Jul 22, 2013
1 hour and 25 minutes. That’s quite a long time, is it not? Watch a film, do your weekly shopping – who knows what you could do in 85 minutes. One thing that could be done is complete a single mission of ARMA Tactics THD. One thing that shouldn’t be done is complete a single mission of ARMA Tactics THD.
ARMA Tactics THD is a turn-based strategy game that gives the player the control of four soldiers each with their own strengths and stats. With the success of the recent X-COM game, which I hugely enjoyed, there was hope that ARMA Tactics THD would scratch the same itch.
The game is simply too slow. Characters have a pre-determined amount of movement per turn and it’s simply not large enough to make getting around the game’s large maps fun. Everything becomes bogged down by the character’s inability to move at enough of a pace. Hopping from cover to cover stops being tense and exciting and quickly leaves you bored and frustrated.
It doesn’t help that the crux of the game, its battles and firefights, get bogged down as well. The camera spends time moving from different points-of-interest, but is sometimes comically off target, leaving the player looking at a dirt floor whilst gunfire can be heard. Another thorn in the side of the player will be the element of luck that dictates success or failure throughout the game. The number of ‘50% shots’ that I missed during my time was close to 80%. In fact, any shot less than 70% just wasn’t worth taking. This meant my tactic changed from ‘careful and cautious’ to ‘get in their face and who cares’.
Off course, as mentioned, everything can be ‘improved’ by playing through and raising the soldier’s stats, but why? The missions aren’t compelling and are interrupted by awful voice-over work that makes you want to place each loud-mouthed soldier in the middle of the street with a target taped to their back.
Another area that causes concern and difficulty is the controls. Dragging a line from your soldier to a piece of cover shouldn’t be that hard, but often ended up with soldiers heading to the wrong side of a wall with fatal results.
It’s a shame. The presentation takes advantage of the fact it’s for Tegra devices only and there’s some serious amount of content here. The large maps, as mentioned, could have given ample opportunity for some great tactical action. The large number of weapons and stats should have allowed players to build a squad that plays uniquely to any over.
As it is, ARMA Tactics THD is a missed opportunity that makes me wonder when, or if, X-COM will be ported to Android.