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Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising Game Poster Image
Highly realistic military shooter is violent, bloody, gory.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The game strives to create an accurate depiction of war. As for the morality of the conflict, the game supposes a fictional near-future war between China and the U.S./Russia over an oil-wealthy island. Neither side is depicted as absolutely right or wrong; it’s simply a desperate situation for all concerned.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game features a roster of intense, professional soldier characters who clearly enjoy being in battle. They are fiercely loyal to one another, routinely helping out fellow squads and fireteam members

Ease of Play

The developers reached for realism, and they’ve nailed it -- especially in terms of how difficult it is to stay alive and unscathed in a war zone. There are three levels of difficulty, but it can be punishingly hard even on the easiest setting.


Players handle a wide variety of realistic weapons, including machine guns and rifles. In keeping with the game’s goal of realism, combatants spray blood and bleed when hit. Players can also call in air strikes, toss grenades, and lay mines, all of which are capable of tearing enemies to gory shreds.


Not an issue.


It’s not common, but some of the soldiers use strong profanity -- including words like "f--k" and "sh-t" -- in the midst of battle.


Not an issue.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Not an issue.

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bycallofduty5 June 2, 2010

Operation Flashpoint 2

Pretty realistic FPS game however as iam a flashpoint veteran it was pretty easy and cool. There is some profanity but not so repeatful and violence uhmmm yea t... Continue reading
Adult Written byFreedomFromCens... October 16, 2009

Common Sense Media is Biased twoards Video Games (Read for details)

Tell me how a game with very little gore and nothing but some blood splatters can get a NO KIDS rating, when a movie like Zombieland, which is filled with gross... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byshooter guru November 30, 2009

M rating is bogus!!

Ok the people who are reviewing this game are idiots!! There is almost no blood at all and it also teaches kids teamwork as u have to work together to survive a... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 March 23, 2012

13 and up,just to be sure.

Have this game used to play it well a lot of people say Csm is biased,but quite frankly,I do think it deserves the M rating but not a not for kids,it's bar... Continue reading

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?

Game details

Our editors recommend

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