Armed Assault 2: Operation Arrowhead

The Best Damn Virtual Battlefield Around Gets Even Better

by Chuck “Magnum” Ankenbauer


ArmA 2: Operation Arrowhead - A quiet day in town.

Bohemia Interactive has done it again in releasing another product for their open world sandbox game series, Armed Assault 2. The latest is ArmA 2: Operation Arrowhead (ArmA2:OA), and in this gamers’ opinion, it is the best tactical squad shooter ever. High praise from the original developers of the immensely popular Operation Flashpoint.

Armed Assault 2ArmA2:OA can either be played as a standalone product, or as a combined install withArmA2. I usually play it as the combined installation.

ArmA2:OA authentically models weapons, units, and vehicles for air, land, and even sea combat. It has a single player campaign with 9 missions. It also has a single mission list containing 7 other missions and 5 showcase missions. It comes with a 15 mission boot camp tutorial that is very well done and informative.

If you don’t like single player, or get tired of the idiot AI (still a problem after all these years, but a problem in most PC games) you get a huge multiplayer component. Multiplayer can be 2 to 50 players (depending on player connections and servers) for co-op or massive force-on-force battles. But that’s not all. You also get a fantastic and very powerful mission editor.

In ArmA2:OA you get three new land masses. Takistan, which is the largest and no doubt is intended to emulate Afghanistan. You get Zargabad, and a smaller open desert map. The new maps are fantastic and very well done. I’m not sure if it’s just the program being optimized finally, or the open desert land masses, most likely a combination of both, but ArmA2:OA runs a lot smoother and better on all systems and supports multicore processors. There is new night vision, thermo sights and weapon systems. The biggest new feature is the ability to enter and clear almost all buildings on the maps.

ArmA 2: Operation Arrowhead
ArmA 2: Operation Arrowhead
ArmA 2: Operation Arrowhead
ArmA 2: Operation Arrowhead

Others have tried but failed to find the right mix of the Armed Assault series, but come up short every time. BI Studios just keeps getting better and better, and I give them credit for not jumping on the formula “lets copy Modern Warfare” bandwagon like everyone else seems to be doing.

The series has a immense online community, and no other game is quite like it. The greatest thing about ArmA2:OA isn’t even the game itself. It’s about what the game provides. ArmA2:OA is a huge and powerful sandbox just like its predecessors.

If you don’t think 300+ units on huge open battlefields are enough, you can always download more. The series makes it easy for people to make add-ons, mods, and missions, and their is a constant flow of mods and add-ons for ArmA2:OA. The most popular place isArmaholic. If you don’t know about Armaholic, be sure and visit there soon.

SimHQ has its own strong community of ArmA 2:OA gamers. Our dedicated server is up 24/7 with tons of custom co-op missions designed for 4- to 24-players. We get together every Monday evening at 8 PM eastern US time for “Military Monday”. We are the greatest ArmA 2community ever!  EVER!  I have to say that — SimHQ signs my paycheck. 😉 Seriously, SimHQ strives to be a mostly cooperative, squad plus based unit, with occasional bouts of WARFARE on Saturdays. If you want a larger, more structured, more force-on-force (and co-op) gameplay, then we highly recommend our friends over at TacticalGamer and Shacktactical. Two great communities that like a lot of folks in their battles.

If you have never played the series, or have but thought it too hard or complex. Now is the time to jump back in again. ArmA2:OA is the best in the series with several new features, maps and all the cool new toys and weapon systems.

Buy the game. Support a great company. Do those 15 tutorials first, then join us. You will not be disappointed in this one.

ArmA 2: Operation Arrowhead


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