ARMA 2: Army of the Czech Republic DLC
AMD AMD Phenom II X4
AMD Radeon HD 5770
Before DayZ, ARMA games used to be barely touched by regular gamers. It was notorious for its hardcore gameplay, unintuitive interface, and bugs...lots and lots of bugs, and glitches. ARMA 2, a game released in 2009, had quite a few updates, expansions and DLC. So is Army of the Czech Republic (ACR) something special? Or something that’s not worth wasting any/your time and money on?
Even though ARMA is notorious for its bugs, this was a first time I had to spend half of the day trying to install a DLC on Steam. We got off on the wrong foot at the start, as ACR just plain refused to work and show me its content. Even reinstalling the whole game didn’t help. The key was just to launch Steam in Administrative mode. I really hope Bohemia takes a look at this issue, as installation is the first thing people experience.
Moments when overpowered always feel satisfying.
After an unpleasant experience with the installation process I got to the campaign. The “Silver Lion” campaign is made up of 8 missions that take place over 3 newish maps. The first 4 missions taking place in a cut out Chernarus maps, where the player takes part in an effort to stop the civil war and bring war criminals to justice. After that, another 3 missions take place in a cut out Takistan map where you fight the insurgence. And the final mission takes place in a “new” map that is greatly inspired by a piece of Chernarus. It consists of the coast with two major cities (Chernogorsk and Elektrozavodsk) that have been remodelled and, instead of the sea, has a river, giving you another side of it to visit.
All the campaign missions are completely different and dynamic. You start off trying to find a war criminal, move on to stealth missions and later you get to pilot a helicopter and a plane. None of the missions make you feel like you are doing the same thing and the change of the environment really makes the variety feel only greater. The missions themselves have primary and secondary objectives, while randomly generated spawn points makes a change in gameplay, so if you restart, your objectives won’t be in the same place anymore. Outside of the campaign there are some extra scenarios, but those are more like training levels than anything else.
Tell me that this doesn’t look good - I dare you.
Now the main problem with all the singleplayer content is it feels rushed and unfinished. As fun as it is, there are a lot of cases when you feel a lack of information about your objectives and you are left there standing wondering what to do next. Combined with an AI that can shoot you from 500 meters with a machine gun, through the foliage, it is possible to have some really infuriating moments.
ACR has new weapons, new vehicles and new character models as well as some old reskinned models. Being Czech themed some models are completely new, but most of the stuff is something we’ve already seen that has been customised or just has slight changes to adapt to the needs of the Czech army.
Visual wise it’s the same good old ARMA 2 with moments that sometimes look astonishing. But the engine is showing its age and it’s really visible on the effects like smoke, explosions or particle effects. Audio wise it’s all voiced in Czech and it brings another layer of immersion. All the texts and captions are in English so it’s not a problem to understand but if this is an issue for you then probably the whole game isn’t for you either.
Being a predator with superior tech and stalking your prey in the night is so exciting!
It is a pity that in so many iterations, ARMA couldn’t manage to get relatively bug free. It is understandable that this is caused due to the complexity of the game and its elements. Unfortunately the result is usually the opposite and the AI, for instance, is one of the weakest links in the whole game. Also, as impressive as the shock-absorbers look in action, I’d still like to go faster that 10 kmph uphill with an off-road vehicle!
As for multiplayer, it is extremely disappointing that unlike all the other expansions and DLC’s, ACR doesn’t have a co-op function. Nor has anything new been added to the multiplayer itself as it has one of the most unique, engaging and satisfying MP’s out there...if it goes right.
More than anything else, Army of the Czech Republic feels like a tribute to the homeland from Bohemia Interactive. ACR really feels like the last piece of content to come to ARMA 2 before ARMA 3 and not because it’s the best, but because it needed to be done by BI. It has some of the best things that ARMA has to offer and some of the worst. If you enjoy ARMA 2 immensely, this DLC will be a good buy for you considering its decent price. Otherwise there isn’t anything that you would miss out on.
- Varied singleplayer: The SP missions are different and dynamic
- New maps: Even though it’s not completely new, the ‘Bystica’ map looks good
- Hardcore level of satisfaction: ARMA is one of a few games that brings a deeper level of satisfaction but most people might see only frustration
- New units and weapons: It’s always good to get more content but it’s not something you can live without
- Will hesitate to work: Installation problems are something that has to be addressed ASAP
- Vague objectives and tasks: Don’t be surprised if you are left wondering what to do next
- Bugs: A trademark of the ARMA series