Most of the time, when people say "with the best will in the world," or "I don't mean to be rude," you know full well they're probably going to follow it up with something unnecessarily harsh. It's a cheap way of softening the blow, when, in fact, you'd perhaps prefer they just came out and said something. But in this case, we really do have the best will in the world for this ridiculously long overdue port of Operation Flashpoint. It's one of the most progressive, ambitious, forward-looking military shooters of its time - that time being 2001.
There's no easy way to say this... and we really don't mean to be rude, but, tempting low price or not, it's just hard not to be completely put off by how eye-gougingly hideous the game looks in this day and age. It's hard, but not impossible. You just have to almost completely shut off your brain to the current standard and be aware that looks really aren't everything. Yes, it's still a great game, just one that happens to be one of the worst looking ever released in the Xbox's history. What a dilemma.
There are undoubtedly a barrel load of genuinely good reasons as to why Codemasters and Bohemia ported the game so faithfully and didn't update the graphics engine or the character models, but it's desperately disappointing to think that so many potential fans of the game won't be able to see past the shambling soldiers, vile texturing and amateurish presentation. Cramming such wide open maps into the relative confines of the Xbox was evidently enough of a challenge on its own, and one that took years to satisfactorily accomplish - but it's unlikely Joe public will understand this. Getting a no-compromises version to run at a decent frame rate with minimal pop-up was apparently a huge challenge on the Xbox, yet who's around in the press to understand this and educate the public otherwise? We'll give it a go.