ArmA II Review for PC

On: PC

Set in the near future in a fictional post-Soviet country called Chernarus, players take on the role of a United States Marine Corps Force Recon squad, who are called to the country as a peacekeeping force to prevent further civilian casualties.

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8Out of 10
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ArmA II is an incredible game, but won't be for everyone.
ArmA II is an incredible game, but won't be for everyone.

ArmA II is an incredible game, but won't be for everyone.

Okay, so you’ve probably gotten the message by now. I’ve written three previews for this game over the past nine months, and with hindsight I realise that they’ve all been making the same three points: a) ArmA II is awfully pretty, b) ArmA II is absolutely massive and c) ArmA II is cruelly realistic.

All these observations remain well and true, but I won’t spend too much time making them for a fourth time. What I will say is that these are likely to be the first three observations that you yourself will make, should you take the plunge and buy this game. “Ooh, isn’t it pretty?” you’ll cry as you explore the island of Chernarus for the first time. “Wow, isn’t it huge!” you exclaim, as you realise the full extent of your virtual playground. “Bloody hell!” you’ll scream, as an unseen enemy fires a bullet into your digital skull, prematurely ending your game.

In simple terms, ArmA II is the world’s greatest set of toy soldiers - an ultra-comprehensive military sim, playable from first or third-person perspectives, that lets you play around with everything from a T-72 tank to a MV-22 Vertical Take-Off and Landing jet. There are sniper rifles, Stinger missiles, laser target designators… there are even bicycles, for pity’s sake (although your soldiers seem to ride them with an incredible sense of balance; you can grind to a halt and they’ll remain bolt upright). The game is packed with literally hundreds of vehicles, tools and weapons – all of them painstakingly modeled on their real-life counterparts. The main question, initially, is how exactly you’ll choose to play with them.

There’s a campaign mode, naturally – we’ll look at this in a moment – but there are also a spread of other options. There’s a boot camp to help you learn the game’s many features and controls; there’s also a ready-made set of seven missions that allow you to jump straight into the action without the distraction of an on-going plot. There’s also something called the Armory – an interactive library that provides a simple way to check out every model in the game. If you’re feeling lazy you can just sit back and watch a video of your chosen weapon/vehicle/character in action, but a more fun option is to take the item in question out for a spin. You’ll be free to mess around to your heart’s content without the fear of someone attacking you, and at short intervals you’ll be offered mini-challenges to try; you might have to reach a certain point on the map, take down a certain number of targets or race against the AI. Completing these mini-tasks will unlock new models, including all the wildlife that roams the 225 square km of Chernarus. So far I’ve evaded poachers as a stealthy hen and helped to guide a photorealistic sheep around a makeshift obstacle course. Fun times!

As enjoyable as the single missions and Armory are, the meat of ArmA II lies with the campaign and with the world of community gaming that follows. Or to put it another way, after completing the main story you’ll be a battle-hardened commander, ready to take on whatever the internet can throw at you. As with the previous ArmA (and, indeed, Operation Flashpoint before it), this is a game that has been built with an online following in mind. Not only can you can play through the whole of the campaign with the help of three friends, but in multiplayer you can have up to 50 participants fighting over the entire map – each of them controlling their own battalions of troops and vehicles. On top of that, there’s an extremely powerful set of editing tools for building your own missions. Considering that people are still making stuff for the original Op Flash some eight years after its initial release, you can expect to see plenty of new user-generated content in both the near and distant future.

Visually it can look near photo realistic

Visually it can look near photo realistic

Before you start to delve into all that good stuff, you’ll probably spend most of your time with Red Harvest – ArmA II’s main campaign. Bohemia Interactive Studios has admitted that this was one area that was sorely lacking in their last game, and as a result it’s clear that the Czech developer has put a lot of effort into making amends this time around. Red Harvest has around 12 missions for you to work through, and by the time you reach the story’s bloody end you’ll be trained in most – but not all – of the combat arts that the game has to offer (HALO insertions are mysteriously absent from the campaign, despite their presence in the training missions. I guess that’s something for the community coders to play with).

Now, 12 missions may not sound like much, but what you’ve got to bear in mind is that each of these assignments can and will last several hours on one play through. The first two or three outings are relatively straightforward, providing you with a chance to get acquainted with the fiercely harsh realities of infantry combat. You’ll also get to grips with the four controllable members of Razor Team, the gutsy recon unit you follow throughout Red Harvest. Your team consists of one grenadier/translator, one sniper, a heavy weapons expert and a medic, giving you access to a wide range of talents. You can switch any of the four scouts as you wish, though only Cooper the grenadier can issue commands to the others.

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Highest Rated Comment

snaileri's Avatar


Current-gen game consoles can NEVER run games like this!
The landscape is so huge, the graphics are so crisp, the multiplayer needs dedicated servers which game consoles can't provide, let alone the max-player amount. And the mission editor sure would be pain in arse when trying to use it with a game pad.
Just throw your 360 into trash can and buy some real gaming platform!
Posted 10:16 on 20 June 2009

User Comments

DproL's Avatar


Be warned this game isn't really that enjoyable unless you manage to play it in a serious online community like Operation Reality (ORC) or something of similar caliber. Just my 2 cents :o
Posted 00:24 on 17 February 2010
jakeistheman's Avatar


@thpcplayer I have played it extensively(As i said before my friend is a PC gamer and practically lives off the game)and its a good game but you even admit that it has tons of bugs, so why over praise it and act like a bunch of gitty school girls over the machine called a computer.I go back to the message of my 3rd post calm down and realize the game has flaws.
Posted 00:53 on 03 December 2009
thpcplayer's Avatar

thpcplayer@ jakeistheman

well jake, i see where you coming from but you must play this game and then u will know why it deserves all that praise. FOr me this is a near perfect game but due to loads of bugs it............................
Posted 11:20 on 02 December 2009
tokorev's Avatar

tokorev@ El-Dev

yes, or maybe, there is strong evidence that its coming for it. but bad news for some people, if it comes out, some people say its onley coming for ps3, good for me, but not you or others, and also, ign. gamestop. and playstation universe says its coming for ps3, and 360, some time this year soon, or next year, lets hope it does
Posted 01:37 on 13 November 2009
jakeistheman's Avatar


well im calling them fanboys because there making it out as though this game is the second coming of god and that the PC is the greatest gaming invention of man kind.I have played the game(friend has a alienware PC) and its amazing but why go over boad.
Posted 22:14 on 01 November 2009

renegade@ drummerx2001

MAG says hello
Posted 16:15 on 01 November 2009
thpcplayer's Avatar

thpcplayer@ jakeistheman

why you calling them fanboys??? hmmph!
Posted 15:44 on 01 November 2009
jakeistheman's Avatar


i have never seen so many PC fanboys on this site hmmmm.
Posted 16:22 on 14 October 2009
jm1205's Avatar


i want this game bad need to update my computer but ill have th money soon cant wait for this
Posted 02:27 on 14 October 2009
drummerx2001's Avatar

drummerx2001@ renegade

console servers can not handle this amount of multiplayer action. Not yet anyway. They dont have the processing power to deliver all the movements of 50+ players in one game. Maybe someday though.
Posted 01:25 on 01 September 2009
drummerx2001's Avatar


Most people dont understand the massiveness of this game... Especially Console players. This game is huge, larger than huge. So many AI characters will be moving and responding to your actions during play, a console system would light on fire with trying to handle its processing needs. Operation Flashpoint was a Golden Classic, and gave way to this masterpiece. Not flashpoint on console, on PC. Just if you have a powerful enough PC for this, and love thinking, using strategy, instead of just run and gun... buy this game. You will love it for sure.
Posted 01:23 on 01 September 2009
Beowulf011's Avatar


Without a doubt, ARMA II is the most accurate modern warfare game I have ever played. And the accuracy draws you in and makes you feel like the solider. You have real ballistics, the world is destroyable (you can run over trees in a tank, break fences with an APC, blow up buildings), you drag your wounded allies out of fire and then you can perform field medicine on them to get your guys back into the battle, you can hop over fences, dive into bushes, look around the battle with out changing where you aim and many other amazing thing I have always want to do in a game but I have never been given the option
Posted 16:26 on 28 July 2009
panty's Avatar

panty@ El-Dev

julie is a plum
Posted 13:06 on 23 July 2009
thpcplayer's Avatar


this game is a killer absolutely in my mind one of the games of the yeaar. I couldn't get it on release as my com and laptop were *****ed up. @ above absolutely right. I hadn't played anything for a month(thx to studies ) and i couldn't even get time to visit this great site . I bought it yesterday. Undoutebly, best game for pc so far perhaps best game so far.(this year
Posted 13:45 on 26 June 2009


And as much as throwing your Xbox in the bin. Do jog on mate, yeh Pcs are able to do a lot more. But i tell you know, more people would buy Crysis on PS3 and xbox than on PC, due to the Huge system spec of the PC.
Posted 20:44 on 20 June 2009

Game Stats

System Requirements
Out of 10
  • The best war sim on the market, bar none
  • Stunningly realistic and epic in scale
  • Intimidating for newcomers
  • Still quite buggy, at present
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 19/06/2009
Platform: PC
Developer: Bohemia Interactive Studio
Publisher: 505 Games
Genre: Action
No. Players: 1 + Online
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 1,787 14
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