I‘ve played a bunch of on-line games, and while I was impressed with all of them, they always end up tiring out because the maps are too limited, your fellow players are too retarded, the enemies are too predictable or the AI is just outnumbering you. I’ve been picking up on ARMA2 multi-player, once again after a long intermission, and it’s like I’ve never left: the coop missions are still there and the community itself, from newbies to veterans, is always as helpful as ever in getting you through the mission. And as usual, the thrill to make it through after a carefully planned approach at the AO (definition) is… a good feeling: that is without feeling guilty that you hit your targets with an M249 SAW. It’s still a video game after all: a good one at that.
For example, earlier today, I parachuted in, joined up with a sniper team and advanced towards a small town. Everybody wants to be a sniper: for most people this means that they can hang far away from combat and get their ‘kill-list’ up. This works for most FPS, but not for ARMA2: if the AI gets hammered it will try to flank you or hit you back with superior suppressing fire. As I by experience knew what was going to happen, I positioned myself on the left flank and ended up with multiple run-ins with AI. Eventually someone hollered “What the hell is going on there”, I could only answer “Left flank uh clear, now”.
I do find that playing with more than 20 people online causes more confusion: that is, there are more friendly fires than normal because everybody is jittery and nervous when it’s time to do mop-ups or patrols. The only way to get around that is to team up with somebody or have someone team up with you: this happens fairly automatic though. You’ll thank your buddy for dragging you out of the line of fire and bandaging you if you get hit.