Operation Flashpoint: Red River promises crazy realism, four-player co-op, a more personal experience

Was the ‘Veteran’ setting on Modern Warfare 2 too easy for you? Do you want a military shooter experience that plays less like a Michael Bay movie and more like … a military shooter experience? Then lock and load, because Operation Flashpoint: Red River has just been announced for the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3.

Set in Tajikistan, nestled between the borders of China and Afghanistan, Red River promises a much more ‘personal’ experience than the previous installments in the series, including last year’s excellent Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising. Looking to films like ‘The Hurt Locker’ for inspiration, OF:RR is leaving behind the overly sterile and detached feeling of previous titles in favor of crafting a more ‘human’ experience to supplement the unforgiving tactical combat. Does this mean we’ll see marines as flawed characters with flawed judgment? Developer/Publisher Codemasters hasn’t said yet, but such additions would go a long way towards crafting the experience the game is aiming for.

Codemasters has said players will be facing new combat scenarios based on real-life experiences of US soldiers and marines serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. This means we should prepare ourselves for incessantly frustrating insurgent warfare; IEDs, ambushes, and refraining from engaging unconfirmed hostiles. Codemasters has also revealed that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army will return as a major player…because the CPLA apparently didn’t learn its lesson the first time.

“Operation Flashpoint: Red River is being built around four player co-op online play, complete with a strong narrative, new enemies and combat scenarios to deliver gameplay that immerses players in the reality of war like never before. The new setting of Tajikistan is a diverse and exciting backdrop for the wide range of military challenges the US Marines face around the world in real life. We’re excited to push the series in new directions while staying true to the core tactical combat that is the hallmark of Operation Flashpoint,” says Creative Director, Sion Lenton.

Executive Producer Adam Parsons adds: “In creating Operation Flashpoint: Red River, we’re building on our strengths whilst taking on board feedback from the community and focusing on key areas and enhancements to further refine the Flashpoint experience. Whether playing solo or co-operatively, players will experience the tense and exhilarating tactical gameplay the series is famed for, expressed through a range of gameplay enhancements and an exciting new setting and narrative.”

That’s right, the entire campaign can be played either by yourself or cooperatively with up to three other players (at the very least, we’ll no longer be able to blame squad screw-ups on flawed AI). These co-op missions will enable the players to earn XP, and upgrade their weapons the longer they play.

Of course OF:RR comes with the promise to maintain all of the gritty realism of the previous titles. Bullets will drop realistically, the play area will be huge, and one shot can end it all for our hero. Oh! And we also get to look forward to ‘realistic human damage modeling’ (here’s a tip: play on an empty stomach). Operation Flashpoint: Red River will hit store shelves sometime in 2011.

Aug 6, 2010

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