OK first off for all you CoD / BF2 and OFP:DR fanbois. This is not a console shooter where you can strafe targets or run around Rambo style. If that is your sort of game seriously don't bother purchasing the game.
ArmA II and the addon Arrowhead (although Arrowhead is standalone getting the original means you can play the US Marines and play in Eastern Europe) is a tough military simulator that is a little rough around the edges but has a truly incredible mod community.
A lot has been said about ArmA II so I'll stick with the expansion. Arrowhead builds on the same formula from ArmA II and expands it further with more detail. It focuses on the US Army this time and their associated kit. There are a few other European forces thrown into the game too but I'll focus on the big shiny stuff.
New features we have are backpacks that can store extra gear and be dropped off. Good idea for those long term firefights. Vehicles have proper Thermal Imaging sights that unlike previous games of the same genre use genuine TI filtering. So vehicles switched off are cold and when they are active the tires and engine bays show white / black hot. Pretty impressive to be honest and makes some of the nightfighting much tougher now for PvP.
Other subtle features are an improvement in graphics and general gameplay...not to mention a nice full colour manual...not seen a full colour manual since the Microprose days!
The setting is the fictionary country of Takistan...sound familiar? Well it's pretty much Afghanistan and a lot of dust. You get three maps plus a map editor. Yes folks you can now create your own towns by just dropping a town creation icon onto the map. Great for simple quick missions!
There is the usual gamut of armour and aircraft. Loads of Hummers and Strykers plus a nice fat Chinook for the shiny kit loving player.
ArmA II was a rough diamond and Arrowhead is no exception. The one thing about the developers that does annoy me is that they leave much with a sense of being unfinished on release. The Stryker Mortar carrier does not work, A Scud launcher that just fires up and there are some other niggles. I do get the feeling that they sometimes leave it for the mod community to sort out or it gets released in a later patch. Whilst the mod community is incredible I do tire of hearing them (the mod community) bleat on about 'A mod will fix that'. Fact is it should be finished by the developer and not the community.
Grumble aside Arrowhead is a superb Expansion and opens up a whole new area to fight in with endless mission opportunites that the mod community has already taken advantage of.
So if you want a military combat simulator and don't mind putting up with a few niggles here and there get ArmA II and Arrowhead and join us online for a heck of a lot of tactical fun!