Conflict: Denied Ops: review

  • Format: PS3 (version reviewed), 360, PC
  • Unleashed: Out Now
  • Publisher: Eidos Interactive
  • Developer: Pivotal Games
  • Players: 1 – 2
  • Site:

This is not a new game; far from it. Released in early 2008, this title has been largely forgotten. This is both a good and a bad thing. Consider this review to be a public service announcement, on the grounds that it has a chance to prevent at least one poor soul from buying it at a ‘bargain’ price. The only current gen game known to be worse than Conflict: Denied Ops is Two Worlds. Yup, it’s that bad.

There’s no point wasting anybody’s time trying to describe or justify the gung – ho, jingoistic, simultaneously tired and ludicrous plot. All you really need to know is that you take charge of two Americans who spend the entire game wreaking havoc and shooting foreigners in the face. Now, get your eyes ready for a good rolling: one character carries a machine gun and favours all – out combat, and is also harder to kill. The second unlikeable protagonist is a sniper with less health, who is apparently ‘stealthy’ and prefers to take out enemies from a distance.

Oh, and how’s this for a neat twist? One guy is white, but the other guy is black! If this isn’t obvious to you from their skin colours (possible, thanks to the PSOne quality graphics) then the scriptwriters help you out by having the black guy call the white guy ‘bro’ throughout the game, as well as hilariously inventive honorifics such as ‘whiteboy’. Two so very different people! Chalk and cheese, but – here’s the twist in the tale – they work together great.

Well, they do in the context of the ‘plot’. If you slit the throats of newborn babies in a previous life and find yourself playing this game, they don’t work together very well at all. Rather than Artificial Intelligence, this game seems to use Artificial Stupidity across the board. You can swap between the two characters at any time, but AS is always in charge of whichever one you’re currently not fighting the game for control of. How, when, and why your partner helps you out in a firefight seems to be decided entirely at random. Matters certainly aren’t helped by the fact that the friendly AS seems determined to stay as far away from you as possible, which is most apparent when one of you needs to be revived.

Isn't it beautiful?

A body full of bullets does not mean death, of course not! If you or your partner take too much damage, you writhe around on the floor like a child who’s eaten too many Mars bars and wait for the other to come over and ‘revive’ you. When you fall you need to press a button to tell your buddy to get his arse in gear and come over to help. More often than not, you’ll find that he’s for some reason about half a mile behind you (often where there are no enemies whatsoever) and takes a leisurely stroll in your direction when he feels like it. When the AS needs reviving, it’ll usually be because it’s decided to run ahead straight into the line of fire of at least four automatic weapons.

The AS shows little more competence when telling those dastardly not – Americans what to do. It’s sometimes possible to run straight up to an enemy and shoot them at point – blank range in their poorly rendered face. This is just as well because even on the easiest difficulty, enemies tend to soak up bullets like a cheap whore soaks up broken dreams.

Don’t expect to show much more competence yourself. This has nothing to do with your lack of skill; blame that for your poor performance in a decent FPS. Here you can blame the shoddily indistinct graphics, epileptic – threatening frame rate, depressingly inaccurate weapons, poorly designed controls, and frustrating AS of your team mate. You can get a friend to play the game with you online or off if you wish, but that’s a good way to lose a great deal of respect.

It looks more fun than it is. Much, much, much, much, much more fun. And it looks boring.

These two highly – trained CIA operatives don’t actually seem to be that highly trained at all, as they don’t seem to know how to operate any firearms apart from the ones they start and finish the game with. Either that, or they’re afraid to touch the weapons of dead enemies for fear of germs. Whatever the reason, picking up new weapons is a big no – no. On top of that, the console versions can sometimes refuse to produce any sound when shooting certain weapons. Amusingly, the PC version is incompatible with a huge number of sound cards, meaning that most PC gamers who buy the title won’t have a technically inept title devoid of fun – they’ll have a technically inept title devoid of fun and sound.

It scrapes together a few marks for itself. Thanks to being an FPS, you can pretend that the people you’re shooting are the people who convinced you this was worth any amount of money; it looks kind of cool when enemy soldiers hop over low walls; and given enough time and the correct tools, the disc can be made into a reasonable facsimile of the Predator’s glaive.


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Written by Tarquin X

He hates you and everything you stand for.

One comment

  1. KrazyFace /

    I should have guessed it was you doing this review, the shit-on-a-plate thumbnail said it all really.

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