by William Thompson
previewed on PC
With the number of good first person shooters released during 2007, finding time to test out some new ones is a difficult proposition. But 2008 is a new year and will bring with it a host of new FPS. One of the first of the 2008 class to be released will be Conflict: Denied Ops, the fifth game of the Conflict series.
Conflict: Denied Ops is a co-op based FPS with a two man buddy team along the lines of Kane and Lynch: Dead Men. In this game though, the US government has assigned the two men, Graves and Lang, to do their dirty work for them. If they are captured, then they are all alone, as the government will deny any knowledge of the two men and their operations, hence the Denied Ops subtitle.
The two men have different personalities and varied abilities. Graves is a quieter man, specialising in stealth activities. His primary weapon is a sniper rifle. Lang, on the other hand, is the sort of guy who likes to go in all guns blazing. Being equipped with an automatic weapon certainly helps his style of play. Using the abilities of these two in a co-operative way is what this game is all about. You can go about the game fully as either of the two men, but for best effect, you will need to utilise specialities of both.
After completing missions, both men will acquire weapons upgrades which suit their style of combat. Graves gets upgrades such as a noise suppression attachment for his sniper rifle, whilst Lang will get larger cartridges for his gun, enabling him to shoot more before reloading. During the course of their missions, they will find supply crates to re-stock, but this is only for their secondary weapons such as rockets for Lang’s rocket launcher or explosive devices for Graves. Ammo for their standard weapons is unlimited, but they will still need to reload.
Switching between the two men couldn’t be simpler. Just the touch of the appropriate key is enough to switch control of Graves and Lang. In fact, the whole control system is first rate. All the standard FPS controls are used, so experienced shooters will have no difficulty. At times, Graves or Lang will be able to control vehicles such as tanks and hovercrafts, as well as use bunkered machine guns (commandeered from a slain enemy). These controls too, are simple to use. If the key configurations are not to the gamers liking, they can be easily altered.
The game itself is quite linear. Although some of the missions can be selected in a random order, the missions themselves run a direct line. During missions, objectives will we given to the two man team. A small arrow displays the direction of the mission objective. As you move around, the arrow changes direction to let the gamer know which way to turn.
Along the way, the landscapes are littered with crates, large rocks and other barriers that can be used for cover. But it is not just the gamer that uses this protection. The AI does a decent job of hiding when they know you are about. You see enemy forces run behind a crate, duck down and then fire their weapon over the top of the crate. They will also take a varied number of shots before they collapse in a heap on the floor. One good shot between the eyes from Graves’ sniper rifle is enough to take an adversary down, but a number of shots to the body are required before an enemy will die.