Title: Arma: Tactics
Genre: Turn-Based, ‘Tactical’ Shooter
Developer: Bohemia Interactive
Platforms: PC, IOS
Release Date: May 2013
So, Arma: Tactics. Being part of the Arma franchise, which most people only know due to it being the game which spawned Day Z and, arguably, this latest craze in apocalyptical ‘horror’ survival games, (zombies optional), I expected a super realistic version of a genre I know well, the turn-based, tactical shooter. The most recent notable example of this genre was the reboot of the classic XCOM series, XCOM Enemy Unknown. And so, with a certain amount of ill-fated optimism, I went into this title expecting something of a similar standard.
Yeah, that didn’t happen. Don’t get me wrong, it IS a good enough title, but it brings the dullness of Arma to the genre, whilst removing the best aspects of the franchise. Arma is a ‘realistic’ shooter series, with open maps which almost beg the player to execute a style of strategy which, despite being compromised of basic manoeuvres, feels as though you are nothing less than a modern-day Sun-Tzu. In Tactics, however, the maps are small and relatively linear, making each mission more of a trudge than an enjoyable experience.
It also suffers from the same problem that every other title in this genre seems to struggle with. In order to hit an opponent with a main weapon, the game offers you a percentage to hit based on the weapon, your character, their positioning, the enemy’s position etc. However, it seems to be quite off at times. I had one character stand a few feet away from an enemy, and open fire with an 82% chance to hit. It must have been like that scene from Pulp Fiction, and the terrorist was comprised of both Travolta and Sam Jackson. Every single bullet missed, before the enemy turned around and cut my character down before he could even make a joke about what the French call a Quarter-Pounder with cheese.
Sometimes, when you move a character, it will go into a third-person, over the shoulder camera which, not only is there no point to it, seeing as your characters cannot move far enough for the camera to last for more than an a second or two, but is also sickeningly jarring. It made my eyes hurt just to watch the camera bounce jerkily with the character’s step.
Basically, Arma: Tactics is not a good game. It isn’t a particularly great example of the genre either, which is a qualification I have added to certain titles in the past, for the most part, to soften my dislike. I can’t recommend it to lover’s of the genre either, simply because it doesn’t feel as fleshed out as, for the sake of argument, XCOM.