E3 Expo 2011 left us little time to delve into the June release window but we did manage to settle on a few hours of Operation Flashpoint: Red River on the Xbox 360.  File under ‘strange but true’ — in May, 2011 President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden was dead yet a month later he’s alive and well in the video game Operation Flashpoint: Red River.

When last we met this game in 2011 for a hands-on demo and interview with Sion Lenton, the Creative Director, we learned about the squad combat and using the d-pad to control your troops and navigate enemy territory.  When we saw the game the first time around it didn’t look very polished in the graphics and unfortunately now that the finished game is in our hands it still doesn’t look very polished.

Some might say there’s too much an abundance of first-person military shooters out there but in order to compete with the heavies like Call of Duty then you really have to bring something new and dynamic to the table.  What Red River offers is command of your squad and using tactics over ‘twitch’ gaming (which relies more on reaction).  Red River may appeal to some shooter fans who have grown tired of running, quick-scoping and jumping into the face of battle as this franchise does have a following but is it enough of a hook to grab the general public?

With only a few hours of play into the game – our team quickly grew tired of the visuals and fighting style – Operation Flashpoint: Red River brought back memories of trying to master the complex controls of Steel Battlion.  Codemasters is a strange company – last month they delivered us a beautifully polished and fun racing game in DiRT 3 and this month they’re pushing a not-so-polished looking shooting our way.  We’re sure to have found more gems in this game along the way – however with boring cut scenes that go on forever (and no way to abort) it just became more of a task then an adventure moving forward.  Be sure to share your thoughts on the game with us if you have a chance to try it!

Operation Flashpoint: Red River is available now for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.