I spent the last two days on the second game of Bohemia Interactive Studio (BIStudio in short) called “Armed Assault” Wich is some kind of sequel to Operation Flashpoint.
Flashpoint was a great war simulation game, the point where it sucked was the graphic engine, a bit old, wich was forgiven considering the game was designed to be played on large scale islands with 2000 meters of view distance (not quite what we have in SL :p)
ArmA is some sort of “Flashpoint2.0” the engine clearly smell about Flashpoint but is much better with some nice HDR effects, high detail characters and landscapes (the viewdistance can be cranked to a spiffy 10 kilometers range) and dynamic shadows, the sort of coldness that flashpoint had is gone now, the surfaces feel detailed and shine under the sun in warm tones, the foliages are rich and project shadows in the grassy hills… splendid.
ArmA is set in a present setting and all the 1982 equipment have been replaced by more modern ones, the vehicle array got a lifting, and the less interesting ones got removed.
They added a pretty nice little training, (wich feel a lot like the one you get forced down in america’s army) where you learn the basic US weaponry (unfortunately no training for the OPFOR weaponry) , weapons like the grenade launcher M203 will definitely require some training…
The Singleplayer campain is pretty amusing, architectured around a system of main missions with 2 or more secondary missions of sabotage or marksmanship wich sometimes bring you an advantage in the main mission if you success them.
Instead of the 4 old islands of Operation Flashpoint, ArmA has one massive island of 400km2 (it is bigger than all the flashpoint islands joined) and one “desert” island wich has some grass, terrain reliefs and one small village. The main island is divided in 2 parts, north wich is in an european style and will remind you a lot from Flashpoint, and the south wich is of a mediterranean style. All dotted of many interesting spots, cities, forests and buildings.
It looks like BIStudio kept their promises and raised again the bar for the best Military simulation.