Conflict: Denied Ops Review

The Conflict series returns, or does it???

Review by Darren Cartledge
Published 14th March 2008

Conflict: Denied Ops

  • Developer: Pivotal Games
  • Publisher: Eidos
  • Release Date: 8th February 2008

In a time when the First person shooters seem to be becoming more complex, keeping things simple could be the recipe for success, and that is exactly what Pivotal games have done with their latest instalment in the Conflict series.

Conflict: Denied Ops is set in today’s volatile political climate, you take control of two agents from the CIA’s Special Activities Division, it’s your mission to prevent a third world dictatorship from gaining control of nuclear weapons. The game takes you across South America, Russia and Africa where you must track down and eliminate the men dealing in the deadly weapons.

As mentioned above Conflict: Denied Ops puts you in control of two characters, Lincoln Graves and Reggie Lang both are experts in military tactics and offer a different way to play the game. Graves is more of a stealth based character armed with a high powered rifle, while Lang is the power, armed with an M134 light machine gun to rip through an enemy’s defences.

You are able to switch between the two characters at anytime during the games missions and when in control of one you are able to give simple commands to the other character. On the downside the games order system is rather clumsy as there’s only one button to issue orders with, and its action depends on what is currently highlighted by your crosshair. For instance highlighting an enemy will mean that the other character attacks that enemy, whilst pointing to an area will order the AI controlled character to move to that position. This system often leads to you issuing orders by accident, with the added annoyance of you having to order the AI controlled character to follow you each time after issuing an order, as they will not automatically follow you after been given other instructions.

The games campaign can be played as a single player or co-op mode and is fairly extensive with a mix of missions that see you gathering intelligence, recovering weapons or sabotaging enemy facilities. However, you will often find yourself assigned with completing the same objectives throughout the game, which can become repetitive after the first few missions.

Conflict: Denied Ops is a classic style pick-up and play style shooter, the controls are easy to get to grips with and whilst this may sound like a good thing this simplicity is Denied Ops biggest weakness, making the game feel very shallow as you simply walk through a level from point to point shooting bad guys.

Most of the missions can be completed simply by blasting your way through and completing a series of objectives, whilst some try to encourage you to take a more stealthy approach. However, trying to play this way doesn’t really work very well and you will soon resort back to the classic style of play. Another bad point about Conflict: Denied Ops is that during the missions in the game you will often find yourself retracing previously explored areas.

Weapons in the game are fairly limited! Don’t expect to be able to pick-up a downed enemy’s weapon as you are limited to using the specific weapon of your character, which is upgraded in some way at the end of each mission. Upgrades include enhancements such as a grenade launcher to Lang’s machine gun and a shotgun module for Graves’s sniper rifle.

The game offers pretty good enemy AI, they will often shout for backup and try and flank your position, however they do tend to spawn up in the same places over and over, so if you get killed you will soon learn where your enemies are hiding. If you really get stuck the game does offer multiple routes, through a level with some being easier then others despite facing the same number of enemies, you simply come at them from a different angle.

The modern day first person shooter doesn’t seem to be complete without the addition of vehicle based action, and this is no different for Conflict: Denied Ops which allows you to get behind the controls of vehicles such as tanks and hovercraft. For the most part the games vehicle sequences have been implemented well, although they are a little short which makes them feel like an after thought rather then a key gameplay element.

Environments in the game feature a lot of destructibility, with you being able to blast through certain walls and crates in order to take out your enemies. You can also shoot explosive barrels that can create impressive chain of explosions taking out a considerable number of enemies.

Adding to the replay value of Denied Ops, the game features all the multiplayer modes you would expect from any first person shooter, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Conquest and Co-operative play, which seem to run pretty much lag free.

Graphically Conflict: Denied Ops is ok, it’s not the best looking game available for the current consoles. Some of the games environments are a little bland and most have a murky look to them. Sound in the game also isn’t the best, voice acting is fairly annoying, with regular use of swearing which seems to have been thrown in simply for the sake of it, whilst the dialogue in general and the games soundtrack are both poor.

Conflict: Denied Ops has a very classic shooter feel to it, if your looking for a simple uninvolved game that will allow you to have a quick blast then you could do worse then Denied Ops. However, in a market already filled with engrossing FPS it sadly doesn’t stand out.

Review Score: 5.8/10

Please note, this review was scored using our old system. For more information please see our review policy.

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