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Free to Play Fridays – Arctic Combat

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Given Call of Duty’s popularity, I’m actually pretty surprised that we haven’t seen many successful free-to-play first person shooters that played like Activision’s fast-paced shooter franchise. Then I heard about Webzen’s Arctic Combat for PC. Arctic Combat is perhaps one of the first free-to-play FPS to have a killstreak-like “Package” reward system. Add smooth, responsive controls with fast and furious shooting mechanics, and you’ve got yourself an FPS that combines Counter-Strike and Call of Duty’s best qualities into one FREE package.

What’s not to like about that? Learn more about Webzen’s Arctic Combat after the break.

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Arctic Combat is a shooter set in modern times; where disputes over natural resources eventually escalates into World War 3. Players can choose to side with the Allied Forces or the Red Star Alliance. It’s a simple set-up that’s there to basically divide players in to two teams, each battling for global dominance.

The game was built using the Unreal Engine, so it’s not just another run-of-the-mill-looking shooter. Arctic Combat looks pretty, performs well, and even scales to play on computers that don’t have the best system specs. From what I’ve seen and heard around the web, the game is pretty flexible and will allow even non-high end computers to run it. Surprisingly, Webzen also added a Player-Versus-Environment (PVE) with bots so players can practice a bit if they’re unsure about jumping into the hectic online competition. These PVE bots difficulty can even be customized to fit your current FPS combat skills.

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Just like Call of Duty, players will be able to customize almost every facet of their gun – a first for a free-to-play FPS – including barrels, mount, and stock. They’ll also be able to add attachments like scopes, silencers, and skins to their weapons. If that wasn’t enough, players can even go to Arctic Combat’s Item Shop to purchase extra weapons, skills, gear, and items. Of course, gun nuts will be glad to know that all the guns are based on their real-world counterparts; from AK-47’s, to the KTR-08, to older, classic handguns like the Colt M1911, everyone will find a gun that fits their style of play. Finally, players will also be able to customize their soldier, equipping them with an ever-growing selection of hats, helmets, and accessories.

Like I mentioned earlier, Arctic Combat features a helpful “Package System” that rewards and punishes players depending on how they do in battle. By killing opponents, players can randomly obtain support drops and killstreaks that they can use in-battle. You’ll also be able to find usable weapons in each maps like machine-gun emplacements, flamethrowers and such.

A couple of the game modes you’ll be playing in Arctic Combat are:

  • Standard Modes: Team Deathmatch, Free For All, Domination
  • Unique Modes: Explosion, Annihilation, Sniper Match
  • Just Plain Crazy Modes: Knife Match, Rocket Match

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Here’s what JTM Contributor Nick D. () thought about his time with Arctic Combat:

What Arctic Combat does well, is really nailing the gun play. Guns feel punchy and deliver instant satisfaction when taking down an enemy. Even aiming and shooting feel really smooth compared to some full-priced games. They have also added original features, my personal favorite being the Stomp Kill. When you’re above an enemy, say on the roof of a big rig truck or on a window sill, you can jump onto a prone enemy for an instant kill that would make Mario blush.

There are some balancing issues worth noting; playing on a few of the maps I frequently found one team being forced into their spawn point the majority of the game. Whether that’s because of lack of skill or unbalanced map design I’m not sure. One thing to note though is I managed to get just as many kills running around and firing from the hip as I did with ADS. There are even times where I would even do better just firing from the hip.

One major gripe i have with the game is the menu system; it feels very cluttered and thrown together. If you’re unfamiliar with the system, you may find yourself confused over simple tasks like backing out of the page you’re on. It takes some getting used to for certain, but once you do it’s nothing more then an eyesore.

When all is said and done, Arctic Combat is a fast and frantic online shooter. One that doesn’t try to hide the fact it’s a clone of games that came before it. With solid, smooth controls and serviceable graphics you could do a lot worse than Arctic Combat to hold you over until you get the games on your Christmas wish list.

To start playing Arctic Combat, visit the Webzen homepage or check out: http://ac.webzen.com/main

You can also get the game from Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/212370/

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About janhutchings

Canadian Game Industry Blogger / Contributor for @Sonyrumors & @ShogunGamer / Communications and PR Professional. Voice of Canadian and Indie Gaming. http://jtmgames.com/

Posted on December 14, 2012, in Free Gaming and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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