Operation Flashpoint 2 Critique

I’m still exploring the gameplay of this game which I like. I’m also waiting for the next more extensive PC patch. There are some curious elements to the Ego engine, or is it the quality of texturing and artwork ? There are occasional moments of brilliance. The water and sun-set effects are striking if a little simplistic. Some locations have presence and a sense of physicality but some of that is lost in muddy textures (did someone slip with the smudge tool?). Look at the knife. Why would a soldier own a knife that looks like it’s been sitting in the rain for the last few months ? As I said there are some curious design decisions as compared to Frontline: Fuel of War, Far Cry 2 or Battlefield 2. The textures in BF2 look far more sharp and well defined than they do in OFP2 and that was a game released four years ago.

OFDR 2009-11-08 19-02-30-32

If you examine the above screenshot then the game has an impressive view distance. Compare to the orginal OFP which uses fog to reduce CPU and video card strain.

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Yet why are the shadows for the groups of trees left there ? Most games use sprites (flat billboard images for objects like trees, not models) to fill in these details at a distance. Where are they ? It’s like the programmer forgot the most fundamental advances in engine design !

The gameplay and vehicle feel is outstanding so far. Did Codemasters skimp in a few things because they spent too much time tweaking the gameplay dynamics ? Possibly. Overall I’m glad Codemasters decided to be so bold in their approach, maybe too bold as some parts of their vision are substandard, or clash with other parts. Time will tell. Patches may improve or change elements. Players may mod or produce interesting missions.

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