HOWEVER, Red River, is so far detracted from OFP that I'm not really sure it deserves to be associated with the name. As a game it is ok, but it doesn't do anything to stand up to the original. This game has gone down the same lines as Call of Duty series, where you're just faced with a plethora of respawning waves of enemy soldiers, placed on tight time limited sequences to get tasks done and be forced into every situation with utmost haste and no training that it really detracts from what could have been a good game. An example in 10 missions (14 hours play time) I had achieved 1,594 kills !!!!!!!!!! That is just ridiculous. The original OFP, you would be lucky if you got 10 or 20 kills (per mission) and the game was more exhilarating.
This should be a tactical shooter, but alas there is very little benefit or reasoning to use tactics because you're always assigned to a complete division when attacking, and those tactics are already in place from the Sargent, so all you can do is just move around your 3 team mates. That is not very tactical imho.
As you progress through the game, once you unlock the thermal scope for the sniper rifle, the game is seriously too easy. You can just sit back and pick off all enemies from 500+ meters away with them being virtually no threat to you at all. The only annoyance is that you can't carry enough ammo to deal with the plethora of spawning enemies that you will encounter.
Replayability : Possible due to having numerous classes of soldier to play as, but unlikely due to the annoyances exhibited in the game (read rest of review for details).
The vision range was a little subjective my character would call out that an enemy has been spotted 500+meters away and yet it was not visible with my binoculars?
Camera angles. This is a first person shooter only, while you are on foot. Once you enter a vehicle then you have a second camera angle that is available. Chase mode.
Animations and action sequences are all fine. The in game briefings are a different story though.
In game briefings are extremely annoying. There is digital distortion every where. WHY? This not only looks stupid it is also annoying to look at. It got to the point that I would skip the briefings simply because they are so horrible. Plus the missions are not very complicated anyway so there's no point wasting time looking at rubbish. Considering the game forces you to sit through all the non interactive transport sequences anyway, enough time is wasted there.
You can NOT SKIP any in game sequence.
You can assign orders to your squad members (as a whole squad, or for each individual soldier). This in general is good, however it does not cover enough commands when compared to the original OFP. Each member can perform medic duties and heal squad members. Squad members will goto the aid of another squad member, but only if you have issued orders as a squad. If you have issued unique orders to each squad member they will not goto the aid of another squad member or to you.
AI The enemy AI will attempt to take cover, flank you and provide suppressing fire, however your team mates don't do much until you tell them to.
Luckily if you squad mates die it is not critical to mission success, although it is not clear as to how much impact that has to your mission rating system.
SCRIPTING This game relies heavily on scripting and checkpoint saving. Once you reach each checkpoint expect waves of additional attacks to commence
A squad member has been shot, so I get over there and heal them. What do they do next? THEY STAND UP! What happens next? They get shot again, so I heal them again, they stand up again.. and the stupid cycle repeats itself until the soldier is shot dead, or I've had enough! How moronic.
The amount of times the squad members would run infront of my Line Of Sight (LOS) is just astounding. Many times they would yell out Hold Fire Coming through (or some variant), however that was never done early enough, and when you look at the landscape there was absolutely NO reason why they couldn't have ran around behind me, especially when I'm firing at the enemy! When you move as a squad and take cover behind a wall they will run around to the other side? Huh that is the side from which enemy fire is coming from, yet that seems to make no difference to their logic? This is especially stupid considering the squad mates call out the positions of enemies and yet take no precautions against fire coming from those directions.
Squad mates die and then somewhere later in that same mission they have miraculously come back to life and are back in your squad? It is not as if you have had a new squad mate assigned, because this new squad mate has the exact same name as the old one that died.
Game Screen Layout you are shown a compass across the top of the screen at all times which includes a chevron to your primary objective, there will also be additional chevrons for secondary objectives if they are known. Also appearing on the compass are threat indicators which will indicate if you have Line Of Sight (LOS) to that particular threat or not. Additional to this you have your weapon selection, ammo count and remaining magazines, health status (if injured and where), plus your current stance (prone, crouched, standing).
Issuing Commands You have the ability to offer limited commands. Many of which you just won't bother issuing because almost no situation calls for it. if you play as a Scout (sniper) the team mates are virtually useless as you don't get close enough to the enemy in order to implement any of the orders you can issue.
Inventory You have no inventory during the game, however you can outfit your equipment before the mission starts, and while in the game you can switch out your current weapons with any weapon you find in the game, including those dropped by the enemy. The rest of your equipment is pretty much stock standard modern warfare stuff, night vision goggles, binoculars, IR strobes, hand grenades, claymore mines etc. Throughout the game you will find weapon caches and ammo supply crates where you can restock your ammo, and/or change your primary weapon (but only change it to what weapon is available at that crate).
You can carry two weapons (primary and secondary), plus two additional items, such as grenade and binoculars. So you can choose a M16 and a M39 rifle with grenades and binoculars.
MAP There is one in the game and it has basic information such as buildings, positions of enemy vehicles that have been identified, positions of friendly units and red sections where enemy contact has been made. From the map you can assign orders to your squad or an individual team member, but as the game does not go into pause mode while in the map, unless you're in a safe location this is just not really going to be used very much.
Game Saving There is no save game feature. This is a checkpoint saving system only, so you must reach a specific destination where the game will then auto save.
Player skill upgrading After each mission you are scored, Gold / Silver / Bronze based on your accomplishments and how many of the objectives you achieved, you can then use any points assigned to upgrade / increase certain skills, such as recovery, sprint faster, better weapon handling etc. These improvements are only minor but you will still see the benefits of them when in the game.
Inventory First up is the outfit screen before you start the mission. Now the game has this backwards. It gives you the mission briefing AFTER the weapon loadout screen? So you have to choose equipment for a mission before you know what mission this is going to be? That's dumb I could have chosen a sniper rifle and then be told that this is a CQB (Close Quarters Battle) type mission where you need to clear every house in a village. Clearly sniper rifle is going to be useless now. Also in this equip screen the layout is not only very annoying it's also quite useless. It has the ability to compare weapons. Great.. Oh but you can only compare this weapon to the next weapon? No not so great. Example there are 4 weapons in the list 1) M16 2) Pistol 3) M4 4) M39 ok so you select weapon 1) and now see all the stats for that weapon (range, accuracy, rate of fire, damage etc). now you have to scroll to the next weapon 2) and it now compares the stats of this weapon to the stats of the last viewed weapon. All good. now you move to the M4 and oh dear, it is showing the stats to the 2) weapon, so if you wanted to compare 1 and 3 or 1 and 4 it is a bit annoying. You can click directly on a weapon if it is visible, but if more than 4 weapons are listed, you have to scroll up/down using the keypad in order to make visible a previous weapon. This has to be the worst weapon layout selection screen I've seen from any game.
So you have selected your weapon and as usual the sniper rifle has a pathetic amount of magazines that you can carry, when compared to assault rifles. (in some instances only 3 magazines that only hold 10 rounds each). In the mission you can re-equip, so you find a HE AT weapon, and you pick it up. The game will force you to drop your second weapon. You have no choice as to which weapon the game forces you to drop. So in this instance i drop my sniper rifle (and 3 clips) and pickup a HE AT weapon and 5 rounds of ammo ? HUH 5? so if I can carry that much why the heck can I only carry 2 additional magazines (with one in the rifle). This is even more insane when you implement such limited ammo usage with such blatant spawning!
Finally on inventory, you can not equip your squad once in the game. So if you wanted one of your squad to hold a Stinger (AA) or a AT Weapon, bad luck. Only you can collect such things. This is strange because OFP allowed you to equip any soldier with any found weapon and you could issue orders to task a specific squad member to pickup a specific weapon.
Your squad mates and the enemy NEVER run out of ammo, where as you will find yourself constantly having to run back to resupply caches in order to restock, especially if you're using a sniper or scout type rifle. This is a common failing of many FPS games, however the original OFP handled this best and your squad had the same inventory space as you did, which meant you had to issue orders for them to resupply aswell.
MAP This not only doesn't allow arrow keys to move/navigate around, but it also doesn't include an intelligence at all. You also can't mark or highlight anything to obtain information and it doesn't highlight resupply (even if placed by friendlies). It does allow you to issue squad commands, but there is not enough detail (such as no terrain mapping) to indicate if this is a gully or a valley. If you need to get to high ground you are really unsure if that is higher than another point, and if you need to remain undetected you're unsure if that point is lower than another.
Also considering the fact that before each mission you ARE NOT provided the ability to review the map or the briefing and to where units are deployed makes this map even more important in the game, and yet it is quite ineffective.
What I would have preferred is they cut out all (or most) of the stupid rhetoric and innuendo's and actually provided descent mission briefings that include intelligence reports such as unit strength etc, that would have been better. Instead you end up with a whole load of dialogue that actually detracts from the game by not adding anything informative or even interesting to listen to, but you're forced to listen to most of it as it happens during the transport sequences that the game prevents you from skipping. From now I will call these coffee or toilet break sequences, because that is all they are good for. Another term that could be used are "Mute Moments", because that will come in handy.
Damage can be sustained to many environmental objects (such as buildings), which can be annoying if you happen to be inside one at the time.
There are a few vehicles (mainly hummers) which you can drive. No other vehicle is usable in the game.
There are no lone wolf missions. You are forced to work with your squad and the whole division with each mission. Once again another lost opportunity as I had many enjoyable hours in OFP where missions would have you separated from your squad (ie downed chopper) and you had to hump back through enemy territory (with limited ammo and resources, no radio) and only a map / compass, in order to return to your front lines.
Weapon sound effects I thought were a bit flat. A 50 calibre sniper rifle should have much more punch and dimensions to the sound it generated, but it sounded quite flat and dull in this game. No indication to it's true power. Assault rifles and other sniper rifles just didn't sound loud enough, or portray what they actually are. The mounted guns sounded as expected.
It is sometimes difficult to identify the location of a sound, even using headphones, pinpointing a direction is not realistic.
The ingame help has no knowledge of what keys you have configured and therefore is completely useless.
The weapon configuration / campaign start screens, plus the class select screens layout are all very messy and not very intuitive. There is no natural progress as to which step should be done first.
The weapon loadout screen is handled BEFORE the official mission briefing, which I think is completely the wrong way around. You need to know about the current mission before you select the desired equipment. You can however view the text briefing before or after you go into the weapon loadout screen, but on the menu it appears lower, which to me indicates it is to happen after? As mentioned else where there is no natural progression to these menu screens or their layout.
When you fail a mission (or die), you are returned to the menu system and you have three options. Restore last checkpoint, restart mission or continue. Why is continue there? it does not continue on in the game (as if to skip this mission), instead it just restores the last checkpoint. It is completely unnecessary
You are assigned specific tasks which you can perform, such as call in mortar strike.
Being able to utilize additional assets, such as mortars and missile strikes is great, but the few instances that these are offered, they are usually attached with a limited time window, or you're already in a compromising position where survival is challenging enough (due to the blatant and prolific spawning of enemies), so you don't have time to stop use the binoculars, range target and call in support.
Plus the fact that you CAN NOT MOVE while using the binoculars is also pretty stupid and limiting, plus when you are given fire team support there is little to no indication as to where you can target it. Target the wrong location and you get bitched at over the radio, even if what you targeted takes out a whole range of advancing enemies.