Top notch realistic military thrills
The ArmA series is a popular one with tactical shooter fans and which was developed by the designers of the early games in the Operation Flashpoint franchise, with which it shares some similarities. Somewhat confusingly however, Cold War Assault is not actually an ArmA game but the re-released version of the original Operation Flashpoint. Whatever its title though, it remains a first rate military shooter that brings an element of realism to the genre that is often lacking. The game is set in a fictitious group of islands in a world where a renegade Russian general is seeking to bring down the government he hates and install himself as president. It's your job to take him on and bring him down before he becomes powerful enough to attack the US. Gameplay is a mixture of traditional shooting action and squad-based strategy with some Battlefield-style vehicle thrills thrown in for good measure, all of which is given a nice coating of Cold War-era paranoia, equipment and style. What marks this game out as different from more straightforward shooters like Call of Duty is the attempt to introduce an element of realism to proceedings, with things like movement speed and shooting being slower and more difficult than is usually the case. This obviously makes it more difficult than usual but is a big part of its attraction and it is undoubtedly a hugely challenging, but very rewarding, experience. The campaign and story are compelling and the environments you get to explore are vast and atmospheric, while controls are tight and responsive. Apart from a few minor niggles, like dodgy voice acting and the occasional glitch, this remains a first-rate tactical shooter that is addictive and thrilling in equal measure.