Online matchmaking client GameSpy is shutting down on May 31st, owners Glu Mobile have announced. On the upside, it means no more games trying to download the hideous GameSpy Comrade launcher. The downside is rather more significant: a lot of games' multiplayer segments are about to become non-functional. As with the upcoming Games for Windows Live shutdown, it's down to individual publishers as to whether they want to update their games with new server technology.
With Goat Simulator out in just a few hours, it feels like the year's biggest April Fool's joke has been months in the making. While no-one else has gone as far as making a real game, plenty are joining in on the jovial japes of this most news-unfriendly of days.
Here's your round-up of PC gaming's best April Fool's announcements: from the continuation of Blizzard's now serial acronym, to the unexpected return of Phil Fish.
After two hours of tense waiting, the op was launched. The four of us, all policemen wearing night-vision goggles, slithered from our vehicles, spread out silently, and sprinted around the darkened buildings in the middle of the night. We converged on the civilian helicopter pilot who had landed nearby a moment ago, surrounding him, our weapons drawn and ready. Then we politely asked him to produce his pilot's license. He promptly did. We thanked him, dispersed, and met back at the vehicles. No illegal activity had transpired. Mission accomplished.
Altis Life, the police and civilian role-playing server mod for Arma 3, reminds me a bit of the time—the very little time—I spent on a few Garry's Mod role-playing servers. Rather than engage in multiplayer warfare, players engage in, well, virtual life. If you're playing a civilian, you buy a car, get a job, and collect a paycheck. If you're a cop, you police the civilians and enforce the law. The laws that include the requirement to have a proper license to operate vehicles such as helicopters, boats, and cars, hence the covert nighttime op.
Our companion to most things Arma 3 over the last year, Andrew "Dslyecxi" Gluck, is back with another patented community guide. This time, we're treated to tactics in the military sim that favor the off-beat, underdog approach of guerrilla warfare.
The majestic helicopter gets a bit of a raw deal in the following trailer for Win, Arma 3's third and final piece of campaign DLC. Also on Bohemia's hitlist: buildings, and people in a rival army to the one you're fighting in. Those guys are just the worst. Win continues the story of soldier Ben Kerry, asking players to "deploy all the skills and experience they've gathered to bring the flashpoint to a resolution". They could have almost called it 'Operation Flashpoint', but I have a feeling that name might be already taken. If you own the game on Steam it should have automagically been updated by now, bringing with it a bunch of sandbox content which I'll list after the break.
In a new video for 2017, an upcoming survival-horror mod for Arma 3, the creature prototypes hint at multiplayer enemies with a dark and—and maybe inhuman—past. A good horror story usually has a moment where the hunted get's a glimpse of what's hunting him. It's often a split second of terror where the main character finally realizes just how out-matched he really is. And with its creeper and sadist characters, 2017 is putting its idea of horror on clear display.
Uh-oh, it's a news about a military simulation. I'd better break out that list of military jargon, so I can at least appear to know what I'm talking about... Ah good, now I can cheesedick my way through this article.
Arma 3's final DLC campaign will be deploying next week, giving the game's buyers free access to the final third of its singleplayer story. Called "Win", it's probably no surprise how things are going to end, but - up until that inevitable conclusion - will give players a taste of the largest-scale combat yet seen in its episodes. It'll made available on March 20th.
Arma 3's upcoming Zeus mode gifts one or more players god-like real-time control of multiplayer scenarios. From several miles above ground you can set objectives, place vehicles and plant enemy troops as your friends march through your deathtrap. You can even call down thunderstorms - hence the Zeus title - trigger ambient war noises, initiate grand musical cues and create battles between the AI to create the powerful sense that your players are part of a wider battle. Essentially you're the hardcore military sim equivalent of that guy from the Truman Show who lives in the Moon.
Get a sense of the power and user-friendliness of the Zeus interface in this lengthy Bohemia Interactive livestream, in which the developers drop interesting tidbits. There can be multiple 'Zeus' players, for example, and Zeus mode will work with mods if you set up a modded scenario beforehand. An exciting new idea for a shooter mode, and free for owners of Arma 3 once it's out of beta. Very nice.
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.
A new Arma 3 community guide has landed in a hot LZ: this time, the subject is air assaults. Shack Tactical founder Dslyexci returns to narrate the first episode of season 3 of Arma’s community guides. The video gives an overview of the coordination and planning required to bring infantry into a mission zone in the best military sim around.
A video update for the in-progress Arma 3 mod 2017 shows Altis as a misty, decaying world with a dark history. And as a stage for a horror sim, where a player's own mental health has to be taken into account and cared for, the giant map has the potential to serve up some frightening encounters.
But one thing the free mod won't be delivering is a run-in with zombies. As lead artist Luke Hinds outlines in the mod team's latest devblog, the undead don't have a role in 2017's post-apocalyptic world.
A new in-development mod for Arma 3 called 2017 looks like an altogether grim take on the future of humanity. Planned as a full-conversion of Arma 3 and its giant Altis map, 2017 has a new teaser trailer this week that gives us some good insight into the mod's post-apocalyptic atmosphere.
A second hot chunk of military digicode should now be running through your interpipes. No, not the file the Pentagon uploaded the other week, which... What's that? You mean you weren't aware of the Pentagon's secret plan? Oh well, never mind. It'll not spoil the surprise. And anyway, I'm talking about Arma 3's second campaign episode, which has now been released as a free download to owners of the game.
A lighting strike. A fiery tank in the distance. That's some of what Arma 3 developer Bohemia Interactive has left us to work with after teasing a new multiplayer project on Tuesday. More details on the new content will be uncovered in Februrary, according to the team's latest update, and according to the tease, the new content's scope is grand.
Welcome to the PC Gamer Game of the Year Awards 2013. For an explanation of how the awards were decided, a round-up of all the awards and the list of judges, check here.
A good sim pursues the lofty, unreachable goal of total realism. They shun accessibility in favour of complexity, but in doing so allow devoted and patient players to access marvellously detailed facsimiles of reality, which can inspire great gaming stories and player-driven drama. In the case of our simulation of 2013, it's a beautiful, sprawling and customisable depiction of modern military conflict, Arma 3.
Before running away for a few days of competitive eating and cooperative gaming, Evan, Cory, and Tyler gathered to reflect on the most memorable victories, losses, and stories they virtually experienced in 2013. Watch the whole five-video series on the PC Gamer YouTube channel, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more regular content, gameplay footage, and conversations.
PC Gamer editors are prohibited from celebrating Christmas. For the team, the end of the year is marked by an event known as “GOTY Sleepover,” a time where we somewhat-voluntarily sequester ourselves away from our families and loved ones in the interest of a greater good: selecting the best PC games of the year. We gather in a room with a very heavy door and very little ventilation and stay there until we’ve reached a unanimous decision on every award category. It’s a lot like the Papal conclave, but with more Cheetos.
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.”
Arma 3 is a bit good, as opined in greater detail in our review. But it's also a bit lacking in campaign content, for the time being at least. Thankfully, things will change for the better when the second of the game's three campaign episodes releases next month - on January 21st to be exact. Following on from the first part, 'Survive', Adapt will feature "more open and unorthodox scenarios" and a "much stronger enemy", which must be a nice thing to hear if you've dedicated your life to enemyhood. If you can't wait till January and you want to play with Adapt's new toys now, however, Bohemia have you covered: on December 11th, its new weapons and vehicles will automagically be downloaded to your game folder via Steam. More details below.
The Arma series has long been known for its often stunningly realistic visuals. But alongside all that eye candy, modders have been consistently working to sharpen Arma's soundscape as well. A new, in-progress sound mod for Arma 3—the Advanced Combat Sound Environment—continues this work and looks to achieve a dramatic level of audio immersion for the military simulation.