|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 didnt fire at first. After roughly thirty seconds of being in the same room with the soldier, it wasnt until I turned to go back down the stairs that he started yelling and then shot me. Needless to say, I didnt make the same mistake again after reloading the mission, but such strange behavior is not a rarity.
All technical bugs aside, Operation Arrowheads 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 doesnt stray from the realistic formula youd 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.
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.
CCC Freelance Writer