Nothing major cripples Denied Ops, but a bunch of the small stuff adds up. The character design and game world is chunky and cartoonish (not helped by the flat, “macho” dialogue). In single-player the game’s shortfalls become more apparent as the co-op camouflage is removed. Many of the alternate routes become void as you hot-swap between characters rather than work in tandem with a friend. Though swift, this hot-swapping is far less fun than backing up a buddy in the heat of combat.
In many ways, these shortcomings are forgivable because the game runs at such a frantic pace you’ll rarely stop to notice the excessive use of brown crates. More importantly, there’s a wide range of locations and missions styles to master. The Koyle Castle and Salem Union Saw Mill stages require more stealth, so Graves takes the lead to tackle the set-pieces silently while the Kyrkalov Sub Facility and Chemical Tanker missions demand more punch and Lang’s big guns come into play. Most importantly, at every stage it’s clear these maps have been designed with the core strategy of cooperating with a friend - and in this sense they’re a real triumph. So make sure you’ve got someone to play with before attempting Conflict: Denied Ops to get the most bang (or in the case, boom) for your buck.
Feb 12, 2008