Major Arma 3 update brings new island and Argo, a standalone 5v5 game

Malden, the original map from Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis, has been reimagined in Arma 3 as part of a wave of new, free content released today. Off the back of the $10 Arma 3 Jets DLC last month, this is the biggest update to the military sim since last year's Apex expansion.

Available as DLC on Steam (if you own Arma 3, it's already been automatically added to your library), the 62 km2 map "re-uses many vanilla Arma 3 structures, vegetation, and similar assets," but "also includes additions such as colored buildings, vineyards, and barns." 

Indeed, as you can tell from old footage, Arma 3's "Malden 2035" isn't a 1:1 recreation that puts each tree and shrub in the same spot. It's more like Arma 3's skin, and the assets of its existing islands, superimposed onto the bones and geometry of the old slab of land. "In comparison to the original Malden, the number and names of the towns and villages, and all locations of hills, crossroads, gas stations, have remained the same," says Bohemia. Malden, like other Arma locations, is based on Lefkada, a Greek island.

Malden is bundled with a new, 10-player multiplayer mode called Combat Patrol that emphasizes "heavily randomized" combat against AI across different kinds of objectives. The mode is also available for all other existing Arma 3 maps.

Malden is also the play space for Argo, a standalone game that Bohemia describes as an "Arma-based hardcore tactical multiplayer first-person shooter in which players fight as mercenaries over the remnants of a crashed space station." Previously known as Project Argo, the game features three different competitive modes focused on territory control or objective capture.

Argo is "completely" free, but interestingly, a $10 "Supporter's Pack" is available for purchase on Steam, which grants the following bonuses:

  • Set of 13 exclusive animations for the MVP screen
  • Bundle of 23 unique apparel items, including facewear and headwear, and backpacks (these items are purely cosmetic and do not offer any gameplay benefits)
  • Highlighted name in the leaderboards
  • Access to premium servers that will be exclusively available for Argo Supporters
  • Controllable vehicles in Argo's Scenario Editor

The new stuff coincides with Operation Flashpoint's 16-year anniversary. Though Codemasters retains the rights to Operation Flashpoint, Bohemia carried its spirit forward with Arma: Armed Assault in 2007.