Changing Arma 3's helicopters is Bohemia's first step toward a deeper simulation

Ian Birnbaum at

Arma 3 is good at many things. Bohemia Interactive’s military sim is a huge, open-world playground where action dramas unfold, but its greatest strengths show when it dwarfs you with scale. Being a lone sniper in three miles of sprawling mountain wilderness or driving with a vanguard of advancing tanks will strike awe into the heart of the most jaded gamer. Whatever it’s doing, Arma paints these experiences in broad strokes you can’t find anywhere else in gaming.

On the other hand, Take On Helicopters, Bohemia’s 2011 helicopter simulator, was great at a single, specific thing: modeling helicopter flight physics. Beyond the high-definition cockpit, its world was a blocky and lifeless version of Seattle. Seattle wasn’t the point, though: the inside of that cockpit was the point. All the love in that game went straight into those dials.

Arma 2 Free closes down, Bohemia puts Arma 2 series on sale

Emanuel Maiberg at

Nearly three years after it was first announced, Bohemia Interactive is shutting down the Arma 2 Free servers, the free-to-play version of the military simulation game. If you were one of its dedicated players, there's good news: Bohemia is trying to soften the blow with a sale on the Arma 2 franchise.

Arma 3 video teaches you how to helicopter better

Ian Birnbaum at

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.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance first-look: "Dungeons and no dragons" in Warhorse's open-world RPG

Ian Birnbaum at

Under its leafy canopy, the wooded clearing has an earthy glow and a still, oppressive quiet. It’s a scene fit for motivational posters and pre-packaged Windows wallpapers, and it would be picturesque if it wasn’t for the dirty, angry man with the broadsword. He stands up, hefts the weapon, and charges straight at me, looking for blood. My sword is already out, and my steel rises to meet his.

Humble Weekly Sale takes a Bohemian turn

Patrick Carlson at

The Humble Weekly Sale's latest pay-what-you-want package is shining a light on Bohemia Interactive's catalog of war games, sci-fi, and zombie mayhem. With its inclusion of the first two entries in the Arma series, the Humble sale puts you in the hot seat for some of the most amazingly complex military simulations of recent years.

Arma 3 guide now online from Shack Tactical founder

Ian Birnbaum at

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.

See the Arma 3 beta video during two livestreaming events starting tomorrow

Ian Birnbaum at

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.

Postcards from Stratis: how to take fancy screenshots in Arma 3

Craig Pearson at

What we've learned from Arma 3's development so far is that Greek islands with a heavy military presence and snap-happy tourists are not a happy combination. Luckily for budding travel photographers, Bohemia Interactive's developers have suffered so you don't have to, and you can still turn the Aegean into picture postcard memories thanks to their sterling efforts to recreate the landscape of Stratis in Arma 3.

The 20km slice of Mediterranean that Bohemia created to show off their mil-sim is a gorgeous place. The rolling sun-scorched hills, lapping waves, and hidden delights might easily be lost amid the cordite smog and tracer fire if you simply treat this as the backdrop to a war game. Don't. Take the time to enjoy the world. Grab the editor, place a character, take a stroll and capture the sights for posterity. Here are a few tricks to make the most of your snaps and coordinate locations of cool places to visit.

DayZ 1.7.3 releases, developed in partnership with the DayZ community

Evan Lahti at

Still hard at work on the standalone version of DayZ, Bohemia's collaborated with the DayZ community to release an update for the mod version of the game today. Patch 1.7.3 doesn't add new features ("While dogs are "in" there are some mechanics missing so they cannot currently be used," Rocket says on the DayZ forums), but the patch does address the vehicle repair system, zombie death animations, and removes Alt + F4 as an method of escaping from death. Politely: die, cowards.

Patch notes inside.

Bohemia Interactive devs arrested for "spying"

Marsh Davies at

Greek news sites are reporting that two Czechs have been arrested on Lemnos, after taking photographs and video of military installations. The two claim to be developers working for Bohemia Interactive, out gathering reference material for Arma 3, which takes place on the Greek island. This hasn't yet washed with the Greek authorities who've slapped them with espionage charges.

ArmA 3 demos show off vehicles, diving and and night ops

Tom Hatfield at

Over the last few days, Bohemia have been posting videos to their youtube channel showing off different aspects of their E3 demo for Arma 3. There's three so far, covering vehicles, night fighting and underwater action, and they're all totally gorgeous. The underwater video in particular is incredible. Imagine a version of DayZ working in this engine. You could flee from zombies by hiding under the sea, there's no way they'd get you there! Right Rocket? Are you listening?

How to install ArmA 2's Day Z mod

Craig Pearson at

Don't install DayZ. Go outside into the sunshine and enjoy life. Fill your lungs, breathe deeply and be happy that you avoided brutality of a zombie-filled, PvP ARMA II. It's tough, it's wholly unfair, it's incredibly buggy and the chances of you getting into a server are pretty low. Why is it tough to get a game? Because it's incredible: a mix of Stalker and ARMA II. While your eternal happiness depends on not playing it, you really should.

First up you need to own ARMA II: Combined Operations, that's both ARMA II and Operation Arrowhead. It's easy to find: the mod's so popular that it's launched Bohemia's mil-sim into the Steam top ten.

Realism Theater: watch this Arma 2 battle video

Evan Lahti at

Maybe I'm getting mushy about a game I tend to not shut up about, but this clip captures so much of the uncertainty, fun panic, on-the-fly decision-making and teamwork that I love about Arma.

It doesn't feature sick headshots set to this song. There're a few lulls. There's no flashy camera work. But it does showcase real communication, spatial awareness, patience, improvisation, and a little bravery. Stuff unique to the multiplayer we're privy to on PC. Listen closely, and you can distinguish between the proximity-based and simulated radio voice chatter.

Okay, a guy does get trapped inside level geometry at one point. We cannot pretend to understand war.

Arma 3 to release “Community Alpha,” posts new screenshots, exclusive Q&A with the devs, seriously just come read this

Evan Lahti at

Stewards of military simulation (and makers of the best emergent gameplay anywhere, if you ask me) Bohemia Interactive have outlined their plans for Arma 3 in 2012.

Bohemia wants to get early feedback on the game to assure a smooth release. That’s deeply reassuring. An Arma 3 “Community Alpha” will release sometime after E3 in June to facilitate this. Read on for more information about the alpha, mention of new features, brand new screenshots, and a Q&A with two of the devs about Arma 3 in 2012.

ITV documentary can't tell the difference between gaming and reality; mistakes Arma 2 for secret IRA film

Tim Edwards at

Here's an upload of a video from a recent ITV documentary into Colonel Gaddhafi's support of the IRA. It contains shocking footage of a helicopter being shot down using weapons allegedly supplied by that baddie.

Except. Umm. It's actually ArmA 2.

Words. Fail. What. How. For goodness sake. UK media, can you stop being shit please.

If you're looking for the footage in the documentary in the ITV player - it's online here. The footage is in place from 28 minutes, 20 seconds.

Update: Here's a youtube video that appears to be the same footage. I think we can start to understand how this happened.

(via the Bohemia forums)

Update 2:
We've been in touch with Bohemia Interactive's CEO, Marek Spanel. He tells us that Bohemia weren't approached by ITV for permission to use the footage, and had no idea that Arma 2 was appearing in a war documentary on British TV. Understandably, they're quite surprised. "We are going to try to get some explanation from ITV how this could have happenned," says Spanel.

"Sometimes creativity and realism in our games lead into crazy results and this is one of such example. I just briefly watched the entire documentary and I still can not believe it as it is overall very serious and lenghtly feature," he adds.

"We are surprised our games apparently may look real enough to some users already that they can not tell it is not real life footage."

We've reached out to ITV for comment. Check out the videos of ArmA below for a sense of exactly how realistic the military shooter really is.

This week's best free PC games

Lewis Denby at

A quiet week for free PC games - pretty much all I could find was something called an ArmA 2 and some sort of war-themed hat simulator. Team Fortress 2 mean anything to you? Apparently that's free now. Luckily, the lineup is bolstered by some gorgeous indie gems.

E3 2011: ARMA 2: Free announced. Multiplayer, completely free, and released in June

Owen Hill at

Bohemia Interactive have just announced a free-to-play version of their outstanding war sim, Arma 2. It's going to be totally free, but 100% Arma. Click through for the details.

E3 2011: ArmA 3 trailer teases us with real-life men

Rich McCormick at

[bcvideo id="980676337001"]

Bohemia's ArmA 3 E3 teaser trailer is live action, and doesn't seem to show any in-game footage. That's a bit of a cheat, but at least it'll get a whole platoon of you (including our very own Evan) salivating in your war-clothes. See here for extra screenshots and launch details.