were killed!

I also had to keep my eyes on the ground constantly to follow a spazzy little waypoint that was supposed to keep me in formation, I guess. I ended up ditching this idea after the first 4 levels and just try to flow with my squad the best I could because there was no way to follow the point at your feet and play the game at the same time.

Flow. Flow flow flow. No flow. This game was completely without grace. It's literally like they didn't even attempt to polish anything. The cutscenes were jerky and incredibly bland. The missions lacked much direction besides go here and shoot him, then repeat endlessly. And what little story there is was not grafted into the gameplay. You can ignore all the dialogue and get the same experience from the game

The voice acting is horrid, and the dialogue is worse. It was as if the characters weren't aware of each other, like they were talking to themselves - and off of badly-written cue cards. It didn't feel like I was in the military one bit. I felt more like I was watching a couple of Star Wars fans trying to act in a fan film - which is ironic, considering that realism seems to be the foremost ambition of the developers.

It's difficulty depends on how you play. If you want to get into the firefight, good luck with that. If you want to play under your squad leader's direction, it's way too easy. And if you follow your little spazzy waypoint friend, then there's absolutely no consistency. I couldn't find a happy medium.

And the scripting bugs suck. Do *exactly* what you're supposed to (if you can understand your directions, that is) or you'll find the game stopped, like the story ended right there in the middle of a mission. Like the developers just decided this is where the game ends, and that's that. You'll have to start the mission over.

The game has got some good things going for it. The tactics used seem like they might be very realistic - at least when the stupid AI follow them - and the whole idea is one helluva good one. If a good developing team got their hands on the concept they could make it something unique and entertaining. If you want a good squad-based game, try Ghost Recon. It's fun.