Arma has always been quite moddable. Every piece of Bohemia Interactive’s military sim has been renovated or replaced hundreds of times over by the game’s prolific community--its missions, islands, audio, weapons, and vehicles. Today Bohemia makes a major effort to support that culture of community content creation as it begins a more than year-long competition called “Make Arma Not War.”
All summer, we enjoyed the community guides published in the run-up to Arma 3's fall release. They were not only informative, but they offered a nice look at the systems and graphics that the open-world military sim offer. Now that Arma 3 is out, community guide narrator Andrew Gluck (aka Dslyecxi) has compiled a wealth of information in his official guide. And while the full guide is bundled with the deluxe edition of Arma 3, a ton of it is now available for free.
We last checked in with DayZ Origins - that's the unofficial spin-off to DayZ, remember - back in March, and it seems the mod's mod has come on a long way since then. There's a ton of new content in Update 1.7.7, but the gist is that it adds a new island (inspired by Will Smith-and-his-dog vehicle I Am Legend, no less), along with a new race of mutants, the power to create player-made towns, and the possibility of people you've killed coming back as vengeful spirits. Wait, what?
The Project Reality mod for Battlefield 2/Arma 2 finally hit version 1.0 earlier this year, after eight years of development time. During that time, the game series it was modifying have moved on to bigger and more explodey instalments - several times, when it comes to Battlefield. Now, the PR Team have announced the mod's follow-up - and, excitingly, you won't need to rely on any other games to play it. Project Reality 2 is being built using CryEngine 3 to be "completely standalone", in contrast to the distinctly semi-detached nature of the original.
Simulation isn’t the defining aspect of Arma. It’s scale.
The enormity of the map is the foundation for the experiences that distinguish Bohemia Interactive’s flagship franchise. It’s what makes radios, topographical maps, binoculars, and compasses practical equipment in an FPS. It’s what allows for kilometer-long headshots and coordinated convoy raids. It’s what makes using your eyes to spot hints of enemies--muzzle flashes, tracers, gunsmoke--as valuable as being a crack shot.
The experience of fighting in Arma owes a lot to the terrain. The war sim’s style of sandboxy, undirected combat means that skirmishing in Chernarus, helicoptering through barren Takistan, or sneaking through the jungles of Lingor each have a distinct personality that arises from the contour and color of the landscape.
It’s a big deal, then, when Bohemia drops the biggest, densest Arma map that’s ever mapped. The Czech studio just patched Altis into the development build of the Arma 3 beta on Steam. I’ve taken a moment to swoop around in Arma 3’s new Splendid Camera mode and bookmark some spots that I find tactically exciting.
We learned during E3 that Dean “Rocket” Hall wants to make a game about mountaineering. The DayZ creator, who climbed Mount Everest in May, tells me it’s a concept he’s wanted to pursue for years, and one he somehow found time to iterate on while ascending Earth’s hat.
DayZ creator and lead designer Dean Hall sat down and answered questions submitted and voted on by the r/DayZ community. Reddit user DrBigMoney compiled the questions and sent them around to media outlets, and VG24/7 managed to get Hall on camera to answer.
One of our most hotly anticipated games of this year, Arma 3, will be showing off in a big way this weekend with a livestreaming event straight from Prague. Though the newest version of everyone’s favorite military sim franchise is still in alpha, the beta build of the game will be on full display on Saturday, June 1, and again next Saturday, June 8.
Hoorah! Dean "Rocket" Hall's bandit-riddled, zombie-fleeing mod DayZ has been threatening to take on a life of its own the past few months, and that threat no longer lies dormant—Rocket revealed in an interview that some lucky fans are already playing the DayZ Standalone version.
Arma 3 is deserving of your cat calls. It's a sexy game—maybe not in the same way that say, Crysis 3 is—but its scale, sandbox, and authentic terrain are more than worthy of your hardware. To see what Arma 3 is capable of, I put the alpha build of the game (which you can now pay to access) on the best rig we currently have lying around and captured a bunch of footage.
In advance of the Arma 3 alpha dropping on Tuesday for Steam pre-orderers, I launched a salvo of questions at Project Lead Joris-Jan van ‘t Land and Co-Creative Director Jay Crowe. We'll have in-depth coverage of the alpha when the embargo lifts on Tuesday, March 5.
Authentic ballistics modeling continues to be a distinguishing aspect of Arma. But even though I've dumped hundreds of hours into the game, I realized I couldn't identify all the things that the system simulates. To alleviate me (and you) of this ignorance, I asked two of Bohemia's leads to break down what variables go to work when you pull the trigger in Arma 3.
DayZ Origins is an unofficial spin-off of Arma 2's now famous zombie survival gametype - a mod of a mod, if you will. It took some flack over using the DayZ name, but its creativity's been praised by DayZ's creator Dean "Rocket" Hall. And given the substantial ambition evident in its latest update, it's not hard to see why.
Origins 1.0 introduced a survivor city where the moneyed elite had holed up, protected by high walls and mercenaries. It created a shared objective for players, who could band together to fight their way in. 1.5 sees the city's occupants fight back, sending sorties of mercenaries to the mainland, making survivors' plight all the more perilous. It also introduces Mad Max-style jury-rigged vehicles - entirely customisable by players. You can jam a plough onto the front of a truck to hoof dead-heads off the road, or even add wheels to a boat to make an amphibious vehicle. There are player-made encampments, too, which can be upgraded over time.
DayZ changelogs are so much fun. Update 1.7.6 adds some important stuff, like a six arrow crossbow quiver and reusable wooden arrows with a 20% chance to break on use, and some less important stuff, like cans of Rabbitman beer and Chef Boneboy Ravioli. Or it did, until Hotfix 18.104.22.168 removed the modder-named cans after a big community argument. Darn, and I just said how fun these are.
In this week's debate, Evan argues that Crysis 3 is the best-looking game in gaming, while Tyler isn't wooed by its tessellated vegetation and volumetric fog shadows. It's undeniably impressive tech, but does Crytek still wear the graphics crown?
It speaks volumes of the staying power of DayZ when it gets top billing in Bohemia's new $40 Complete Collection pack for Arma 2. It's a more extensive (and slightly more expensive) way of nabbing the required content for the zombie survival mod beyond the $25 Combined Operations, but it's also the definitive accumulation of Bohemia's best.
When the Patch Notes Fairy visits, she often provides precious accidental humor. The Sims 3 has consistently delivered this (version 1.4, from 2009: “Sims can no longer 'Try for Baby' with the Grim Reaper”), but today’s DayZ patch notes produced a few incidental laughs at the PC Gamer office. In addition to adding complexity to DayZ’s infection system, 22.214.171.124 includes gems like “Cutting down trees now attracts zeds,” a change that may endanger the livelihoods of apocalyptic lumberjacks everywhere.
Really, though, this is a great-looking and fairly comprehensive update. There’s new content, new or modified mechanics in play, and fixes to long-standing issues. All of these only affect the mod version of the game, but some of the improvements made may creep into the retail version.
Bohemia Interactive are renaming the main island of Arma 3 to Altis. According to their press release, Bohemia hope that the new name will reflect the Mediterranean identity of the island, but, "distinguishes it from the real-world Greek island of Lemnos, which has served as the main source of inspiration."
"In view of recent events, the team no longer feels passionate about using the previous name, 'Limnos', and hopes that the new identity, ‘Altis’, will help emphasize the fictional nature of the game." Those recent events, of course, being the 129 day detainment of Bohemia employees Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar, now released on bail.
DayZ creator Dean "Rocket" Hall has shared his reaction with Eurogamer over the DayZ Origins mod for Arma 2 and its "inspiration" from Rocket's original zombie-survival creation. Though calling the naming similarities between the two mods "a bit problematic," he commended the GamersPlatoon community for "some awesome ideas."