Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Expanding upon realism in ArmA II: Operation Arrowhead

7:00 PM on 05.18.2010 // Ben Perlee

Back in June 2009, Bohemia Interactive from the Czech Republic released ArmA II. An intense realistic shooter, ArmA II was a generally well received PC title that was criticized for being too hardcore and difficult to play. After all, the game was designed by the same studio that makes military training simulators for nations across the globe, the US as well. Unfortunately, that level of reality was too much for many players.

However, the hardcore fanbase has remained, and Bohemia Interactive has worked hard in supporting gamers with new updates and downloads, as well as  offering support behind the modding community. The latest addition to the series is a full expansion pack to ArmA II. Called ArmA II: Operation Arrowhead, there is a whole new country to explore, all new services to ease the learning curve as well as organize a gamer's approach to a mission. Addressing the biggest complaints against the original launch,  ArmA II: Operation Arrowhead looks to improve and better an already complex title.

Hit the jump for more.

ArmA II: Operation Arrowhead (PC)
Developer: Bohemia Interactive
Publisher: Meridian4
To be released: Q2 2010

For players returning to ArmA II, one this hasn't changed is the openness of the world. ArmA II: Operation Arrowhead has been built to have absolutely no walls. In the three huge new maps in the faux nation of Takistan, the maps will go on forever. Missions will be laid out and planned, but you could theoretically walk on forever away from the drop zone. Levels are enormous, much larger than almost anything I have seen in a game before.

Besides the three new levels (and they are huge), there is updates to many of the previous weapons and vehicles players can use at their disposal. For example, new thermal imaging visors and an updated radar system has been included. Other new additions include the decoy flares for the aerial units and smoke deploys for ground units, and the addition of the unmanned little bird UAV helicopter. This is possibly the biggest new addition, as this little helicopter currently being developed and used in real-world combat offers some really fascinating opportunities.

For example, say players need to guide a helicopter into enemy region to take out a baddie. Since the helicopter will have to deal with anti-air and noise, it's a bad idea to rush in, shoot, then rush out. Instead, the helicopter can stay back a few kilometers, and send out the UAV. Much smaller and lighter, it's hard to be heard or seen, and can zoom just outside the enemy camp. By switching to thermal vision, the UAV can target lock elements of the camp, and the helicopter hovering kilometers away can launch missiles that will attack right there. It's amazing.

Graphically, it's all in the small details. While the game looks pretty great, it's the fact that each element in the game has its own thermal signature, so that idling engines in takes will be cooler than ones that have been moving, or that rifle barrels with be hotter after a few shots. Real attention to detail has been applied, and it can really be seen with how items interact with each other. There is real weight and power behind each weapon and vehicle. Also, buildings can now be destroyed,  a feature fans have been asking for.

Finally, attention was made to making the game approachable to new players. A new 15 mission boot camp has been added to address the overwhelming amount of tools available to players, and this should hopefully guide players in a mission. Bohemian Interactive has never wanted to define how players can complete a mission, and it really is as open as you want it, but the extra guidance is a major help.

Also helpful is the inclusion of 4-player co-op. Unlike many other games, the co-op in ArmA II: Operation Arrowhead take control of different squads and troop roles. While one player is in the helicopter, the other will be with a delta team, and others will be doing something else. It's cool, and should be helpful practice for the multiplayer missions.

And multiplayer promises to be just as intense as the single player. With a fully customizable create a missions, players can drag and drop troop elements into the field, with enemy emplacements, music, lighting, and more in developing the multiplayer modes. It's an incredibly deep and customizable tool set for players who want to create their own ArmA II: Operation Arrowhead game missions without modding the game. Considering over 50 players can play in multiplayer modes, knowing what's what will mean a lot.

Modding, however, is in full support for ArmA II: Operation Arrowhead. With a studio built by many former modders, Bohemia Interactive not only supports mods, but they have built in-game support for mods. Instead of juggling files and organizing everything, ArmA II: Operation Arrowhead has a built in menu for toggling mods, and opening a game with a freshly downloaded mod is as simple as double clicking the PBO file. ArmA II: Operation Arrowhead is viewed as a platform, and it looks like the fairly strong modding community is making sure there is plenty of new content coming up.

Unfortunately, much of this new content is not going to be cross compatible, so if you have the initial ArmA II, you'll want to get the expansion.

Also helping players out with the game and the modding is “The Armory”. Acting as a sort of encyclopedia for the game, every weapon, vehicle, and  item is explained in-depth. Even more, players will be able to play with each item in a sort of open field, getting a feel for how everything works, and random missions will pop up in this mode, giving players more experience and time with the weapons. For a game this open and in-depth, having a mode to work through all the small elements of a tool is very helpful.

I'm coming away impressed with the title, as this is a lot of new content with an expansion pack. It seems Bohemia Interactive has worked hard to create an update that will hopefully appeal to new players to the game. While the game is still daunting and oppressive, new players will find the difficulty to be better designed and more fun, and the hardcore fans of this lesser known series will enjoy the new tools at their disposal. Even better, there will be a combo pack offering both ArmA II and ArmA II: Operation Arrowhead combined for only $10 more than a stand alone release. While not for everyone,  ArmA II: Operation Arrowhead is promising to be a better designed and more approachable title.

Photo Gallery: (27 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Ben Perlee,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
I'm in the mood for some feel-good music. Hit me with your best feel-good VGM, people! [youtube][/youtube]
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
My "Thankful it's over" post is done. Editing it tonight, posting tomorrow. Will there be more last-minute entries? Will Pixie be merciful to Twilight Princess? Will Zetta add words to his entry? Why is bear driving? Who run Bartertown? Stay Tuned!
Parismio avatarParismio
Whelp since i got my ass kicked at snowboarding ive been issued a muscle relaxer today and slept the entire day. Time went by so fast. Is- is this what the phantom cigar is like?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What the hell is a Shantae?
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Ok you Monday morning motherfuckers, 3 favourite fictional universes you'd like to exist in (The initial iteration of the universe had to be in videogame form) Go.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Just ran into my first 'suicide mole rat' in Fallout 4. I'm beginning to think this may not be a 100% accurate, meticulously researched recreation of life after the apocalypse.
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Well I just played Undertale. It's a really unique game, but the difficulty in the beginning is a tad intense. Got clobbered once they started throwing three monsters at me at a time and lost a lot of progress... where's Toriel when I need her?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What should I do guys?
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
[img][/img] The Freedom Planet Indie Box, for those that were interested. And it looks like a "wild cat" is there too!
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Just 1200 words left to go on my essays. Do I deserve a day off to play Just Cause 3 once I'm done? Yes.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Elite: Dangerous has some glaring issues, and can occasionally feel kinda bare bones, but I'll be damned if it isn't one of my favorite games in recent memory. Ships are fun to fly, trading is rewarding, and the sound design is absolutely brilliant.
Archelon avatarArchelon
Well, Destructoid. I did it. I jumped ahead.
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
Flawed but fun favorite game sorter. Post top 30 in the comments. [url][\url]
KingSigy avatarKingSigy
I am tired of random players. I need to enlist some help with Triforce Heroes challenges. Would anyone like to pair up with me?
El Dango avatarEl Dango
[img][/img] fun...
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Last night I had to clean projectile liqiud dogshit off of the sides of my puppies kennel. Pity me. Read my blog.
techsupport avatartechsupport
Taking a break from Fallout 4 to try out Twitch Creative. Catch me painting Chun-Li while listening to an eclectic mix of Alex G, DJ Shadow, and Modest Mouse. [img][/img]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
So far from first impressions of my Freedom Planet indie box its 100% more worth it than lootcrate. Whereas lootcrate you get a bunch of stuff you may or may not like, indie box gives you indie games, and stuff related to that game, such as the soundtrack
maycausecancer avatarmaycausecancer
When one game is rated 7.4 and another 7.6, Are you telling me one game is 0.2 worse than the other. WHAT!?!
KingSigy avatarKingSigy
I think Microsoft takes the cake for worst console updates. The XBone UI is worse and the fucking controller had an update. What the hell has gaming become?
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -