Gameplay (cont’d) Graphics and Audio
Gameplay in general in Combat Arms is surprisingly addictive, thanks to its adherence to the old school mechanic of fast and furious action. Combat Arms is easy to pick-up and learn, but retains its fun factor due to some well designed maps, easy to master gun mechanics, and RPG-Lite elements of leveling. Unfortunately, the game does appear to have some balance issues, especially in regard to shotguns.
I played against a few self-proclaimed “professional” gamers, who seemed to have mastered the ancient art of long distance bunny hopping shotgun sniping, something I thought we left behind many years ago. Also, there are quite few glitches in not only the maps, but ballistics behavior. One player I played against found a spot where he could shoot through a metal wall, picking off my team as we spawned. More frequently however, were the instances where I attempted to unload an entire clip at point-blank range into someone from directly above them, only to find I somehow missed. It appears the hit boxes don’t always register hits when firing directly from above.
By now, you have no doubt noticed from the screenshots that the graphical engine in Combat Arms is hardly state of the art. In fact, Combat Arms makes use of the Lithtech Jupiter Engine, first seen in NOLF 2. For the most part, the graphics are pretty meager and unimpressive and the bloom effect is way overdone. Instead of a nice variance of fuzzy that adds realistic optical effects, the bloom in Combat Arms looks like someone smeared Vaseline all over your monitor. Bloom is easily turned off thankfully, which we recommend lest you mistake your game for a Nicolas Cage inspired snuff film. Graphical annoyances aside though, Combat Arms gets the job done and runs well, as we would expect since it is running a 7 year-old engine.
Audio is passable for the most part, although gun sounds are bland and lack any serious punch. In-game voices are tolerable and adequate. The game does some feature some basic surround audio, which is helpful for determining an enemy’s location.