North American box art
The game takes place inside a virtual reality military training simulator, which has been abandoned. However, the program continues to run, generating enemies for the no longer present soldiers-in-training. The player takes the role of one of the many hackers attempting to break the codes of the simulator and derive the most valuable data possible. To do this the player must explore several "sectors" that are infested with various kinds of enemies, including soldiers, giant bugs and security bots. The only way to survive and get the greatest rewards is by destroying the enemies and the bosses at the end of the most difficult sectors. First, the player (in the chronological order of the map menu loadout) arrives at what seems to be an underground city, which is filled with Snipers, Drones, and insects that are presumably computer virus in real life. There the player must advances through the 6 level city map in order to reach the Kernel database. As the player advances, the player will receive a Helmet, Sniper, bolt pistol, and upgrades.
After completing the city map, the player arrives at the base map.(Although, the map looks more like a mining facility instead). There, like the city map, the player is taking through a 6 leveled base map in order to get to the Kernel. While in the 3rd level of the map, the player will face an alien soldier equipped with an Assault Rifle. After killing the soldier, the player will receive the weapon. Also, unlike the city map the player will face an inflammable insect that is a baby version of the big insect that the player have faced earlier in the game. After completing the map, the player will have to travel to the ruin map to complete Section 1 Training. Unlike the past maps, this map has a majority of nsects enemy than soldiers and drones. As, stated above, the player will collect equipment for future use. The items are magazine-fed Shotgun, more armor and upgrades for your weapon. After completing the section, the player AI will hack into the new, more dangerous section called Section 2 Training.
Unlike the previous section, this section consist of 13 level with 3 maps to chose from. In section 2 City map, not much feature of the map has change, but once the player has reached the middle of the map, the map will immediately change to a more Japanese styled map. Of course, like everything else, players will collect equipment, but more advance such as an electrical machine gun. by reaching level 13, the player will face the first in game cutscene as well as the first boss, the enforcer, a large drone equipped with heavy machine gun, Laser cannon, missiles and a special weapon which acts like a shield but also depletes most of the players health if not all. To destroy the boss, the player must shoot their weapon to the yellow generator behind the enforcer. This part is especially easy when the Enforcer activates its special weapon, just watch out for its missiles. Once destroyed, the Enforcer will blow up into a million data and leaves behind a large amount of upgrades with one special weapon, the Judgement. This is also the only map to actually have a sky.
The next map will of course be the base, and like the section 2 city map, consist of 13 level to complete. The map layout has obviously change but with out the mining portion. At the middle of the maps 13 level, the map will change from a generator room with pipes line, to a more colder base with what appeared to be cryogenic pods and computer database that can be destroyed. Like all maps the player will receive more better equipment that will help the player on his/her journey. Unlike the previous base map, there will be a more dangerous drones that can teleport to different location, a T-Rex like drone, and a Drone that fly near the top of the ceiling and drops bombs on top of players. eventually, the player will reach the boss level of the game, the Colossus. True to its name, the Colossus is equipped with plasma cannon that can track the players, an ion cannon that cannot track the player, eyes that shoots lasers, and a stomach with apparently infinite amount of what looks like meteors. To kill the Colossus, the player most ignore all the inflammable insects and shoot at the heat ventilation that is apparently at the top of its head. Unlike all the bosses in the game however, the colossus is the most powerful boss there is. Once the player kills the Colossus, the player will again receive a large amount of upgrade and a weapon called Inferno launcher.
The last map will of course be the ruins, but unlike the previous ruin map, this map seemingly takes place in Egypt. the player will again travel in 13 levels to complete the map. Once, however, when the player reaches the middle of the map section, the map appearance will change into a more advance technological ruin. In this map, the player will have the first machine gun called the Proton MG. Once the player reaches the 13 level, the player will literally fight an oversize mantis that breathe fires from its mouth, and practically try to karate chop the playes. unlike the Colossus, the mantis has either inflammable insects or snipers to help it kill the player. This boss is also easy to kill, all the play has to do is just throw a honey cone grenade and when the mantis is distracted, use the Proton MG and shoot the belly or side to kill it. Once the player defeats the seemingly last boss and collecting all upgrades and the new weapon, the Copper, the player will attempt to access the Kernel, however, the simulator will begin to malfunction and electrocute the hacker in reality. However, when the credits ends, the player will find out that the hacker didn't actually died, he/she is actually trapped inside AIDA and is forced to survive infinite amount of levels. Thus the name of the newly created section 3: Infinity.
- Thirty weapons
- Random level design
- Ability to upgrade weapons
- 5 different weapon attributes
- Mix and match armor types
- 3D in-game map
- Wireless Ad Hoc multiplayer with up to four players
- Three different multiplayer modes: Deathmatch, Keep the Mark and Last Man Standing
In Coded Arms, equipment is acquired from defeated enemies. Because the game takes place in a computer program, the equipment and pickups are named with extensions, much like in a conventional computer.
- .arm indicates one of 23 different guns
- .cbx indicates one of 10 different grenades
- .dfn indicates one of 18 different kinds of armor
- .utl powerup (i.e. invisibility)
- .blt ammunition pickup
- .med health pickup
- .upg weapon or health upgrade
Weapons, grenades and armor are obtained by picking up files in the game. All of the weapons and grenades can be upgraded by picking up a certain amount of Opt_Key.upg files (The amount varies from weapon to weapon). The players health starts the game at 100, but can be increased by picking up HX.upg files which increase your health limit by 10 up to a maximum of 250.
All of the weapons and armour in Coded Arms have one of five different attributes. The available attributes are: physical, electrical, light, fire and viral. Certain attributes are more effective against certain enemies. For instance, bots can be overloaded by weapons with the electrical attribute and bugs usually dwell in the dark so light weapons do the most damage to them. The enemies in Coded Arms also use weapons with different attributes and therefore one can get certain types of armor that are resistant to attacks of a certain type. For instance the Optical Jacket (Opt_JKT.dfn) is resistant to weapons with the light attribute.
A user progresses through the game by completing sectors. Sector 00 consists of one battlefield (Training) with 3 levels that serve to familiarize the user with the game. Sector 01 consists of three battlefields (City, Base and Ruins) and each battlefield has 6 levels. Sector 02 also has three battlefields consisting of 13 levels each with a boss at the 13th level of each battlefield. Sector 03 consists of one battlefield (Infinity) which has an unlimited amount of levels to it. The difficulty of the game increases as the user progresses through the sectors. All of the levels in the game are randomly generated when you access them.
In Coded Arms there are three different bosses which are detailed as follows. They are Enforcer, Mantis and Colossus. Each of them are encountered in the end of a battlefield in Sector 02. Defeating all three of them concludes the "story" part of the game, but leads to the "infinity", Sector 03.
In addition to appearing on the final levels of each battlefield in Sector 02, each boss also appears in every thirtieth level in Sector 03 Infinity with Mantis first appearing on level 10, Enforcer on level 20 and Colossus on level 30. After level 30 the cycle repeats itself with Mantis on level 40, Enforcer on level 50 and so on. Also each time you encounter a boss in Sector 03 Infinity the boss’ difficulty increases.
Other enemies also assist the bosses on later levels, such as snipers with Mantis, bombers when fighting Enforcer and exploding bugs with Colossus when fighting in Sector 03 Infinity and above.
Mantis is a giant bug that first appears first in the final level of Sector 02 Ruins. Mantis is considered a bug type enemy and is therefore vulnerable to weapons with the light attribute such as the Laser Pistol (Laser_PSTL.arm), Pulse Rifle (Pulse_RFL.arm) and the Photon Machine Gun (Photon_MG.arm). Additionally, this boss is affected by the Honeypot.cbx, a grenade which attracts the attention of any bug or insect-type enemy. This boss will be attracted to the grenade and become completely immobile until the grenade effect wears off or is hit powerfully by a weapon such as the shotgun, or the Plasma_LCH.arm grenade launcher. Automatic weapons are also extremely effective against Mantis.
Enforcer is a robot with rocket thrusters that first appears on the final level of Sector 02 City. Enforcer is considered a bot type enemy and is therefore vulnerable to weapons with the electrical type attribute such as the Bolt Pistol (Bolt_PSTL.arm), Bolt Launcher (Bolt_LCH.arm) and the Judgement (Judgement.arm). In addition Enforcer is effected by the Chaff Grenade (Chaff_GRE.cbx) and by using it Enforcer can be quite harmless. It should be noted, however that this boss retains a degree of mobility which can make it difficult to get a clean shot.
Colossus is a huge towering enemy five floors tall that makes his first appearance in the final level of Sector 02 Base. Colossus is considered to be the hardest boss in the game. It is most vulnerable to weapons with the physical attribute such as the Pistol (PSTL.arm), Assault Rifle (Assault_RFL.arm) and the Shotgun (Shotgun.arm).
Reception of the game among reviewers has been mixed; while it was praised as innovative and for having some of the best visuals on the PSP. However, it was criticized due to a lack of character development, poor enemy AI in the single-player mode, and bad controls.
Despite the critics' mixed reviews, the game has gained a cult-following and is considered by many as the best FPS for the PSP console.