Webzen is taking another crack at the shooting genre with their new game, Artic Combat. Artic Combat is a shooter set in a future where the U.S.A and Russia are fighting against each other over resources, in what is shaping to be World War III.
Since the game is set in the U.S.A vs. Russian setting, there are two different looks for your character when you get him; in fact you can buy characters for each faction with their own unique look. The bad thing however is, you can’t customize the looking individually, each normal item you buy either share the same look, or alters it slightly. So if you equip a beret on your AF soldier, your RSA counterpart will have the similar look. It would have been nice to have a bit more flexibility in that department to at least give the player the ability to customize each factions look a bit, even if they share the same load-out (which is to be expected).
In terms of general gameplay, the game is a lot like standard shooters, bringing some of the good points and flaws along with some as well. It is rather fast paced making soldiers able to die fast, and not being the tank that they seem to be in some games. So running around like a chicken with its head cut off will just get you killed that much quicker, not that it stops a lot of people from trying. One thing that bugged me about some shooters, which is incorporated into this game, is that if you stab someone, it is an instant death. Yea, this game takes that, and people in the knife mode just LOVE to get low and stab others in the feet to kill them, which tends to be a bit more on the annoying side.
The game isn’t without its originality though, as it does have some unique elements to it with a semi retro feel. When you kill other players they drop their weapon, which you can pick up and use, but they also tend to randomly drop things like health packs or even items that can help your side a bit on the map, such as air support and bombardments. Air support sends in a helicopter which you can shoot down, else it will tear through you and your buddies quite easily. This adds some new elements to consider when on the battlefield and does add a bit more fun to the gameplay. There is also an active and passive skill system. Skills can be bought in the shop for credits that you earn and can also be earned through rising through the ranks in the game. These skills give some abilities and perks ranging from using a RPG when you are on a killing streak to being able to healing when your health falls below a certain point. It is neat and gives you a bit of through for your load-out, and has you pick which skills will be the most useful.
Controls for the game are a hit and miss, but most of that is from personal taste. I am not a big fan of toggling crouching, sprinting, iron sights, and all that. I prefer to switch between by pressing and releasing the key as opposed to spam pressing them to alternate, that is a personal preference and not a bit hit on the game itself, but I still felt it was worth noting, since they don’t really give an option to switch between those types of controls, instead just forcing you to play with the toggling way. Another thing that bothered me a bit was the mouse sensitivity, it isn’t too sensitive; but in fact feels a bit tight, even when you max out the setting. This can leave the game feeling a bit sluggish at times, and make the controls not feel as responsive as they could be. This is coming from someone who typically keeps the mouse sensitivity default.
Graphically the game is about average, the graphics aren’t stellar, but they aren’t really bad either. For the rather low specs on the games requirements, they do look decent while running smooth, even if you max everything out on a medium range rig. The actual animations from the characters aren’t too bad either, and it doesn’t look like they clip or look really shabby like some lower budget shooters tend to have.
Is this the shooter to change them all? No. It has some nice and unique features to it, but most of the things they have in the game have been tried and tested a million times. While it does have some cool aspects to it that bring back a sort of nostalgia feel to it, it doesn’t really diversify itself enough to really stand out.