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Operation Flashpoint: Red River – The most realistic console war game?

It’s one of the big questions that swamps Xbox and Playstation chats these days. What is the most realistic war game? Some of you will say Battlefield. Some will, god help you, say Call of Duty. But one that is often overlooked and not heard from very often, is Operation Flashpoint.

The franchise first came into the spotlight in 2001, with Bohemia Interactives release; Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis. It focused on a war between US and Soviet forces on a group of fictitious islands. Codemasters helped publish the game, where as Bohemia Interactive developed the game. Due to a falling out between BI and Codemasters, it was re-named ARMA: Cold War Assault in 2011. A year after the original release, came Operation Flashpoint: Resistance. Just to earn a few more pennies, they released Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis on the Xbox, under the title Operation Flashpoint: Elite.

Remember when I said about Bohemia Interactive and Codemasters having a bit of a falling out? So much so, that Bohemia Interactive re-branded the whole franchise as ArmA. Codemasters annoyed BI after this by making a game, with the name of Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, in 2009. It even had on the back “AS CLOSE TO WAR AS YOU EVER WANT TO GET”. However, as Bohemia Interactive had the rights to Operation Flashpoint, this was not recognised as an official sequel. But everyone knows it is.

operation flashpoint red river screenshots

There were world-wide calls for DLC for Dragon Rising, which were eventually met, but in 2011, Operation Flashpoint: Red River was released. Let me tell you the plot before we go into the engines etc.

Based in the country of Tajikistan, a fictional conflict has erupted in 2013. A terrorist group known as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (which by the way – does actually exist), or ETIM, starts to launch a mortar attack on a US Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan. Now, we all know the US military. One little punch and they bring back a bull dog. Well, this attack invoked Operation Enduring Shield, which ordered US forces to invade Western Tajikistan to wipe out the insurgent threat. But oh no, it doesn’t stop there.

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Biggest event of this year in England? Yeah, the Olympics. Well, as it turns out, while the American military was invading from the west, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army invaded from the east, in retaliation for the ETIM massacring Chinese athletes during the Olympics. This then invokes yet another war between the two countries, following suit from Dragon Rising.

This game received 80/100 from Strategy Informer, but I personally think it deserves more. Ok, so it lacks a competitive multiplayer mode (no Deathmatch etc). It does only have Campaign with Co-Op, but just take a moment to think about how realistic it is.

If I got shot in the leg, I would have to call a medic over, he will stop the bleeding, and bandage my leg up. If he doesn’t, I can’t sprint. Eventually, if you bleed out so much, you die. Good luck if you plan on being a sniper by the way. Bullet drop is in full effect in Red River, and with distances of up to hundreds and hundreds of meters, it probably couldn’t be harder.

The graphics are pretty good too, not the best, but not the worst. This game is best played co-operatively, with you ordering the rest of Outlaw-Two-Bravo around. You are able to call in air strikes from A-10s, and artillery from a FOB. There is still the function of your AI team-mates calling out enemies from a distance, an example of this is ;”Target, rifleman, 300 meters, east” “Target eliminated”.

In my mind, this is the most realistic shooting game ever to come out, and has by far one of the best co-op experiences to hit gaming since games like Rainbow Six, or Conflict Global Storm.