ArmA: Armed Assault Reader Review
I am an operation flashpoint fanatic. I bought the game way back when i was at high school, aged 13. Now aged 19 i've only just uninstalled it from my new pc (its out lived 3 of 'em). I loved the realism and immersion you can only get from flashpoint and i'm so happy that Armed Assault can carry the flag from now on. It's everything you'd want for an expansion of flashpoint which is really the case. Which isn't a bad thing, games companies are always releasing sequels to older games that carry none of the features of the original game that everyone loved. This certainly isn't the case.
With ArmA you get every feature in ofp enhanced and included along with a whole host of features that improve the immersion and realism of the game even more. The littlest features make a world of difference, the ability to slowly trudge along with your gun down at your waist while you independently move your head to look around whilst out on a patrol can really build up the tension before a battle, and then to go down on your knee and bring up your sights and watch your squad spring to life and get into an attacking formation and cover all angles.
I'd say i'm a third of a way through the campaign right now and I must admit i'm slightly disappointed with the overall production of it. Some missions are impossible even for someone who has been playing the game for nearly 5 years, there will be points in a mission where you simply don't have a clue what you should be doing. You'll hear a commander telling you to take your squad and board a vehicle and when you sit there inside it'll take you near your objective and then bugger off back to base without any clear instruction of when to depart. Now after years of playing my own half finished missions i can make my own mind up and complete the missions but for someone used to the linear games like Call of Duty and Medal of honour and new to the flashpoint/ArmA style of play i can see them being really lost and quite frustrated, which is a shame as the chances are they'll just stick it back on the shelf and miss out on years of fun.
The AI in ArmA has improved a lot from the ofp days. Units aren't so quick to go prone when confronted they'll fire one or two shots standing then a few crouched and finally go prone. Snipers actually use their pistol when they're at close quarters to enemy positions and you'll see a lot more grenades and rockets exploding on the walls and ground around you. There's far more sporadic fire as machine guns open up on a known position and I've even seen on the odd occasion the AI firing more shots into a distant enemy soldier whose already dead. The AI are far more fun to fight in CQB situations, not up to the standards of other military first person shooters, but then hey this isn't another first person military shooter. I set up a fight with advancing BLUFOR(US) troops 3 squads with 2 hummers on a locked down OPFOR(SLA) 3 squads and a static machine gun with me as one of the US. The US troops casually walked through the city and then you hear your commander say "enemy soldier..." to which everyone spreads out and either goes prone in the road or is running off beside houses and fences. The enemy opens fire and the sound of combat is all around, just like the movies you hear the sonic snaps of bullets round your head with the return fire of your men. This is the perfect point to find yourself a good piece of cover and just watch your fellow men respond. grenades and covering machine gun fire are heard with men running past your position (Yep running,it seems that when an AI soldier is behind sufficient cover he no longer follows the ofp rule of if you hear a gun get down) to outflank the enemy and take em out. It's an even bigger surprise to see an enemy soldier on his feet about two yards away from me only seconds after i turn the same corner my buddies had gone around. It's such a relief to see a realistic bit of urban combat in the game. where squads will advance towards each other with real military tactics and outflank and move tactically.
The ability to lean really enhances urban combat as you can now lean round a corner take a guy out and be straight back behind cover while the responsive fire claps out on the wall your behind.
Just thought i'd give you my first thoughts on ArmA definitely worth buying and certainly a worthy successor of ofp. I gave it an 8 as it needs a little more work to the campaign and the aviation controls but when their done its a certain 10/10 Alex Dovey
8 / 10