The other Spiritual Successor series to the acclaimed Operation Flashpoint trilogy from 2001-2002. Developed and published by Codemasters, without any input or co-operation from the original developers of the franchise, Bohemia Interactive Studios.
To clear up and explain the situation a bit for troping gamers: After finishing their work on Operation Flashpoint, the developer Bohemia Interactive Studios and publisher Codemasters had a major falling out and split ways. BIS took the rights to the engine, Codemasters got the rights to the name. BIS has since upgraded the engine for the sequel ARMA series, while Codemasters developed its own "official" sequel, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising. Essentially, the BIS sequels closely resemble the original, except they have much better graphics and improved gameplay, while Dragon Rising feels, well, different from the original OFP, and a lot of old veterans seem to think that it suffers from New and Improved Syndrome.
The plot of the game itself takes place in the near future, when the People's Republic of China adopts an expansionist policy and tries to capture several rich new mineral deposits in various neighbouring regions of Asia (many of the old reserves have been depleted, particularly those of fossil fuels). The latest target for the Chinese is the (fictional) resource-rich island of Skira in the icy waters of the North Pacific, formerly a Russian and Japanese disputed territory. The NATO forces are called in for help and the inevitable clash with army of the PRC starts from there.
The sequel, Operation Flashpoint: Red River is the first game in the wider franchise (including the original BIS games) that takes place in a real country: Tajikistan.
Works in this series:
- Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising (2009): The Codemasters-developed game which legally has the same name as OFP.
- Operation Flashpoint: Red River (2011): Sequel to Dragon Rising, taking place in Tajikistan, where the Chinese intervene in a conflict between the US and insurgents, further threatening security in the region.
Not to be confused with the Canadian series Flashpoint.
NOTE: Please do not list any entries related to the original Operation Flashpoint series here. They have their separate page.
Codemaster's Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising and Red River feature the following tropes:
- Actionized Sequel: The Dragon Rising/Red River development team have stated in interviews that their goal was to take the core concept of Flashpoint and produce their own more mainstream, more accessible product in the form of an open-world shooter game rather than a straight "hard simulation" like ARMA. The end product is more streamlined, has less downtime between firefights, and is somewhat more forgiving in terms of difficulty, with a similar feel to games like S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (although this still makes the gameplay much more unforgiving than any other shooter aside from hardcore sims like ARMA). Red River in particular has been even more actionized than Dragon Rising, being even closer to a mainstream shooter.
- Anti-Frustration Features: In both games, the health of you and your squad is restored to 100% at each checkpoint, to prevent you from causing an Unwinnable by Mistake situation where the game checkpoints while you're too critically injured to get through the next combat encounter, the easiest difficulty in Dragon Rising expands this to reviving dead teammates as well.
- Artificial Brilliance: Compared to ARMA 2 (and even ARMA 3 to an extent), The AI in this game is remarkably intelligent at times as they occasionally throw grenades, can independently take empty vehicles, can some-what flank and are more than capable of using waist-high cover unlike ARMA 2 AI.
- Artificial Stupidity: The AI has a decent chance to leave it's cover to rush the player, even when the player is far away for it to be suicidal, Like ARMA AI they don't know how to pick up weapons/ammo (Made worse since the player cannot order the AI to pick up ammo/weapons from corpses/crates.) and their behaviour when they fall back to the combat knife is either "Stand behind a tree and hope you don't get shot" or "Crouch run at the target slowly.".
- Awesome Personnel Carrier: The AAVP-7A1 and LAV-25 for the Americans. The Type 89, Type 92, Type 95, and the ZBD for the Chinese.
- China Takes Over A Resource Rich Island And Meddles In Central Asia
- Cluster F-Bomb: Your Marine teammates in Red River swear like...well, Marines.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Staff Sergeant Knox.
- Dueling Games: With the ARMA series, particularly when Dragon Rising was promoted on the strength of the Operation Flashpoint namenote , though Codemasters essentially ceded the issue by closing down the studio that developed Red River and announcing Codemasters' withdrawal from the shooter genre.
- Elite Mooks: Chinese Spec Ops in both games. In Dragon Rising they're treated fairly realistically; they're used for quick offensive strikes where mechanized support cannot be deployed, and while their skill level might be higher than standard troops they're not supersoldiers and are on par with regular soldiers in terms of physical abilities. In Red River, Spec Ops wear distinct-looking advanced body armor and can withstand several bullet hits before being incapacitated or killed.
- Emergency Weapon: The pistol and more certainly, the knife, which is only really useful if you want to kill a downed enemy without wasting ammo.
- Heal Thyself:
- Downplayed in Dragon Rising. You are issued a field dressing for use on yourself and squadmates when shot. However, this will only stop you from bleeding to death and will not heal and damage done to body parts. In order to do so, you then need to either call for a medic to heal your wounds properly or wait for a checkpoint, where you are instantly healed, Only the Medic class is capable of this and no one can take their syringe if they die.
- Played straight in Red River; using one field dressing stops bleeding as in Dragon Rising, while using two field dressings will actually allow you to heal damage, although doing so takes twice as long as simply stopping the bleeding.
- Hide Your Civilians: In Dragon Rising, it's never really explained why you see no civilians on Skyra, except for a brief "they were all evacuated already" explanation, however, dead civilians can be placed in the editor/encountered in a handful of missions.
- It's Up to You: Generally downplayed in Sergeant Hunter's missions in Dragon Rising; You're part of a larger force. However, an example that stands out is capturing the naval facility in the final mission. Your four man squad is expected to take the entire base by themselves and the friendly tanks that show up once you've taken out the Chinese Anti-Air mysteriously disappears. If you assist the other marine fireteam in taking out the snipers, they will flank to the base's North entrance........and do nothing.
- Little Useless Gun: Pistols in general. As with any shooter on the realistic end of the Fackler Scale of FPS Realism, pistols are a Ranged Emergency Weapon (with a very short effective range, something that's not ideal to be fighting in in this game) that only see use when you run dry of ammo for your rifle. Though, with the lack of supplies, this will be the case unless you take weapons from the Chinese. Red River lets you ditch the pistol altogether and replace it with a backup M16 assault rifle once you finish the first mission, which is highly recommended especially if you're playing a designated marksman or support gunner to complement your designated marksman rifle or LMG. In both games, at the close ranges in which a pistol would be effective, an enemy can mow you down in a quarter of a second anyway often before you'd be able to react.
- Mad Libs Dialogue: Attempted aversion (as this was a supposedly oft-cited shortcoming of Operation Flashpoint and ARMA): Dragon Rising tries to backpedal by making sentences out of phrases instead of individual words.
- Mêlée à Trois: Red River features an indirect example: The Marines invade Tajikistan to eliminate the ETIM, then the PLA intervened to do the same, and then they attacked the Marines.
- Motor Mouth: Staff Sergeant Knox in Red River never stops talking throughout the entire game. Much of what he says is certainly insightful in a Semper Fi This Is Reality sort of way, but it's still a lot like traveling through several missions with a walking Author Filibuster six feet behind you the whole game.
- Next Sunday A.D.: Reflected in the fact that pretty much all American and Chinese equipment seen is of contemporary manufacture, without any futuristic trappings. Fitting, since the original series also didn't use any hi-tech gizmos (it was set in the 80s, but still used only standard army stuff instead of experimental Cold War tech).
- Nintendo Hard: Though it is somewhat more forgiving compared to ARMA.
- One-Hit Kill: Averted in Dragon Rising; at the game's standard engagement range of about 200 meters, enemies can take up to 4-5 shots to the torso to kill, which makes it worthwhile to try and go for headshots. Played straight in Red River; insurgents go down in one shot from any weapon. PLA troops wear body armor so one hit from an assault rifle won't kill them, but they'll still be incapacitated and unable to fight unless given first aid by a squadmate. You yourself die in about 3 or 4 shots in both games unless its to the head/close range, where it easily become a one-hit kill.
- Red China: The PLA feature as adversaries in both Dragon Rising and Red River.
- RPG Elements: In Red River you get between 1-3 skill points for each mission completed depending on your mission rating, which can be used to upgrade your stats such as sprint speed, sprint duration, M16 handling, M16 accuracy, and enemy spotting ability. You also earn experience during gameplay to level up your character class, which allows you unlock new weapons in your loadout menu.
- Semper Fi: The Marines feature prominently.
- Sequel Difficulty Drop: Red River is noticeably easier and more user-friendly than Dragon Rising. You have the ability to completely restore your health instead of merely stopping bleeding, you're able to choose your loadout for each mission and are also able to start with both a marksman rifle and an assault rifle at the same time, and for the first 1/3rd of the game your enemies are poorly equipped insurgents who lack vehicle support and can be killed with one shot due to not wearing body armor. Even when you fight the PLA who are wearing body armor, one M16 shot will still incapacitate them and take them out of the fight unless they're patched up by a squadmate. Engagements also tend to take place at closer range, at an average of about 100 meters compared to an average of 200 meters in Dragon Rising. The only way in which Red River is more difficult is the fact you're less accurate with the assault rifle (capable of missing aimed shots even at 50 meters) and need to upgrade your accuracy with the game's RPG Elements.
- Shout-Out: Red River has a Stargate SG-1 reference in the opening cinematic of the final mission.
- Spin-Off: Best described as this towards Operation Flashpoint. Unlike in ARMA, there are no references to the original series. Given how the devs seem to be steering the series to take place in more Real Life countries, it might even take place in its own separate Alternate Universe.
- Tank Goodness
- Worthy Opponent: The Chinese Army is described this way in Dragon Rising, especially in the ending after they've safely been beaten. Yeah, like that's really going to stop it from being Banned in China... wait, what? It really worked??
- Averted in the sequel, which takes a much more realistic, heavily jingoistic approach to the USMC's attitude towards the opposing side.
- Wide Open Sandbox: Dragon Rising. Averted in Red River, which is noticeably more scripted and linear.