Updated: September 1, 2010
Today, I decided to try something new, which is to show you a lovely collection of funny and monumental screenshots taken in the original Flashpoint game, accumulated in the last decade, unlike any you've seen before. Rather than sticking to the pure fighting elements of the game, this article shows all the quirky and odds things that can happen when a bunch of people sit down for a LAN party.
We talked about the multiplayer mode in the game review, but now, I'm going to show you the dark side of what happens when several geeks meet for a shooting treat. Thus, this article is not quite a review, although it gives you a good impression of what you can do in the game. If you fancy reading a little more about the finest first person shooter ever made, do read on.
Input validation is everything
It's a funny sub-title, don't you think? Well, not quite. Like any game, OFP has its loose ends and uninitialized variables, which means that you can exploit these bugs to some rather odd and hilarious effects. We're not talking cheating, we're talking enjoying yourselves to hysteric levels. Most of the fun moments come from trying something the game never intended you to do, ending up with unpredictable results. Here's a superb example:
Poltergeisting into another soldier's body
This can happen when soldiers from opposing teams try to mount into a vehicle into the same position. So it happens that in one of the games, my brother ended up staring through my eyes. His soldier vanished somewhere into a programming blackhole. He became a ghost. Best of all, his troops would not shoot at me. Even though I looked American, I had a Soviet soul and that seemed enough for them. Alas, I have no screenshot to demonstrate this. Just believe me.
Speaking of cars ...
Soldiers from opposing teams mounting the same vehicle at the same time will work most of the time, provided you do not try to go for the same position. End result, you can have a Soviet officer riding shotgun with an American lieutenant on the wheel. Or vice versa.
The same works for Jeep with the mounted machine gun. That's true cooperation and brotherly love.
Or any vehicle whatsoever, including helicopters and tanks. Total fun all the way!
This feature seems to have been fixed by the 1.46 and 1.96 patches, but if you have an older 1.30 version at home, you can enjoy lots of fun together.
Going wild with cars
Racing cars is another strong side of this game. Grab a Skoda or a Jeep and then floor the pedal. You might not go very fast, but you will still manage some pretty slick moves. There's nothing like the sight of a lime-green Skoda zipping past your ear at 100kph two meters above ground to warm your heart on a cold day.
Going wild with cars - Xtreme edition
How about jumping off cliffs? Yeah, babe. For some reason, Flashpoint will kill you if you ram your car into a building or something of that nature, but you will survive a 300-meter leap from a cliff. Go figure. However, this makes for spectacular in-game fun.
Jumping with T-72 and shooting the gun:
On the same note, hammering the cliffside with a salvo of 80mm rockets from Kamov V-80 makes for a rather spectacular screenshot.
Entering a vehicle while running, crouching or else
This is another beautiful glitch in the game, again resolved in later versions. If you try to enter a vehicle while doing something, your unit will end up doing the same thing inside the vehicle. Switch to external view and watch some of the most hilarious moments in gaming history.
Crouching on Mi-24 rotor
This is how you do it:
Flintstone action in Skoda
Or perhaps, you pedal with your feet in a top-notch car:
Another of my favorites. Several multiplayer T-type (Team fight) missions have Scud vehicles located on the map, purely for decoration. But you can use them to fool around, including launching the rockets while your friends watch. Not exactly a bone-deep thrill, but solid fun nonetheless.
The only problem is, you can't drive the Scud launcher once the missile is erected or fold it back onto the vehicle. Jumping off a cliff with Scud erected [sic] would be a blast. And you don't know where it lands either. P.S. It turns out that you can use the Scud as a sort of a guided missile with a cluster warhead, but this feature requires a little bit of scripting in the mission setup, so it's not really meant for everyone.
Using the long bridge on Nogova for armor parades is a great way to impress chicks. Although it can take more than an hour to drive all the little tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and trucks onto the narrow bridge, it's worth the effort. As a dessert, you swoop low in a helicopter, firing FFAR.
And the satisfaction of destroying all that, including the bridge itself:
Other funny moments
Throw a smoke shell in front of an ammo truck and you get engine smoke. Holy cow.
Driving through the wall
It does not take too much speed to lodge the 2.5-ton truck into the hangar wall.
Patrol boats on dry land
The patrol boats in the game are probably the fastest non-airborne unit, capable of some 70 knots of speed. This means that if you aim for the coast at flank speed, you can end up on dry land, parked alongside armored vehicles.
This can be great fun, too.
In all-versus-all paintball matches, you can team up with your fellow humans against bots and score some extra points. Not easy deciding who of the totally identical-looking soldiers is your mate, but once you do, you gain extra points. Don't forget randomly scattered tractors, either!
Helicopter versus Tank
This is a challenging task, but quite lovely. Who kills who first, provided you only use unguided munition.
Ram fights with ambulance cars
He who manages to flip over his ambulance wins. BMP has an advantage with better speed and the amphibian-shaped body. Well, it's not that easy, but can be done:
Soviets saluting to the American flag
Oh, the irony!
Brothers in Arms
Yup, that's us.
That's an expensive little roadblock:
And here's another one:
Well, that would be all folks. No great punchline, just a wagonload of great fun, some of it thanks to small oversights, intentional or otherwise, by the developers. Not only does Flashpoint offer simply the best, most realistic combat experience, it also lets you goof around when you're not in the mood for serious stuff.
I hope you enjoyed this, and if not, the time you wasted reading this article is non-refundable.