Combat Arms centers around 5 game modes: Elimination, One Man Army, Capture the Flag, Spy Hunt, and Search & Destroy. Capture the flag is pretty standard fare, while elimination is just team deathmatch and one man army is traditional deathmatch. Search & destroy plays out like plant the bomb mode from Counter-Strike, only both teams have bombs and sites they must defend from the opposing team.
Spy Hunt is an interesting game mode where 2 teams compete to gain access to brief cases containing some mysterious intel. Once one player grabs all 3 cases, he becomes the spy and must escape with the intel. There are 3 intel cases in all scattered throughout the maps, so once a player gets all 3 cases, Phase 2 begins. During the second phase of the game, the player who collected the intel must get the cases to a transmitter to upload the data to win the game. At this point, all other players are now teamed up against the spy. To help even the odds a bit, the spy becomes a super spy and is given advanced armor and weapons to help him to cut down the competition.
Overall game modes are pretty diverse, although the one standout mode, spy hunt is underrepresented amongst most players who appear to favor traditional deathmatch and team deathmatch. Map design in Combat Arms is pretty good and goes a long way to make the game far more addicting than it has any right to be. Combat Arms relies on some wonderfully designed maps that make an extensive use of vertical movement to give players an advantage over their opponents. Wave Rider for instance, is a map with not only tight, confined alleyways, but also access to expansive rooftops where you can literally get the drop on other players. A majority of Combat Armsí maps feature multiple access points to high venues and rooftops, which gives you a high amount of replayability.
The maps in Combat Arms are easily one of the reasons why I probably enjoyed the game far more than I originally thought I would. Being able to find a nice, high vantage point from which to pick off other players is incredibly fun. Most maps are asymmetrical as well, so knowing the layout gives you somewhat of an advantage. Thankfully, most of the maps are quite easy to learn, whether itís the small Two Towers or the larger, more expansive Wave Rider.