Tactical, squad, turn-based strategy game with lite roleplay elements.02. SETTING:
Modern Day/Contemporary generic Middle-Eastern/North Africa.03. STORY/BACKGROUND:
Take control of a squad of four army soldiers who must defeat generic terrorists in a variety of missions.04. GAME MODES:
Singleplayer only. Two five mission campaigns of around 1/2h to 3/4h each. There is also a random mission generator where the team can face different objectives on different maps.05. GAMEPLAY:
The Arma Tactics experience can be summed up as being; Ready your team. Begin next mission. Complete one or more objectives. Keep your squad alive. Kill or sneak past any enemies encountered. Receive experience points and credits. Boost your squads abilities. Buy equipment, weapons or upgrades. Rinse and repeat.
Main aspects of gameplay involve movement and firearm based combat. Supplemental actions add to the tactical play including: throwing grenades, planting mines, healing and reviving fallen comrades. Inventory customization plays a small yet satisfying part of the game, allowing players to choose a weapon type for each soldier even if its from only four. An additional four slots per soldier allow add. equipment to be carried, increasing the tactical options available.
Mission failure occurs if a team member dies. The game has a good tutorial if you are unused to this type of game.06. MECHANICS:
Core gameplay consist of standard tactical options. Each soldier has two action points during a turn. They can move or shoot, stab, heal, throw grenades, revive a dying soldier, plant or detonate claymore mine, take cover, attach silencers or reload ammo. Line-of-sight adds a much needed layer of tactical playing and an element of stealth as the A.I. always begins unawares.
The steamlined nature of combat is a real draw. Select soldier, select target, choose shot type (aimed or snap). It keeps the action flowing. Soldiers that do not use all their (two) action points have a chance of a interrupt if an enemy attacks in range and in sight. Any team member who loses all their health can be revived by another member of the team though, this must be done quickly within a time limit or they will expire. XP and credits are awarded for completing missions. XP is used to upgrade skills which affect action success. These include: 4 weapon skills, tactical movement, medic, grenades, explosive and hand-to-hand combat.
Credits can be spent on purchasing weapons other than starting M-16 assualt rifles or upgrading eapons to boost their effectiveness with: larger ammo capacity, telescopic sights and silencers. In additional consumable items such as: smoke, stun and frag grenades, medical kits, revive syringes, proximity and remote detonate claymores can be purchased to augment the tactical options available to each soldier. 07. A.I:
Static with quick response options when an enemy spots a member of your team. Namely it will usually kamikaze attack but look to flee if fire upon and alone. As placement of enemies is pre-determined the A.I. doesnt have to be clever. While I would say it is robust it doesnt go far enough to provide a taxing challenge but I doubt it the game was ever designed to do that.08. GRAPHICS:
Visually the game is fine. Graphics are nothing amazing but in keeping with the general setting. Models especially enemies are a variation on a standard. Weapons are distinctly drawn. Maps including furniture and terrain are fine if nothing special. 09. G.U.I/CONTROLS:
Overall the G.U.I is fine. Its standard select, point-and-click fare. Aspects of combat such as choosing your shot type or performing an action other than shooting (healing, cover, reloading) is oriented around the focal point. This I like. Perhaps the worst aspect of the game is the sometimes fiddly nature of selecting the target spot when you move. Sometimes the click doesnt register and it can be annoying as hell.10. SOUNDTRACK & AUDIO:
Basic enviromental noises. No music in game.11. VOICE ACTING:
Okay. Probably one of the better aspects of the game. The members of your squad render dialogue at key points in the mission, namely at the start, end and the completion of mission objectives.12. DIFFICULTY:
There are no difficulity ratings. The game is overall is pretty easy for a veteran tactical/strategy gamer. There are a few achievements that require some care and forethought but once the mechanics and the limitations of the A.I are understood, these should not be a problem. If you are having problems then you can play a few short generated missions to upgrade your skills and buy better equipment or upgrades.13. PLAYTIME:
You can complete the campaigns in between 6-10h. It will take you less time if you do not replay the campaign missions, dont try out some of the random mission to buff your squad or dont aim to complete all the achievements. My run took 15h but I replayed several campaign missions, played around a dozen randomly generated levels to earn additional xp to buff my team and earn extra credits to spend on equipment and weapon upgrades when I need to replay a mission.14. PROBLEMS:
No major issues during my playthrough. Perhaps the biggest gripe is the G.U.I. when selecting the location to move soldiers. It can be tricky at the worst of times and cause a mistake to serverely hamper your mission progress. That said though if you're careful you should be okay.15. ACHIEVEMENTS:
The game has achievements but the developer/publisher hasnt setup their store page correctly to show them. Of the twenty-two two are campaign based, four are objectives based and the others are action-based (kill x soldiers with a weapon, heal team members y times, etc.) Note that there are four broken achievements. So if you are after that perfect game look elsewhere. At the time of writing the publisher is aware of the issue as it has been reported by a few people.16. DLC:
None and there are unlikely to be any.17. FUN FACTOR:
There is a fair amount of fun in commanding your squad through each mission. Squad and inventory/equipment manage is pretty good. Despite its fairly casual nature I would wager definitely only fans of the genre are going to like it. If you are drawn here by the 'Arma' in the title, stop. Dont be. It really couldnt be more different. 18. CHALLENGE:
The game only provides a taxing challenge in the later levels when enemies are deployed in larger numbers and in greater proximity. Even then it is rather forgiving in that you can restart the game with your squad intact and only equipment used missing from your inventory. There are no other penalties. If you ever find yourself out of credits to purchase equipment you may need, a few runs on the mission generator will be enough. The final two missions have a nice twist to them. :)19. LONGEVITY/REPLAYABILITY:
Fairly low as despite having a random mission generator, playing and replaying the same missions does eventually get tiresome. Especially once youve boosted your squads stats to their max. and have enough credits to buy every item, weapon and upgrade there is.20. VALUE FOR MONEY:
Not worth it at full price but not far off. The game is too short and only worth the consideration at 50% or more discount.VERDICT:
A niche combat oriented game. Simple yet comphrensive mechanics. With lite roleplay and modest inventory options. The game engine is solid if unimpressive. Its an average game but it could have been the base for something greater. Just a shame really that it wasnt successful enough for the developer to build upon it. Dont expect it to be the next XCom or Jagged Alliance. If you want something cheap, short and casual then its perfectly adequate.