Everyone loves a good first-person shooter with their tales of action, pantomime villains and awesome military hardware, but when the fictional fighting is over you might be left wanting something a little more authentic to modern day combat. That’s what Codemasters tries to deliver in Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, which is now available to stream on GeForce Now.
The use of the word simulation is not simply hyperbole, the developers really have gone to lengths to make this as realistic as possible. The scenario is fictional, centering on the actions of a four-man squad of US operatives who are assisting the Russians in defeating Chinese forces that have invaded the strategically important island of Skira. Aside from that, everything else is as close to real life as you can get. The island itself is modeled on a real island and is incredibly detailed to boot. Although you’ll be carrying out specific missions (clearing villages, rescuing allies from behind enemy lines and so on) the island is basically an open-world environment. You can visit every square inch of it should you choose to do so and in order to get around the place you can simply hop aboard one of the games 50 plus land, sea and air vehicles.
You also have complete freedom when it comes to carrying out missions. Your squad consists of yourself, a SAW gunner, a medic and an engineer. Your three teammates are controlled by some extremely intelligent AI rallying around you however you choose to proceed, but aside from that, it’s entirely up to you how you set about your task. There are some tough decisions to be made at times. An injured squad member will see you having to decide whether to help him and jeopardize the mission or leave him in order to ensure your own survival. Also, because it’s a simulation, injuries are handled very realistically so it’s quite possible to bleed out even from minor wounds so caution is required. In addition, if you choose to play on the highest difficulty setting, there is absolutely no onscreen HUD so you have to mentally keep track of your kit and ammo while communicating with your fellow squad members in order to keep track of the enemy’s movements.
This is especially true for people with an interest in military hardware. There are over 70 weapons, all based on real world hardware and all using a ballistics system that affords them authentic handling and capabilities so the effects they have on the environment or enemy soldiers is the same as in a real conflict. It also means that reloading the more elaborate weapons can be a time-consuming process and the difference between life and death if you make a mistake.
Operation Flashpoint is now available on Shield via GeForce Now. So, if you already have a membership to the cloud streaming service, you can start playing this game right now without having to do anything else.