Still a good game!
Arctic Combat is now in open beta! I've had the last few days to play around with the game, and I gotta say it's just as worthwhile as last time I played.
If you haven't yet, my preview from back in September is still spot-on as far as the game goes. It's a quick, very classic military shooter in that way, not just with the medkits and tight level design, but in many others. There's no vehicles, jumping is very limited, there's no Counter-Strike gun recoil aim-jerking, and the game feels like old school military shooters. It's just a good time.
Since then, they've done a few improvements to the main game. Among them, the store has been revamped, with more items and guns, and a wider variety of cosmetic items, including goggles, and a tweaked set of perks. The AKS-74u and G36C rifles both have been added to the store, as well as new characters like the Recon specialist.
But, more critically, they added in a new mode called Annihilation, where players are unarmed and have to find weapons on-site. The mode is frantic and feels appropriately desperate. It feels oddly fair to turn a corner and have your face blown off, because if you scrounge up a weapon after respawning, you can turn a corner and get a free kill, in a sort of predator/prey turn-taking system. It's not exactly fair, but it's very, very fun. If you play League of Legends, think about Murderbridge versus classic Summoner's Rift. That's what it's like.
The last addition is the two new maps, Silo and Quarter Blow. Silo is a tighter outdoor map in a rocky environment around a missile silo. It feels very akin to the Modern Warfare 2 map Scrapyard - tighter, more arena-like. Quarter Blow, however, feels more like Silo from the same game's second expansion pack. It's not to say they are stealing from each other (Arctic Combat did just fine taking Dust from Counter-Strike, I don't think it's doing it twice), but they feel very similar in aesthetic. In mechanics, they provided a lot of flanking positions, choke points, and cover.
As I said before, Arctic Combat truly is a decent game. It's not trying to compete with the Activision flagship franchise, but is instead trying to go for a more classic feel. It's not for everyone, but if you find yourself missing health packs and getting annoyed at the Halo jumping mechanics, sign up for the open beta. You might like it.
Julian "Mirai" Williams