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Arma 3

Arma 3 is a 3D MMO tactical shooter that features realistic ground, sea, and air combat, and a large variety of vehicles and weapons in a massive sandbox environment.

Publisher: Bohemia Interactive
Playerbase: High
Type: Tactical Shooter
Release Date: March 05, 2013
PvP: Team / Squad Wargames
Pros: +Realistic military simulator. +Massive sandbox environments. +Large variety of weapons, gear, and vehicles. +Single player campaign. +Great graphics.
Cons: -Lots of walking and travelling. -Steep learning curve. -Difficult AI. -Lame gun sounds.

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Overview

Arma 3 Overview

Experience action-packed ground, sea, and air combat in Arma 3, a realistic military shooter from Bohemia Interactive. Employ a variety of cutting-edge weapons, equipment, and vehicles as you utilize real-world tactics to gain the upper-hand on the battlefield. Play cooperatively with your squad to complete objectives against highly-competent AI or take on other squads in a variety of scenarios across over 290 km2 of open-world terrain based on real-world Mediterranean islands. Create your own complex operations using the in-game map editor or play in one of the countless community-made maps available from the Steam Workshop.

Arma 3 Key Features:

  • Realistic Military Shooter – employ real-world tactics in realistic combat where running and gunning will almost certainly get you killed.
  • Massive Sandbox Environments – experience combat in over 290 km2 of detailed open-world terrain.
  • Single Player Campaign – three campaign episodes follow the story of a soldier who gets caught in a three-sided Mediterranean flashpoint.
  • Tactical Multiplayer Matches – join squads and engage in adrenaline-pumping tactical combat in classic Seize and Defend mode or in player-created scenarios.
  • Virtually Endless Content – create your own scenarios using the in-game map editor, download player-made maps, or tweak your game using the large variety of community-made mods like DayZ and Altis-Life.

Arma 3 Screenshots

Arma 3 Featured Video

Full Review

Arma 3 Review

By, Marc Marasigan

Arma 3 is a buy-to-play 3D military tactical shooter developed and published by Bohemia Interactive, the company behind well-known shooters like Operation Flashpoint and Arma: Armed Assault, known as Arma: Combined Operations in the US, the first game in the Arma franchise. The game was initially released as an Early Access Alpha game on March 05, 2013 and is exclusively available through the Steam gaming platform.

Arma 3 is set in the year 2035 in over 290 km2 of richly-detailed, open-world, and fully destructible terrain based on the real-world Aegean Islands of Altis, formerly Lemnos, and Stratis in the Mediterranean Sea. The game can be played in both first-person and third-person views, although some multiplayer servers only allow first-person view for the sake of realism. In the single player campaign, players assume the role of Corporal Kerry, an American soldier who gets caught in conflict when AAF, the islands’ armed forces suddenly launch an all-out offensive against withdrawing NATO forces after 5 years of peacekeeping operations. The game is constantly being updated with new content, features, and weapons, while also polishing existing gameplay elements. Most updates are free, but some downloadable content, or DLC’s, still need to be purchased from the Steam store.

The Aegean Islands

Arma 3 features two open-world battlefields based on real-world Greek islands in the Mediterranean Sea: Altis, which spans approximately 270 km2, and Stratis, which is around 20 km2, with a third island named Tanoa planned for release in 2016 as part of a major expansion. The game’s graphics are absolutely stunning, especially on Ultra settings—which is no easy feat even with a powerful rig since the game’s engine seems to have a problem with optimizing the use of multiple cores. Why the devs still haven’t fixed the problem after releasing four main DLC’s is anyone’s guess. The game’s soundtrack is good, but while Arma 3 prides itself on being a realistic military shooter its gun sounds don’t sound nearly as good as they do in Call of Duty or Battlefield. An assault rifle firing at you from 100 meters away, for example, gives off a faint “tik-tik-tik” sound, and that’s without a suppressor. Personally, I like the “realistic” gun sounds but other players might not be so appreciative.

Welcome to Boot Camp

Arma 3 features a boot camp tutorial similar to Call of Duty, although without the obstacle course at the end. Players can access the tutorial at any time through the game’s main menu. Veterans of FPS games might be able to get by without going through the tutorial but I highly recommend going through it at least once, especially for players new to Arma, since some of the controls can be quite confusing—particularly the game’s unique Action menu. The boot camp mission was noticeably absent when the game first came out and was only added a few major updates later. Needless to say, I felt like a fish out of water during my first few games or so even though I’ve played countless FPS games in the past. Players and other AI alike would shout orders like “Take out that rifleman 200 meters bearing 310 degrees!” which can be difficult if you don’t know how to open your compass in the first place.

Tactical vs Suicidal

The guys at Bohemia Interactive envisioned Arma 3 as a military simulator and not a run-of-the-mill shooter like Counter-strike, Call of Duty, or Battlefield. Running and gunning isn’t going to cut it in this game where a single bullet or a well-placed mortar shell can end the game in an instant. Sure, there are games where your squad medic can revive you or some that allow players to respawn, but most of the time when you’re dead you stay dead, which sucks when playing multiplayer missions since you have to wait for the mission to complete or quit the game—either way it’s no fun at all. And did I mention that friendly-fire is always on? To live to the end or a match, or at least get to the exciting part, players must work with their teammates and use real-world tactics like leapfrogging or bounding, using cover and concealment, and setting up overwatch positions among others. Sure, there are times when there’s no other choice but to spray and prey but those are rare in the game, especially when players take their time to clear every room and secure their positions. The problem with going tactical is that it takes forever to get to the AO (Area of Operation) and involves a lot of walking, not to mention crouching and crawling. Depending on how far the AO is from your base, or whether vehicles are conveniently within reach, getting to the AO takes anywhere from 10 minutes to half an hour, maybe even more. A lot of first-time Arma players get turned off, especially when they’ve been walking for 30 minutes only to be killed by the moment the firefight starts, which, by the way is usually over in just a couple of minutes. Long walks and quick firefights is exactly the opposite of what most players look for in a shooter, but it does have its charms.

Survive, Adapt, Win

Arma 3 features a single-player campaign divided into 3 episodes: Survive, Adapt, and Win. Players take on the role of Corporal Bryan Kerry as he evades capture by the AAF in Survive, join a guerilla force to fight back in Adapt, and finally take the fight back to the AAF in Win. Missions in the campaign can be completed anyway a player wants as long as the mission parameters are met which, owing to the tactical aspect of the game, usually requires a bit of planning and preparation. The campaign can take a while to complete, especially for OC players who like to complete side missions, which Arma 3 has a lot of. Oftentimes, side missions are harder to complete than the main storyline. Aside from the campaign, players can also play through a number of showcase missions, which as the name implies, is meant to show-off the games features, such as infantry and underwater combat, commanding squads, vehicles, helicopters and aircraft, as well as a game mode that puts you in the driver’s seat of a racing kart.

Brothers-in-Arms

On to the multiplayer aspect of the game, which is one of Arma 3’s main selling-points. Arma 3 is best known for their cooperative missions, where squads work together against highly-intelligent AI which, in my opinion, need to be toned down a notch. AI can easily hit perfectly-concealed players even when taking heavy fire, which for a game that focuses on realism isn’t exactly a good thing since any soldier’s initial reaction to gunfire would be to dive for the nearest cover. Players can also engage in massive Player versus Player battles, with no player limits, across a variety of maps and missions. The most common type of scenario is Seize and Defend where two opposing teams fight for control of designated locations on the map.

Endless Content

Aside from default maps, players can also create their own missions and scenarios using the in-game map editor and use them for multiplayer games. The map editor is easy enough to use for simple seize and control missions, however, it becomes quite a chore when making complex missions, especially when scripting comes into play. For players who don’t have the time or can’t be bothered to create their own maps, they can easily download community-made maps for free via the Steam Workshop. They can also use the game’s Zeus feature, which allows designated players or spectators to play the role of god and create scenarios on-the-fly which makes for a highly-dynamic game experience. The Arma community offers a huge variety of mods that range from simple gear replacements like the Navy Seal mod to complex ones that overhaul the entire game, like DayZ, which started as a mod and is now a standalone game, and Altis Life, a cops-and-robbers-meets-GTA-type mod. There are also mods that make the AI react more realistically.

Final Verdict - Excellent

As a military nut, Arma 3 has become one of my all-time favorite games because of its realistic and tactical gameplay. In spite of its glaring flaws, like a poorly optimized game-engine and unrealistic AI, the game is really good. Awesome graphics, tons of features, and a compelling single player campaign make Arma 3 one of the best shooters I’ve played in a while. If you can get past the long travel times and relatively unsatisfying gun sounds Arma 3 might be the game for you.

Videos

Arma 3 Videos

System Requirements

Arma 3 System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Windows Vista SP2 / Windows 7 SP1
CPU: Intel Dual-Core 2.4 GHz or AMD Dual-Core Athlon 2.5 GHz
RAM: 2 GB RAM
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT / AMD Radeon HD 3830 / Intel HD Graphics 4000 with 512 MB VRAM
Direct X: DirectX 10
Sound: DirectX compatible
Hard Disk Space:  15 GB available space

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: Windows  7 / 8 / 8.1 (64 bit)
CPU: Intel Core i5-2300 or AMD Phenom II X4 940 or better
RAM: 4 GB RAM or more
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 / AMD Radeon HD 7750 with 1 GB VRAM or better
Direct X: DirectX 11
Hard Disk Space:  25 GB or more available space

Music

Arma 3 Music & Soundtrack

Additional Info

Arma 3 Additional Information

Developer: Bohemia Interactive
Publisher: Bohemia Interactive

Game Engine: Real Virtuality 4

Early Access (Alpha): March 05, 2013
Early Access (Beta): June 25, 2013
Steam Release Date: September 12, 2013

Release Date: September 12, 2013

Development History / Background:

Arma 3 is the latest installment from Bohemia Interactive's Arma (short for Armed Assault) series.  The game is set in the year 2035 in a massive sandbox environment based on the real-world Aegean Islands of Stratis and Altis in the Mediterranean Sea. The game has received constant updates since it was initially released including three campaign episodes and additional content in the form of four separate DLC's. Bohemia Interactive recently announced an expansion for the game set to be released in 2016.