The newest in its series, “Operation Flashpoint: Red River,” like its predecessors, is set in an actual possible war-zone location. In “Red River,” this is Tajikistan, a republic in Central Asia bordering China and Afghanistan. Players are United States Marine Corps who fight guerilla fighters as well as the People’s Liberation Army of China in 10 campaign missions and four quick-play missions each with two maps. Depending on how well players complete these, they can gain metals and experience.

The main playing format is the four-man co-op. This works well for multiple players but as the game has good AI, it also works for those playing alone as they can issue commands to their units. There are four different marine classes: rifleman, auto-rifleman, scout and grenadier. As players gain experience, guns, attachments, equipment and the two types of perks, B-mods and specials are unlocked. The classes mostly come down to how much players want to move around or get close to the enemy, each featuring their own advantages and boost.

“Operation Flashpoint” spins the usual first-person shooter game with its slower tactical element offset with quick firefights. It is not about who shoots fastest. It’s about strategy. Players will use the environment to pick good positions and use long-range action instead of running up to enemies to shoot them. This way, the game seeks to provide realistic combat, from ricocheting bullets to calling in combat support such as air strikes. The towns and mountains of Tajikistan don’t make for the most interesting landscape or graphics, however, the game makes up for that in its delivery.

“Red River” easily supplies a test for players to outsmart the game. Enemies are crafty and can kill you with one well-placed shot. Fortunately, this is not the norm, but where players get shot also determines how fast they can die and if players will be able to heal themselves. To help guide players through challenges, they have the memorable character Knox’s 10 rules.

With challenging difficulty levels and scoring system, this seemingly quick game can create hours of playtime.

Grade: B+

“Operation Flashpoint: Red River” is currently available.