Based in the first/third person viewpoint, you start as a Private in the Allied forces in 1985, sent on a number of missions against the imposing Russian forces. From here, following a campaign that takes you across many villages, forests and enemy bases, the idea is simple: stay sharp, stay alive and follow orders.
But Operation Flashpoint Gold doesn't stop at being a first-person shooter in an army simulated world, for all the vehicles, whether it be a jeep or an Apache helicopter, can also be controlled by you. Set across luscious landscapes and rolling valleys, you'll soon start to think you're in a Chris Ryan book or army film as you and your platoon sweep a valley in extended file.
In addition to the great eye candy, the AI for both your fellow soldiers and the enemy is very impressive, and at times you can soon be left behind in the battlefield if you don't pay close attention to what's going on. And the added bonus of a mission editor will allow you to continue with more assignments after you've finished the testing campaign and single mission levels.
As with most games of this ilk, there's a heavy emphasis on multiplayer (there are 12 new multiplayer maps in the edition), without it hindering the single player game--and therefore the usual array of deathmatch, capture the flag and domination options are all here, with online communities around the globe already growing in vast numbers day by day.
Make no mistake, Codemasters have come up with one of those games that'll be hard to beat in terms of sheer playability and open-ended gameplay, and if you've ever thought of donning that 58 pattern webbing then here's your chance to do so without getting too dirty. --Jason Denwood
This game contains so many memorable missions, particularly the ones that see you as a black op at nightime sneaking around watching enemy sentries through your binoculars or sniper rifle. I must warn you though, only buy this game if you think you have enough time to play it as it can take up to 30 minutes and beyond to complete a black ops mission and is difficult on the normal grunt missions to boot, and the Red Hammer addon is even worse.
Graphically, the game's good, although at times the textures can look a little bland if you want to complain about something but it's nothing that detracts from the immersive qualities of the game.
The real strength of this game, however, is the number of ways you can complete a mission and it's complete non-lineararity once you're in the field. You're just dumped in a hostile environment with a bunch of objectives and guns and a good luck pat on the back from Uncle Sam....gee thanks.