Arma 2 comes much like Armed Assault, fans stick by it but it's just another "beta" release from BIS

User Rating: 5 | ArmA II PC
It's hard to review Arma 2, being such a fan of Operation: Flashpoint I was really looking forward to Armed Assault (1) and once I had a computer that could run the game I really enjoyed the title.

Of course BIS caused a bit of a stirring motion when they released the beta of the game on the retail market for the CZ and German guys. Thankfully the game was in a more releasable form by the UK and later US release. But again caused more anger by releasing the US version of the game at a different version so until the rest of the international releases had been patched US players were isolated from the rest of the world...Friendly fire incidents however were lower at that time (Sorry bad joke there I actually respect the US Armed Forces!)

Arma 2 has the same problem that Armed Assault (1) has.
It is a beta, it suffers all the bugs a beta would and game performance is truly shocking. Most game publications that have reviewed the game have said they needed to overclock their work computers to a fear-laden, heat-tastic level before they could actually play the game with semi-good framerates and some actually couldn't play the game without a hotfix patch from BIS (Later called the 1.01 German "Beta" patch)

This alone brings the question up.
When will reviewers actually do their job? If the game is unplayable it does NOT deserve 8/10 does it? I say fire those reviewers and hire me! I need a job!

However, the game does not do everything bad. It is a true military simulation in every aspect (almost) and as a simulation rather than a game it's no different to Microsoft's Flight Simulator series.
All the buttons are there although not all are pushable, all the models are accurate and the A.I do act semi realistic (although not without issues and robo-cop talking)

The land is almost believable and feels quite nice to be a part of, however for me this only happened when I opened the editor and took a nice little bicycle ride through the countryside as, for me, that was the only time the game was actually playable. However for a "True military simulator" this game does still suffer all the little niggles that Operation: Flashpoint and Armed Assault (1) suffered.

People still magically pop into cars, tanks, planes etc with no animation to get in, steering wheels turn without the hands moving giving off a bit of a Harry Potter vibe there and the building destruction model is just laughably poor although at least BIS are trying! And they will fix that.

Sadly this game also suffers incredibly poor optimization on every single level, from only using 40% of my Phenom II x4 940BE CPU to only using 530MB of my 4GB ram. The only way I could improve performance was a heavy overclock to 3.6ghz.

As the game only uses 40% of the CPU (Same problem also reported on Intel's i7 chip) the only real way to up performance is overclocking. Either that or follow the optimization guides on BIS's forums but that makes the game look worse than Armed Assault (1) with very few improvements in the game you are better off with Armed Assault (1).

Also another problem reported is that the game will not start with above 4GB ram in a computer without the use of shortcut commands such as -winxp and the same goes for SLI (although Nvidia have released a patch now I believe that fixed that issue) and also Intel's i7 CPU have been reported to be a very poor performing chip in this game unless Hyper-threading is disabled meaning 8 cores become 4 cores.

Now the question is this.
With a game with this many problems and very few redeeming factors, what are these reviewers doing giving the game 8/10??

I know the game has a huge following but these so-called gamers (The reviewers not the fans) are ment to be CRITICS of games reviewing a game and giving unbiased opinions of games. Thus anyone (even fans) should see past the heroism of BIS's simulator and see it for a flawed masterpiece.

The game may be patched in the future, and I hope it is but until then I have recommended many friends who enjoyed Operation: Flashpoint (OFP) and Armed Assault (1) to avoid this game and keep playing the eariler titles until Arma 2 is patched.
Otherwise they'll be playing a game that looks worse than OFP and plays like an unpatched Armed Assault (1).

Armed Assault (1) was a mess on release so I expect Arma 2 to be playable by the time Arma 3 is released (I hope BIS hire a Beta Testing QA team although they don't seem to learn) but this will teach BIS to rush release a game due to competition that in this case came in the form of Codemasters Operation: Flashpoint 2.

BIS will you ever learn to finish a game before releasing it?
Gamespot will YOU ever learn to review properly?
Eurogamer will YOU ever learn that having to overclock your computer to play a game is awful?!

Guess not...Guess I'm the only one that thinks an average of 20 FPS is pathetic optimization.

Arma 2 gets a 5/10 due to being an unfinished product, I shall be reviewing it again in 6 months time and that'll be a full product review.

Reviewers system specs:
AMD Phenom II x4 940 Black Edition @ 3.6ghz
4GB Corsair Dominator Ram
Nvidia 9800GTX+ 512MB
5.1 Sound w/ Creative Labs Speakers