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Land Combat

Operation Flashpoint 2

We met with one of the OPF2 game designers, Sion Lenton, who gave us a tour of the island and a tactical tour of the game on an Xbox 360. He knew SimHQ and the type of players we are.

First, the Island is huge and beautiful. The demo itself was just on one of the outer ring islands from the main land, and it was already big enough for a proper insertion, fire and move, and three task objective mission. The game demo shown was a single mission with three objectives. Magnum played it in solo mode, but you’ll be able to play the whole campaign in four-player co-op. There will be no join in progress, but if a buddy leaves or gets disconnected, AI will take over the spot. We were told the multiplayer features will be announced right after E3, so we have no information on that besides the four-player co-op. The right bumper on the 360 controller brings up your order HUD, which was content sensitive, and had commands about three layers deep. You could have your squad rejoin you, move to a location, suppress an area, flank an enemy, etc. There are plenty of options for command and control.

You can also take shots to different body areas, and a small silhouette in the left bottom corner shows your body outline. If you take a direct shot in the head or in the chest, you die. If you take a shot in an arm or leg, or other body part, or even a graze to the head (which happened once in our demo) then you start bleeding out. A bleed meter tells you how fast and close you are to death. You then have to find cover, select your med kit and use it. Still, even after first aid, your effected body part, your aim, and your stamina are influenced. If there is a medic in your unit, you can call and use that medic for a complete heal. It was explained that you could be near a completed mission, get a shot in the leg, and have to spend hours crawling or limping around the battlefield. Codemasters wants to make sure you can heal up and finish the game. You can also heal teammates, and they can also bleed out.

Operation FlashPoint 2

The (back) button brings up the map view. You can give orders to your teammates via the map; in fact you can play the whole mission via the map screen if you want. If friendly forces see enemy units, the enemies show up on the map. Your team mates are of course on the map at all times, as are the mission objectives. You can select your units in game or via the map, then order them to move, flank, or assault an enemy or complete another action. You see all the action on the map.

So you’re saying “that sounds pretty much like an arcade shooter to me”, right? Well, yes, you’re correct. But don’t fret, my tactical-minded friends. You have options to turn off all the aids, make it more of a simulation. You’ll get no waypoints (you’ll have to use the compass and read the map), you’ll get no friend or foe markings, etc. The only thing on your map will be your mission objective goal locations. Codemasters understands that there are gamers who want to play a less-than-simulation-style tactical shooter, and those who want as much simulation as possible, and they have answered the call. When you lower or raise the difficulty you don’t get more or fewer units, more or fewer hit points that are required for a kill, or bonus armor. The mission is exactly same with the same number of enemy soldiers, and the same hit point calculations. However, aids are turned off for simulation play, and on for casual play.

Gameplay is true and tactical; you can go prone, kneel, or stand up. You can walk or run and be affected by what you do. You can reload on the move and jump behind cover; you can’t peek left or right, though. You have iron sights, red dots, and many other types of weapon sight systems. This is truly a tactical game no matter the platform.

A mission editor will be included for the PC version but not for the two console systems. Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising is estimated to be out sometime this fall, on the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. We made some good connections with one of the designers and the producer, and look forward to possibly previewing the game for you at a later date.

Rogue Warrior

We were able to take a quick look at Dick Marcinko's Rogue Warrior game. It looks and sounds beautiful, but it’s still more of an action, Splinter Cell type game than a tactical shooter. Not a lot of information was available; we’ll try to find out more tomorrow.

Splinter Cell: Convictions

Speaking of Splinter Cell, Sam Fisher is back in Splinter Cell: Convictions. The story line is that he is a rogue, looking for the man that killed his daughter in the last game. I mentioned yesterday that gameplay it is more random this time, with more tools and toys. But seeing gameplay today was impressive. As the RP rep stated "it's not stealth, it's dynamic stealth", meaning faster, with more action. Good or bad? It could go both ways. But fans of the series will like the gunplay and stealth action for sure.

Order of War

We also had some hands-on time with Order of War, a typical WWII RTS. This title lacks the resource building often found in he RTS genre, and its gameplay is mostly action, with little to no tactics. Think World in Conflict game play in a WWII setting. What was cool about this game is a cinema camera. After you give your orders to your troops, you hit the camera and watch a very nice presentation of the battle. The game seems more about how to make your own WWII movie than it is about actual tactical gameplay.


Tomorrow we look to tie up loose ends. Magnum has a private appointment with EA, and will be looking for more information on Battlefield Bad Company 2, Battlefield 1943, and Army of Two: The 40th Day, among other titles. Unfortunately there is still no news on the next Ghost Recon or the next Rainbow Six. We’re hoping that these were saved for the last day announcements. On a side note, Magnum failed to find out who owns the SWAT series license and if there will ever be a SWAT 5.


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E3Expo 2009

Report 1: Arrival
Report 2: Day 1
Report 3: Day 2
Report 4: Day 3


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