October 1, 2007 // 11:13 pm
- During a recent meeting with Eidos we were afforded our first look at Conflict: Denied Ops, a first-person shooter currently in development at Pivotal Games. We weren't permitted to play the game on this occasion, but we were invited to watch an Eidos representative play through the first level, titled Santa Cecilia Monastery.
Conflict Denied: Ops takes place in and around Venezuela, where, in the game's version of events, the government has been overthrown by a corrupt regime and a civil war is raging. Team America offers to intervene, the regime objects and threatens nuclear-flavored reprisals, and so the US intervention is carried out in secret by two members of the CIA's "special activities" division. That's where you come in. You'll be playing as two undercover soldiers--a sniper and a machine gun specialist--whom you can switch between at any time during solo play, or whom are tailor made for cooperative play with a friend.
During our explosive tour of the war-torn monastery, it became clear that one of the most important strategies in Conflict: Denied Ops will be to have one character providing cover fire and attracting enemies' attention while the other flanks them. The game has purportedly been designed with accessibility in mind, and will feature a control scheme that should be easy for newcomers to the first-person shooter genre to pick up. Switching between characters will be as easy as pushing a button, and using the two left shoulder buttons you'll be able to issue simple orders to your colleague. The left trigger will tell him to follow you or move to where you're looking depending on whether you hold it or tap it, and the left bumper will be used to target enemies or areas that you want your teammate to concentrate his fire on. Furthermore, if you send your colleague toward any object that he can interact with, he will do so automatically, whether it be opening a door or hacking into an enemy communication system.
Given that weapons are kind of a big deal in first-person shooters, you might be concerned to hear that there are no alternate weapons for your specialized characters to pick up as you play the game. Fear not, though, because at the end of each mission you'll be awarded upgrades and/or new weapons for your arsenal. After beating the first level, for example, your machine gun guy will get a grenade launcher, and your sniper will gain a gun camera that makes it easier to shoot from behind cover as well as a shotgun to deal with enemies who get a little too close for comfort. Both characters can also perform melee attacks, incidentally.
You'll have the ability to commandeer vehicles in Conflict: Denied Ops as well, although the only one that we got to see during our demo was a small tank. The vehicle's 73mm cannon proved more than up to the job of showing off how destructible the game's environments are, and also made short work of enemy tanks and helicopters toward the end of our session. We're told that all of the vehicles in Conflict: Denied Ops will be designed with cooperative play in mind, so, for example, when using the tank while playing with a friend, one of you will be responsible for driving while the other mans the turret.
In addition to the story-driven mode, Conflict: Denied Ops will feature competitive multiplayer content of some description, but Eidos isn't revealing any details on it at this time. We look forward to bringing you more information as soon as it becomes available.