Thursday, December 10, 2009

America’s Army 3 -A 10 second review -->

There has been some discussion on the merits of the Army’s free-to-play advertisement/game, America's Army 3. The recent report shows the cost to the Army’s budget was approximately 32.8 million over 8 years. MW2 cost 50 Million to make, Spore (I read) was probably over 80 million(?), Most AAA games have this high of budget it seems, these days.

Though I would rather they spend that money on a better military project, the Army isn't known for 'thriftiness' or 'well thought-out' projects as it is. So you get what your congress approves them to get. Don't like it, don't vote republican! Just sayin'!

The quick and dirty: The game AA3 is the sequel/update of sorts, to the project that began 8 years ago by the U.S. Army's recruitment think-tank. All versions I've played, have been buggy, but playable for the most part after they get ironed out. The first version was notorious for laggy server issues, making other players suddenly skid 10 feet over while trying to line up a bead on them, not to mention, your shots seemed to lag behind a half second from where they are lined up in your sight. AA3, same thing. They haven't changed it.

Most of the gameplay is essentially identical to previous versions, though they've altered the menu and planning screens a bit. Now you can ‘secure’ a downed enemy, so they can’t be revived by teammates [and vice-versa]. The engine seems to have the exact same models and animation but with better textures. Maybe a better sun flare etc...everything else is almost identical. For that, millions of dollars seems a dreadful flush down the toilet!

BUT-for some reason, i've spent an insane amount of time in the first version, and getting back into the 3rd, hoping for another update to fix things. My chief complaint is the same as what PC gamer said-it takes TOO long to switch weapons, bring up your 'nade launcher, toss a grenade or smoke, lay prone/stand up etc the time the animation gets done, your enemy has already jumped the wall, or shot you silly as you sloooowlly pullll yoouurrr pisstoll out.. It takes a lot of the adrenaline rush of real combat out of those interactions.

I would best describe AA3 series as a sortof capture the flag chess game, with brief and tense firefights.. It's slower pace and tension attract those of us that want a little more planning/strategy than just bunny-hopping aim-bot decimator's.

Check it out and see if you like it...after all, it IS free! The game has obvious marks of workmanship, detail, and has some fun maps to play in, and I thought the training missions were always fun and fairly realistic [I went to Air Force Basic, but the weapons training was spot on from what I experienced]. I just wish they were a little more diligent in getting out the bugs faster, perhaps even responding to player feedback? In this respect, it seems painfully just like every other gov’t project. Take a number…wait in line. You get what we give you.

My Score- 6.5/10 For bugginess/annoyance factors and unpolished state. Good graphics and environments, easy-to-understand and addictive gameplay.

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