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ArmA II Operation Arrow Head PC Review - -

Gameplay 9.5
Graphics 9.5
Sound 8.5
Value 9.0
Developer: Bohemia Interactive
Review Date:
July 2010
Edwin Millheim
Classification: MA15+


ArmA II Operation Arrow Head

Game reviewed on an Alienware system

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ARMA II Operation Arrow Head is another massive undertaking in an inspired game series. While it is a stand-alone game, couple this with ARMA II and both of the games mission builders and you have potential for countless hours of gaming.

It is now three years after the conflict in Chernarus. A new flashpoint ignites in the Green Sea Region. The players find themselves in the middle of another armed conflict. Coalition forces led by the US Army are deployed to Takistan. The mission is to restore peace and to prevent civilian casualties.

ARMA II Operation Arrow Head, much like the other titles in this series is like the ultimate military sim playground. Through out the game the player gets to take on various positions within the United States Army. Play as an infantryman, or a special ops soldier, a Sniper. Even drive some of the vehicles from Tanks to Humvees, and some of my favorites like piloting helicopters and aircraft.

Along with the incredible array of military hardware to me seen and used in the game, there are also different types of weapons modeled. So too are the ballistics of the bullets and bombs, rockets and missiles. Along with the ballistic modeling comes round deflection and materials penetration.

Couple all of these amazing in game features with weather and environment effects, including wind and weather effects, and the night and day cycle of this almost living gaming world and you have one serious military simulator on your hands here.

Quality has ramped up for this series with the latest massive stand-alone add on. Most things are improved in the over all look and feel of the game. Sometimes the Artificial Intelligence is not very intelligent though. The computer controlled driversí crash into things; it is amazing that they do not crash aircraft. Sometimes they have no clue they are in danger until they are fired on. When the firefight does come though, the enemy AI can be a bit dangerous and offer some semblance of challenge depending on what level of difficulty you are playing on.

ARMA II Operation Arrow Head from Bohemia Interactive has a large amount of beautifully rendered military hardware for the players to get their hands on. While it looks spectacular at full graphics, the game can bring some computers crying to inches of their processors and graphic card. Toggling down the graphics makes it so that most computer users can find a happy balance of looks and playability.

For a game series that prides itself to using actual military tactics to make it through, it was shocking to play the campaign and in the very first opening of the game, a sniper sticks his barrel out of a window. Yes, out of a window. I have to say someone dropped the ball there when it came to story telling. No self-respective TRAINED sniper would stick their gun barrel out of a window to be seen by the enemy. Other than this gripe, ARMA II Operation Arrow Head has some hefty missions to it that are enjoyable.

The thing to remember with the ARMA series is that it is more of a combat simulator rather than a simple shooter. To survive and proceed, the player has to learn tactics. Run and gun tactics of many games out there just will not work here. Tactics are the key to success in the mission objectives.

Like current events going about missions and having contact with the civilians, or better yet, making sure you do not kill civilians or cause property damage can have either positive or negative impact in weather or not the population provides intel. While a simple thing, this is a welcome game feature to have. Having some, kind of consequences for actions and events in the game can give it a feel of what soldiers actually go through.

Graphics in the game look spectacular with everything cranked up. The fast motion blur ran be a bit disorienting at first, but adds something to the game. The land and environmental details are really something to look at, while some trees look like they are just stuck in the ground and swaying like rubber in the game world wind, it all still looks darn good.

Music score and sound effects are done well. Vehicles, aircraft and gunfire all have a real world sound to them. Voice acting has bounded a step further than the hollow sounding robotic voices from past games in the series. With a bit more emotion and believability, it does ramp up the immersive factor for the series. There are still times I do not feel like part of the action or the voice acting is removed in relation to events going on in the game.

Multi player and the mission editor for the game give ARMA II Operation Arrow Head replay ability that is limited only to the imagination of the player and their abilities to create missions.

Bohemia Interactive has already announced some Downloadable Content, in the form of The British Armed Forces. Roughly, about a month from now players will have even more to play with in this surprisingly robust military sim.

The add on content takes place in summer 2012, less than two months after Operation Arrowhead NATO coalition forces face a large-scale outbreak of guerrilla insurgency.

A mechanized force of British troops, with support elements of US Army TF Knight, are about to deploy and embark upon a large scale counter-insurgency that will define the future of the coalition presence in Takistan.

Players can expect a new single player campaign. Taking command of a mobile observation team of British troops, players in this campaign will be making contact with guerilla forces and going on counter insurgency operations.

More weapon and more vehicles to be had in this already massive game.
Personal weapons: L85A2 and L86A2 rifles, L110A1 machine gun, LRR and AW50 sniper rifles, N-LAW AT launcher

New vehicles: Jackal 2 WMIK all-terrain vehicle, modernized FV510 Warrior

New helicopters: AH11 Wildcat (multi-role), HC3 Merlin (transport)

British versions: off road car, Chinook transport helicopter, AH-64 Apache gunship
Vehicles will be in desert and woodland paint schemes.

With support from Bohemia Interactive already in full swing, ARMA II Operation Arrow Head even with some of the minor flaws that go along with such a massive undertaking is one of those games that we will be playing years from now and still enjoying it.

This series still holds the crown as the best military simulators around.

Have fun, play games.
Edwin Millheim
United States Editor
Impulse Gamer


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