Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
Slick and intense but multiplayer has issues.
on 11 December 2011
Single player: immersive, beautifully drawn, smooth, loud! My first impressions are of a good addition to the FPS canon. I won't say realistic because I've never been in combat or to Afghanistan so I wouldn't know but in terms of the storyline the plot is thick and unfolds with some detailed video cut-scenes between missions, which vary between playing as a casually-dressed special forces operator working in a pair to playing a Ranger deployed with an entire company (although as the mission progresses your task is to split off in a foursome. Ultimately the characters from each strand meet for a final denouement. My only complain is that it's just too short. You can finish it - on hard difficulty setting - in a couple of hours with a bit of practice. That said, I'll blow off some steam replaying the Bagram Air Base mission over and over, wreaking havoc with my loud and realistic-sounding Russian PKM machine-gun! The weapons available seem authentic, from the M4 carbine version of the M16 to the M249 - with scope! You can pick up weapons from fallen enemies if you fancy blatting away with an AK-47 or a G3, although disappointingly you can't get your hands on a "G" until the last mission. The only gripe is the length - you get to the end, the credits roll and you're thinking, "No! Where's the rest of it? I want more; I've only just settled into it!"
Multi-player: as per the single player in terms of first impressions on the graphics and gameplay. You have to create an account with EA if you haven't one already so that your stats can be recorded and tracked and I personally feel that's a pain in the posterior if you're not that into online multi-player gaming - I only indulge because I feel like blowing off some steam. I'm not bothered about climbing a leader board or gaining experience points but this is necessary to unlock better weapons and attachments and I suppose it gives you some incentive to keep playing. The maps are varied, ranging from valleys, mountains and market squares. The whole thing uses Punkbuster to keep the cheats out and there is where I have issues. I have Win7 64-bit and it seems PB doesn't play with 64-bit. I've downloaded update after update and a bit of Googling suggests PB know there's a problem but couldn't care less - which seems a strange attitude if you want developers to keep buying licenses for your product; if it doesn't work, who'd use it? The result is that any time I join a PB-enabled server I'm immediately returned to the menu and told I've been kicked but with no reason given. A bit more Googling has suggested a variety of causes including firewall issues. I've tried them all including disabling my firewall to no avail. The result is that I am confined to the limited number of PB-free servers which are, naturally, awash with cheating toerags wielding aimbots, trigger bots, clip hacks and the rest. If anyone knows how to get PB to work and not get auto-kicked all the time I would dearly love a comment on this review letting me into the secret!
I'd like to go five stars but the abbreviated single player and the PB issues with multi-player mean I have to be less than generous in the rating department.