Conflict: Denied Ops Xbox 360 Review

May 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

Conflict: Denied Ops, with its explosive – almost dumb – action, and clichéd characterization makes the game almost Hollywood esque in its approach, which may be rather upsetting to those who previously enjoyed the series for its slower paced tactical action.

As far as narrative goes, its typical nonsense for the genre and obviously just there as a reason for all this killing and exploding (both of heads and barrels). The more streamlined approach means that this time you just take charge of two soldiers as opposed to the four that you did in previous entries in the series. The grizzled Sam Fisher esque Graves is one of them, whilst Lang a typical wisecracking black guy is the other. Obviously characters aren’t exactly a strong point here, though their incessant arguing can admittedly be mildly entertaining.

Another major change to the series is that the game has transformed into an FPS, which I’m sure is an attempt to appeal to the mass market. Its got few surprises in store and is generally a very generic addition to the genre. The stage settings are familiar and mission objectives (consisting of killing people, protecting people and blowing things to kingdom come) are tasks that we’ve done millions of times in millions of other games, whilst the AI is as dumb as the many goons in a big budget action film.

In single player, you can hot swap between the two characters, choosing the right character for the situation at hand. Graves is the sneakier of the two, possessing a sniper rifle (that really could have done with an extra level of zoom, to get even more up, close and personal with those nasty enemies) . Lang is the opposite and uses a rather hefty machine gun as his weapon of choice.

Their armoury is further extended at the conclusion of missions, which means such things as Grave’s once exclusively quiet sniper rifle will eventually double up as a one hit kill shotgun for the more action packed moments, whilst Lang’s will get yet even louder, with the addition of a rocket and grenade launcher to his equipment.

The AI of your team-mate is thankfully better than those dim enemies and can handle themselves rather well, in the many shootouts you’ll be getting yourself into. You’re able to order them around, but sadly this is where they falter a bit as they don’t always seem to have an understanding of just what you’re asking them to do. It’s thankfully not something that happens all the time though. When one man goes down the other can revive him, effectively giving you two lives to play with.

But any AI misgivings should be abolished, when you partner up with a fellow human, which is surely the way the game was intended to be played. Split screen and online (of which not a lot of people are currently using, disappointedly) coop options are available and pleasantly this is drop in and out play, which essentially means you could play one mission with a human and if they have to go off and do something else (like perhaps, you know, live their life) you might next play it in single player.

Conflict: Denied Ops is sure to be a disappointment of explosive proportions to many a series fan seeking a similar experience. But for me, it has intense action and lovely explosions, which is just what I seek from any action game. That it doesn’t move the genre or the gaming medium forward in any meaningful way, means little to me, after all not every game can offer a slice of innovation, sometimes booms and good old fashioned fun are more than enough to win me over.