Operation Flashpoint: Red River Review

Operation Flashpoint: Red River

As the Battlefield and Call of Duty series continue to grow more and more popular, it seems like tactical first-person shooters are falling by the wayside. Operation Flashpoint: Red River attempts a revival of sorts, moving the focus from high-octane action to squad commands and sound tactics. For the most part the game succeeds at providing a refreshing take on the genre, but AI issues and a lackluster single-player campaign hamper the experience quite a bit.

Red River does not give a strong first impression, as the game starts out with an incredibly convoluted backstory that attempts to detail the many war conflicts in recent years. Once you’re brought up to speed, you find yourself to be the leader of fireteam Bravo. The year is 2013 and your team is being sent to Tajikistan to eliminate an insurgent threat from Afghanistan. From there the story plays out in a rather standard fashion, but one thing that does stand out is the vulgar language. The script is littered with loads of unnecessary swearing that becomes very distracting. Some inappropriate language in a war story is understandable, but the sheer amount of swearing found in Red River is somewhat ridiculous.

Once you are able to actually play the game, things pick up a bit. Being leader of fireteam Bravo means you have a squad at your disposal, and the gameplay revolves around giving orders and executing specific gameplans for each situation. Death is only a few shots away, so using your entire team is vital. You can order squadmates to move to certain positions and assault locations, among other commands. This encourages you to work in unison with your team. Combine that with the realistic nature of the game and you have a unique and refreshing FPS.

Operation Flashpoint: Red River

Unfortunately, your allies’ AI almost ruins the experience completely. They seem to have no self-awareness, often getting caught in firefights when you simply want them to stay on you. Even when giving orders, occasionally it seems like your squad ignores you completely. You will also be spending a lot of time healing your squadmates since they seem to get injured rather easily. Those moments when everything clicks and you truly feel like the leader of a team are few and far between.

Luckily the game supports up to four total players for co-op. This is definitely the best way to play the game, since real players prove to be much more trustworthy and reliable than the AI. In addition, there are separate cooperative games called Fireteam Engagements. These quick missions include objectives such as killing all enemies in an area or holding a specific position. Whether you are playing the campaign or the co-op missions with two or three friends, the multiplayer is where Operation Flashpoint truly shines.

In both single-player and multiplayer outings you will earn experience. This can be applied to the game’s surprisingly robust leveling system. There are numerous attachments and mods for your guns, which can be applied to any of the game’s four classes. Also found in the game are special abilities that can be unlocked, such as improved aiming and faster reloading. This perk system isn’t new to the FPS genre, but your loadouts are applied across all game modes, making both the single- and multiplayer experiences rewarding.

Both the visuals and audio in Operation Flashpoint are merely serviceable. Textures are not very detailed, and there are some graphical inconsistencies across the different environments. Each battlefield’s large size is impressive, though, and the game looks pretty good during intense firefights. The sound effects and music are solid, but the voice acting leaves a bit to be desired. Many of the characters come off as annoying and arrogant, though the aforementioned script certainly doesn’t help.

Operation Flashpoint: Red River is a decent FPS that attempts to deliver a satisfying tactical-based experience. This refreshing change of pace is practically ruined by poor AI, but the core shooting mechanics are solid, and gamers out there looking for a fun co-op experience may want to give the game a chance. Aside from that, though, there are better options out there.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Anthony LaBella View all posts by
My first experience playing a video game blew me away. The fact that Super Metroid was that game certainly helped. So I like to think Samus put me on the path to video games. Well, I guess my parents buying the SNES had a little something to do with it. Ever since then my passion for video games has grown. When I found that I could put words together into a coherent sentence, videogame journalism was a natural interest. Now I spend a large majority of my time either playing video games or writing about them, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.