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%26rsquo;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%26rsquo;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%26rsquo;t Conflict as you remember it.
On paper there have been some strange decisions made with this new Conflict - you can%26rsquo;t choose weapons or pick-up dropped guns from defeated enemies and neither character can run out of ammo for their primary weapon. It%26rsquo;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%26rsquo;s emphasis gets targeted on the co-op tactics rather than a hunt for more ammo.