Operation Flashpoint: Red River Game Poster Image

Operation Flashpoint: Red River



Challenging military shooter has plenty of blood, profanity.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players fight against insurgents and terrorists to protect innocent civilians and their freedoms, but they're going about it by employing graphic violence.

Positive role models

Players are tasked with defending human liberties, freedoms, and beliefs. However, they're doing so by shooting and killing enemies. You don't learn much about the character you're playing as, so it's difficult to understand his motives.

Ease of play

The game isn't harder to control than other modern military shooters but the game, overall, is a bit tougher due to smarter artificial intelligence and the fact you can only be shot a couple of times before you're dead. It's recommended to play the single-player game before taking the action online against human opponents.


This video game is quite violent and bloody. Players use modern weapons to kill enemy soldiers by sniping for head-shots from a distance, throwing bombs and hearing cries of pain, and unleashing the power of automatic weapons -- all of which results in a red, bloody mess. In some cases enemies are "gibbed" into small pieces.

Not applicable

The game contains frequent use of profanity, especially while players are briefed or debriefed by their commanding officer. Expect liberal doses of swear words including "f--k," "s--t," "c--k," "damn" and "hell."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Operation Flashpoint: Red River is a violent modern-day military shooter that takes place in a country that sounds like and looks like Afghanistan. Some may feel a violent game like this sensationalizes or trivializes what U.S. troops and others are doing in places like Afghanistan. Players use various weapons to blow away enemy soldiers, resulting in copious amounts of blood. When using a rocket launcher pieces of flesh sometimes fly off bodies. There is also a lot of foul language in the game. Parents should be aware that this game supports online play with open voice communication, a feature that Common Sense Media does not recommend for pre-teens.

What's it about?

The latest entry in Codemasters' multi-million unit-selling tactical shooter series focuses on four U.S. Marines in Fireteam Bravo unit -– a Scout, Rifleman, Automatic Rifleman, and Grenadier -- who band together to fight enemy forces in the fictitious country of Tajikistan (a virtual version of Afghanistan in all but name). OPERATION FLASHPOINT: RED RIVER puts an emphasis on realism -- not just fun -- so it's not unusual to engage in lengthy, tense shoot-outs where after one or two hits you're down on the ground waiting for a medkit. That said, it is a little more accessible than previous Operation Flashpoint games. While you can give orders and play alongside (fairly convincing) A.I. soldiers, Red River was designed to be a co-op shooter with up to three others online.

Is it any good?


This is a good military combat game for gamers who might be looking for something more than a typical, straightforward shooter that can be won by simply running and gunning. Only by working together as a team, accurate shooting, and cautious navigation of the virtual streets (during day and night missions) will you be able to complete the various objectives and stay alive long enough for the next one. It should be noted the game doesn't look as good as other military action games (at least not on the Xbox 360 version used for the purpose of this review), nor does it have the level of polish and pacing of a Call of Duty game, but for the most part fans of this genre should be impressed with what the developers were going after.

Players will encounter frequent (and boring) jeep and chopper rides with their mates while being briefed (or berated) by their commanding officer, as well as other slow areas in between missions. Overall, though, Red River is an intense, exhilarating and challenging modern-day military shooter that, while it might not get the attention of a Call of Duty game, is a title fans of the genre should consider. Note: the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 versions of the game are the same.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why modern-day military shooters are all the rage these days. Is it because we are in the middle of a war in countries like Afghanistan, so it's top of mind? Is it simply a matter of pure fantasy -- a vicarious thrill? Or does it say something else about us?

  • Families can also discuss how to stay safe while playing online games. What sort of things should you never discuss with strangers while playing games over the Internet? What do you do if you suspect you might be chatting with an online predator?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Available online?Not available online
Release date:June 7, 2011
Genre:First Person Shooter
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Strong Language, Violence

This review of Operation Flashpoint: Red River was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byAndre the Beast!!! July 20, 2011

Its just fine if your kids are mature

I do not have this game, but from what I am hearing it swears a little more than call of duty. However, the violence is no worse than call of duty. Its the same thing people getting killed fighting for their rights and freedom. If your kid is mature enough he should be able to enjoy this game without learning bad things from it.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written byComrade Firefox April 4, 2012

Just not as good as Dragon Rising

It's an ok game, but lacks the innovation and character that Dragon Rising, and other than the damage system, is actually very generic. I was exceptionally excited about this game before release, but an now very disappointed by this, it has no competitive multi-player, and presents an unbelievable story line where the US marine corps manages to stop the entire PLA. It is less balanced than Dragon rising also, which still presented the Chinese troops as soldiers, and people, whereas Red River treats them more as 'things', and i think the main name given to the Chinese is, 'Motherf*****s', or something similar. - So, if you are interested in this game, don't buy it, unless it is very cheap, and instead get Dragon Rising, or one of the older, original games for PC.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written bySahibt August 7, 2013

Tajikistan is a country

I don't know who wrote the game description because Tajikistan is a country it became a country after the downfall of comunissim in the Soviet Union. Overall this is a very good game with an excellent campaign.


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