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If Apex camp. disappointed you, what were your expectations?

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There's been lots of discussion going on what Apex coop camp. did right and wrong. According to some, it doesn't play like "true Arma" (even after disabling the magical respawn), it limits your freedom to a maximum, provides FPSy gameplay with a focus on story and visuals, mostly.

 

What were your expectations wrong? What did BIS do right and wrong? What can they learn from this "experiment" and do better in future titles?

 

Honestly, I find it's not realistic to expect at least 10+ missions for an expansion's campaign when they must support both MP and SP (partially). As BIS tried the final product to be more "accesible" than the previous titles, they faced limitations and had to compromise.

 

Surely, Apex coop camp. was never supposed to be an equal to OFP (Cold War Crisis) or Arma 3 original camps in terms of length, variety of missions, roles, etc.
 

I'm not defending BIS - I think they should be criticized and praised where its due and they should improve upon that.

Just think about it - was Arma 2 OA camp. any good? Was it at the very least memorable? Not really. I found it similar to package of pretty randomly selected missions sync'd into a package and that's it. Apex coop camp. is way beyond such a feeling in terms of quality.

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There's been lots of discussion going on what Apex coop camp. did right and wrong. According to some, it doesn't play like "true Arma" (even after disabling the magical respawn), it limits your freedom to a maximum, provides FPSy gameplay with a focus on story and visuals, mostly.

 

What were your expectations wrong?

 

 

Well the answer is in your question. It is easy to guess that people were expecting “true ArmAâ€, maximum freedom, non-FPSy gameplay with the emphasis on gameplay rather than on story and visuals etc. I think the main disappointment veiled behind all these reprimands is that campaign is not SP-friendly after all. When you see “Solo†button, even when you know initially that development team has elaborated co-op missions, you kinda startle – “Well there is SP after all!â€. And you open it, and you play it, and then you understand that this is not the thing. In my opinion the major sentiment is this one, at least in my case it was.

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tl;dr - people expected something like Harvest Red 2 when reading about "arma coop campaign", and as there never came any word from BIS about this is not being the case (if I remember right, there had been not a single word about the campaign except for "it's coop" until it hit the dev-branch. Seriously, how PR handled Apex was a huge fail, imo [first no info at all, then suddenly everything])... well, expectations were never damped.

 

/thread

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Yep - something like Harvest Red. Expected a full, well created campaign that could also be played co-op. I expected it to use/"showcase" the few new assets we have (which I believe are pretty thin in my opinion anyway but off topic....). Freedom to choose and plan how you're going to complete missions, feeling like you're part of a bigger battle (not Rambo a la "solo play"). All in all still very disappointed. Tanoa looks lovely but.....

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Speaking of expectations, have you seen the launch trailer? While it is obviously exceptionally well made - it's AAA material - it is also full of bullshit. A lot of staged scenes with fancy effects and cool animations you will never get to see in the vanilla content. Honestly, if I had bought the game based on the trailer, I would feel scammed. Fortunately, I bought Apex for entirely different reasons and am relatively happy with everything aside from the playable content.

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I had exspected the BIS would fil in the gaps that are there since ArmA III.

 

Mainly:

 

-something like the ALICE module that filled empty worlds to an usefull extend

-a believable and fitting population liek we hat in Chernarus. Tanoa is stil mising soem randon females and most, aboriginal tribes.

-Player profile does not use Chinese and french language when playing the according factions.

-The return of a native game support for Warfare CTI just like ArmA II

-There is no tropical wildlife.

- A story driven Campaign at lleast in the style and length of the BAF addon from ArmAII

 

Above shows, depite soem better features, ArmA II is still the better GAME when it comes to option and mission making without using any mods

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tl;dr - people expected something like Harvest Red 2 when reading about "arma coop campaign", and as there never came any word from BIS about this is not being the case (if I remember right, there had been not a single word about the campaign except for "it's coop" until it hit the dev-branch. Seriously, how PR handled Apex was a huge fail, imo [first no info at all, then suddenly everything])... well, expectations were never damped.

 

/thread

If we look closer, Harvest Red wasn't that good to begin with. It had a strange intro cutscenes (of no value and relation to any future events & story), weird training course on the warship, etc, etc. Not to mention the "Capture the City" missions in the final missions that were the most unimaginable mission types you can find (the cities to be captured were not properly established, enemy infantry / vehs rode around in chaos, etc.).

 

Some lazy design was in Harvest Red. I don't know the reason - perhaps there was no inspiration left or the deadlines were too tight. So it's better to release a smaller, but much more solid package (which Apex camp. almost is, except for some things).

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It was more about the mechanics / how stuff works. Quality is a different thing- me for example, I loathed the bad performance and the later warfare stuff.

 

Could as well use that british DLC as coop example.

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The campaign seemed like an afterthought. I played through it with a few friends in a single sitting, and although it was fun, it didn't really seem like a "substantial" effort.

 

I didn't mind that it was designed like more traditional FPS formats. In the end, ArmA is a platform, and the mission creators decide what they want to do with it. There are plenty of examples in multiplayer missions where the game is used to set up more classic CTF or TDM games, let alone the life mods that are rather unique. That being said, I wouldn't mind if there were more focus on the milsim platform.

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A SP version of the campaign, as i don't buy 'having a MP and a SP version of the campaign is too hard to maintain'.

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As a COOP effort, it's fine. 

I played with some guys from my group last night and we had fun doing the first mission. Snuck around, coordinated fire, planned our attacks, etc. 

But as a SP effort, it's terrible. No team to play with if you don't play online. The first mission doesn't even tell you what the hell you are doing. It just drops you in to the mission and says "find keystone." Ok, who's keystone? Why are we here? Who the heck are we? Who are the enemy? 

 

Frankly, I just don't get BI. For 10+ freaking years, people have been telling them exactly how to make a good campaign, yet they screw it up every time. OFP and Resistance were the benchmarks. How freaking hard is it to simply take that approach again when making new campaigns? Propose a good story, make somewhat open yet pointed narrative driven missions, mix in well done cutscenes, and just as importantly, make the player feel like he's part of a larger battlefield. They kind of did that with Arma3's campaign at first, but then screwed it up as it went along. Arma2's campaign started semi-well too, but again, they decided to screw it up at the end. 

 

But this was a total step back even further then those two. 

 

And I'll say what's been said a million times already. The future setting sucks. It kills so much immersion and takes you too much out of the atmosphere. Warfare was simply cooler back in the 70s and 80s. Even the 90s. Walking around with alien suits on and IR goggles is boring. They need to eventually get back to more historical eras where warfare was tougher, the fog of war was thicker, and the nostalgia factor plays a role in creating atmosphere. OFP did this perfectly. The "UNSUNG 3" mod does this perfectly (assuming you create good missions with it). 

 

When I play Tanoa with my MP groups mod-pack, using 80's US troops and assets, it just feels better. More realistic. You can't underestimate the amount of immersion that is added by nostalgic time periods and weapons. Landing in blackhawks and patrolling a jungle where everyone doesn't have scopes and magic goggles sucks you in more. I realize for the sake of Arma3, they've went with the future thing and aren't going to stop. But hopefully the next iterations will return to something more relatable. 

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I think it's not the futuristic setting per se. It is its implemenation. The game looks like near-future but its mechanics in terms of how battles are fought still represent the 80s OFP style of combat. And that discrepancy destroys the immersion at times. Anyway, going a bit off-topic.

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Totally agree with you Pete. The trailer-while very fancy-was incredibly misleading to anyone not familiar with Arma. 

 

I think a lot of people would be somewhat please if the campaign stayed the same but simply has a proper SP mode added with saving. I was never expecting a full harvest red sized campaign here-I knew it was only going to be about 7 missions.So basically the size of one chapter from the East Wind. But I was expecting a normal SP experience, and at least one or two of the "scouting" missions that were introduced in the A3 campaign. They are a perfect way to allow the player to get familiar with the new Island.

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Totally agree with you Pete. The trailer-while very fancy-was incredibly misleading to anyone not familiar with Arma. 

 

I think a lot of people would be somewhat please if the campaign stayed the same but simply has a proper SP mode added with saving. I was never expecting a full harvest red sized campaign here-I knew it was only going to be about 7 missions.So basically the size of one chapter from the East Wind. But I was expecting a normal SP experience, and at least one or two of the "scouting" missions that were introduced in the A3 campaign. They are a perfect way to allow the player to get familiar with the new Island.

 

I think they should take a cue from some other games and stop getting so caught up in DLCs having to be extra content and maps. Do something different next time. 

The next DLC should be a well done, SP/COOP campaign on Tanoa that they actually put some serious time into. I guarantee it would end up being their best selling DLC. 

 

To answer the OP's question. That was my expectation this go around. They missed it by a mile, at least as SP is concerned. 

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Yeah. I dont think we need another map for a long time now-we have plenty of Islands to explore.We need new campaigns and missions.

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Yeah. I dont think we need another map for a long time now-we have plenty of Islands to explore.We need new campaigns and missions.

 

+1

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There was literally 13 seconds of the campaign shown in the release trailer. As said above, I'd be very annoyed if I had bought Apex based on that video.

 

Surely, Apex coop camp. was never supposed to be an equal to OFP (Cold War Crisis) or Arma 3 original camps in terms of length, variety of missions, roles, etc.

 

I was looking forward to the campaign because it seemed like it was going to be the first time in years that BIS was going to build something from the ground up, rather than cobbling something together from leftovers of an abandoned idea. They had an opportunity to really show what they were capable of. I had fun playing it, but it didn't blow me away. There could have been some more varied objectives and I felt like the story could have used one or two extra missions. But the production value in terms of voice acting, music and cinematics is very good, and I appreciate that they tried to make a more immersive story (and frankly I'm glad they left the characters to the NPCs and didn't try to give the players an identity).

 

But it also seemed like they hardly used any of the Apex content, except for quick glances of some vehicles. If you're making an expansion campaign, it's probably a good idea to showcase most of the content. For example, if you include a VTOL that can double as a gunship, it might be a nice idea if you can use that in one of the missions (you know, like in both of the trailers).

 

Regardless of what alot of people say about the campaign not being 'Arma-like', I think BIS made some key decisions based on what they thought the fan base would like, such as the focus on special forces, the inclusion of M4s (basically), and a story with a clearer ending.  

 

was Arma 2 OA camp. any good? Was it at the very least memorable? Not really. I found it similar to package of pretty randomly selected missions sync'd into a package and that's it. Apex coop camp. is way beyond such a feeling in terms of quality.

 

The OA campaign was basically a content showcase. I barely remember any of the missions and I don't think it was very good. Apex Protocol is certainly more enjoyable. But as an expansion, Arrowhead destroys Apex in terms of new content. A really well-done campaign could have justified the full retail price, which I don't think Apex is worth. I know this thread is about the campaign and not the rest of the content, but I find it strange that the CTRG guys are such mediocre quality considering they are the focus of the campaign. For god's sake, give them a new vest or something.

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I would have waited to see some progression in missions and down to earth storyline. Some rainy jungle camping scene with chit chat. Maybe some search/patrol tasks with dynamic locations. Like some silly soldier character getting lost, and players are meant to find him, but at the end they would find something spooky and run/hide for life in dark. Limited weapons and struggle, some choices. Basically always waiting new Resistance or Cold War campaign. In ArmA1, also like the optional sidemissions. In ArmA2, the dynamic missions (not the buggy warfares; even warfare is one the best in MP).

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Totally agree with you Pete. The trailer-while very fancy-was incredibly misleading to anyone not familiar with Arma. 

 

I think a lot of people would be somewhat please if the campaign stayed the same but simply has a proper SP mode added with saving. I was never expecting a full harvest red sized campaign here-I knew it was only going to be about 7 missions.So basically the size of one chapter from the East Wind. But I was expecting a normal SP experience, and at least one or two of the "scouting" missions that were introduced in the A3 campaign. They are a perfect way to allow the player to get familiar with the new Island.

 

Yes, East Wind had its flaws but I feel they did a lot just right. It wasn't as narrow as Arma 2's campaigns and also not as antique as the old OFP / Resistance ones. It was very enjoyable modern content. At least up until Win when they started going the cheap way again and basically just laid out go to X and kill Y number of enemies missions. I was expecting them to build on East Wind's strengths - the hub-based system to some extent, gear persistence, a narrative that isn't too special but blends in well, good infantry-centered combat, and a decent portion of immersion and challenge. And to expand on that by including a bit more vehicular action which East Wind lacked for me.

 

Yet the VTOLs remain unused - what awesome looking missions they could've pulled off by actually using the CAS version of the Blackfish! The LSVs remain unused - you get to drive one for like 500 metres with no enemy contact. Who thought designing Apex Protocol this way was a good idea? They had these awesome new assets and yet they basically created seven identical missions. So many wasted opportunities. And that has nothing to do with it being CO-OP or SP - it is just terrible, lazy, and uninspired design. Honestly, that's the type of garbage I expect from AAA but not from Bohemia.

 

For me, their community-driven approach and very fair pricing model was always something that made me respect and trust them to a great degree. In fact, Apex is the only game I've ever pre-ordered. In my entire gaming life. Now, getting back to the trailer, what they do is pissing on this established consumer trust by blatantly lying and advertising a product that is just not existent in this form. It's even more absurd considering that the product that is actually there, is a really, really good one after all. It boggles my mind as to why they thought it was a good idea to sort of "hide" the existent and overall well-done game just to advertise some imaginary cinematic AAA garbage instead. Combine that with the dumbed-down campaign and my trust in the company took a decent hit. I still value Tanoa and the assets it brought us. But future buying decisions will be made with a lot more care and patience.

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@IndeedPete Yeah- I have always liked the method BI use in campaigns to ease you into the features of the game. Like you start off following someone and learning to move ans shoot.Then you are given a squad and an objective to learn squad commands and navigation. And along the way you are introduced to features like vehicles, designators,launchers etc. But that all went out the window here. I understand there is not as much need for the learning aspect in a co-op campaign, but that is no reason to make it so linear and boring. Also-very little was expanded on in terms of the lore they have designed regarding the canton treaty, CTRG, the earthquake machines-that stuff is all too hazy and undefined at the moment to have much impact

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For the record, I liked the campaign. I thought the stealth mechanics were very well done as far as Arma goes. The only real part of the story that bugged me was this.

I hated the fact that they pretty much set CSAT as the black and white bad guy. To me the East Wind Campaign painted them more like they did with Russia in arma 2. Were they did some shady stuff, but within their interest. I felt at the end of the East Wind the only real good guys were the grunts that were being used by all of these blackops people.

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I hated the fact that they pretty much set CSAT as the black and white bad guy. To me the East Wind Campaign painted them more like they did with Russia in arma 2. Were they did some shady stuff, but within their interest. I felt at the end of the East Wind the only real good guys were the grunts that were being used by all of these blackops people.

 

If the ending is anything to go by...

 

Miller's words about the Eastwind device being "...in safe hands now" could always hint at NATO returning the favour towards a CSAT-aligned country, thereby getting the "everyone's black" setting that you want.

 

But to be fair, BI are just trying to stick to their very first iteration of the A3 storyline when they first revealed it in 2011. It's not too different from what we got in Apex Protocol apart from some minor alterations.

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I think this is one of BI's worst efforts yet. Here they had the chance to make a co op campaign that borrowed the improvements made from the east wind campaign. Instead we just got a nicely voice, presented campaign that lacked a real soul to it.

For starters the mission design was basic and bland and certainly not replayable like it was hinted at. They missed several opportunitys to showcase the new content and tell a short but alright story to tie things up.

I didn't have high expectations going in at all, but a nice follow up to the east wind would of been nice. A hub that you could scout with friends or Ai, picking your gear rather then just respawning with the same load out as well as presenting multiple choices that could of lead to an extra mission or change objectives within a mission to add replayability. Not to mention the poor sp support that's mentioned here, on the steam reviews and on the steam forums that has forced two developers to have to explain their reasoning.

I hope they step it up for the next expansion or whole game otherwise they might not see a purchase from me as having to "do it myself" is a lazy way of wanting to get some satisfaction im paying BI for. On a side note it baffles me all genuine criticism this co op campaign gets is redirected to. " you shouldn't buy Arma for sp" or "do it yourself" or other weak excuses.

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I expected a relatively short, expansion campaign about the length of Operation Arrowhead with the SP/COOP mechanics of Harvest Red.  In Apex Protocol, I was satisfied in the former expectation, and wretchedly let down by the latter.  I didn't expect many missions, but I was hoping for some very long, complex missions (think Bingo Fuel and Manhattan).  And the failure to include quasi-dynamic scouting side missions and quests as pioneered in East Wind was another major disappointment, as others have noted.

 

Hundreds of hours went into making Apex Protocol.  Super-professional video content, cutscenes, and voice acting of absolutely top quality, true to BI legacy.  Very good QA/QC, almost no bugs (one time a mission wouldn't progress due to a task that wouldn't complete). 

 

But much, or even all, of that work can be ruined and wasted because of the horrible, brain-dead decision to make the mechanics MP only with only respawn and revive.  This crucial mistake at the top resulted in a grim, woeful chain of compromises and bad decisions that destroyed SP gameplay, and has damaged the great BI heritage (in my eyes, anyway).  Some of these many compromises are the lack of scouting missions and the generally quite short, simple nature of the existing missions.

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For me personally  I didn't expect much, I mainly bought apex for the new stuff (weapons, units, vehicles, etc) and for me the campaign was like a bonus addition for me. I guess in a way I was hoping that the campaign was going to be a bit longer then what it was, since even though it being coop it was pretty short.

 

The campaign itself had like others pointed out good video content/cutscenes and the like but to me the gameplay itself and the whole respawn/revive thing just didn't fit my cup of tea. I wish they would have made a more full fledge sp campaign, but I guess we will just have to wait for campaign/mission makers to make campaigns using tanoa.

 

Spoiler below if you haven't yet played the 7 missions don't read it.

 

A thing I kind of noticed myself on the campaign is that it starts if I remember correctly like August 15/16th, 2035. If you go back to the east wind campaign and chose the Paradise Found mission, that is set at the date of August 10, 2035 so with that, it would mean the apex protocol thing starts less than a week after East Wind.

 

Then later in the apex protocol campaign (don't remember what mission) but the voice over/cutscene depicts that miller and the CTRG have been stationed in tanoa for WEEKS, which in that case wouldn't be possible - how could Miller be in two places at once? Then in the final End Game mission towards the end you will notice a familiar voice and person. Lt. James makes his appearance, which if going by the ending of east wind (depending on which ending) isn't Lt. James dead, since even if you don't go see him he would still succumb to his wounds when he first contacts you he sounds like hes wounded.

 

so I think storyline perspective they got some continuity issues.

 

 

Otherwise the campaign to me was just okay, and unless I play with some friends or whatnot and to get achievements I do not think I will be playing the campaign again. I will just stick to playing on Tanoa and playing with the new items that we've got and continue with making scenarios or playing multiplayer.

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