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Review ArmA II Operation Arrowhead review
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Default ArmA II Operation Arrowhead review

    So after a long time Im going to do another review. This time of



    Arma 2 operation arrowhead (lets call it just OA)is a standalone expansion of Arma 2, A2 is not needed to play it but its recomended.

    If you dont know what Arma 2 is here is my old review

    Review ARMA2 review(test))
    But I will still get into basic gameplay anyway.

    plot

    OA is set in a few years into the future. The regime in the fictional country Takistan has after several threats invaded a neighbour, to stop the regime Nato forces are sent to Takistan. This game follows a few american soldiers during the invasion.

    Gameplay

    Like in A2 this game is based on reality, in other words if you are hit you will die or get wounded. You are not a supersoldier able to regenerate health or jumping around on the battlefield, I promise you that most of the time you will be lying on the ground or pushed against a wall with bullets hitting the ground around you.

    In A2 the campaing were mostly about a special forces team, however this time you will follow several soldiers from different parts of the army.

    You will play as four soldiers, an airborne infantry soldier, a tank commander, a helicopter pilot and a special forces operative. This makes the campaign pretty broad as you do both full scale tank assaults as well as sneaking in the dark with silencers and nightvision. However one thing that all of these guys have in common is that they are leaders, apart from the first mission you will be in charge of your squad and it will be hard.

    The interface is mostly unchanged since A2, in other words its big, bulky and complex. just telling the squad to go to "that" location is easy but if you want to do more advanced things like changing formation or awareness you have many menus to look around in. The best thing is to try and memorise all of the commands and menus or it might get a little to much.


    (dats a nice chopper you got)

    The game is played as tactical shooter(or as BIS like to say, a milsim) in other words you need to use tactics and whatever cover you can see and if there is no cover you must lie down, if you start rushing you will be dead before you know it.
    Also is that the game is based on long range battles, its during these battles the AI is best and the controls are adapted to. The moment you get to close combat you will notice how clumsy the character actually is and small doorways are your worst enemy.

    Thankfully Takistan is an open country so most of the combat will be at long range or medium range battles.
    Takistan is a desert country similar to Afghanistan, in other words it will be many hills and small villages mixed with valleys and few greener places.



    The game maybe focus on infantry battles but vehicles are still a big part of the armory and you can jump into every single on of them if empty. The vehicles in the game are all from cars and tanks to helicopters and airplanes, all with their ups and downs.

    While in a vehicle you cant do everything, there is a gunner driver in all armed vehicels(except from planes) and there are even more in tanks and other heavily armed vehicles. In other words if you are a driver you cant shoot(the ai shoots instead) and if you are the gunner you cant drive. However as a squad leader you can order the guys to either fire at that thing or drive towards it.

    One thing that is pretty unique is that you can both play this game as a fps and a tps(third person shooter, for both vehicles and infantry)

    I think the campaign in the game is both good and bad, the good thing is that you are allowed to drive many types of vehicles as well as infantry combat, also you are mostly normal soldiers. The bad thing is that I feel the campaign ended to early, it doesnt really start until it ends. However the campaign is just an entry point to the editor.

    But if you want to play more missions you got the scenarios, w bunch of stand alone missions that follows the campaign from other soldiers and other missions. And after you are done with the campaign and scenarios you are done, or not. I feel that the best part of the game just shows up after the campaign when you start the editor.

    When starting the editor you can choose from three maps(more if you got A2) Takistan(mountains, and small villages and one or two large airfields), Zargabad(the capitol in Takistan got its own map and surroundings, the only real city in the game) Desert( a map featuring a desert in the middle of nowwhere, good for tank fights and tests)



    While in the editor you can place units and waypoints for easy missions, if you are more advanced you can use so called triggers and modules( triggers are special things that "trigger" happenings of your choosing, modules are advanced things that changes large parts in the map, they can add things or improve things, for example there is a module that makes random wild animals around the world and so on).

    If you are really advanced you can use scripts and even download tools that allows you to design and make your own maps, units and gameplay.

    OA is a big improvement over A2, most bugs are gone(even more now after several patches), gameplay is better with more toys and the game runs better.

    Technology (graphics, sounds, AI)

    Oa uses the same engine as A2, however the geogrophy is so different that it looks like a whole different game. On longer ranges the graphics are awesome and several effects got much better since A2, however many trees and bushes lookes pretty bad on longer ranges. However OA isnt as good as battlefied and it doesnt mean to be. To have as large maps and the good details on long areas the closer details are a bit uglier than games that have small maps and tight gameplay.

    However the vehicles and soldiers look really detailed, apart from the infantrys stiffy animations.

    The sounds has always been the black sheep in arma(and the bugs), many sounds has been worked on and even if the voices are still horrible(computer generated, for example "tank in front of us 200m") The guns sounds pretty bad still but I still like most vehicle and airplane sounds.

    The AI is really special, unlike most games the Ai in this game is not scripted, it thinks on its own and adapts to the situation. MOstly they will try to use tactis and flanking against you. Also the AI in this game shoots extremely good, its not easy being in a fight with the Ai because they are all like sharpshooters(sometimes they are like supernatural but mostly they are just as challenging as I want, no more rushing and guns blasing). But the Ai is sadly also prone on doing stupid things like running straigh infront of you while you are firing a machine gun, and they drive like clowns. Its funny seeing a convoy of five vehicles, it looks more like they are five year olds trying to get to the position first than trained soldiers.

    Overall

    Arma 2 Operation arrowhead is a tactical shooter developed by BIS(the makers of the first operation flashpoint) OA is a stand alone expansion to Arma 2. The game is set in the fictinal country Takistan which is pretty similar to Afghanistan with deserts and mountains as well as small villages.

    The gameplay is really hard and unforgiving with many controls and menus.

    The campaign is relativly short but there are several scenarios and you also got the editor after.

    The editor is massive and you can do many things, from simple things like randomly put up soldiers and start a battle to whole campaigns and scenarios.
    The game floats better than A2 even if it still needs a pretty good computer to run on higher settings, however the CPU is more important than the graphics card.

    In the end Im gonna say that this game is not for everyone, it demands patience and a will to learn. If you rather want to rush I would probably advice you to not buy this game.

    Points

    Gameplay, 9/10, the gameplay is better than A2, most bugs are gone and it got more "toys" also the editor is extremely good.
    graphics, 7/10, the graphics are good in longer ranges but at closer ranges the detail is less good, however the vehicles in game looks lovely.
    Sounds, 6/10, The sounds are far from perfect, the voices still sounds horrible(still better than A2 though) but it works.
    Total, 8/10, a better game than A2 however having both makes it even better, this games takes everything good from A2 and leaves the bugs as well as adding new functions and factions.



    Extra, ArmA 2 is not for everyone, if you want to try ArmA 2 out there is a free version you can play
    Arma 2 free - Arma 2 Official Website

    Also one big part of the game is usermade mods, here is the biggest fansite in which you can find all mods as well as turorials and so on

    Armaholic - International fansite covering: Armed Assault - Arma 2 - Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead - Arma 2: British Armed Forces - Arma 2: Private Military Company - Arma 3

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