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TacticalGamer Review of ArmA2

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  • TacticalGamer Review of ArmA2

    This fresh from the hard pressed fingers of the TG man on the scene of the recent ArmA2 press day, here is Jason's superb Review from what he saw of ArmA2. Jason is not only a very good mate of mine, but the one who got me involved in ArmA and has been involved with the game since the first release of OFP! The guy is a CGI Architectural Visualisation expert and knows his Onions!!! ( A Brit phrase for knows his graphical stuff!) He has also been playing at TG on and off for as long as I have... that's a bit more about him...on the the review!

    So here it is....

    Arma 2 pre-release demonstration review. May 20th 2009

    505 Press launch in London for Arma 2

    By Jason for Tactical Gamer

    Event: James and Jan from Bohemia Interactive showed a gameplay demonstration of Arma 2 and answered questions from the press. The journalists and guests were then allowed to play Arma 2 first hand on pcís provided by Nvidia.

    First impressions:

    We jump into a mission scenario and I can instantly see the graphical improvements. The detail of every object is much higher compared to Arma 1 and the new hemispherical lighting system makes for a very real and enticing environment.

    Anyone watching cannot help but become instantly immersed in the vast landscape and then wonder at the infinite possibilities available before us with the mission editor alone.

    But before I get carried away with my own imagination, lets see what Bohemia Interactive have come up with to entertain us.

    So we have arrived in Chernarus as marines to provide a peacekeeping force amongst the civil unrest with multiple factions fighting for power and territory. The campaign begins on an aircraft carrier just off shore of Chernarus. As a member of Razor team, a rapid reaction forces team we are deployed to take control of the situation.

    This is where I can see the appeal of the campaign is far greater than Arma 1, which had a linear approach with main and secondary target in phases one after the other. The campaign in Arma 2 is much more organic and has many variables that affect the outcome of your success and failure. You will have multiple options to choose from at each step of the way. How you collect information from local civilians and friendly faction members will be vital. All conversations and key information is stored in a handy diary log for you to refer to when planning your next move. The new dynamic conversation system with other people opens up a new dynamic of adventure. Upset them and they may be hostile towards you, be helpful and they will help you.

    Maybe a convoy was spotted heading south from a local town, maybe rumours of an ambush is planned at a checkpoint. How you react to each piece of information will lead you on a different journey.

    So with the impressive campaign taster out of the way, I got to view some more of the landscape, weapons and vehicles that are available to us.

    Firstly, the landscape. The detail and lighting looks fantastic and is a worthy upgrade from Arma 1. From the rocky coastline to the mountainous and forest covered hills of the north, it all looks beautiful. Iím thinking, lets have a picnic and go for a walk, let alone contemplate starting a war. There is so much to see.

    The ambient wildlife and civilians add greatly to the environments and make the world feel like it is truly alive around you. The cows look up from grazing as you approach and are only startled if you cry, ďone more for the barbecueĒ while wielding your gun at them. Chickens make a mess when you shoot them too  .. well I had to try didnít I. I saw goats, boars, dogs, sheep, rabbits, chickens, cows and horses along with birds and insects. You could be happy to just go hunting animals if immersive conflicts are not your thing.

    Of the massive 225 square kilometres available to us in our missions, the surrounding areas are not sky domes as suggested in some forum discussions, but a never ending, randomly generated landscape. While randomly generated hills and towns appear before you, your team mates and opponents will see the same landscape detail as you in the same gaming session, so no continuity will be lost.

    The vegetation and buildings all look great. I could not see a fall off point for the grass over distance unlike in Arma 1, so the landscape feels complete and believable around you.

    So, to the infantry experience. On the ground and running and I am happy with the feel. Much more fluid than Arma 1. The running feels like a natural motion and the improved frame rate adds to the experience. All animated sequences such as weapon reload and sight raise, etc are slicker. Close quarter combat was a lot of fun and felt less clumsy than Arma 1. During a mission in a small town my AI team grouped intelligently with me as we moved around and used the terrain and buildings for cover. I even saw an AI comrade leaning from behind a wall to give cover, as another AI comrade ran up the road to the next building.

    The new medical assist is a large part of successful gameplay in Arma 2. With multiple injury scenarios. you may need a simple bandage or full medical assistance with morphine injections from your team members. You all have to help keep each other alive in combat and this adds greatly to the drama.

    When lying in tall grass areas it is possible to flatten the grass down by moving around to help visibility if trying to aim at the enemy as the grass remains trampled. It is also a good gauge to see if activity has occurred in an area as grass remains flattened when trampled by other troops and vehicles.

    Parachuting is improved and a fun experience as we jump from aircraft and freefall. The motion blur effect captures the feeling of speed as we plummet to earth at high speed. I could control my dive rate and glide left and right before I opened the parachute. Then once I deployed the chute, I was able to steer to my preferred landing zone.

    With regard to the command interface. This is broader in options and more intuitive to control larger groups of units and squads. The high command options allow greater control of units in realtime. Select units or groups, then place waypoints and add behaviour tags to each waypoint as desired during combat. Far greater control of placement is now possible as units can be positioned to within a cm in Arma 2 instead of within meters as found in Arma 1.

    All aircraft have improved flight control models and appear smooth and responsive. I am however not a huge fan of the new bright and large cross hairs in some of the aircraft, but am sure the community will offer an alternative for this very quickly if Bohemia Interactive do not

    I saw someone else flying a lynx and a very cool HUD slid down on command in front of the pilots eye to show a weapon aiming reticle for combat situations. This can be stowed away again at the press of a button for greater visibility when required.

    Of the land vehicles I tried. The M1A1 tank felt slick and familiar. I had a session of blasting some buildings to test the new destruction system and was not disappointed. Depending on where you hit and with what weapon you use, it is possible to blow sections of some buildings away. While not as impressive as destructible environments found in Crysis, I feel Arma 1 fans will be please with the improvement and will embrace the new combat situations that will arise from partially destructible buildings. The commanders machine gun firing felt nice to use, as the combination of superb new sounds, convincing tracers and puffs of smoke made me want to start searching for chickens and make a mess again.

    This brings me to the sound quality. After multiple and impressive sound mod releases for Arma 1, fans will be pleased with all audio in Arma 2. From engine start ups, weapon reloads, aircraft flybys, it is all in there and adds to the immersion of living and breathing in Arma 2ís world.

    Now to the editor. It will be familiar to Arma 1 gamers, but is much easier to create more complex missions with a long list of selectable scripts that can simply be dropped onto units, vehicles, objects and waypoints. The ui is cleaner and more options are available right down to ambient objects such as clouds. You can even play mission as animals if thatís your thing. The community is bound to create some interesting mods and missions with the endless possibilities available.

    The aircraft carrier is a large and complex object with interior sections, so is an immovable object and sadly cannot be sunk. However, it is a nice addition and many fun hours are to be had whilke attempting to land on her.

    Overall I believe gamers are really going to enjoy Arma 2. Whether you have played Arma 1 before or not, there is no other game that competes with the detail and endless possibilities available. From young players to seniors gamers, the appeal of Arma 2 is massive and will thrill everyone.

    Some of you will be interested to know that the German release in May will not be as complete as the version due to be released by 505 Games on the 19th June. There will not be an option for English language in the first German version as found with the original German release of Arma 1. So my advice is hang on for just over two weeks and you will have the English version and be able to enjoy the full experience of Arma 2 as Bohemia Interactive intended.

    More information, screens and videos will be released over the coming weeks, so keep an eye on the Tactical Gamer forums for the latest information.


    Many thanks for excellent write up mate!


    "What we do in life... echoes in eternity!"

  • #2
    Re: TacticalGamer Review of ArmA2

    Links to both Screenshots and Information:



    Some preview images from the above file.....


    • #3
      Re: TacticalGamer Review of ArmA2

      Ok...Anyone have US 505 PreOrder info... Like who is taking our $$ for this Beastie NOW!!!
      |TG|ARMA Pathfinder where did I put my keys?


      • #4
        Re: TacticalGamer Review of ArmA2

        love the guy checking out the girls ass , man after my own heart lol


        • #5
          Re: TacticalGamer Review of ArmA2

          Originally posted by peardog View Post
          Ok...Anyone have US 505 PreOrder info... Like who is taking our $$ for this Beastie NOW!!!
          <<All ears as 505 sounds like one I'll be getting sadly I tried Amazon.UK for pre-order for ArmAII an they don't distribute US due to laws an agreements BS! At this point I'll settle for digital dl til hard copy is in US! Even the dredded Sprocket---has anybody heard anything about any digital dl's. Thanx
          "It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle."
          "To show you what a difference retirement makes. Last year when I gave an order, 541,000 men and women jumped," he explained. "Now I can't even get the plumber to come over."
          Norman Schwarzkopf


          • #6
            Re: TacticalGamer Review of ArmA2

            I had no issues with my sprocket copy, even after my info was removed from the website, they still looked up my activation key for me. The thing I take the most from these pics is that the vehicle camo appears great. Those hummers blend well, imagine a few hundred more yards of view distance and they would blend very well.
            |TG-12th| tHa_KhAn

            XBL GT: Khan58


            • #7
              Re: TacticalGamer Review of ArmA2

              It should be distributed through steam too

              Playername Sparks444 in BF2


              • #8
                Re: TacticalGamer Review of ArmA2

                Thanks for the preview Jason, it's good to hear someone from TG has seen the game in action and was left with a positive impression.

                Can't wait to play some of the first missions on TG in ArmA 2!


                • #9
                  Re: TacticalGamer Review of ArmA2

                  I am most impressed by the PC's needed to run this, it is already more optimised than ArmA 1, and the PC's used for these screens apparantly had the following specs:

                  - Windows XP 32bit
                  - Core2Duo 8400 @3Ghz (not overclocked)
                  - 3Gb of RAM
                  - Nvidia 9800GTX+ Graphics

                  They were able to run at these settings:

                  - Screen resolution 1680x1050 on a 24" 16:10 TFT
                  - Visibility (View Distance) "3499 m"
                  - Quality Preference "Very High"
                  - Texture detail "High"
                  - Video memory "Very High"
                  - Antisotropic Filtering "High"
                  - Post Processing "High"

                  So all in all looking good, and for those of us who surpass these specs, even better! I got the above info from FOXHOUND over at


                  • #10
                    Re: TacticalGamer Review of ArmA2

                    Originally posted by Jeepo_SAS View Post
                    I am most impressed by the PC's needed to run this, it is already more optimised than ArmA 1, and the PC's used for these screens apparantly had the following specs:
                    Apparantly? How correct is this information, do you know jeppo?

                    PR BF2 Alias: NewOrder_JoyDivision


                    • #11
                      Re: TacticalGamer Review of ArmA2

                      Well, it looks like Foxhound ran a DXDIAG, so it would be correct!


                      • #12
                        Re: TacticalGamer Review of ArmA2

                        Would a quad core with 4gigs of ram make up for an 8800?
                        TG Pathfinder

                        "I travel alone through the valley of the shadow of death, yet in my heart I carry no fear, for Gods hands will guide me to Truth and Honor."


                        • #13
                          Re: TacticalGamer Review of ArmA2

                          Thanks for the (TG) review, the screenshots and other information. I was already looking forward to the release, but now I'm getting hungry for it; and the screenshot with the woman's butt... awesome! lol


                          • #14
                            Re: TacticalGamer Review of ArmA2

                            Originally posted by Ghost02 View Post
                            Would a quad core with 4gigs of ram make up for an 8800?
                            We really won't know till we have the game installed and running. Some games are more CPU/RAM dependent, with other being GPU dependent. I think I'm going to stick with my 8800GTS at first, and will know in the first 10 mins. if it is GPU or CPU bottlenecked. I run a CPU/RAM monitor in a 2nd display, and if my CPU is hardly getting a workout, newegg will be my next stop.

                            Problem is, the early word on next gen GFX cards that will be out at the end of summer are scary good. The Nvidia cards may be more than 2x faster than the current 280. I'm really going to try my best to hold off till they come out.


                            * *

                            Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

                            -Carlos A. Urbizo-


                            • #15
                              Re: TacticalGamer Review of ArmA2

                              To Tell you the truth I really haven't been too exited about ARMA 2 until this press event, sounds like there's a ton of new features in it and now I can't wait!




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