Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising

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

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 7 reviews

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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 byLELELELELELE GUy March 7, 2021
Adult Written bySam M. November 18, 2017

An acquired taste.

Blood clouds are large but are more for indication than anything, cant remember any staining. There are gibs and some dismemberment but this is more matter of f... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byThiswebsiteisbad September 18, 2020

Good game

Very realistic and difficult but rewarding
Kid, 12 years old August 24, 2012

good game will test teens ability to be patience and not give up.

this is a tatical military shooter and one bullet can erase 45 minutes of progress. I put it a pause for 15under because it will test your patience and your abi... 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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