A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising is a very violent first-person shooter that strives to recreate with extreme authenticity the experience of modern war. Players handle a variety of realistic weapons, characters grunt and bleed profusely when hit by bullets, and enemies can be torn apart when struck by heavy weaponry, such as mines and artillery. The intense realism, which goes all the way down to genuine military jargon spoken over the radio, leaves players with the notion that surviving a battle is far from easy. As for the war being fought, it’s a believable conflict between China and a U.S./Russian coalition for an oil-rich island. Morality isn’t a factor so much as industrial necessity. Note, too, that the game supports public online play. Common Sense Media does not recommend non-moderated online play for children 12 years and under.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
OPERATION FLASHPOINT: DRAGON RISING puts players in the shoes of U.S. Marines helping Russia repel a Chinese invasion of a fictional, oil-rich island in a near-future that sees the world consumed by an energy crisis. It’s not an arcade shooter in which players run and gun through each mission and can take extensive damage without dying, but rather a realistic military simulation that requires careful combat from long ranges, strategically positioned fireteams for assault and defensive missions, artillery strikes, and proper use of military vehicles and helicopters to provide support and covering fire. The action can be experienced solo, cooperatively in a two-player multiplayer game, or competitively online in either a team-based elimination mode or another format that pits a small special forces team against a larger group trying to defend an objective.
Is it any good?
Operation Flashpoint is a standard but polished military simulation. It nails the details of the soldier experience, including the specific strategies of various mission types, the tension of long-range rifle firefights, and the jargon-laden chatter that comes over the radio. It also presents an interesting, believable narrative, even if it lacks the sort of memorable soldier personalities found in many other shooters.
Our only real beef has to do accessibility. This is a tough game. If your squad mate calls out that he’s found an enemy, best take cover immediately and send your buddies to flanking positions. Head-on run ‘n’ gun assaults have about as much chance of success as they would in real life. Also believable is that your team will stop obeying your commands if you waste their lives by using them as bait or sending them into no-win situations. Shooter fans with a penchant for authenticity will enjoy these touches of authenticity, but others will likely grow frustrated by the difficulty.
Online interaction: This game features public matches with open voice communication between participants, which puts players at risk of encountering people who have little regard for appropriate online behavior. Profanity may be heard.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about war and its consequences. Can you think of examples of just wars? What sort of conditions ought to apply for one country to legitimately wage war on another? Do you think that games that focus on providing realistic combat experience might influence some players to join the military? Do you think the difficulty of games like this one might influence others people who were considering joining the army that war is not for them?
Was this game better online or as a solo experience?
Did the war and alliances between current countries bother you?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.