Combat Arms: Bringing Back the Free MMO-FPS?

ca_elimFree-to-play First Person Shooters aren’t necessarily rare, they just usually suck. F2P FPS releases are fraught with exploits, hacks, bugs, lag, and people (of no specific ethnicity) that obviously play these games far too much. Quality AAA free titles like Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory or F.E.A.R. Combat are getting outdated. But the Koreans are always hard at work. What have they come up with now?

Sure, South Korean developer Nexon’s Combat Arms is still host to a number of the fore mentioned problems, but the game has a simple enough nature to not let that get in the way.

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a game like Counter Strike. Developers seem to think that bigger is better, and the FPS genre has been getting more and more complex with every iteration.


Combat Arms brings back the simple fast tactical/twitchy/arena combat of CS, but mixes it up with arcadey feedback (COD4-esque pop-ups) and a significant if not completely satisfying character customization system and persistent stats.

Tools which allow you or your clan to jump into instant action are also very well implemented, and promised monthly content updates should keep things fresh.

A minor complaint pertains to the fact that you can’t actually purchase equipment, you just ‘rent’ it for a certain time. This is a very unsatisfying element that detracts from players who are interested in outfitting a unique character.keep things fresh enough.

The ability to pay for items using real money on the game’s “Black Market” doesn’t directly pose a threat to non-paying players, since each pay item has a cosmetically different counterpart available to all. A certain amount of unsung tension between those who use ‘NX cash’ and those who don’t still exists.

Nexon Combat Arms Weapons

The weapons aren’t necessarily balanced and glitchers/hackers are still apparent – but all in all, the game feels good to play, doesn’t suffer from lag (it seems to handle server load quite well), and provides the first quality free FPS experience we’ve seen from a F2P developer for a long time.

Sign up for a Nexon account if you don’t already have one, download the ~500MB game client and give Combat Arms a try, you might find it oddly satisfying.

2 thoughts on “Combat Arms: Bringing Back the Free MMO-FPS?

  1. Ivan

    Great review. After trying the game for a while the renting system isn’t bad at all. It actually enhances the game, since you need to know what to buy and what not to buy. You can always pick up weapons from dead players, so you can try them before buying.

  2. anon-y-mouse

    I would hardly call CS “twitchy”; maybe when comparing against games like Halo and CoD you could call it that. However, fast-paced action CS is and never was — Quake, UT, and Painkiller still share those crowns.

    QuakeLive is Free To Play btw..

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