Conflict: Denied Ops Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Conflict: Denied Ops box art
System: Xbox 360, PS3, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Pivotal Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Eidos Interactive 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Feb. 12, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2(Online) 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Not only are the enemies a nuisance in terms of hit detection, but, in general, the A.I. seems to be running haphazard routines instead of simulating any actual intelligence. The bad guys exhibit one of two habits: running around in circles and firing off a few rounds or standing behind explosive barrels. This game should win an award for "Most explosive barrels in an FPS." Every level is littered with them and has troops just stationed behind them, waiting to for someone to come by and light up a fire under their feet.

Conflict: Denied Ops screenshot

On the graphical front, Conflict: Denied Ops feels like it forgot about the leap forward between this generation of consoles and the last. While the game's engine is certainly not broken, it does not seem to push the hardware in the slightest. Textures are either bland or have that fake, glossy look, and the character models seem like they are higher resolution versions of ones from past Conflict games. The sound design won't win any awards here either. The soundtrack is barely recognizable, but in a way you may wish it stood front and center more. Why? Because then it might drown out the horrendous voice acting. Not only is the voice acting just flat-out bad-Lang sounds like a third-rate Ving Rhames-but the dialogue makes sure that if there were voice talent, it wouldn't shine through. The most you'll get out of Graves is stories about his rifle and telling Lang to shut up; on Lang's end, you'll be bombarded with a stream of expletives and name calling.

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With all the bad news on the single player front, you might be wondering if the multiplayer component of Conflict: Denied Ops saves the day. Don't hold out hope-it doesn't. You can play through the single player campaign with a friend over the Internet-a true co-op experience-or play through the following multiplayer modes: deathmatch, team deathmatch, and conquest. There's only one underlying problem with these game modes: they simply recycle the levels from the single player component and drop in their respective mode's set of rules. The are a decent diversion from the single player component, but it really won't hold your attention for very long.

Conflict: Denied Ops is a lesson in imitation. The goal for any imitator is relatively simple: if you're going to copy someone or something, make sure you at least meet the pre-established bar; even better, leap over that bar and set a new one of your own. It's doubtful the developers set out to reinvent the FPS wheel, but in even the basic areas-controls, story, co-op-the experience comes off as subpar.

By Jason Lauritzen
CCC Freelance Writer

Functional-and that's about it
Solid and simple to pick up. However, the shoddy vehicle controls leave much to be desired.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The score barely stands out and the voice acting is third-rate.
Play Value
The main campaign can be wrapped up in six hours and the multiplayer isn't enticing enough to warrant additional attention.
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • A fully co-operative, first person shooter that allows you to swap instantly between Graves and Lang. Use each Agent's individual skills and weapons to create the perfect Denied Ops fighting unit: order an Agent to lay down suppressive fire while you assault a position; use 'Bounding Overwatch' tactics to clear out a stairwell; or set-up a deadly crossfire to cut your enemies to ribbons - all while A.I. seamlessly takes control of your fellow Agent.
  • Unparalleled tactical action gameplay offering a variety of different approaches to any given mission: switch to silenced weapons and adopt stealth tactics; go loud by making full use of Lang's devastating array of heavy weaponry; pick off targets from a distance with Graves' deadly-accurate sniper rifle; or use flashbang grenades to get up close and personal and launch a bone-crunching melee attack.
  • Hundreds of destructible objects and the most impressive particle and smoke effects seen to date on next-generation consoles. From gas cylinders and barrels, all the way up to tanks, trucks, and combat helicopters - if it looks like it can be blown up, it can be blown up.
  • A range of vehicles and off-map support including: APCs, tanks, and hovercrafts, which can all be commandeered during a campaign; AH-64D Apache helicopters and F-22 fighter jets to provide close air support; and SAD's own fleet of Pave Low helicopters to fast-rope Agents into combat or extract them following the successful completion of a mission.
  • A full Co-op campaign enabling you to team up with a friend, pick your favorite character and play through the entire campaign story co-operatively. Whether playing via Xbox LIVE, PlayStation Network or Gamespy, you won't miss any movies or set pieces that can be experienced in the single player campaign. Conflict Denied: Ops offers a co-operative experience in the truest sense - even the driveable vehicles can be driven by one player while another mans the gun.
  • Take part in unique multiplayer action for up to 16 players online, or 4 players in splitscreen. Control either Graves or Lang and compete in classic Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Conquest game types across a wide range of the Campaign locations. Rank yourself against the best online players around the world, via Gamespy, Xbox LIVE or PlayStation Network.

  • Screenshots / Images
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