Chain of Command Modification for Operation Flashpoint04 Apr 2003 0
Game Enhancement Unparalleled
The Chain of Command mod for the military tactical shooter Operation Flashpoint brings several major variables to the table lacking in the core game. Even though the player could control up to eleven other AI units while in the game (and only three tanks); triggers and radio messages--all of which are added to the scenario prior to playing it--were the only method of commanding a larger force. The Chain of Command mod was created specifically to enhance field command. The player can now add large numbers of squads to their side and then control their movement, rate of engagement, and tasks. In fact, the command engine is so deep that it allows the player to issue orders with more detail than many commercially developed games allow. An array of orders combined with scheduling, backup plans, and rate of engagements grants the player endless possibilities for strategy. To top off an intuitive and intricate engine, Chain of Command also includes a mortar and artillery barrage feature. With a brilliant utilization of the field map, Chain of Command allows the player to order devastating, precisely timed artillery and mortar strikes in coordination with any attack so long as the order is within range. All equipment included within Chain of Command is quite realistic and the artillery and mortar ranges are both considerably authentic.
Admittedly, the user interface for Chain of Command is somewhat tedious and a little difficult to understand. Though the documentation is a thorough and exemplary work that illustrates to the gamer how the game works; the learning curve for this powerful tool is pretty steep. Utilizing the entire engine effectively is nearly impossible, and the basic timing and movement commands do take quite a bit of work just to become proficient. Issuing a command for a unit to board a truck, for example, one must move to a position, dismount, and then attack a particular target on a specific go-code. This might not sound too difficult to execute, but all of these orders must be issued individually and through a complicated menu appearing at the edge of the screen. A combination of action screen and map screen commands has to be issued all in real time and in the right order. However, the Chain of Command engine can slow time, allowing the player to bring the game almost to a pause. With this neat little feature, the player can either take out enemies in gruesome slow motion, which can be thoroughly hilarious (or at least it was due to my mental deficiency), or useful in issuing complicated orders when time is of the essence.
To be terse, if the player is willing to invest some time and learn the engine, their ability to command a large force with micromanagement will not only be fun, but brutally effective in warfare.
Installation and Documentation
Installation of this mod was quite a mess. Special flags, created by another modder, were necessary for the mod's function and a large part of the documentation and examples provided for Chain of Command were found in completely separate files apart from the larger engine install. All in all, there were at least four or five files, all with different methods of installation and all with different purposes and levels of necessity. Of course, one large package of all these files would be a hefty load to download for those poor souls with a dial-up connection, but I'm not particularly keen on waiting in line at www.fileplanet.com(*gulp*) for an array of different files.
Documentation and explanations were a different story altogether. The readmes and examples provided by the creators of Chain of Command were all largely helpful and in some cases downright necessary to have any understanding of how this mod can be utilized. What particularly helped me out was a working example of the mod. All the scripting and orders were available and explained to me in the scenario editor before I went out into the field. With the template, as they call it, pretty much idiot proof; I was able to figure out the basics of the engine with relatively little work. But then again, this was all done without a platoon of Soviet troops and armor bearing down on me, that grind was added with just a few clicks and waypoints.