This may not be as big a deal for those interested in the multiplayer and modding aspects of the game, however, as in many cases the missions can be played with others to help out with command duties and tackling objectives. This can even change the layout of mission goals, as both players in command of squads may both be required to disable a number of SCUD launchers and then split up, one squad moving to secure an airport control tower while the other pursues a high value target. Regardless of how many players you're with, it would be welcome if a little more direction were given with regards to a few missions. I can certainly appreciate how some players might enjoy the sandbox feel of the game where they can do whatever they please, but in some cases like when you're scanning for and pummeling AA sites and searching for specific targets, it's not clear if you need to continue searching or if something's gone wrong. It's not a huge issue, but a little more direction in these instances would help sidestep this kind of excessive ambiguity.
With so much effort put into delivering an experience that lets you fight on foot or use the high command interface to command large groups of armored vehicles, it would have also been welcome if there'd been a more interesting story populated with memorable characters. As it stands, the experience feels sterile and businesslike. Fans will appreciate that style of presentation, content to let the whine of tank treads and pop and echo of gunfire in the desert hills of Takistan convey the majority of the personality. There are a few cutscenes worked into the campaign, but few that make an impression. Normally you're just stuck with the always helpful but robotic position and target callouts from squad mates that sound like recordings from an automated answering service. Despite this, the core experience is still strong and provides an impressively detailed and comprehensive warfare experience.
Performance is still an issue with Operation Arrowhead, which even on extremely powerful PCs still chops up at high settings. If you've got the hardware to crank everything up, though, this can be a beautiful game, with obsessive attention to detail on weapon and vehicle models and some gorgeous, sprawling maps. The death animations of soldiers could use some work, but the little details like the way your eyes adjust to light when going in and out of night vision and the thrill of seeing groups and the rolling landscapes and dusty cities built on top all bathed in sunlight help make up for it.
|out of 10||Click here for ratings guide|
Weak story elements and the occasional glitches and irregularities, but otherwise an undeniably impressive set of features and content.
The game can be absolutely stunning, if you have a powerful enough rig to play it at an acceptable framerate.
An amazing array of sounds for weapons and vehicles. Only the robotic target callouts by AI soldiers hurt the experience.
Occasional cumbersome control mechanics and inconsistent AI hurt what's otherwise an incredibly detailed, complex, and rewarding set of play systems.
The new campaign isn't especially long, but there's plenty more to see with others and in the scenario missions once you're done.