Move over Battlefield!
ARMA 3 is technically the 3rd game in a series of games starting with the ironically named ARMA.
The games have always been ultra realistic with emphasis on tactical engagement rather than running and gunning, something the game brutally discourages with high and near always fatal weapon damage.
But it wasn’t till ARMA 2 was released that the game started to make its break into the main stream. ARMA 2 features a graphics and mechanics overhaul that WOW new and old fans a like and the added modding support ended up making the game a favourite for mod conversions. One very famous mod to be based on ARMA 2 was of course DayZ.
When ARMA 3 was announced the fans jumped over one another to get any and all information on the newest successor to the gaming series, and what they got just made them even more excited for the release, me amongst them.
ARMA 3 official released 12th of September 2013 and unlike a lot of games I have played over the year, I had preordered this one in advance expecting a surge in sells on the release day.
The surge never arrived and it was very quickly apparent why… The game just wasn’t finished. It lacked any kind of campaign, any kind of content other than some short missions to test the game engine. The engine was impressive, there is no doubting that even too today, but there just wasn’t anything to do.
The developers to their credit announced they had made a mistake and promised to address all the fans issues and points in haste. It took some time but eventually several months later, a campaign and other content was indeed released free of charge to the game owners. From there the game has gone from strength to strength.
ARMA 3 is now entering its 5th year of life, and it has shown no signs of letting up. Modders now use ARMA 3 as the basic for numerous hugely popular conversions. Just recently a full conversion based on Halo was completed and released to the community. Countless improvements and addons litter the workshops on Steam with thousands being downloaded each and every month. Modders who popularised ARMA 2 have all but moved over to ARMA 3 in favour of its advanced graphics and improved game mechanics.
And yet still the developers have give more, a while a go the games main engine based on an improved ARMA 2 engine was completely re-written and moved from 32 Bit to 64 Bit architecture. This allow the developers to improve the graphics yet again and improve the games overall performance.
Multiplayer has always been ARMA 3s biggest draw, the short campaign game and scenarios do a decent job at impressing newbie players, but its the multiplayer gameplay that really show off what the game is truly about. With maps being only limited in size to the power of your server or your own PC, players have explored and battled in lands so insanely large than planes taken factions of an hour to cross them. The main island map of Altas is so big that players can literately have main battles with planes and tanks on any part of the map and not be seen or heard by other players elsewhere on the map, and no its not because the draw distance is poor.
Battles in ARMA 3 are intense, they are sometimes, fast and furious and at other times, slow and dragging, but never are they boring. I remember one time I was playing on one of the many joint operation servers hosted by a UK team getting caught behind enemy lines with my 10 man squad by a tank that appeared out of a tree line. We ended up all running for cover inside of an enemy camp only to have the tank shell the camp to pieces killing the entire squad. We managed to radio commander for backup and they sent one of the servers many helo pilots with an entire fresh squad of players ready to assist us, the chopper never managed to get to us, unbeknown to them the tank spotted the chopper coming and shelled it through the tree line. Great shot, but not for us.
Moments like that as far and few between, moments like that were close and frequent. With countless servers, players, sometimes stupid AI and mods, ARMA 3 is a game of pure joy. That is not to say that ARMA 3 like any gaqme doesn’t have it’s bugs, its bugs are something of legend but rarely have I encountered a game bug that has left me laughing myself out of my seat like in ARMA 3. All of this just adds to the charm that is the game itself.
If you haven’t got a copy, you really should, if you have doubts to why this game is so awesome, watch one of the many many many videos on YouTube I highly recommend the following video it makes me howl every single time;