Eurogamer: Army training is useful for something then?
Sion Lenton: Yeah, yeah. Ha ha!
Eurogamer: Let's say I want to join the army. Will I better my chances by playing Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising?
Sion Lenton: You'd probably have a better chance than you would if you played [Call of Duty]. Ha ha. No hiding behind rocks to get better in real life, I tell you.
Eurogamer: I'm glad you mentioned Modern Warfare 2. Do you think it's over-hyped?
Sion Lenton: The very nature of the game, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, is a hyped event. It's kind of like the Michael Bay of videogames. Its budget, its sales, all these kind of things - it is a huge game. But if you're worried that about kind of thing then nobody would ever make games - there would only be one football game, one shooter game and one platform. It's healthy to have competition.
I don't actually think we're in the same place as Modern Warfare 2, anyway. We're a different creature. We'll probably get people buying [our game] and Modern Warfare 2 as well. There's a market for both. I really see Modern Warfare 2 as Hollywood and we're the Cannes, the arty documentary - dare I say the reportage-style thing. So, two very different creatures. But [Modern Warfare] is a great game. I'll be buying it, I'll be playing it and I'm sure you will as well.
It's going to be interesting, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a few nods to our game in there - we saw a lot of the Infinity Ward developers playing our game at E3, which was quite nice.
Eurogamer: Be nice to shoot them, I suppose.
Sion Lenton: Yeah, heh heh - be queuing up! Heh heh.
Eurogamer: What's the plan for the series after Dragon Rising has been and gone?
Sion Lenton: Onwards and upwards, hopefully. I'm relatively confident - I'm very confident that this game's going to be successful. We've got the DLC that we're working on in the studio itself, and we're always looking ahead, prototyping new ideas and new stuff. We've got a whole studio here dedicated to making s***-hot first-person shooters. We've got a great team and they're all very talented and they're actually working now on stuff we never got to fully prototype, etc. It's a really nice phase at the minute, working through some of the features we didn't get in the first title.
But as far as the franchise is concerned: Codemasters views it as one its strongest, and certainly moving forward I imagine it's going to be in our portfolio for the duration.
The Army Man
Eurogamer: Sir! Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Major Neil Powell: I've spent 23 years in the army, of which my early years were with the infantry. I spent a large period of time working for the military police in the special investigation branch, which is the Army's equivalent of the CID I suppose.
Eurogamer: Are you a keen gamer?
Major Neil Powell: Yes, I'm afraid for my sins I'm a 45-year-old 17-year-old, if that makes sense?
Eurogamer: You are allowed to play games these days.
Major Neil Powell: Yeah [laughs].
Eurogamer: And what did you contribute to Operation Flashpoint?
Major Neil Powell: I've done nothing. All they've asked me to do is review Flashpoint from the perspective of an ex-serving infantry-stroke-soldier. They wanted me to look at the reality, I suppose, although why everyone has to use Marine Corps tactics I don't know - probably because it's done more in The States. It's a wee bit sad.
Eurogamer: That's because British tactics are better! Aren't they?
Major Neil Powell: They're just different, really.
[Operation Flashpoint] has got the American Field Manuals, which are the American Bibles, they've got those absolutely sorted. No problem at all. Brilliant stuff.
Eurogamer: Was your career in the army a bit like the campaign in Operation Flashpoint?
Major Neil Powell: Yes. A long time ago. I'm a veteran of the Balkans wars. I'm not an Afghanistan veteran.