This review is on the current state of the game as of the time this review was written. Over the next couple of months or even years from now some or none of this may even be accurate anymore. Any mention of previous updates is to help paint a clearer picture of what you can expact from this game as it continues to evolve update by update. Please do not consider this review complete nor attempt to read this like an article. I leave out many aspect of this game for the sake of keeping this short (and yet it's longer then 99% of the reviews on Steam).
I joined Combat Arms back in 2008 when there was no Steam version available for this game. I played fairly consistently since then clocking in over double of the reported hours on Steam. Recently I have opted to let this game slide as I play other games that I find much more relaxing and enjoyable.
Over the years hacking and cheating in various forms have gotten intense and less intense. Currently, I would say that hacking is a non-issue and fairly uncommon to occur. This has impacted the community negatively as it is common practice for players to claim others are cheating and harass them in the process.
Common community practices that I would say define Combat Arms over any other game that I have played to date is the amount of kicking that is done by elite and super elite moderators (can be earned at MAJ2 rank or purchased). Rooms often have unposted rules or unreasonable rules that the moderators enforce. This can also lead to the room being heavily one sided towards the elite moderator.
Glitches are predominate and are likely to occur many time during play. Depending on your system the game may crash on loading, closing, during matches, and for other reasons unkown. Error codes may or may not be useful. Framerate is highly variable ranging from 600fps in the lobby to a slide show in matches.
Servers are often laggy and periodically crash. As such movement becomes stuttery and jumpy the faster the players are moving on the map. Crouching while under lag can cause you to be bumped backwards about 4 to 5 feet. Stairs can provide a sudden death. Death can happen while standing or crouching in corners or next to some objects. Lag can cause you to go into geometry.
Recent changes to the game has made pretty much every weapon available to users without requiring money spent on this game. In essence, you do not have to spend anything on this game. The problem to this is that you are going to spending every waking moment in the game to simply be able to balance the budget. At the same time you will not be able to enjoy weapon attachments and customization options on those weapons. This also includes weapons that you may recieve on the free weapon rotation system.
Cases can be purchased or earned from the game providing both useful, duplicate, and useless weapons and gear. In the past, there was an option to sell this gear but that is no longer possible so you will be stuck with it or disgard it and recieve nothing. The cases are simply lottery systems with unknown odds.
A large number of game modes are available but most are not commonly played as they are either difficult to start. The most common game modes are similar to what you consider normal in majority of FPS games.
There are a very large number of map available in the game but similar to the large number of game modes available, most are not played at all or are extremely hard to get started. Most maps are not that well balanced where one or another side will have a clear advantage.
Gunplay is satisying for the most part and behaves as one would expect to in a FPS game. Some weapons come with a built in scope while others require or prevent you from attaching them. There is a small selection available when it comes to attachments which are supressors, sights, and clips.
The main menu disregards the resolution that you have set for the game setting it at a very lower resolution. As such the menus are fairly cluttered and poorly planned out. I would say that the interface is not intuitive and there is absolutely no tutorial or guide that you can use to figure out where everything is. I found many of the changes over the years to the menu system get worse as more features are added to the game.
Players are able to create clans in the game but for the most part clan wars are limited to a few maps and game modes. The clan servers are usually sparce or even have as few as one to no matches in them going on during off hourse. Clan experience is very slow to earn and is not easy to get your clan ranked up in order to accept more players. Emblems require a purchase of real money and are limited to the "emblem maker" system. Picking an emblem can be very frusterating as many are taken and there is no indication of what is taken and not taken until you click submit.
Player statistics are tracked an available on the Combat Arms website. The downside to the updated version is that it is still in progress over a year now where the player profile is still the orginal and the global leaderboards lack featuers that were present in the older leaderboard system. These leaderboards are updated about once a day.
Downtimes can sometime occur for nearly up to a 24 hour period and often happen on Wednesdays. Compentation is known to be given for this.
Many have stated that this game is pay to win. I will not say that this is or isn't but I will say that you can spend upwards of several thousand dollars and still not have access to the full game. Pretty much every weapon is behind a paywall otherwise you will be stuck with demo version of the weapon.
I do not recommend this game.