Sep 26, 2007
For the fifth game in a series, and the first on the next generation of machines, you would think that simply 'more' would be the order of the day for Conflict: Denied Ops. It's refreshing then, to see that developer Pivotal Games has condensed the gameplay by making your 'squad' a simple partnership between two different soldiers instead of four or more. And it's ramped up the blood levels too.
The game has some of the finest blood effects we've ever seen. Splatter an enemy against a wall and their innards lend the room an attractive scarlet hue. Get closer and you'll see that it's realistically textured too, all in beautiful HD goo that slides slowly over the floor. Yum.
Another cool feature we saw was the puncture technology. You can shoot 3D holes in most pieces of scenery, especially those bits used as cover by the enemy. The holes are real, too - if you make a hole in a wall, you can then fire a bullet through it and kill a soldier invisibly - while other enemies around him wonder where the attack came from. If you've ever played the lightgun game The House of the Dead, you'll remember the bit where the zombie smashes through a door with an axe. The bullet holes are like that - 3D chunks blown from surfaces wherever you fire. It's mightily impressive.
There's also a very clever grenade innovation. Most games make you hold the throw button for power, or gives you an arrow on the screen to show trajectory. In Conflict, Denied Ops, when you throw a grenade, it lands where your crosshair is. No waiting, no unrealistic arrow. It's an amazingly simple idea and it works really well. Just line up the crosshair over a window and it takes care of the rest. Bang - and the dirt is gone.