America's Army: Operations U.S. Army ;-) 2002

America's Army is certainly one of the best free 3d shooter games ever made. It cost several million dollars to develop and aims to educate you about the US Army and its career opportunities and values. You need to create a game account that tracks your progress and lets you access the official servers. Then, you'll need to pass at least four offline basic training missions: rifle marksmanship, an obstacle course, US weapons training, and training for MOUT (military operations in urban terrain). Then you can optionally progress through advanced training for snipers or airborne troops, for example, which will in turn open up new online missions and gear. Once ready, you can then join online multiplayer matches against enemy terrorist forces. You'll fight on very nice-looking levels such as a huge snow-covered bridge littered with the burning wrecks of cars, raid a camp in the middle of a night-shrouded forest, and battle in an Alaskan pipeline pump station, among others. Combat is sort of like Counter-Strike but with even more realism, in which both teams have opposing goals--usually assaulting or defending an area--that they try to complete during short rounds typically lasting somewhere around five minutes. If you die during a round, you're forced to sit out and watch the action as an invisible spectator until a new round begins. The impressive realism in movement, the way your weapons fire with kickback and the need to use cover all add to the the need for teamwork to win. The excellent sound and nice graphics powered by the Unreal engine also add to this great game. It had a budget of $7 million and came out on America's birthday, July 4th.

See also: #America's Army: Special Forces

Screenshots
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ISO Demo v1.9 608MB (uploaded by Internet Archive Software Collection)
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