Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising review

  • Incredible scale
  • Reviving a friend, while another holds off enemies
  • Fresh take on console shooters
  • Occasionally shoddy AI
  • Trying to issue commands in the heat of a firefight
  • Punishingly difficult

There’s nothing wrong with an M16 having almost infinite ammo and range. The same goes for paintball-style close-quarters combat and recharging health.

But that’s not the Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising way. Get a bit too enthusiastic suppressing an ambush early on and it won’t be long before you hear the horrifying click of your empty chamber. A few skirmishes in, you’ll start compensating for the range of your enemy before pressing in the trigger. Yes, Operation Flashpoint is realistic, and in the real world, war is nasty. Get shot in the leg and you’ll bleed to death unless healed. Play on the hardest difficulty setting and there’s no HUD at all. This is a war sim.

You take control of a squad of marines tasked with pushing back Chinese forces from the fictional island of Skira. It’s 277km square (read: massive) and comes with plenty of stunning vistas. It might not look as polished as, say Modern Warfare, but Flashpoint’s scale makes the comparison seem irrelevant. You’ll be pacing through tree lines with your squad and AI allies, ambushing convoys, and bombing hummers over hilltops, but only if you want to. From the moment you wave goodbye to your transport chopper or landing craft, how you progress is completely open. It makes each encounter unpredictable and satisfying, especially when playing with three friends.

Yes – every one of Flashpoint’s missions can be played in co-op, so get the headset ready. But beware, that it might be a bit too hardcore for some. If the idea of debating entry points on a quiet hillside before calling in an airstrike and storming the smoking remains of an enemy camp with authentic weaponry doesn’t appeal, Flashpoint isn’t the game for you.

It’s not perfect though. The enemy AI ranges from spookily intelligent to remarkably stupid, and we did encounter a few glitches. That said, we’d like to think that it’s all fixable stuff via a future patch and, considering the ambition, it’s never quite enough to detract from the spectacle. This is a must-buy if your FPS collection is starting to taste a bit stale.

Oct 6, 2009

More Info

Release date: Oct 06 2009 - Xbox 360, PC, PS3 (US)
Oct 09 2009 - Xbox 360, PC, PS3 (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PC, PS3
Genre: Shooter
Published by: Codemasters
Developed by: Codemasters
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood and Gore, Strong Language, Violence
PEGI Rating:


  • JCBlueNose2011 - February 13, 2011 3:28 p.m.

    This game is challenging and is a lot more realistic than Call of Duty definatley should go on someones get list especially if they like that type of game
  • NullG7 - September 14, 2010 12:51 a.m.

    I hate that stupid password thingy somtimes, I always seem to have the last comment on the first page, Cool game, definatley on my get list.
  • NullG7 - September 14, 2010 12:49 a.m.

    You know Almost ALWAYS I end up having the last comment on the first page, Cool Game, Definatley on my get list.
  • pakk99 - May 31, 2010 2:45 p.m.

    @Ricochet3438 Try using a little strategy in how you approach each situation. Remember, this is an intelligent shooter, not another useless CoD game. OpF2 is hard, but with a little more thought, and a little less boneheaded run-and-gun crap, you'll go far. As for the friendly AI, hook up with a friend or two on Live and you won't have to worry about it.
  • Ricochet3438 - January 2, 2010 9:36 p.m.

    This game is horrible!!!!!! ABSOLUTELY do NOT buy it! its agonizingly hard, even on the easiest difficulty setting! And your AI is as dumb as a post and never listens. and to coolcole93, he's talking about modern warfare 2 you idiot.
  • oryandymackie - December 24, 2009 5:53 p.m.

    This looks of the first FPS' which aren't about blasting wildly with an assault rifle and pretty 'splosions. I like planning tactical attacks in games. I used this to a limited extent in Mercs 2 but that's not exactly a war sim, is it?
  • CreeplyTuna - November 15, 2009 4:24 a.m.

    im unsure if i should get this game or not with modern warfare 2 out now. this looks awesome, but i dont know if i wanna spend the time carefully chosing shots and wat not. still looks awesome though... maybe sometime in the future *sigh*
  • jar-head - October 22, 2009 4:12 p.m.

    So.....if i join the Army, would GR purchase a copy of this game for me?
  • crazyqazqaz - October 19, 2009 12:19 p.m.

    Looks f*****g awesome!!
  • aWTFmoment - October 17, 2009 7:07 p.m.

    this game is simply amazing. the most realistic war game/shooter of all time. of coarse like any game it has its problems but its all things that can be patched and fixed. i love how any mission is coop up to 4 people. me and my friends are an unbeatable team. the ability to command your entire squadron to do whatever you want and how you want is amazing
  • idlemindkiller - October 13, 2009 10:22 p.m.

    Ive been playing for long enough to say if I like it. I think its a great game. has some problems but they can be fixed(although it really should have been done before it came out). the multiplayer from what i hear has been having issues though. i havent tried it yet, still working on the camp by myself before i play with anyone else. i recommend this game if you have patience and and the ability to judge bullet drop. good times!!
  • prophetchris - October 13, 2009 8:40 p.m.

    I think this game is great. Very realistic not run and gun. I enjoy being able to call in air strikes without having to get 5 kills in a row like cod:mw. This is truly a game for fps fans. Try it i'll bet you'll like it.
  • allthegoodnameswheretaken - October 12, 2009 12:39 p.m.

    Again a really high scoring game with a relatively short review.Whats going on?!
  • jar-head - October 10, 2009 1:05 p.m.

    "issuing commands on a firefight" Welcome to Becoming the officer we Trained you for
  • TitanofRock21 - October 10, 2009 4:04 a.m.

    @ BigKingBud Actually man this game is pretty original in the fact that its not a non realistic war run and gun game. this is the most realistic war game i have ever played. i rented it from blockbuster the day it came out and man it is crazy. when you get an artillery strike, you can choose everything from the kind of ammunition they use to the spread of the strike. got a tight group of enemies surrounding and APC? then get a howitzer strike with High explosive ammo in a tight grouping, and the next second you will have a nicely confined blood bath.
  • TheIronMaiden - October 7, 2009 5:07 a.m.

    hmmm I thought I would stay away from this one, but looks like I might actually have to get this one.
  • AMayer - October 7, 2009 2:09 a.m.

    I'm glad this game got reviewed so well, because I didn't hear of any hype surrounding it. I'll probably try it out.
  • Dexsus - October 7, 2009 12:54 a.m.

    I know OpFlash:DR and MW2 are both military oriented games but they really can't be compared. Like GR said OpFlash:DR is a military sim, MW2 is more run and gun. I'll still be getting both though.
  • mooseguy04 - October 7, 2009 12:25 a.m.

    im still gonna play the crap out of it till warfare 2, but i dunno. it looks really promising
  • coolcole93 - October 6, 2009 10:17 p.m.

    I think you're thinking of Uncharted 2, dirk.

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