Updated: November 29, 2021
For the most part, ArmA 3 is an open-terrain game. It is built and designed for the combined arms doctrine, with infantry and armor fighting side by side. When combat takes you into an urban setting, things can become pretty hairy. Low visibility, difficulty in pinpointing the source of gunfire, and the fact there ain't no bunnyhoppin' means city fighting is tough business in ArmA 3.
Which, of course, makes close-quarters combat (CQC or CQB) all the more compelling. Alas, there aren't too many ArmA 3 scenarios specially designed for this type of fighting. But that does not mean there aren't any, or some pretty good ones, either. Indeed, Terrorist Hunt is an amazing example of a well-designed and balanced CQC mission. Based on Rainbow Six, it pits up to four human players against 28 entrenched enemy soldiers in a warehouse compound.
Terrorist Hunt is a pretty neat scenario - psst, there's also a semi-urban 32-foe version for Malden 2035. Anyway, you need to move through the compound and kill the enemies. They will expect you. They will wait for you. And they will be deadly. Each human players gets one respawn, but if all humans die at the same time, the mission ends in a failure.
Over the years, I've replayed the scenario at least a hundred times. Through trial and error, me mates and I have figured out how to fight through, and we've developed a reasonably slick mode of operation. And this is where true fun begins. Once you've mastered the scenario, and you feel confident enough you can win by fighting in a conventional manner, you start challenging yourself.
Shotguns, satchel charges and pistols
OK, so we can win like a proper army squad, armed with assault rifles and 'nades. But then, how about pistols only? Or shotguns? Or perhaps a mortar? Snipers and Carl Gustav launchers? The variations are endless, and so is the fun. If you have a few extra mods installed, then you will have access to some fresh weapons, too, all of which makes for yet more unpredictable enjoyment.
For example, we figured that clearing buildings does not have to be gruesome, painful, door-to-door business. You can just bring the buildings down! Some of the structures on the map are collapsible, and a few well-placed rocket hits will take care of most of those hunkering inside. We also figured that lobbing 40mm grenades in can also be rather effective.
Our next great discovery was the shotgun. The game offers a plethora of both West-designed and East-designed shotguns, like SPAS-12 and Saiga, and they make for a rather entertaining dynamic, especially since you can arm yourself with HE shells! Yup, exploding shells. Not only do they make a lot of noise, they are superb for clearing rooms and windows. You can shoot them with more precision than 40mm grenade launchers, and you can also carry vastly more ammunition.
Bugs to the rescue
The AI units are randomly spawned. Sometimes, the placement is too random - including an enemy soldier that gets created INSIDE the water/oil storage. Normally, that makes the soldier inaccessible, thus unkillable, and you cannot complete the mission. But.
The storage building can also be destroyed. We figured, one well placed satchel ... or some 55-60 hand grenades. Yes, we tested this many times over. Now, most of the time, one of us carries an explosive charge in the backpack, just in case.
The semi-destructible nature of the game objects makes for some clever, interesting action. You can shoot through the doors, or get shot, mind. But typically, you need a somewhat bigger caliber to be effective. However, the ultimate weapon for getting to the enemy hiding inside buildings is the Lynx 12.7mm anti-materiel rifle with APDS rounds. Mini-sabots, those. Do they work? Oh yes.
Clearing the map with just the sniper is hard but fun work. I soon discovered that I was able to hit the enemies with ease, even if they were partially hidden by window or door frames or walls. Once, I made a double kill with a single round. But then, the true revelation: as we made progress, one of my teammates found himself on the opposite side of a building. I started shooting at an enemy soldier located there. And then, my teammate reported bullets going through the entire building and whizzing past his head, on the other side.
In a typical ArmA 3 fashion, I thought this to be yet another hilarious bug, but we soon discovered that this was a feature, and it was thanks to the armor-piercing rounds. So I decided to put this to another test. Yup, I was able to hit enemy soldiers through the walls. You expect a foe to be inside a room? No need risking it by lobbing 'nades inside or exposing yourself. You just stand outside, and blast a line at waist height, keeping the shots nicely grouped together. Job done.
Extra silly things
There's more. Crazy outfits, like the priest robes or the riot shield. Tinfoil hat. Scuba diving gear. We tried going into battle armed with sawed-off Kozlice hunting rifle or just pistols. We also tried heavy machines guns, and the Mk.6 mortar. With the new Prairie Fire DLC (review coming soon), you can also use incendiary grenades, stun grenades, rifle grenades, and a whole bunch of other cool and crazy things. The only thing missing are swords.
We would also time ourselves - charge blindly like Leeroy Jenkins and see if we can wing it with sheer luck and overwhelming firepower. Hint: this usually does not work well. But we did develop all sorts of nonsense strategies, most of which don't work, while others work amazingly well - like the sniper and shotgun stuff.
People who enjoyed the somewhat slower pace of urban combat, and like the tactical precision of CQC will appreciate the Terrorist Hunt scenario. It's neither too easy nor too hard, and it's quite replayable, as each setup brings its own set of randomness. You can usually finish the map in about 30 minutes, which makes it perfect for shorter sessions, smaller groups of players, or if you feel like taking a break from the focused stress of longer missions like DRO.
Similarly, the Malden 2035 variation comes with its own set of interesting twists and turns. It's harder, too, as there are more enemies, and the environment is more detailed, and thus less predictable. Until ArmA 3 gain a proper urban campaign (Apex/Tanoa sort of does it, but not quite), you can enjoy a smaller piece of such action with finely designed missions like Terrorist Hunt. And thus endeth another game review.