The world just saw the release of America’s Army 3. This game is supposed to be a life like game that attempts to mimic the real combat environments that the U.S. Army encounters. It is part videogame, part training exercise, and part recruiting mechanism.
The development of this game is paid for by the U.S. Army and if you’ve ever played it you know that they plaster U.S. Army logos and mottos everywhere they can. This is beside the point since this game is already in its third iteration and everyone already knows the core of the game. All you should care about is that the game is free. Originally, our idea was to make a review after playing the game for 24 hours or so... what happened? Read on.
America's Army 3 FAIL: The case of Digital Amnesia
You get to know all about the US Army...
This release, being the third is the easiest to obtain because now it is available through Valve's digital distribution model, Steam. In the past, you had to download it from websites allowed by the U.S. Army. I managed to download this game via Steam last night and began to play it around 12am with close to no glitches or bugs at all. In addition to that, I had to unfortunately create a new account which meant that I had to go and retrain a new character which basically lends to me having to do basic training as if I were in the U.S. Army. In order to use certain weapons in the game and in the multiplayer you must qualify for them in the training section of the game.
The training course is well explained... too bad that at the moment, that's basically all you can play.
So, I thought I would just go ahead and train once again which would be tedious but probably different from the previous versions of America’s Army that I had played in the past. And it definitely was, for a few reasons. First of all, they appeared to have changed the training course and the way you train. To be quite honest, the layout of the training menu is really poorly designed and lends to initial confusion on the part of the gamer. In addition to this, the game is extremely glitchy. At first, it took me approximately four attempts to even login to my account and retrieve my character so I could begin training. In addition to that, the game refused to load all of my achievements in weapons training beyond last night and as such I really can’t do much with the game in that sense.
After getting frustrated without being able to continue training I attempted to go and play the multiplayer in which I was booted from 4/5 servers failing the server authentication. This is pretty much how you gain achievements and play online with this game. In addition to all that, the game froze and crashed a few times while trying to communicate with the servers furthering my frustration with the game.
Stats will be awesome once that the game or the servers stop suffering from digital amnesia...
One of the features that I really like, that I have not yet been able to test is the statistics part of the game that tracks basically every imaginable statistic about your playing. This ranges from how long you stay alive to exactly where you hit your opponents most and what percentage. I would really love to play this game some more, but in its current state that is impossible.
Overall, I have not seen such a buggy game that has been officially announced to the public that is not in beta. From what it seems, the game itself isn’t really the problem but rather the server-side implementation. Maybe they didn’t anticipate the level of excitement that this game has created, but that still doesn’t excuse for the problems that it may be creating. In all, I would recommend that you wait to download this game until they fix the problems that it has, because it’s basically unplayable.
In addition to all of that, I have spoken to many friends who have exactly the same problems. So these issues appear to be system wide and will require the developers to make revisions and possibly server upgrades in order to make the game playable. All I hope is that they make use of the steam update option and give us updates soon.