Jeanne nails it when she says this about the author. "Wow, it is ever obvious that was not written by a blogger! The greatest virtue and the greatest annoyance of online searches is how often they lead you in unintended directions -- sometimes useful ones, and sometimes you end up watching James Brown dance. There's nothing straight and narrow about a Web. That's why it becomes addicting."
It is important to make the distinction between Operation Flashpoint: Elite being a ‘Military Simulator’ and not a traditional First Person / Third Person Shooter (FPS/TPS). Attempting to play Operation Flashpoint: Elite as you would Halo 2 for instance will result in certain failure as ‘run-and-gun’ tactics just don't work. As an accurate simulation of military combat, you have to play Operation Flashpoint: Elite as if your own arse was on the line. When the rounds start flying you must get down low and get behind cover or you will soon find yourself dead. You can not survive many bullet or shrapnel wounds and on the harder difficulty levels, dying after only one shot is common…as in real life.
Now this is what I call a review. Not because Operation Flashpoint: Elite is awarded a good score. But because the reviewer took the time and effort to give a comprehensive overview of an extraordinary achievement, akin to squeezing an elephant into a bathtub.
Yesterday took me about a half dozen tries to properly lay down three satchel charges on the road... had to observe the passing convoy a couple times to judge about how far apart to lay them... then I hiked up the hill and crouched down behind some brush. Looked through my binoculars and watched the approaching convoy... three tanks, followed at a distance by an armored vehicle of some kind. I waited until the tanks were in close proximity to the satchel charges (as best as I could tell, could only make a good guess, but this time I got smart and layed the first charge opposite a telephone pole I could use as reference... that's why it took a half dozen tries... previous attempts had me blowing maybe one or two tanks. The remaining tank would spot me pretty quick and blow me away... one time soldiers hopped out of the surviving tank and cut me down pretty quick.), then I blew the charges and all hell ensued. All three tanks blew a couple feet off the ground, then they settled and burned. I could see bodies on the road. I radioed Bravo Company to take out the approaching armored vehicle. Went down and looted the bodies for weapons. Got in the tank but the damn thing would only go in reverse... the blast must have damaged the transmission? Got out and met Bravo at the now bombed out armored vehicle (good job, guys!) We then proceeded to the nearby town. As we approached, I radioed Charlie Company to come in from the west so we could catch the Soviets in a pincers movement. There were some very hairy moments as several of us took enemy fire. We lost two men. But we decimated the Soviets. Good job!
"Operation Flashpoint Elite is an anti-war game. It seems an odd thing to say, given the violent nature of the battles on offer. But this isn't some blood and gore shooter, it's a very disciplined look at military operations - it's about soldiers, not super-soldiers. Most of the combatants are reluctant, playing a part in a conflict none of them wishes to be involved in."
Like the Grand Theft Auto series, this is a big sandlot of a game. There are no invisible walls. You can go anywhere. The outcome of a mission does not necessarily depend on you. You are not a super soldier. (I've been on a couple missions where I hardly got to fire a shot. My comrades literally won the skirmish while I unsuccessfully stalked the enemy, lost. Must brush up on map reading skills.) You are, at the beginning of the game, a very scared and confused grunt. Most times you'll die with a bullet to the head, or two bullets to the body. And most times you won't even know who killed you. But, with practice, you'll learn that cover is your best friend, and that lying prone/crawling the ground is essential if you want to stay alive.
"Lying in the woods, with the echo of enemy gunfire growing every closer, it's clear that Flashpoint offers a tense and involving atmosphere like few other games. The sense of isolation on the large maps, especially when you're the last survivor of a unit, is remarkable. The famous quotes on the futility of war that are shown when you die add to the feeling you're caught up in something tragic."
I've been hanging out with the developers and fans somewhere on the other side of the world. (I really should look at a map and pinpoint just where in the world this small studio is.) You need to register if you want to post. Great insights from the game's developers. Operation Flashpoint proved to be so realistic that the United States Marine Corps requested it be modified to be used as a training tool. Other military services followed suit.
"The Virtual Battlespace Systems 1 (VBS1) concept was initially conceived in 2001 as the result of a business decision made by Bohemia Interactive Studio (BIS) and David Lagettie. The company Bohemia Interactive Australia (BIA) was formed and work commenced on the first version of VBS1."
"VBS1 is based upon the popular computer game Operation Flashpoint (OFP). OFP was a very advanced game for its time - large scale terrain areas with very high levels of detail (LOD), a fully functional command and control system for small teams, the flexibility of the game engine (easily customised with an inbuilt mission editor), an integrated topographic map, compass and even GPS gave the computer game obvious military potential." Full story here.
If you have a PC and haven't played this game, I suggest you do. But only if you want a realistic taste of combat. (I served in the U.S. Army from 1965-1968, so I can appreciate the realism.) Don't bother if all you want to do is play Rambo. Practically all the other war games on the market will suit you just fine, if that's your desire. This one's for grown-ups who can stay focused for more than five minutes at a time. And, best of all for you PC folks, the game can be had for about 10 bucks or so, cause it's about four years old.
If you don't own a PC but you have an Xbox (or plan on buying the Xbox 360) and you want a taste of the real thing, then hunt you down a copy. That's an order, soldier!
Update! - There's been some discussion concerning the graphics in this game. As in all things graphics, much depends on your cables (use RGB for best results) and on your TV. The better the TV/cables, the happier you'll be. I think this soldier looks darn good.
"A 150 kiloton bomb constructed by terrorists is detonated in the heart of Manhattan, at the foot of the Empire State Building. The bomb goes off without warning at noon time. It's a clear spring day with a breeze to the east."
The very different uses of the word "theory" provide a field day for advocates of "intelligent design." By conflating a scientific theory with the colloquial use of the word, creationists instantly diminish the significance of science in general and evolution's supporting scientific evidence in particular... This debate might be tamed if scientists clearly acknowledged both the successes and limitations of the current theory, so that the indisputable elements are clearly isolated. But skeptics have to acknowledge that the way to progress is by scientifically addressing the missing elements, not by ignoring evidence. The current controversy over what to teach is just embarrassing.
"...a possible answer to a question that has tormented scientists for decades, namely why gravity is so weak compared with the other forces of nature: in effect, we are borrowing it from another universe." On Gravity, Oreos and a Theory of Everything
Watch a young child fall down. Usually no ill effects.
Watch an old man fall down. Usually ill effects.
Old people, getting up. Often a struggle.
Next to last scene in Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey... Bowman, with great effort, is raising his right arm to point at the monolith. This scene segues into the birth of the star-child.
Dreams - gravity may be altered.
Lucid dreams - gravity can be altered.
OOBES - gravity can be altered.
The above suggests we might look at the role (intersection?) of human consciousness in our search for a more complete comprehension of the universe. Our understanding of human physiology may not be enough. Which, by golly, leads to the following tidbit...
Coincidence/synchronicity/serendipity... I examined Lisa's book at Barnes and Noble last week. Only book I actually took from the shelves that day. Then, yesterday, I finally got around to reading the science section of last Tuesday's New York Times. There on page D1 is a story (link above) about gravity and string theory. I start reading. I become absorbed. It wasn't until the fifth paragraph in that I realized Lisa Randall is the author of the book I looked at that day.
Air Apparent How a paper plane intended to annoy became an instrument of instruction. By James Quinlan Jr.
Mr. Watkins was not a teacher to be messed with. Lethargic in movement and thunderous in speech, he was a veteran educator with no tolerance for the inattentive child. Students were humbled when he intercepted their notes and posted them on the hallway bulletin board for public consumption. The sleep-deprived 10th grader who considered his physics classroom a Motel 6 was subject to verbal humiliation and sent to the nurse to be assessed for narcoleptic behavior. Detention for any of the above offenses was a given.
So to throw a paper airplane at Mr. Watkins was no act of cowardice—nor one, as an aspiring delinquent, I’d ever tried before in a classroom. The giddiness I’d felt while folding the simple dart gave way to sheer terror when I realized that the plane, which I’d named “Newton’s Apple” and had just let fly, would successfully complete its mission. As Mr. Watkins was factoring an equation on the blackboard, it beaned him on the back of the head.
The class was silent. Only George, my buddy who’d provoked me, stifled laughter through his nose. Mr. Watkins remained dead still at the board for about a century before he slowly turned and looked me directly in the eyes. The spotlight was on me. Then, with careful articulation and delivery, he said the two words that I never thought he would say. I was not sent to the principal’s office, nor was I chided in front of my peers. With perfect coolness, Mr. Watkins announced, “Nice shot.” He then turned back around and completed the equation he’d started. All mouths were agape.