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KitGuru engages in Operation Flashpoint, Uzbekistan style

Is not often KitGuru is settling down for to enjoy genuine delicacies from country of Uzbekistan in general, let alone Samarqand province in particulars. But such is life among the battle hardened comrades who are beings invited to get the hands on with the latest of gamings from Codemasters. KitGuru piled a plate high with Plov, Ugro and Pelmeni Choochwara, then settled down for some killing. Wikid-ski.

Most people agree that the first chapter in the trilogy, Cold War Crisis, was a cracking game. The same people also generally agree that the second chapter, Dragon Rising, shouldn’t have pushed its head above the tall grass. So that leaves us with chapter three, Red River.

Simple branding in a very unusual setting

Due out around 26th April, the code we played was only slightly buggy and the actual, all important, in-game experience was intact.

The Executive Producer of Codemasters’ Action Studio is the very charming Adam Parsons. He welcomed us in and guided us through the development process for Operation Flashpoint. While being coy about how many copies he’d need to sell to break even, Parsons was pleased that the game was pretty much on track (even though the key development staff have now been working 28 days straight – with no sign of a break in the work any day soon).

Adam Parsons managed to look happy - despite the 28 days of crunch endured so far

Red River is a tactical first person shooter, but in reality, it’s best played with 3 mates in co-operative mode.

As civil war breaks out in Tajikistan, you play a jarhead, deployed from a helicopter, to help calm things down. You know, USA-style-calming-down,  with an array of automatic weapons and sniper scopes.

Crisp visuals were matched by crisp air from the air-con system installed in the restaurant

While using console controls is a real pain in the arse for old men, the game play was engaging and it’s really easy to lose yourself in the plot. Stop and look around for a while, you’ll notice that the overall terrain has been surprisingly well drawn and the lighting has decent levels of realism.

Shouting at each other while sitting on plush chairs, in an air-conditioned cellar room, with Codemasters development staff on hand to answer a barrage of innocuous questions, the in-game communication was perfect. We’re not sure how well this aspect would translate to online gameplay across country borders.

Which bit did we like best?   Well, the game is engaging and additive, but the really cool part is the minimum hardware spec that Codemasters has been working toward. Adam Parsons smiled when we asked him, then revealed that it has been designed to play perfectly well on Intel’s latest integrated graphics engine. Good news for people with budget PCs or laptops for the task of co-op gaming.

Biggest laugh of the day?   We asked which combination of keys would engage ‘begin discussions for a diplomatic solution’. Apparently US Marines don’t have that function enabled as standard.

KitGuru says: It’s great to see one of the original British gaming success stories still banging out the hits in 2011. We haven’t played final code, but what we have played was great fun – and that’s what gaming’s all about. We’d love to see it running on four, low cost, Sandy Bridge or Fusion systems.

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