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Initial Review - Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising

The long anticipated Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising has finally arrived in the Uk and after much hype about how this was gonna be a Modern WarFighter 2 beater I've had a chance check out to see if it really is that good. I feel its important before I write anything else that this review in only after playing the multiplayer co-op mode for a couple of hours on system link up so this review is limited at best but hey, its better that sweet FA (I hope).
Now I don't know about you but when I play a game for the 1st time I inevitably think 'what game is this trying to be?' I was expecting it to be a Call of Duty type game but I was wrong. This very much has the feel of Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2. Levels/maps are on a large scale and game play requires some thought and cunning to go into your plan of attack, running blindly in with guns blazing will not get you anywhere except hovering over your team mates white you wait to re-spawn.  
Codemaster, the studio behind this title, have obviously opted to make this game feel as real as possible. When you are in game you can really feel the beneifit from the rediculous amount of weapons data the guys at codemasters accumulated with the help of the US military. Each weapon looks and more importantly behaves very differently from each other which means making the right kit choice pre-game is not something to be taken lightly which adds to that realistic game play feel. Fans who enjoy the more fast and furious paced shoot em up's, like Call of Duty will find the firefights somewhat less than satisfying, there were many occasions I found myself asking 'is he dead?' and 'what happened?' after my screen simply goes black after being shot due to a lacking feedback system in the game mechanic, I mean is it too much to ask for some controller vibration and maybe some noise to simulate the bullet blowing my arm off? (You can probably tell this was my biggest grip with Operation Flash Point).

Visually this game looks great from the maps and characters right down to the the option screens. The maps are HUGE, the one's I played are very well made and the attention to detail is impressive considering the sheer scale of the maps. I found myself presented with lots of locations to explore and search out possible enemy threats, of which there were many. An added plus of this type of maps design is that you are given many options when making a plan of attack again adding the the realism aspect of the game. The interface in the menu screen and during game play in the HUD looks great with a very clean, contemporary feel and it worked very efficiently, I found it very clear to understand and follow during the heat of battle.
In summary I did like this game, I'm a fan of GRAW2 for the realism set in a modern day theater and this is taking that type of game to the next level. GRAW2 was the last game of this type to speak about and that was released years ago so this has been a long time coming and Flash Point fills the gape brilliantly. That being said do I think this is a Modern Warfighter 2 killer?Absolutely not. It's realism premise limits its audience because this game type requires a real passion for this game type to spend the time picking up every option open to them to get the most out of the game. Where as Modern Warfighter is more of an arcaded shoot 'em up which mean its an easy game to pick up and play initially but for thoughs who want to get more involved there are area's to master. For these reasons and not forgetting the massive fan base the COD name has generated the soon to be released Modern Warfighter 2 is where the smart money is at.
Happy Gaming