First impressions: Conflict: Denied Ops for PS3/Xbox360

The first level had us trying to take over a monastery

Yesterday I was invited to a plush London bar for a preview of the latest first-person shooter to enter the already crowded shooty genre. After sampling the deliciously free canapés and drinks on offer it was time for the serious business of guns, tanks and explosions, co-op style.

If you didn’t already figure it out, Conflict: Denied Ops is all about team-working with your army buddy. The buddies in question are the stealthy Lang and fast paced action-man, Graves trying to stop a dictatorship from getting hold of nukes.

Gamers can choose to switch between each soldier to get through the game. Lang is equipped with a sniper, while Graves the more trigger-happy of the two carries a machine gun.

Upon playing, the cut-scenes were impressive enough but it was the in-game action I was more eager to witness.

The first level has you trying to liberate a monastery from opposing militia, who like in Call of Duty 4 resemble the present stereotypical image of a terrorist. Also featuring was a face-off with a helicopter and a brief jaunt in a tank blowing up buildings and sniping enemy soldiers.

The option to switch soldiers does provide some element of team-working. At times I was unable to pick out far away soldiers, which was when Lang and his sniper came in handy.

When killed pressing the L2 button would make the soldier I wasn’t taking control of come and replenish my health with a boost of adrenalin.My major gripe with the co-op system was that on occasions my partner kept getting left behind and it was up to me to switch character and move him along with me.

Most of what was on offer was pretty standard war-based shooter fare, interlaced with a bit of co-op. At the moment it’s nothing special. The PS3 version did at times look a bit ps2-ish. Not a great start.

However the Xbox360 version looked much better. It just looked so much more crisp and moved more fluidly than its PS3 counterpart, which was playing alongside it. Even the controls felt smoother.

Pivotal, the developers were keen to point out the new ‘puncture technology- allowing gamers to blow holes in the scenery to create their own passages in the levels. The destruction didn’t seem too different from anything I’d previously seen in Red Faction on the PS2 or indeed the likes of Stranglehold.

Perhaps playing through just one level does not give a true indication of the game. What I can confirm is that Conflict: Denied Ops is a relatively solid shooter for those in love with the genre.

But during this first play provided very little, besides co-op that hasn’t been done by many others.

The game itself will be out on 12th February.  

Could there be a new Windows Vista in 2009?

Could a new Vista be coming so soon?

According to TG Daily ‘industry insiders’ have confirmed a new version of windows has been ‘shipped’ as code to be validated.

Even though the existing Windows Vista has barely been out, the so-called new version could be out in the second half of 2009, if reports are to be believed.

If you’re thinking “That’s a bit soon isn’t it”, then you’d be right. Microsoft originally planned to release the new version in 2010, but then changed it to the earlier date. We’re not sure why though.

Other points mentioned by TG Daily are the ability of the sofware to handle a ‘heterogeneous graphics system consisting of multiple graphics cards from different vendors’ and a new integrated media center that at the moment only supports PC speakers.

Wannabe early adopters will have to wait to hear when they can ty it out as the Beta date has not yet been decided.

Eager PC heads can find out more here.

WORLD FIRST – New Star Trek character


Well. You might not have thought it but at time of writing not one person has put this news up yet. We even thought it was a joke when the press release came through earlier today.

Below is text from a press release sent by a PR company in Ireland for Paramount. As far as we know it is not a joke and have even asked for confirmation of this.

“With all the buzz around the latest Star Trek movie, another star is rumoured to be making a cameo in the JJ Abrams film, due out in 2008. Joining the long list of big name stars who will be making an appearance in what looks set to be the biggest feature film of next year, is everyone’s favourites ogre, Shrek! The giant ogre has become so popular that the makers of the film felt they just couldn’t leave him out. With his slightly odd looks, Shrek will certainly fit into the ‘alien’ environment and will be heading off to a galaxy far, far away on his greatest adventure yet.

Shrek is no stranger to appearing in hit movies with 3 films already under his belt, including ‘Shrek The Third’ which is out now on DVD.

Pictured: John Cho (Sulu) and the newest Star Trek character – Shrek.”

CSI New York Season 3 Part 2 (Region 2 DVD) Review

CSI New York 3.2


As the newest CSI New York half season set, 3.2 provides some longer storylines to keep things fresh. While CSI is famed for closed in single episode storylines, the second half of the third season provides some interesting story arcs. You have a few nods to previous episodes such as Gary Sinise’s character, Detective Mack “Mac” Taylor, after arresting a dirty cop before. This story continues as he is investigated for being suspected to push a suspect off a rooftop in handcuffs off a roof even though he insists the man jumped. Plus there are a few other long storylines to give more depth to supporting characters.

The best episodes of the set are “Sleight Out of Hand”, about a magician performing tricks over three nights and people dying the same way as the trick. Plus the season finale where a group of men break into the lab for a heist. This gives Gary Sinise a good excuse to do a thinking man’s Bruce Willis in a Die Hard impersonation. Out of the 3 discs in the set, there is only one episode which isn’t really worth watching, which isn’t bad by anyone’s standards. In terms of the DVD set, only one extra is included. It is a visit by one of the cast members to a real training facility where members of law enforcement see faked crime scenes and dead bodies. It lasts for quite a while in running time but is really a one or two watch maximum. Overall, CSI New York 3.2 is a great set. While the extras are not great in number it is is a very entertaining set and easily worth a place in anyone’s DVD collection even if not a normal CSI fan, or trying to recover from CSI overload.

Verdict: +