Although I wouldn't call myself a hardcore gamer, over the years I have played a fair number of PC games - mostly first person shooters and modern war sims. A few years back folk who liked war gaming found a real gem of a PC Game called Operation Flashpoint. It didn't have the best graphics in the world and it could be buggy - but it knocked the socks off other games with its realistic squad based tactical gameplay, free map movement and ( here's the killer) a great mission editor which allowed you to stage your own battles and missions.
Operation Flashpoint was PC only and gained a fanatical following of fairly serious war gamers who developed a large modding and mission creating community.
Sadly the original creators and publishers fell out - Bohemia Interactive undoubtedly walked away with much of the dedicated fan base and arguably the spirit of the game but Codemasters walked away with the rights to the name.
Fast forward to now and each has produced what they would like to claim is the genuine next generation war sim in the Operation Flashpoint tradition.
Bohemia Interactive produced ARMA and ARMAII for the PC and Codemasters released Operation Flashpoint Dragon Rising not only in PC format but also for the major consoles.
I dont play much these days but have been tempted to see if these releases have kept up the promise of the original. So I bought OPDragon Rising it for an Xbox 360 gamer I know as an early Christmas present and watched him get to grips with it.
It was funny. Many XBox 360 First Person Shooters are sort of run-in-shoot-everything-in-sight-and -follow-this-route - in other words unrealistic, linear and too damn easy.
Not so Dragon Rising - it's very close to the tension and realism in the original, get shot and you are likely to die. You need to apply proper tactical choices and command your troops or you will not succeed. The graphics are awesome and the enemy is smart and loves to outflank you.
Gamers used to other war Sims get wiped out quickly when they first play this and need to adopt a more realistic approach to fighting and manoevering.
All in all Codemasters have on first impressions made a pretty good stab at creating a successor game to the original - despite reports that the game can be buggy sometimes.
The big problem for me would be the lack of a mission editor. Fair enough I suppose given that they are going more for the straightforward gamer market perhaps rather than the fan base of more serious war sim players.
If I personally owned an XBox I've no doubt I would get Dragon Rising. But I don't so I'll probably get ARMAII at some point. And ARMAII for the PC will give me a mission editor which was probably one of the most useful features in the original game.