Last week, Codemasters revealed to online industry magazine Develop that it is working on new iterations in the Race Driver: Grid and Operation Flashpoint series. Today, IGN has published a first-look at the newest installment in the Operation Flashpoint series, which will be known as Operation Flashpoint: Red River. The interview indicates that while the developer has focused on recreating an authentic battlefield experience, they are also trying to make the game more fun. However, IGN emphasizes that this does not imply the game is becoming less hardcore or challenging, but that the developers are merely adding more variety to the game.
The events in Red River will take place in Tajikstan (Central Asia) where players will once again take on the role of US operatives who face off against the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Players will have access to 200 square kilometers of terrain. In an attempt to avoid alienating players who are used to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 or Battlefield: Bad Company 2, the developer points out that they have intentionally placed the first several missions in areas that are more akin to the environments found in these games. This likely implies that the first few missions will be set in urban areas and that as the game progresses, environments will become more open.
In a further attempt to appeal to a wider audience, the Codemasters representative indicated that the overall user interface has been tweaked and that radial menu, which drew major criticism in the previous installment for being too complex, has been streamlined. Several modes of assistance can also be activated, though players retain the ability to play without any form of assistance at all.
Codemasters indicated that the new Operation Flashpoint will not have competitive multiplayer modes, but instead focus on cooperative play. Besides ensuring that the cooperative aspect of the game will be top-notch, the lack of competitive multiplayer also ensures that Operation Flashpoint: Red River does not treat into ethical “murky waters.” Refering to games such as the upcoming Medal of Honor, creative director Sion Lenton indicated that he is “not sure if [he] I want[‘s] to play as the Taliban shooting American soldiers. […] That’s a live conflict and you have to treat it with maximum respect.”
Operation Flashpoint: Red River will be released for PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2011.