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Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising – hands-on

Dragon Rising is ultra-realistic, far from the medipacks of Medal of Honor and even further from the regenerating health magic of Call of Duty. Yes, it’s one of ‘those’ games, the ones where bullets make you absolutely dead, or where, if you’re simply grazed by some shrapnel, the wound will pump blood realistically all over your uniform.

Codemasters have had to change uniform designs repeatedly as real-life military forces insist on updating them. Their gun models are meticulously crafted replicas of their real-life counterparts. They’ve a research document an inch thick about tracer rounds. Anybody would think they’ve got something to prove.

And they do. Since developers Bohemia split to make ArmA and its sequel, Codiemasters have been keen to prove just how much like the original Operation Flashpoint their own follow-up will be. It’s a battle of realism, and as we stupidly meandered up a hillside towards an enemy under cover, only to catch a bullet in the face, we realized who was on the winning team.

The AI in Dragon Rising has, according to the devs, had its systems built around an actual army handbook – a guide to, among other things, the correct way to move across a battlefield, the correct time to attack, and the correct time to take cover. In this instance, walking in a straight line towards an enemy encampment was not something the handbook would suggest.

Over the next few attempts we approached the situation using different methods. Taking pot shots from a distance worked well enough, causing the two enemy troops to remain behind cover. Coupling this with a command to our fire team to flank led to a successful bit of soldiering. Our men swept through a forest on the western side of the hill, meeting the enemy side-on and fatally propelling small bits of metal into their bodies. On another occasion, we sniped the enemy before they could get behind cover, only to have them jump out at the last minute in an I-wasn’t-dead-after-all sort of movement and shot us dead.

12 comments

  • Ricky1794 - July 27, 2009 4:37 a.m.

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO i spelled game wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • jar-head - July 22, 2009 3:25 p.m.

    august my ass...great review gr
  • understudybass - July 22, 2009 3:02 a.m.

    I think you meant "an ultra-realistic JILL sandwich" not JAM sandwich.
  • Mar27w - August 5, 2009 10:59 p.m.

    cod4 and battlefield are good games but play nothing like the original op-flashpoint which is still one of the best and most realistic war games ever made,the level were you had to stop a convoy from reaching a certain area was one of the best ever and one of the few games that actually allowed you to tackle it in any way you saw fit which many games promise but dont deliver(farcry2),plant mines along the route then snipe from a high vantage point or hide in the bushes each side of the road and go for a full frontal assualt,cant wait for the sequel
  • Ricky1794 - July 27, 2009 4:07 a.m.

    Looks great I've been waiting for this ever since i played the first one for all of five seconds....And what they mean islanderSwagg by realistic shooter is the scale, detail and overall accuracy of the game the vehicles look litererly photo-realistic next to the real thing....It's more realistic then CODMW2 because it has open envirments and vehicles...and it's more realistic then BFBC2 because of operation flashpoint has more of a selection of vehicles and guns.and the sheer scale of the single map (or maps) it has. But overall operation flashpoint is more realistic because everything in that gamne can actually happen...unlike COD where you have "perks" however fun (and cheap) some of them might be it drains the realism from it..and battle field bad company does not display the harsh reality of war it tries to add comedy to it however funny it might actually be it's not what would actually be happening in a war-time situation i have added my 2 cents thank you and good night
  • IslanderSwagg - July 26, 2009 6:27 a.m.

    @laggass and Jordo141, what do mean "finally a reallistic shooter"? have you not played COD4 or BF:Bad Company? those games were realistic for me, atleastt to an extent. this game looks alright but COD:MW and BF:Bad Company are still the best army shooters. COD is best for action and BF is good for decent action but good comedy also. And they both have sequels... uh uo!
  • laggass - July 23, 2009 11:37 a.m.

    "Finally a realistic shooter. I've been waiting for this since OF1" Not played the arma games on pc then?? they are basically OF2 and OF3. Hope this game lives up to the name.
  • Randomnumba - July 22, 2009 3:54 p.m.

    the first one was really hard i couldent beat it but i will try again with 2.
  • Synster - July 22, 2009 3:26 p.m.

    Haha. Oh man, That sucks a lot for them. They end up leveling an /entire/ Town just by choosing the wrong type of Howitzer fire they wanted, although still getting a somewhat desired effect. Not to mention, Everything you do in this game is permanent so that Town is gonna' stay like that. Man, I'm lovin' this Game.
  • Jordo141 - July 22, 2009 2:57 p.m.

    Finally a realistic shooter. I've been waiting for this since OF1
  • r3ap3r - July 22, 2009 2:57 a.m.

    this game looks amaing i just hope their able to fix up the bugs in it
  • Aquatooth - July 22, 2009 1:49 a.m.

    First and I cant wait for this game to fome out it looks F***ing awsome

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