Hey again guys. Being a big Operation Flashpoint (and military sim) fan, I picked up Red River on launch day yesterday. Read on if you want to hear my ramblings on the game.
As soon as I jumped into the game, I was presented with the standard tutorial mission, e.g. you're the new guys, replacing the old team, who were probably killed. However, Red River's tutorial is relatively short. It shows you how to shoot, reload, give basic orders and a small amount of other things before you're driven off to assault a village. This first encounter was one of the more close quarters ones, and probably the hardest if you're new to the genre or haven't played a game like Operation Flashpoint in a while. One of the things you'll notice early on are the light effects, or lighting. The way the sunlight reflects off your screen is amazing, and it can sometimes block your vision, though it makes for some amazing visual effects. The blood looks quite realistic, too. I trust you all would have seen at least one Youtube video of a sniper shooting off numerous limbs on enemy troops, and you get that effect a lot in Red River. While it's not for the faint-hearted, there are some times where combat feels genuinely amazing, and you get caught up in the heat of the battle. There's a bit of humor in there, but the chatter isn't for everyone, and it mainly serves as some light-hearted conversation fodder.
The first act of the game can feel rather boring, fighting insurgent forces in another Iraq/desert like country, but things really pick up in the 2nd act, where the Chinese PLA forces get in on the action. The very first mission in this act will show you that, unlike the insurgents, the PLA have a lot more firepower on their side, and are not to be trifled with. This is where the game produces some of it's most breathtaking moments. Times where you're the last man, fending off hordes of enemy troops while awaiting evac are some of the most difficult yet amazing experiences avaliable in recent video games.
While the game doesn't have many of those unbelievable Call of Duty like moments, such as your helicopter going down and being stranded in the middle of a burning building, the events that take place in Red River are mostly genuinely believable, and you get an actual sense of satisfaction after finishing that last well-over-an-hour mission. Unlike most games around these days, Operation Flashpoint has a campaign that can last for well over 8 hours, depending on how you play it.
While it definitely won't appeal to everyone, I'm confident that Red River will appeal to quite a lot of people, so I'm giving it a 9.
Then again, I probably wouldn't review games I don't like.