Armed Assault Review (PC)

Bohemia really shocked and led the pack for combat realism with Operation Flashpoint, now they’re set to hit hard and fast again with Armed Assault.

While not an official expansion or sequel to their previous work, which has garnered quite the fan base, Armed Assault has been dubbed its successor regardless. Is that a worthy assumption? Yes, it offers a lot of the same goodness and stays true to the complete freedom you’re granted in immense battlefields.

A news report opens the campaign Looks easy, right?

Sadly one sore point that plagues the war simulator, still, is the graphics engine. While you’d seen an improvement from Flashpoint days, overall the quality still doesn’t bring any awe to the table. It has a rugged and unpolished vibe to it when up close, text and menus are the biggest culprits to let the side down. Of course for the most part players will be blowing stuff up so it won’t matter to too many but still it shouldn’t have been given the cold shoulder.

It’s funny when some games claim to cast the player as “just another soldier”, then to have them actually undertake some missions solo, suspiciously feeling like an action hero by the end. Armed Assault does no such thing; you really are just another combatant statistic waiting for deployment. There aren’t any Rambo style moments; you have to work closely with your squad mates to overcome the enemy.

This is a simulator, a tactical shooter without the smoke and mirror effects you’d get at the cinema. You won’t always be in a hot spot, sometimes you’ve got to find the action. This can lead to a few boring moments so Bohemia had the clever idea of allow players to speed up time while hopefully not your death.

The Island State of South Sahrani is the fictitious location for Armed Assault and offers plenty of ground to cover for all a gamers war-sim needs. A US stationed garrison are training the locals in modern combat, when suddenly the Northern state invades plunging events into chaos. Hmm, a Northern state invading a Southern state, now where could they have gotten such a real-world comparison?

Action isn’t always “flowing” Huge areas to operate in

The campaign is in fact split into two different categories, the first being the essential so all those missions must be completed to progress. The other are auxiliary objectives and can be skipped if you’d like, however if you choose to play these then they can have effects on later essential missions.

Either way you’ll be offered opportunities to cruise and use a variety of vehicles, over 30 are included. You can see why the game will be as alluring to the mod community as they can add even more juicy death machines to the mix. Operation Flashpoint had a healthy mod scene; this will likely follow in that direction.

Combat is as real as you can get right now with Armed Assault; many battles will take place with you squinting away, trying to pick off enemies in the far distance. This is no Call of Duty gun’n’run affair, shots will need to be in short burst to conserve ammo and keep your firing arc close to your target. You’ll probably be prone almost all the time to as bullets whiz past overhead (if lucky).

Death, she be a cruel mistress, and even though you can choose your difficulty it can come knocking any time. If you prefer near suicidal tactics then by all means try and ‘utilise’ the horrendous menu command system when in first person. If you’d like to stand a chance of success however, then you’d probably want to opt for the third person instead, while far from perfect it’s a darn sight better.

I’ve played Battlefield games and though they’re airborne vehicles are no picnic to learn how to fly safely and with certainty, Armed Assault makes those look like oversized toys. I get frustrated from time to time, I’ll admit I’m not a perfect gamer despite contradicting World-wide belief, and so I tended to stick with more ground based mechanics.

High end settings, though not fantastic, can still drain Work together, or die …it’s that simple

Armed Assaults comes with all the bells and whistles any gamer would love in a combat simulator, despite some really poor choice of menus, texts and questionable briefing presentations. It’s a minimalist experience, there are no over-the-top heroics or other Hollywood-esqe moments, instead you’re treated to an authentic taste of what real-life warfare is like. As it stands this is the best the gaming community can be offered for war simulation, not action. Casual FPS gamers would do well to take that into deep consideration, lest they drown in tears of rookie despair – or boredom.

Top Game Moment:
I can fly! I can fly the darn blasted thing! Now there’s landing, and then there’s “landing”.

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