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Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising

Imagine if you were playing a war game and you suddenly noticed that the weapon you were wielding was held together by eight-sided nuts instead of the statutory six-siders. You’d naturally be horrified, the integrity of the experience would be compromised, and you’d probably never touch it again. Thankfully, that actual problem has already been rectified, and the person responsible presumably sent to Codemasters’ version of Guantanamo  Bay. That said, the bloke who spotted this heinous error does admit to occasionally questioning his own sanity. A lovely story, we’re sure you’ll agree, and a pertinent example of the painstaking attention to detail going into Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising, which is already threatening to be the most authentic military simulator ever made. Or at least since the groundbreaking original game, which is now a ripe seven years old; a lifetime in game development, and indeed modern warfare.

As brand manager Andrew Wafer explains, “We took the concept of what Flashpoint was, the first game, and we really tried to refine that and build upon that in terms of the scope that we wanted to do. That comes down to not just the authenticity of things – like how the modern military works – but things like the size of the environments, the power of the weaponry, elements like multiplayer and the command structure and tactical maneuvers. It’s about being able to move around in these big environments, make your own tactical decisions and orders, and utilize a vast array of realistic vehicles and weapons to do that. It’s about big battles; it’s about big military warfare. It’s not small skirmishes with a couple of troops; it’s about fighting forces which are equally matched, big global superpower armies.”

To recap, those superpowers are the good old US of A in the form of the US Marines Corps (with the correct demographic breakdown, naturally) and the Chinese, in the form of the People’s Liberation Army. The realistic scenario sees the two sides scuffling over the rights to an oil-rich island off the coast of Russia, north of Japan, with America sticking up for the Ruskies. Based on an actual location, the island is known in the game as Skira, although the topology and geology has been lifted – thanks to Google Earth – from a real-life island in Alaska. Not content with pilfering an entire island, Codemasters have engineered an erosion system and a water system, with functioning oceans, lakes and rivers. There’s also a bloke whose sole job seems to be building trees, piecing them together branch-by-branch, replete with a detailed damage model. Throw in a bit of weather and a day/night cycle and you’re left with 220 square km of living, breathing landscape.

To put that into context, it’ll take the best part of three and a half hours to drive from one end to the other, or 20 minutes to fly. And while what you see in the images are “visual targets” as opposed to actual screenshots, the whole thing is being put together using Codemasters’ Neon/EGO engine, as used in the visually resplendent Colin McRae: Dirt and more recently, GRID.

Oct 10, 2008

13 comments

  • GaMeZ4LiFe - November 3, 2008 1:44 a.m.

    This game looks like it is really going to be interesting. Ive been playing Far Cry 2 a lot lately and im liking the big open world. This game has easily 4 times as big a map so I am really looking forward to this game. And I have to agree with Godlikeape. COD is nowhere near real, I mean lets just think about it since when have you ever been shot and walked off and all of a sudden your fine a minute later. Never.
  • jamboy199three - October 21, 2008 7:26 p.m.

    wow 3.5 hours from one side of the map to the other could be a problem or could be really cool depending on how intersting the enviroment is but it sounds pretty cool 11th
  • celticassassin80 - October 20, 2008 4:26 a.m.

    this games gonna be sick. id rather have it on pc cuz u know theres gonna be stuff sacrificed on the console versions. the first game was badass. i hope they stick to the realism, where u actually have to lead a moving taget and aim higher for farther shots. that made the game so much more realistic than every other shooter, past or present. hopefully the fully interactive vehicles return for this iteration too. im looking forward nonetheless, since the best realistic game of our time went back in time 65 yrs, AGAIN ( *cough* Call of Duty * cough*)
  • Schuultz - October 10, 2008 11:40 p.m.

    holy shit... 220km... if you think that Far Cry 2s 50km are considered huge...
  • GodlikeApe - October 20, 2008 1:57 p.m.

    Celticassassin80, COD is about as realistic as a pie made from hair and ivory when compared to Operation Flashpoint. You may recall an article on Gamesradar a few months back when this was first announced which summed up the Operation Flashpoint experience rather well: "Rather than appearing at the edge of combat, straight into the action, you’d often take a truck, or hike to the frontline. Instead of a great big pool of health, and a ready supply of health-kits, one bullet – sometimes from a sniper nestled in a bush a kilometer away – would end a mission." COD this ain't, and I will be steering well away from it for fear of shellshock.
  • aliengmr - October 14, 2008 1:49 p.m.

    What I am really hoping for is more fluidity in terms of movement. OFP was a damn clunky game, it was fun, but not fluid at all in terms of movement. This is the only example of a game that could possibly benefit from being cross platform. It doesn't need to be less complex, just more streamlined and accessible.
  • SilentKnight832 - October 12, 2008 3:16 a.m.

    I bet this will be PC only; no love for 360? Sometimes I wish I had a fancy computer and some PC gaming skill... :(
  • Ninja-KiLLR - October 11, 2008 12:15 a.m.

    the game sounds cool but i need some game play videos.
  • evilsanta23 - October 10, 2008 7:57 p.m.

    220 km....god thats big. people without patience r goin to hate this game
  • ODST44 - October 10, 2008 7:30 p.m.

    Hopefully, this won't be a bias piece of crap like "American Army" was for the xbox. but it could be good, if it's as realistic as it sounds.
  • maxofblades - October 10, 2008 7:15 p.m.

    in the article it says its the marines, but it in the game its army. you can tell by the weapons and ACUs
  • harryf308 - April 18, 2009 1:22 p.m.

    i cant wait!
  • jar-head - May 16, 2009 5:10 a.m.

    This looks Way cool, since nothing of interest is coming out this summer. this is gana be the game i'll playing all damn summer. I first read about this todsay under ps3, and was like Ah crap, all i have is a 360, damn you playstation! Then there was OF2 under PS# Pc and 360, so YES!!!!!!! Thank You GR

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