Posted: November 24
After playing this for a few years now and obtaining over 1000 hours on this game, I think it is time I reach my verdict on it. I believe that, though this game has its challenges, it is one of THE greatest games ever devised for the Personal Computer. I feel like simply doing a Pro/Con review because it's the easiest to format.
DEDICATED playing and modding community - even after being out for several years, many people, myself included still play this game religiously.
Incredible mod support - There are literally thousands of mods for this game. Hundreds of new, GIANT maps. Thousands of guns. Thousands of new unit types. Even entire overhall mods to change it into the Vietnam war or World War 2. Mods exist to change every sound in the game and graphical mods exist to ease the strain on lower end PC's or make the game more beautiful than it already was.
Already expansive game - The game, minus mod support, already contains hundreds of units, vehicles and guns in the case of Combined ops
Maps - 15km by 15km maps, enough said. Maps contain multiple towns and villages, and often 1-3 large cities and/or settlements. There are also large area with beautiful landscapes such as rocky cliffs and washing oceans. Some custom maps can be even bigger. But to put it into perspective, Skyrim's map is about 37 square kilometers, where as the default OA Takistan map is 164 square kilometers (About 12km by 12km corner to corner). Think about that one.
Replayability - I do not mean the story when I talk about this, I talk about the virtually INFINITE ability to create scenarios in the editor. Want a tank battle 20v20? You got yourself a tank battle complete with terrain big enough to house it and FOBs for both sides. Want a small special ops team to assassinate a middle eastern dictator from 1.2 km away with a 50 cal? You got it. Want to fly an attack helicopter or CAS jet into the heat of battle? You get the idea. Infinite.
Graphics - Though this is something that many people would argue with me about, Arma 2 came out in 2009. Even though it was released later, OA's graphics are no better because the game is still from 2009. It's the same engine and the same game, with a different setting. Given the circumstances, I do have a very nice rig, so the graphics look pretty to me. I constantly find myself looking off a cliff while preforming recon on an enemy position and thinking "Wow, look at that view."
Realism - This may be a turn off point for many. I, for one, live for realistic games. I often b!tch to myself about other games not being realistic enough. This game, with the addition of a few mods, can be as close to real life as you want it to be. Mods to check out for added realism are ACE 2, Retexture mods for units to make them up to date and state of the art (Changing the US Army units to Multicam from that dreaded UCP camo comes to mind), and the Zeus AI mod.
Multiplayer - 100 + player games. Nothing else to say.
Now for the cons, these are all the problems that I've found with the game that personally annoy me.
Lag/Desync - This is only an issue with larger servers, usually. It can be annoying but rarely 100% game breaking
Poor Performance - This game is not very well optimized, and if you have a weak computer, you will struggle to run it with more than 10-15 FPS. Even if you have a good rig, it will usually only max out at about 35-50 FPS. Don't let this turn you off though, you really just get used to it.
Ocasional hackers - This happens very infrequently, and it only happens on big servers.
Expensive - For a game as old as it is, it is a bit pricy, I reccomend waiting until a Steam sale comes around to make a purchase in the Armaverse.
Lack of Realism in Some Places - This is more of a pet peeve of mine rather than an actual flaw. It annoys me that all the US Army units use the SCAR L, considering it was rejected by the Army. The light version of the SCAR is just ugly to me, and when I can, I always mod it out of the Army. This will probably not bother 90% of people considering this game, but for those that enjoy absolute realism, check out the RH M4/M16 pack on Armaholic and it's respective replacement packs.
STEEP Learning Curve - Patience is a virtue. You need patience for this game. A lot of it. You will die. A lot. And you'll die some more. Guess what still happens to me regularily. You guessed it. This game is a tactical simulator, if you try to play Call of Duty, you will be swiss cheese every time. The controls can be hard to learn, and I changed them right away so I was more comfortable. Modding the game is not reccomended unless you have experinece modding similar games. Though modding is very simple, things can be screwed up if you delete or put a file in the wrong place.
Time Consuming - Processes in the game take a very long time. Firefights can be anywhere from a few seconds to 30+ minutes. The time it takes moving from place to place ranges widely. If you are on foot, expect about a 35-40 minute walk from one corner of a map to another. By plane or helicopter, you can travel long distances in minutes and seconds.
Frusturating - It feels really bad when you're almost done with a mission or objective, and get killed.
Overall this game is by far my most played and one of my most treasured games of all time. Very few games have the scope of Arma 2 and its many addons.
PS Arma 3 is much less realistic in terms of units and gameplay, but still has the giant maps and mod support. It does have better graphics, as well. I reccomend getting both if you can afford them.