Arma 3's free Zeus DLC promises a new form of multiplayer

Phil Savage at

What happens when you combine Arma with D&D? Goblins assaulting Greek islands with M4 Carbines? Possibly, but in this instance, it's a new multiplayer mode in which an Arma 3 player becomes dungeon master of an outfit's military manoeuvres. Zeus is an upcoming free DLC pack that lets an all-powerful player look down upon the others, like some god-like entity in control of a real-time scenario editor.

"Wielding an intuitive real-time editor, you can invent new stories, challenges and locations" explains the trailer description. "The result is always unique, always dynamic combat - for both Zeus and, especially, those with boots on the ground. Your rules, your war."

"The Zeus multiplayer concept works across all familiar multiplayer game types, such as Team Deathmatch and Sector Control, where players can either work with or go up against Zeus," expands the announcement post. "The most distinctive game type in Arma 3 Zeus, however, is ‘Zeus Game Master’. Here, Game Masters are entirely free to create objectives, spawn units, and steer players across Arma 3’s massive Altis and Stratis terrains."

I'm always sceptical when claims like "a new form of multiplayer" are made. But setting aside the hyperbole, this is an extremely clever idea. The whole point of Arma's scenario editor is to encourage new and inventive missions for the game's community. To give players the option to respond to surprise events on-the-fly seems like the natural conclusion of that ethos, and one that will hopefully lead to some amazing experiences for military sim enthusiasts.

Zeus will be released free for Arma 3 in the second quarter of the year.