ARMA is a first person shooter battle game that has acomplished things other F.P.S. games have failed at.

Great Things About This Game!

It allows the player to play any character in a "user created" game as well as to operate any vehicle or aircraft in the game!

It has a full blown mission builder allowing the user to build their own missions any way they like!

There's all kinds of add-on's that can be downloaded on line!  Anyone ever seen the TV series "Airwolf?"  Well there's an Airwolf helicopter add-on for this game along with a lot of others.

Their missions come in several varieties from single missions to full blown campaigns.  Players make missions and share them so there's no end to the missions you can play.

Sound effects are very impressive and so are the graphics.  The graphics are not as sharp as those found in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon but Ghost Recon has no mission builder so who really cares!  When a gamer like myself would rather build our own missions we will compromise to get the features we like.

Being a pilot myself and having flown both fixed and rotor wing aircraft one of my biggest "things" is having real good simulated aerodynamics.  While this game has very good aerodynamics for helicopters
it just doesn't exist for their A-10.  After a few tests flights I realized it wasn't me it's the game and I gave up trying to use the A-10 as a player controlled feature.  Sure I can fly it around take off land and blow things up but but the feeling of actually flying is not there, and it's not fun.

I love the game for its wide range of user changeable and player features.  I have more fun building and testing my own missions than anything else.  I admit there's a LOT more power in the program than I understand how to use but I will explain some of those drawbacks below.
Video Cards!

The video just wasn't quite good enough and tends to jump/jerk so we went on a search to find an updated nVido video card.  AGP 8x cards are hard to come by these days so we bought an ATI card.  The drivers for this card crashed our OS and cost us another 750 gig archive drive.  We have lost tons of personal and job related videos thanks to ATI.  It took me a day to get ready to try again and thinking it was a fluke deal I downloaded the ATI drivers and tried again.  To my SHOCK it totaled the XP os again! I had lost 4 days work to now and this time thinking it would work with Windows 7 I bought and installed it costing me all the programs I had on the old system.

I tried again now with the new downloaded drivers and Windows 7 and YES it crashed the OS again!  What in the world could be wrong with video drivers to make them act like a computer virus?

I sent some Emails to the ATI support people and they asked me what drivers I was using and I had tried them all so at that point was not considering losing two more days reinstalling Windows 7 and setting up my programs again.  I took that sucker back to Best Buy and told them what it had done.  One of their geeks told me that he had bad luck with ATI cards to.  My situation looked grim and my only recourse was to put the old nVidia Gforce card back into the old PC.

While certainly a faster card in my 4x Gateway computer it also tended to do some jerking.  Since it's a PCI-E slot I upgraded it to a PNY 9800 GT and that resolved all the problems not only with ARMA I but with ARMA II as well.
It's got a few problems to!

While it does generally run better and longer than the older version installed on C drive it still runs for awhile then crashes.  Crashes range from program crashes to complete system crashes without warning.  I've had it run for hours on end without a crash and at other times had it crash before I could start playing.

Usually it plays for 30 min to an hour depending on the scale of the actual mission.  The larger the map, the more things that are going on on that map the sooner the game will crash.  Save out your progress frequently and you can always restart the game and continue where you left off.  The most common reason the computer gives for the crash is that a program string is "caught" in the video driver system.  It's a level or two above their bottom of the line requirements for the game.  It's a GForce 7600 with the latest drivers but it still crashes.

The AI sometimes amazes me and at other times infuriates me.

You can leave a man on a rooftop only to return and find he's fallen to his death for no reason at all.

You can send a man somewhere only to discover you can't call him back!  They get stuck in some places on the map or in buildings and unless you can manually jump into that character and move him out of that position he's going to be there until the end of that mission or until he dies.  I've seen them walk into a wall or one of the other soldiers and just stand there unable to move.

The characters don't like most bridges and would rather jump in the ocean and drown than cross.

You can be cruising along with your platoon behind you, come up on a bridge and cross only to turn around and wonder where they all went!  Look in the ocean!  I've had men drive vehicles over the hand rails while trying to avoid crossing a bridge!  I've had them show up awhile later only to discover they have no weapons!  That's because they swam across dropping their weapons in the water.

Sometimes they walk through buildings and walls that you can't walk through.  That's darned inconvenient when you think you have an area secured only to have the enemy walk right through a wall and kill you.  I've had them walk through walls that I put in there from their objects list to keep people from walking between areas, but they will do it anyway.

In other cases there are places where they refuse to walk and if you put a soldier in one of those places manually they won't leave that area even if commanded to do so.  Some of these places are buildings with inside court yards.  One is a church with a wall around it and gates on each side, but they will not enter it on their own and neither will the enemy.

The soldiers generally hate to enter a building.  Now and then there are certain buildings they will walk through, but I've seen them get trapped in those hallways without any reason for it.

If you get into a vehicle that vehicle becomes your "mount."  You may continue on from there to jump into another solder only to come back and find out your man has walked across the entire map just to get back into his "mount."  He will set there and do nothing until someone kills him or until you move him again.  Likewise the moment you leave him again he will return to his "mount" and do nothing.

In some cases I've had vehicles connected to a unit they have never been inside of only to jump from the commander into another soldier of the same unit only to have the commander I just got out of command the soldiers to enter one of those units for no good reason.  I hear the command and jump back to the commander and tell everyone to stay where they are.  This limits what the player can do with his unit.

Sometimes a soldier will say "Where are you?" and you turn to find out you can't find them!  You can't see them because sometimes they get stuck inside of buildings and "things."  I've had them get stuck under the lighthouse before to.  I've gotten stuck under a staircase in a building several times.  Just lay down beside the staircase and stand up, bingo your inside the stairs and can't get out!

Something else that is infuriating is when you give your soldiers the command to return to formation only to have them change the order and say something like "2 follow 2."  Which means nothing to them at all.  These are all program bugs that need to be fixed.  They are so obvious I'm shocked the program team hasn't fixed them by the time they came out with ARMA Gold.  Even more shameful is the fact they didn't fix ARMA Gold before they moved on to ARMA II!

The update on the AI should read "Artificial Ignorance" because intelligent it isn't.  I've discovered in some cities on the maps the AI becomes even worse than normal.  In Pita I put in two AA men armed with stinger launchers.  Enemy helos fly by and they do nothing.  I command them and they aim with their guns but not with their stingers.  I took one guys gun away and he pulls his stinger launcher from his back and then puts it back and holds his arms like he has his rifle again pointing at the enemy helicopter and doing nothing.  Another AT guy refused to fire upon a tank then walked out in the open and let the tank kill him.

Enemy AI can walk through walls!
While mentioning the fact that sometimes enemy AI can see and shoot you when there's no way they could even see you I might as well mention I've seen them walk through walls, buildings, doors and vehicles in places where the player can not go. There are certain locations in the game where these things happen more often.  It's hard to fight when the enemy is like a ghost that can walk into  your hiding place through a wall and kill you.

Steerable Parachutes?  HA!  ARMA and ARMA II both have them but try to steer one of them!  It can't be done.

Programing language.
  There are options that allow the mission builder to configure the soldier's weapons upon the start of the mission.  At first finding correct working commands was difficult.  Not so much anymore.  The language is similar to Java script.

Initialization commands are functional if you know what they are.  In time a few of the programers began posting letter by letter commands as they should have to start with.  Once you know the tricks the task is easy.  You want your soldier to have binoculars you type the command "this addWeapon "binocular"; It's easy if you have the sheet that gives you accurate examples.  For a box or vehicle the syntax is
"this addWeaponCargo ["Binocular",1] .  Brackets contain what the item is and the number is how many to place.

I hope to have more soon along with missions I've created that you can download and play with your ARMA 1.08.

I've spent months testing ARMA Gold.  Some of the original problems have been fixed and this version is 1.08.

I've found updates that go all the way to 2.14 and I have them but think I'll move up one point at a time.  1.09 is the next one I will install.

I installed this version on D drive of the old PC keeping it away from the computers OS drive.  This helped to reduce the frequency of program and system crashes.  Without question it runs much better on the new quad core Vista computer.

If you enjoy ARMA 1 & ARMA 2 you should be warned ARMA 3 is only Steam powered and it sucks!  If you can get a NON Steam version of ARMA 2 you should get it now while you can before the BiStudio / Bohemia people screw them up like they have ARMA 3!

After testing ARMA 3 Alpha LITE for the past three weeks and having spent $100 on two copies for the tests I've come to the conclusion it's the biggest mistake this company has ever made.  I'm going back to ARMA 2 where I control the mission!