Skira is a lovely little island in the Pacific Ocean just north of Japan and was always the center of many conflicts because of its strategic value. Sadly, nice beaches and crystal blue water isn’t the only thing Skira has to offer. After the second world war, the Russians managed to gain control over the island and found a huge oil deposit of a size similar to the ones in the middle east. No one cared at first but China’s economy grew and grew and with it their need for oil. Then the recession hit. China’s manufacturing industry was especially affected and civil unrest got stronger and stronger bringing the country closer and closer to a civil war. Because of these riots the National People’s Army guarding the Russian border under the lead of General Zhang was put on high alert, further increasing the tension between China and the international community. As Russia was preparing for the worst-case-scenario, General Zhang suddenly invaded Skira saying that the island is the rightful historical property of China. Since Russia is too busy preparing for a possible war against China on the ground, they ask the USA for assistance in regaining control over the island. Soon afterwards UH-10 Black Hawks are sighted over Skira and in one of those helicopters: the player.
Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising is an action-orientated military-simulation. The player moves through the mission areas in a typical first-person-shooter fashion and has to fulfill certain objectives like blowing up a generator or taking out anti-air-guns in order for the invasion to move along. But since realism plays an important part in this game, the player can’t just walk up to the enemy base and shoot everyone. Instead he and his three squad-mates have to use the different stances like crouching and couching to move from cover to cover in different formations and think before a bullet is fired or in short: the player needs to take a tactical approach in order to not end up dead in the high grass. To that end, he has a radial, context-sensitive menu at his disposal with which he can give specific orders to his teammates. In addition, the player can change the weapons-load-out of each team-mate (and himself) at the beginning of each mission to what best fits the situation. The armory only covers real-world weaponry like the MK16 MOD 0 Assault Rifle. If all the sneaking didn’t help and combat ensues, the player has to watch both his blood- and injury-status. Depending on where and how badly he has been wounded e.g. his arm, his ability to keep his weapon straight decreases. In addition each wound causes the player to loose blood and of course once he has lost too much blood, he’ll lose consciousness and the mission is over.
The game features several multiplayer-modes. The players can either take on the whole campaign together or just one mission or engage each other in “Destruction”, which is similar to Team Deathmatch, or “Infiltration” in which the smaller team has to fulfill an objective while the other has to prevent it from destroying their target. As opposed to the single-player campaign where the player has only limited access to vehicles like jeeps or helicopters, the selection in multiplayer is much greater and covers everything from a HUMVEE to a AH-1 Cobra helicopter. The PC-version also includes a powerful map-editor.