Review by Cheetah
The picture, which is a little bit stretched but with border, shows us a beatiful place in Tajikistan. A short paragraph of text introduces the player to the dusty mission. Nothing wrong except for the stretched picture.
With some eastern music and a beatiful city we go on a sight seeing tour down the road. The camera is nicely mounted on the BMP, the only time the camera shakes is when the BMP does the same. As you travel down the road, the titletext improves your resolve and boosts your morale, for Tajikistan! With only one cutscene, the limited number of troops shown, and intro ending a little too late, it could have been done better.
Briefings are there in different sizes and forms, this one belongs to the shorter ones and has the "on-the-fly-briefing". Or in other words, the briefing short and to the point, any plot changes will be added later. It adds up to the tension, as you don't know what will happen near the wet border. The notes suggest that this one can be hot, I like the notes section. No weapon selection is allowed, understandable as this mission isn't a special ops mission which requires the use of heavily modded weapons with tons of ammo. So, nothing special - nothing bad, BIS briefing style.
We start near one of the roads in dusty Tajikistan. I notice that I'm #2, not a big problem, just something that during polishing could have been fixed. After a short hike the action is there, enemy squad reported at 200 metres! We get ourselves in prone position and quickly mow down the enemy. Those terrorists didn't have a chance against our small, but well armed squad. Now we have to cross this bloody river to get to the mortar position, good that there's still that BMP. Luckily unharmed by the mortar shells which totally missed their target. Got my men safely across the river in the BMP while I crossed it on foot on a shallow part. Got shot at from the hill and took cover near the BMP, turned out that a few Islamists were coming for some Tajikistany flesh. Good stuff, this is guerilla fighting, didn't expect that. These three soldiers cost me the life of a fellow soldier and injured one, whereas the other terrorists died without even injuring any of us. Moving up to the mortar position now, made short work of the static soldiers. Not good, would have been better to let enemy retreat, as they didn't stand a chance. Radio messages were now exchanged and we were told to meet a friendly squad which is going to aid us in attacking a village in Afghanistan. The trip to the river crossing, which is where we would meet, was a bit boring. A conversation about something interesting would have been nice. Something about how big, bad and brutal these bozos are. Anyway after arriving and using the radio, which results in radio messages that come up a bit too fast after pressing 0-0-9, we move out. But not before using the handy radio savegame. BOOM! The friendly BMP is blown to pieces, I order my BMP to stop and get out fast. Their RPG soldier got toasted while reloading and the M2 gunner was an easy prey, I saw the barrel and knew that there was more behind that jeep. What I found strange is that just before the friendly BMP got destroyed, there was an explosion in the air. Don't know what caused that? Another thing I noticed was that the radio message telling me that this was an ambush came from myself, telling everyone to disembark and engage the enemy, though that didn't do a thing only after me telling them what to do. Let's resume with the trip towards the city named Konduz and exterminate all of nasty armed Islamists over there. On the way there my gunner took out a jeep with a mounted machine gun while I could chill in the back of my APC. BANG! and the BMP turns black, oops should've been more cautious. RETRY. This time I decided to my preparations and studied the map, the houses west of Konduz will be mine in a few minutes. The action was pretty good, though urban fighting isn't what OFP is designed for. Apart from some a floating enemy and a soldier refusing to stop using his handgun (how addicted can one be) there were no problems. Killing a terrorist resulted in arabic shouting, funny stuff. It was a bit too easy and could have been polished a bit more. Adding civilians to this town and giving the AI some brains for urban fighting would've added up to the fight. They were all bunched up, better have them come to you from all kind of alleys. The last part, waiting for the ragheads to strike. I see them coming and prepare the RPG I just took off the ground. They were sitting ducks for us, we eliminated the reserves and the mission ended.
The outro is nothing more and nothing less than a camera circling around a squad and BMP. This is somewhat disappointing as the intro showed that you can at least create a steady (which is hard sometimes) camera.
Unlimited radio savegames, which were handy at times, but not really necessary as the mission wasn't that hard. Also the right music was used in the intro and there were some custom voices in Konduz.
The mission is without any major flaws, but lacks in the department of atmosphere. Which could have been improved by giving the player the feeling that he's fighting guerilla warriors, not plain soldiers. The battles were short, but not fierce enough. Adding bomb trucks or so while defending Konduz would have been the bomb. Right now, you revert back to the normal OFP mission style, while this mission could have shown the player how hazardous and frustrating fighting the guerilla can be. What I liked were the ambush, although a bit too static, and the counter attack launched from the mortar position. More polishing would have been good, but right now it's playable and pretty enjoyable.