|System: Xbox 360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Pivotal Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Eidos Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 12, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2(Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Not only are the enemies a nuisance in terms of hit detection, but, in general, the A.I. seems to be running haphazard routines instead of simulating any actual intelligence. The bad guys exhibit one of two habits: running around in circles and firing off a few rounds or standing behind explosive barrels. This game should win an award for "Most explosive barrels in an FPS." Every level is littered with them and has troops just stationed behind them, waiting to for someone to come by and light up a fire under their feet.
On the graphical front, Conflict: Denied Ops feels like it forgot about the leap forward between this generation of consoles and the last. While the game's engine is certainly not broken, it does not seem to push the hardware in the slightest. Textures are either bland or have that fake, glossy look, and the character models seem like they are higher resolution versions of ones from past Conflict games. The sound design won't win any awards here either. The soundtrack is barely recognizable, but in a way you may wish it stood front and center more. Why? Because then it might drown out the horrendous voice acting. Not only is the voice acting just flat-out bad-Lang sounds like a third-rate Ving Rhames-but the dialogue makes sure that if there were voice talent, it wouldn't shine through. The most you'll get out of Graves is stories about his rifle and telling Lang to shut up; on Lang's end, you'll be bombarded with a stream of expletives and name calling.
With all the bad news on the single player front, you might be wondering if the multiplayer component of Conflict: Denied Ops saves the day. Don't hold out hope-it doesn't. You can play through the single player campaign with a friend over the Internet-a true co-op experience-or play through the following multiplayer modes: deathmatch, team deathmatch, and conquest. There's only one underlying problem with these game modes: they simply recycle the levels from the single player component and drop in their respective mode's set of rules. The are a decent diversion from the single player component, but it really won't hold your attention for very long.
Conflict: Denied Ops is a lesson in imitation. The goal for any imitator is relatively simple: if you're going to copy someone or something, make sure you at least meet the pre-established bar; even better, leap over that bar and set a new one of your own. It's doubtful the developers set out to reinvent the FPS wheel, but in even the basic areas-controls, story, co-op-the experience comes off as subpar.
CCC Freelance Writer