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Conflict: Denied Ops!

The fifth game in the long-running Conflict series has finally arrived, but will the latest Conflict game bring anything new to the table?

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BOOM: The story of Conflict is not the worst aspect of Conflict, but it sure isn't the best. The story revolves around two denied ops across 10 levels. As with the four previous games in the franchise, the theme here is military and the gameplay is stuck in the neutral zone between one-bullet-and-you're-dead hardcore games and others where you can soak up lead like a sponge before finally dropping.

The story in the campaign is typical of these run of the mill shooters, with you taking charge of a pair of Special Forces ops working to uncover a nuclear-arms conspiracy through 10 missions spread across the globe.

The perspective has been switched to first-person from the third-person featured in the previous Conflict games, however, and your squad's been cut back to two commandos from four.

These changes don't make a great deal of difference to how the game plays, though. Being able to switch between the sniper Graves and heavy gunner Lang is so insignificant that there isn't even a use for the second character.

The core "draw-in" of Conflict is simply BOOM. And a lot of them. Virtually everything in Conflict is explode-able and you will be forced to wade through wave after wave of enemies (at least they have smart AI) while seemingly harmless objects combust around you.

Two For A Team: The best part of Conflict (it still isn't great though) is the focus on teamwork. You are able to control your teammate with quick presses of the button/clicks of the mouse. Your teammate's AI is good enough to survive adequately, but he does have occasional slip ups.

Most of the time, you can count on your buddy to kill his fair share of enemies if he is positioned correctly and you can even assign him to help take down level bosses like combat choppers.

The only problem here is that your squadmate often is a little too determined to get follow his orders. He typically won't move out of his position until you have ordered him into a new spot, which tends to cause tightness in small corridors.

Likewise, you have to be careful when assigning your pal to the wheel of drivable vehicles. When he's at the wheel of the drivable vehicles in the game; he's more than happy to roll right over you if you get in the way of letting him complete your order.

DIEEEEE: Other than the often smooth teammate control, there isn't much here out of the ordinary. Level design is the very definition of following the blueprints, although the campaign is attempted be spiced up by letting you choose the order that you tackle some objectives in.

While the graphics are often decent, and there are various sceneries to behold such as the Venezuelan countryside, a Siberian castle, an icy Russian whaling depot, and the dusty streets of a Rwandan city, goals are never any deeper then killing everyone you see and blowing everything up.

On occasion you will be tasked with "interesting" objectives like stealing data from computers and setting explosive charges, but generally this is a linear killing spree.

The fast pace that the game moves at though helps alleviate the pain. Even though you're gunning down the same terrorists (and they all look the same too) over and over, you do empty a clip pretty fast.

This isn't Call of Duty 4 pace, but the speed is rapid enough to keep you from feeling bogged down by endless enemies or uninventive objectives. Being able to blow up near everything provides further excitement.

Levels are peppered with barrels, gas cans, and propane tanks ready to go boom at a single shot, and oddly enough, you can't seem to turn around without some horrible incident like a helicopter exploding happening.

To further prove the explosiveness of the entire world, sometimes a simple wooden box will explode in a bevy of fireworks just because of a tap. All of the speed and explosions give the game an exciting, if dreadfully dimwitted, feel.

What Was That: Visual and audio flaws are further irritants. Graphics are solid (not cutting edge by any degree) in the 360 version of the game, but the color palette tends to become way too dark and the text is absolutely tiny.

This gives everything a murky, dim look that will force you to squint all the time. Sadly, these flaws are even more apparent in the PS3 game, which also suffers from the occasional drops in the frame rate.

Poor audio quality is a major drawback. Although the 360 and PS3 versions of the game don't have the PC edition's weird echo effects that make every conversation sound like they are talking in the middle of the Grand Canyon.

Dialogue here is horrid, and is very similar to old, teammate focused movies. Graves being the hard-nosed veteran who's tough, and Lang being the cocky young one who adds "mother****er" to the end of every sentence. In fact, everyone adds "mother****er" to the end of every sentence.

The music is just as obnoxious, too, a blob of generic rock that sounds as if it were clipped from the soundtrack of an '80s cop show. (It probably was, knowing this game).

Rent vs. Buy: Conflict: Denied Ops isn't a very good game, and they're too many flaws in it to be even decent. You often have to struggle with the controls, look at the less then great visuals, and endure the corny music.

Also, there is a multiplayer mode, but it isn't anything special by a long shot. It features the basic deathmatch, team deathmatch, and conquest, but there weren't many players on the servers at the time of writing (I wonder why).

If you head into Conflict: Denied Ops with low expectations, and a love of classic shooters, then you won't be crushingly disappointed by the game.

Report Card

If you head into Conflict: Denied Ops with low expectations, and a love of classic shooters, then you won't be crushingly disappointed by the game. (Krakrabbit.com)

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