ArmA 2: Operation Arrowhead Review
ArmA 2: Operation Arrowhead box art
System: PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Bohemia Interactive 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Meridian 4 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: June 29, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 (2+ Online) 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The problems with the A.I. are also as prevalent as they were in ArmA 2. Enemies will stand in the open, spin in circles, and in some cases, not fire a single shot at you. Case in point: I was securing an operational tower, killing the opposition as I moved to the top. Once I got to the top, however, I saw a soldier lying prone on the ground. Not sure of whether I should kill him or not, I didn’t fire at first. After roughly thirty seconds of being in the same room with the soldier, it wasn’t until I turned to go back down the stairs that he started yelling and then shot me. Needless to say, I didn’t make the same mistake again after reloading the mission, but such strange behavior is not a rarity.

ArmA 2: Operation Arrowhead screenshot

All technical bugs aside, Operation Arrowhead’s strength comes from the sheer amount of content available. Despite the relatively short single-player campaign, there are plenty of new factions, vehicles, and weapons to justify calling this game an expansion pack. All of this content is satisfying, even before a player jumps into the mission editor that comes with the game, which opens up a ton of modding and custom game possibilities. Also, if you do happen to own the original ArmA 2, all the content from it can be transferred to Operation Arrowhead, further increasing the amount of content to play.

Last but not least, once players have exhausted the offline content, the multiplayer experience can open even more possibilities. Aside from the standard, official game modes that put two teams against each other, player-created missions are where Operation Arrowhead shines. For example, I jumped into a multiplayer server that boasted a mod that had a game similar to cops vs. robbers and featured a monetary system where players would have to purchase and sell weapons to acquire what they wanted. As with most games that benefit from a big modding community, Operation Arrowhead has good replay value as a result.

All things considered, Operation Arrowhead is an improvement over the original ArmA 2. Game performance is slightly better, unplayable crashes are less frequent, there is a lot of additional content, and it doesn’t stray from the realistic formula you’d expect. Unfortunately, despite these improvements, newcomers to the series will still get a bad first impression of the game, as its core fun must be uncovered. Fans and veterans of the ArmA series, the prior title in particular, will find Operation Arrowhead to be a competent follow-up that provides just enough extra content to justify the purchase.

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Operation Arrowhead has a lot of great ideas, and some are able to shine through the multitude of problems. It can be stamped as one of the best and most realistic combat simulation games of this generation. However, whether that makes it fun or enjoyable is another story altogether. For anyone with no prior experience with the ArmA series, playing the demo before purchasing it is strongly recommended.

By Derek Hidey
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.0
Graphics
Supposedly tweaked performance issues are said to provide smoother gameplay, but the visuals can still seem barren and void of color.
2.5
Control
Learning and customizing the controls is still a painful task, and even when learned, they seem jerky and unresponsive.
3.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The voice-overs aren’t the best, and the music and sound effects are adequate.
3.5
Play Value
Operation Arrowhead is a realistic combat simulation game that still suffers from a variety of technical bugs, just like the original. There is a great amount of fun hiding under the surface, which requires patience and time to find and appreciate.
3.0
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • New Playable Content: Includes a new story campaign for both SP and MP gameplay, as well as a wide range of new tutorials, single-player scenarios, and multiplayer modes.
  • Massive Game World: Enjoy three brand new Central Asia-style large maps including expansive urban, desert, and mountainous terrain featuring a fully destructible and interactive environment.
  • Ultimate War Experience: Fully integrates with the original ArmA 2 for unmatched warfare simulation.
  • Unique Gameplay Elements: Detachable backpacks with equipment, advanced weapon optics, material penetration modeling, remote real-time simulation of Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAV), freedom of decision, and repercussive actions await.


  • Screenshots / Images
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