What war gamers need is a perfect balance between realism, war-gaming expertise
and geopolitics. It’s here now, in the form of a challenging, tactical
military action sim called “Operation Flashpoint.”
Players are introduced to a 1985, Cold-War scenario, where a new Soviet regime
seizes control of an island community. Underground resistance groups have mobilized
in opposition. The new Soviet government, unable to defeat the resistance, calls
upon NATO for peacekeeping forces to help restore order to the region.
It’s potentially got everything. And you—a U.S. or NATO private,
on a training mission with your squad—are smack in the middle of it.
The sim has three main components: (1) a single-mission mode, with more than
50 choices; (2) a campaign element, and (3) a multi-player selection, with space
for 16 players.
The single-mission mode allows you to execute missions found in the campaign
component, such as sniper raids, squad assaults on a town, possibly including
vehicles in the attack.
The campaign version incorporates all elements of the single-mission mode,
weaving them into a cinematic story line that runs from a private in training
camp to a battle-worn commander, somewhat similar to the story line in the HBO
series, “Band of Brothers.”
Multi-player enables all players to utilize the total skills compiled in previous
modes and apply them to real-war scenarios in player-vs.-player Internet combat.
You can create your own missions, with customized depth and complexity, using
the integrated mission editor. Utilize modern weaponry, such as M-16A2 and AK-47
assault rifles, plus a wide variety of vehicles, including tanks, trucks, choppers
and more. From Abrams tanks to Cobra helicopters, details are great and accompanied
by realistic sound effects. UH-60 helicopters and Scud launchers have been added
to broaden your tactical options.
Add to this lighting conditions and weather alternatives to increase the complexity
of the scenario. There are even accurate star constellations for navigation.
Do we still teach troops how to locate the North Star, or are we totally dependent
on global positioning systems? For new missions, new vehicles, game updates
and more, check out www.codemastersusa.com/flashpoint.
Recommended system requirements: Windows 95/98/ME/2000, DirectX 8, Pentium
II 600 MHz CPU or better, 128 MB RAM, 16-bit Direct Sound Compliant sound card,
compatible 3D graphics card with 32 MB RAM, 24X+ CD-ROM, 40 MB HD space.
Developed by Bohemia Interactive Studios, published and produced by Codemasters,
this sim was released to the U.S. public in September. Cost: $39.99.
This product—developed by Sonalysts Inc., distributed by Electronic Arts
and made in cooperation with the U.S. Naval Institute—proves that sims
have reached a level of sophistication and realism that enables them to be incorporated
into real-life training scenarios.
The Navy and Marine Corps have taken the lessons learned from prior use of
such training aids and employed them to help expand the development of sims
as tactical instructional tools at the Naval Academy and the Marine Corps University.
In Sub Command, you take tactical control of three of the most deadly modern-day
submarines during two unique and challenging campaigns. You will locate, track,
and ultimately destroy the enemy, either by launching Tomahawk missiles to inland
targets, performing reconnaissance and communicating your findings through the
polar Ice Cap, rescuing the crew of a crippled sub, or attacking enemy sea-borne
You get to command any one of three modern subs: a Seawolf, a 688(I), or an
Akula sub, each of which is equipped with the latest—and authentically
recreated—systems that include sonar, radar and target-motion analysis
The sim is equipped with enhanced sound and 3D graphics capabilities and can
support nearly 250 3D objects, from Russian trawlers to French Mirage fighters,
plus the sounds (depth charges you can “feel”) that make this game
You can thank your lucky stars that the sim provides you with automated crewman,
so controlling the sub is easy. This sim is on our “must-have” list
because of its ease of play, its capacity to teach the deployment capabilities
of modern submarines and its accurate depiction of real-life situations and
Note: The Navy is developing an expeditionary warfare training-support module
to support training of the staffs of amphibious task-force and landing-force
commanders. The services have been using sims, such as Jane’s Fleet Command—also
developed by Sonalysts—to support concept analysis at the Navy Warfare
Development Center and to teach tactics at various Navy and Marine Corps schools.
On-line game play is available at www.ea.com through August 2002. The multi-player
option (2-8 players) requires a recommended 56.KB Internet connection. A network
(2-8 players) requires a TCP/IP compliant network.
Recommended system requirements: Windows 95/98, ME, 2000 (NT is not supported),
350+ MHz CPU, Pentium II, 128 MB RAM, 8X or faster CD-ROM / DVD-ROM drive, 850
MB free HD space plus for saved games, 16 MB or greater Direct3D Video Card,
Additional Information: www.subcommand.ea.com.
Dr. David LL. Silbergeld is a member of the Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict Division of the National Defense Industrial Association. His e-mail
address is email@example.com.