Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis (Windows)

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Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis

Windows - 2001

Alt names 闪点行动:冷战危机, Операция Flashpoint: Холодная война, Poseidon: Operation Apocalypse, OFP, Flash Point 1985: Status Quo, CwC
Year 2001
Platform Windows
Released in Canada, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, United States (2001)
Russia (2002)
Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom (2004)
Poland (2005)
Germany (2008)
Genre Action, Simulation
Theme Cold War, Flight, Helicopter, Shooter, Tactical Shooter, Tank, War
Publisher Buka Entertainment, Codemasters Software Company Limited, The, Imagineer Co., Ltd., Sold Out Sales & Marketing Ltd.
Developer Bohemia Interactive Studio s.r.o.
Perspective 1st-Person
3.9 / 5 - 10 votes

Description of Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis

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Is there any genre in PC gaming less innovative than the first-person shooter? Relying as they do on a very simple formula -- looking through the eyes of your game-world alter ego, run around and shoot things -- and with control systems evolved to near-perfection, every new FPS needs a new gimmick to be noticed. Operation Flashpoint has several - its uncompromising realism, its range of driveable vehicles, and its eighties cold war theme to name but three.

The action is set on a chain of islands that, although not specifically placed at any geographical location, bear a marked resemblance to rural France. Normally occupied by friendly US troops, the pastoral tranquillity of the region is spoiled when an army of renegade Russians attempts an invasion.

In the campaign game, you are cast as a grunt in a squad of Marines. Though you start the game having to follow orders closely and do as you're told, as you gain in experience you gain in responsibility, and eventually you'll have your own squad to command. Missions cover tasks like training, patrols, guard duty and vehicle driving, at various times of the day. We won't give away the plot twists, but there are plenty of them.

As the plot advances, the game keeps in close touch with the political (and technological) realities of the 1980s - no microwave guns to be found here, and at one point a squad mate asks, "Are they going to nuke us, sir?" Thankfully, the answer is no; there wouldn't be much of a game otherwise, but the nuclear undertones make an effective and convincing backdrop for the action.

Equally convincing is the weaponry modelling. Bohemia, the game's developers, have all served in the Czech army, and brought their real-life experiences of eighties warfare to the game. As in Counter-Strike, firing while running is inaccurate to the extent where you might as well save your ammo and resort to bad language. Reloading takes time, and careful aim is the key to success. Most conflicts take place in expansive outdoor areas, so there's always plenty of space for the enemy to utilise. Leading a moving target with a sniper rifle is crucial - sniping is much more of a skill here than in other games.

The vehicles, too, have an air of authenticity about them. The game includes a decent range, from jeeps and trucks to various tanks, anti-aircraft vehicles and even helicopters. They can be crewed by more than one man; often you'll be transporting your squad in the back of a truck, or riding a jeep with three others. You can even command your own tank, and issue orders to a gunner and driver.

Airborne vehicles, though, are a bit of a different kettle of fish. Though the engine is well suited to infantry and ground vehicle assaults, it doesn't have the draw distance to make zipping about in an A10 particularly satisfying, and the control system for both this and the helicopters are a bit odd. But there are only a couple of missions that require this, and it makes an entertaining diversion if you're in the right mood.

Flashpoint's troops move and act extremely convincingly. They will scatter and flee under fire, advance intelligently to avoid exposing themselves to incoming fire, and seek cover to lie low when appropriate. Commands can be issued to friendly squad members with a hierarchical menu system. Sadly, the enemy soldiers aren't quite as smart as they could be, and can be slow to react to you appearing out of cover close to them, making life a little bit easier than perhaps it should be. They can, however, be ludicrously accurate with grenades.

Once you're accustomed to Flashpoint's muted colours and flat vegetation, the effectiveness and realism of the graphics is fine, if slightly bland at times. The movement and animation of the soldiers is generally good, though it could benefit from work in some areas - when boarding a truck, for instance, they just climb upwards and disappear. When an A10 crashes into the sea, embarrassingly, it will bounce out again, crumpled and smoking. Overall though, Flashpoint is visually excellent, and the scale of the terrain is very impressive.

Sonically, things aren't so good. The speech in the campaign is mostly sampled, with reasonable voice acting, but when giving orders with the menu system (and receiving orders from others) the voices are badly synthesised. They often seem to be jarring and much louder than the (generally excellent) ambient sound effects, and can tend to ruin the atmosphere.

Flashpoint also features a set of ten instant-action type single missions, and an extensive set of team-based and individual multiplayer modes. Multiplayer in particular is great fun, mostly thanks to the way Flashpoint encourages players to cooperate to drive vehicles and achieve objectives. The game also ships with a fully-featured and straightforward mission editor, so expect to see plenty of fan-created content hitting the web after release.

At times, patrol missions can be drawn-out and dull (much like the real thing, we suspect), so thankfully a time-acceleration feature is included. It's not a perfect solution, however, as careless use can lead to you being sniped before spotting the enemy. But most will forgive the occasional lengthy, empty missions in the name of realism.

Some won't forgive, however, the way one bullet can kill, and put you back to the start of your mission, often with no warning. This situation can be avoided with experience and tactical awareness, and itself is another example of Flashpoint's high realism level, but it will not suit all tastes. Be warned, also, one save per mission is your lot, so if you're one of the types who ignores all limited-save games out of sheer bloody-mindedness, this probably isn't the game for you. In truth, this system is never obtrusive or difficult, and makes the game tension-filled and immersive.

It's a shame, too, that European gamers will have to wait a few months for the full multiplayer experience. Unlike most other first-person shooters, the game can't be run in a dedicated server mode, so fixed, regular servers will probably be thin on the ground for the time being. The US release will allow dedicated servers, though, and the UK version will be patched to include this at the same time. Maybe Europeans should look on it as a chance to get some early practice.

If you're the type who annoys easily, or is looking for a more traditional FPS fix, walk away - you probably won't get on with Operation Flashpoint. If, though, the prospect of mastering these potential drawbacks interests you, you'll get a tremendous amount of pleasure from the game. Only the lack of polish and poor sound hold Flashpoint back from the Highly Recommended award; its level of realism, convincing detail and great multiplayer make it one of the best military FPS games on the market.

Review By GamesDomain

Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis has an addon available: Operation Flashpoint: Resistance, don't miss it!

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Comments and reviews

Arvin1989 2021-01-23 0 point

Check Out Operation Flashpoint Cold War Crisis on Exagear (Very Playable) https://youtu.be/zqOqsRNYsLw

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