Combat Arms review

  • It's free!
  • Competent Counter-Strike clone
  • Maps are designed well
  • Doesn't discourage bunny-hopping
  • Very arcade-y
  • Settles for imitation

I’ve played plenty of Counter-Strike clones in the past nine years, and none have duplicated the original’s addictive gameplay style, perfected map design, and balanced ballistics. Combat Arms is no exception, even though it visually resembles the four-year-old Counter-Strike: Source. It does have one advantage, however: it’s free.

All you need to play this team-based multiplayer shooter is broadband Internet and the 445MB installer, which includes six maps. The four gameplay modes will be familiar to any fragging veteran - the Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Search & Destroy games aren’t anything special, but the maps are designed well enough to accommodate multiple routes, choke points, and sniper decks for different play styles. Combat leans more toward fast-paced arcade action than tactical realism, with glaring, arcade-style notifications popping up on your HUD for kill streaks and headshots, and the game does nothing to discourage obnoxious bunny-hopping.

Where Combat Arms deviates from the CS-clone formula is its persistent economy. Scoring kills and winning rounds earns you currency that can be used to acquire new weapons and equipment for use in future games. I also liked that weapons aren’t bought, but rented; limiting my use of a new weapon to a week (or more if I paid real money) forced me to make tough decisions. Combat Arms also makes its money through microtransactions, though they’re all purely cosmetic, thankfully.

Combat Arms may be a pale imitation of Counter-Strike, but it’s a free pale imitation. It’s a good place for casual shooter fans who don’t feel like dropping $20 to get the crap kicked out of them in CS.

PC Gamer scores games on a percentage scale, which is rounded to the closest whole number to determine the GamesRadar score.

PCG Final Verdict: 67% (above average)

Aug 27, 2008

More Info

Release date: Jul 10 2008 - PC (US)
Jul 10 2008 - PC (UK)
Available Platforms: PC
Genre: Shooter
Published by: Nexon
Developed by: Doobic Studios


  • ARREB - October 19, 2012 5:47 p.m.

    The game is great but it only works with XP only. It constantly crashes with Vista and Windows 7 and more then likely crash with Windows 8. This is a problem that the company can not seem to fix since 2011 so bugged for almost 2 years now. It has great graphics and I love it but since me and millions of other people use Windows Vista and 7 we are out of luck. Will be a great game when they get it compatible with windows. Until they actually find a fix which since they cant find one in 2 years more then likely they never will i would play another game that is stable.
  • ARREB - December 21, 2012 7 p.m.

    Great game but it is full of hackers cheating and Nexon does nothing to remove them because it sell Elite Moderators for real money ,and if you are decent players and you play in an elite Mod room you get kicked for Mods team to win. Basically an exploit that they will not fix. Its just a money pit with no help for the honest players. Also has a few crashes on a daily basis that seem to stem from a faulty dll the company has known about for almost 3 years. Not a very player friendly game unless you want to spend real money.
  • King Rupert6 - November 24, 2008 4:27 a.m.

    not well on a crappy computer, unless you like waiting at the map loading screen, and by the time you join the match, you notice your team needs 5 more kills to win.
  • Sebastian16 - September 3, 2008 4:57 a.m.

    Downloaded this last night. Don't ask why...I think it may just be because I have a fetish for custumization in FPSs. But it's alright. Graphics are decent, (especially for a free game :S) and gameplay is alright.
  • Tasty_Pasta - August 28, 2008 11:31 p.m.

    Hmmm, why pay nothing to play a game not as good as CS:S, when I can go play that for free...
  • climbing wolf - August 28, 2008 9:47 p.m.

    Will this play nicely on my crappy computer?
  • rabbit1397 - August 28, 2008 4:57 p.m.

  • Reubenguy - February 6, 2009 1:58 a.m.

    this game is actually really really decent. what they forgot to add in this review is the fact that it is very easy to start and manage clans IN-GAME. and u can even go to a clan battle server and pit your friends against randoms for extra GP/EXP I have to say i really like this game i can be played on almost every computer out there and is free so its good to get ur buddies to get, then all you'se go out and kill each other on the cleverly designed maps... awesome game but for casual gamers or groups of friends
  • grappler51 - December 12, 2008 10:32 p.m.

    I like this game a lot. It's really good for a free fps, and has pretty good graphics. It's also really addicting.

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