We decided to check out Arm 3 after playing the open world sand-box of Far Cry series and finding a lot of similarities in the “in-game” decision making process between Arma’s sand-box environment and Far Cry’s sand-box environment. Ultimately, we were free to roam around and approach each scenario from a desired angle of tactical advantage. Both games were shooters, not both were MMO’s however. But it was this freedom to go and do anything you waned that ultimately attracted us to the game. Given the fact that we utterly enjoy Military First Person Shooters, and Far Cry series was nothing near close to what Arma had to offer… it was a match made in heaven right from the start.
- Massive, Proportionally Realistic Map
- Wide Variety of Additional DLC Content
- Extremely Tactical and Strategic Game
- Runs Poorly Even On High-End Gaming Rigs
- Hard To Find Multi-Player Games Without fees
- Has Been In Development For Over 4 Years
We looked at Arma very closely before actually pulling the trigger on this game, and even then, the decision was somewhat iffy do to variety of factors, which we will talk about in detail today.
Ultra-Realism of Combat Simulation
The general selling point of the Arma series is the Ultra-Realism of combat simulation which it offers to the players. From that point of perspective, we could not help but notice the tremendous amount of development muscle that was behind this game, bringing the world of Arma 3 to life! When you start getting into the world of Arma 3, the learning curve is steep, the game menu is extremely flat and customizable, it does somewhat feel like any ordinary game’s initial starting interface, however the player quickly realized that it’s much more than that. You can literally customize your games menu to fit your need in any given way. That said, the menu system is extremely complex as well, without much guidance from the game itself in regards how to navigate around the system and what aspect of the menu is responsible for what. You have to kind of ball park it in the beginning till either, you watch some tutorials or poke around long enough to figure it out yourself.
Nevertheless, once you get over this hunch, and actually start playing the game… you realize the potential of this game in its sheer vastness. Fist we decided to play the campaign mode, as we always do with any game we review, to find out what this game really offers all around. So off with the campaign we went. The 1st mission starts off with a story that explains the current events, which is basically a global conflict between N.A.T.O. Nations including U.S., Canada and pretty much everyone else. At first, you start seamlessly walking into your base on Stratis, which is at a remote location somewhere in South-Pacific and it’s comprised of forces of U.S. Canada, England and Europe. From there, you board a chopper and head off to the mission start-off point, which is basically a mission sequence of getting into a vehicle, following instructions to go through a checkpoint at a certain point in time when receiving coordinates from your commanding officer, and from that point on you have to rendezvous with the rest of your team to ultimately head over to the mountain side and hopefully extract with your entire team intact. Sounds easy right? Yeah right!
After about 30 to 45 minutes in the mission, we realized that this game requires tremendous amount of attention in regards not losing any team members. If you do lose any team member, especially on the hardest difficulty setting… you must then start the checkpoint over again, as the game does not forgive, and actually requires you to have teammates who can distract the enemy, of course on command, and at the same time assist you in the mission completion process. However, just because your buddy is standing next to you with a med-kit, they will not heal you unless you command them to sp. Which absolutely takes away from the realism of the game.
Game of Patience, Planning and a Whole Lot of Spare Time!– ALPHA Rogue Gaming Network
Conversely, being a hardcore fan of military simulators, we couldn’t help it but to play this game on the hardest setting, which literally crated nightmare situation with AI. At one point, we had to drop the difficulty level a notch to be able to play the game comfortably, for the purpose of creating this review. So, to keep this review short and sweet… the game is not for all the FPS fans out there. Arma 3 really aims more towards the professional player base, preferably the ones with military experience and appreciation of all the things Arma 3 has to offer. This is a game of patience, planning and a lot of spare time. If you can’t dedicate at least 1 hour to play this game in your day and most importantly, do not have a solid team to play with, then you should not bother with Arma 3… it’s that simple. You’re just not going to enjoy this game very much if those 2 criteria are not met! We learned it the hard way… so you don’t have to.
On the contrary, the game looks ultra-realistic, the environment is extremely well portrayed by the developer. Scenery is beautiful, and the game is extremely refreshing! When playing the single player campaign, you can’t help but get submerged into the world of Arma’s complex decision-making process. The field is literally yours, and it’s just matter of approach… therefore, you being in control of the entire situation as the leader of the pack, how would you approach each scenario? It’s up to you! Well… at least for the single player campaign.
That being said… the single player campaign mode offers an excellent amount of trial and error scenarios for the player to become proficient in the game. It’s just a matter of time till a novice player starts to become dangerous playing the campaign mode. The narrative does a decent job explaining what is expected of you, somewhat tutors you on the map and the mechanics of the geographical positioning system that works with real coordinates which you obtain by your command during missions and multi-player gameplay. The game also tries to somewhat help you understand the inventory management system by giving you a default set of inventory items, and also having random equipment stashes available on some of the briefing areas where you can quickly load, unload swap gear and get used to your weapon and inventory controls… which are not surprisingly a sophisticated as it should have been in our opinion.
From controls point of perspective, Arma 3 offers a multi-layer control system which changes every time you’re doing something relevant. For example, the game will intelligently switch your keyboard keys to make it easy for you to drive a vehicle or fly an aircraft, by fully customizing your keyboard to function with that vehicle. However, once you’re out of the vehicle, the controls will return to their default settings. Realism on this level is one of the reasons why this game’s learning curve is so steep… you literally need time to digest and memorize all the information Arma 3 throws at you in bulk in order to be an on-line worthy player.
On the positive end, the game offers excessively impassive maps which are free to explore and are flat out beautiful if you can make it to the other end alive. These maps are so huge, they can queue 100 x 100 players against each other at any given time during multiplayer matches. You thought Battlefield’s 64 player arenas were superfantastic? Think again! You can team up with a group of friends or people you met at the Arma 3 forums and plan missions in the vastness of Arma’s virtual war-torn regions, and create your own war stories, which you can then share with your comrades in real life. It’s amazing!
Having that in mind, Arma is one of those experiences which sticks with you even long after you’ve finished playing the game. It gives you these amazing and realistic experiences which can make you confident enough with the joy of knowing that you will be able to pull off a situation as such, if it was in real life scenario. It does not have the overly sophisticated HUD overlay system or the player notification systems, but then again… there is a reason this game is called “Military Simulator”. It’s meant to give you a realistic, open world sand-box experience without you, the player actually being in a live combat. So, from that point of perspective it 100% delivers, and it addicts you as well… as the player base for Arma 3 is still going strong since its official launch date back in September 12, 2013. We can say that Arma, is the 1st of its kind, and maybe the only one so far in its category of gaming due to its sheer map sizes and the ultra-realistic combat characteristics. However, if Bohemia Interactive does not innovate this amazing game in a very near future… there will be other developers who would love to cut into the niche, which may be very bad news for Bohemia Interactive… developers like “BattleState Games” which are currently developing a game called Escape From Tarkov in Russia!