Published on August 8th, 2010 | by prime0
ARMA 2 Operation Arrowhead – Review
Summary: This is the hardest military sim on the planet, and ARMA II wears its medal for authenticity proudly on its chest.
We think that if any of the GameUber crew found themselves in a desert with a rifle and in the unfortunate position of having enemy soldiers closing in, we can put our hands on our hearts and say with absolutely certainty that we would perish almost immediately. That sobering fact is what ARMA II showed us all too well last year, and wouldn’t you know it, Bohemia Interactive has released a standalone expansion to crush our fighting dreams all over again.
This is the hardest military sim on the planet, and ARMA II wears its medal for authenticity proudly on its chest. Set in the fictional country of Takistan, the conflict shares the same themes one might expect from the conflict in modern Afghanistan. The campaign involves three different combatants – a Delta Force operative, a tank commander and the ever-ready Apache pilot. Unfortunately the tour is relatively brief, with only around five hours worth of playing time and, needless to say, there isn’t the same sort of drama, voice acting, or cut-scenes to be found in even the most boilerplate adventure, but it does serve to introduce all of the new toys.
Speaking of which, Operation Arrowhead adds a plethora of them, including unmanned aerial drones (for the commander that doesn’t want to break a sweat in battle), backpacks for travelling, new weapons, vehicles, the Takistani forces and their 230 kilometer homeland to deploy in. For ARMA veterans, this new dynamic theater of war will feel a lot like heaven, with the ability to create any modern conflict possible, thanks to the fantastic in-built mission editor.
As it tends to be with Bohemia Interactive titles, there are still heaps or problems with the AI, and occasional collision detection issues which occasionally jar. During one paratrooper exercise we discovered our parachute wouldn’t open after jumping from a considerable altitude. However, rather than liquefying on ground contact, our impervious trooper simply began to grind chest-first throughout the desert, while still alive! The engine itself is still ridiculously demanding too, with even modern PC rigs struggling.
There isn’t any doubt that these issues will be sorted out by the community but the fact is that, out of the box, they shouldn’t have to. Operation Arrowhead is best thought of as a new box of toys and nothing more. For fans it will be a godsend but for everyone else this update definitely won’t change their minds.