Fans of Conflict will remember the series for its real-world war zones, accurate weapons and deep squad tactics. Be prepared for a shock. Conflict: Denied Ops ditches all of the features we came to love in favour of a fast-paced, almost arcade-like co-op blast. The four-man squad is cut down to a duo, the real war zones are now an imaginary struggle against rogue terrorist gangs and there’s no additional weapons. Our hero Lang packs a heavy machine-gun and our other hero Graves a sniper rifle. This is bad news, if you’re a die-hard Conflict fan.
There is a tactical edge to Denied Ops, but it's one that has more in common with a shootout in Doom than the tense duck, cover and command system of the original Conflict games. In single-player, commands are given simply and quickly. Point at a place onscreen and issue the command to send your partner to that position, or order him to regroup on your position. Tag a gun placement or vehicle to order your buddy to giddy-up and use it; likewise hold the crosshair over an enemy to order cover-fire. The controls are simple, immediate and obvious. This isn’t Conflict as you remember it.
On paper there have been some strange decisions made with this new Conflict - you can’t choose weapons or pick-up dropped guns from defeated enemies and neither character can run out of ammo for their primary weapon. It’s unreal and takes the series away from the original Conflict template, but in-game it works - if you switch off your brain, flop down with a mate and focus on the team play. After a couple of hours of co-op play you'll soon forget about running out of bullets as the game’s emphasis gets targeted on the co-op tactics rather than a hunt for more ammo.