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Armed And Dangerous
There aren’t many military simulators out there that combine physics-based gameplay with near real-to-life military situations in an open-world environment. Bohemia Interactive’s Arma series has always been a staple in the industry for the above mentioned top-notch, near real-to-life military simulation and they’ve taken the series a step further by making it free-to-play. And while being free opens the door up to a lot of new gamers it doesn’t mean that the series is as easily accessible as Activision’s Call of Duty series. That’s why this Arma 2 beginner’s guide is here to help the new players adjust to the playing style and the sometimes complicated yet interesting mechanics attached to the Arma series.
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Keyboard, Controllers And Mice
Arma 2: Free can be played with a number of devices, including the classic keyboard and mouse combination, as well as supported joysticks and gamepads. For console gamers it will require a bit of an adjustment as the Xbox 360 and PS3 controller will lack a lot of the buttons necessary to perform some vital actions. Nevertheless, it is possible to easily play the game just using a gamepad but you’ll need to do a lot of button configuring.
The good part is that controllers, joysticks and gamepads are automatically configured for use with some vehicles such as tanks and helicopters. The one thing that controllers are not configured for are on-foot movements. It’s easy adjusting the controls for when you’re not in vehicles to match most other first-person shooters. Simply attach the left or right analogs to the aim-look control segment as well as the strafing options to mimic standard FPS games. You can also map out most buttons to replicate the face buttons associated with most other shooters.
The game is probably best played with a keyboard and mouse after you’ve learned all the basics and mastered some of the more complex controls, including advanced vehicular techniques like strafe flying while firing on enemies.
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First-Person Vs Third-Person
Arma 2 offers gamers a unique option of playing either in the very, very realistic first-person mode or in the comfort of the visibly comfortable yet environmentally restrictive third-person mode.
The pros of going third-person work well for newbies using vehicles such as tanks, jets and helicopters. It allows you to get an idea of where the vehicle is going and how to adjust the alignment of [aerial] vehicles that may sometimes try to slip away from you.
As you get closer to mastering certain vehicles in Arma, it could become more convenient to use the first-person mode to keep track of cockpit controls and gauges. Third-person mode is, however, indispensably convenient for transporting troops, though, as it gives you an idea of where they must be let out and whether or not they’re all safely on the ground.
When you’re not in a vehicle you can find that the third-person mode is sometimes a quick way to get killed. The problem is that it’s already hard to spot enemies at a distance and it becomes even harder in the third-person mode. It’s good to sometimes use the third-person mode to position yourself behind cover, but first-person is optimal for taking down opponents and getting into tactical positions.
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Weapons And Loadouts
Depending on the mode you do depends sometimes on the loadout you’ll receive or start with, you can also unlock additional equipment simply by playing the game and completing missions, training segments and multiplayer modes.
The weapons you bring with you into battle can greatly determine how successful or efficient you are during combat.
Now fans of sniping will be glad to know that this game favors camping and long range sniping, greatly. If you’re keen on laying waste to enemies 400 meters out then you’ll definitely like what Arma 2 brings to the table regarding sniping. Much like other games that tap into the realism of weapon mechanics such as Operation 7, you can hold your breath to increase stability and maintain accuracy for those long range shots that require your utmost attention.
Suppression fire also plays a big part of the game, especially in areas with a lot of buildings and structures. Being able to lay down adequate suppression fire is essential for team oriented missions and can really help with getting a squad from one area to the next.
For normal combat, just remember that scoping, quick-scoping, sighting and quick-sighting still works in Arma 2 so long as you fire in short bursts and keep your aim steady. The recoil isn’t that bad on the game but it can throw off some newbies who may not be used to the gun mechanics.
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