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.
Being an alpha release hasn't stopped Arma 3 from scouting out the top end of the Steam sales chart. It's probably because of the hyper-realistic military simulation scenarios that the game offers. But if tactically significant turtles aren't enough to persuade you to part money at this early stage of development, Bohemia have released a free Lite version. It does, however, come with some caveats.
There's a new Arma 3 video out from community man, Dslyecxi, in which he talks about what Arma 3 is and why you should buy it in eight minutes. It's considerably less insidious than your standard marketing plop, and its effects are enhanced by the fact that Arma 3 is actually looking really good.
The alpha has changed my perspective on the series. I've always enjoyed Arma from afar, living and dying vicariously through veterans' videos, now I want to get stuck in. The idea of sitting in a bush for an hour waiting for a perfect sniper shot seems suddenly more appealing. Arma is something I actually want to play, not just read about.
With ArmA 3's alpha build now live on Steam, Bohemia have produced a video showing which parts of the game are included at this early stage. It also provides the chance to appreciate the rather spectacular visuals accompanying this latest military sim, without the threat of explosive fire raining down upon your head.
Attention, soldiers! After a uniquely challenging development period, Arma 3 is set to begin public alpha manoeuvres next week. From the 5th March, pre-orders for the military sim will go live on Steam, offering instant access to anyone who purchases either the Alpha or Digital Deluxe editions of the game.
The alpha trial will include four missions ("Infantry, Vehicles, SCUBA and Helicopter"), a limited selection of weapons and vehicles, two multiplayer scenarios, the scenario editor and modding support. All this will take place on the 20 km² island of Stratis, the smaller brother of the full game's 270 km² Atlis.
While a PC Gamer Editor’s Choice logo on the front of a wargame or simulation box might be a cast-iron Fun Guarantee, it doesn’t mean you’re about to purchase a product that will help you understand or stay alive on a modern battlefield. To be sure of that you need to seek out one of The Camo Club – the select band of titles so steeped in realism, today’s armies use them as training tools.
World War 2 multiplayer military sim, Red Orchestra 2, now contains more war courtesy of the latest free Fall update. It adds a new map and a streamlined version of the Countdown game mode, which is now "much simpler to understand." Blue's News note that those playing Countdown will now earn double experience to celebrate. The new map, meanwhile, is a modern take on popular Red Orchestra 1 map, Barashka, which stars alongside bands of warring men in the latest update trailer below.
Dslyecxi is a guy we count on for glimpses into hardcore Arma 2. The master mil-simmer, former US Marine, and contractor/consultant for Bohemia Interactive is the founder of ShackTac, a long-standing A2 community.
His latest PvP video centers on a disabled UN convoy; Dslyecxi plays as one of the insurgents racing toward it—bringing IEDs and grenades to the fight. Meanwhile, a column of Humvees is streaking in to assist. Private military contractors are keeping guard. A helicopter circles overhead, vulture-like. Who'll get there first? Don't miss the surprise ending.
Look at that military man, there, with his meticulously detailed gun and authentic modern combat helmet. He's ready to shoot that tree the moment it makes any sudden moves. Evan went hands-on with Arma 3 at E3, and noted the scale and detail in the environments as one of the most apparent visual leaps between Arma 2 and the sequel. The latest screenshots from Gamescom give us a closer look at the men who'll be doing the fighting, and offers a glimpse at some menacing artillery pieces to boot.
DayZ creator Dean "Rocket" Hall has been speaking to Edge about the pressures of designing the game and delivering updates to DayZ's large and vocal community. "It's scary and it's also fun at the same time," he says. "In a way, the project is basically about two or three hours away from complete disaster at any time. Every time we do an update it's just terrifying. And a lot of people get very frustrated when things go wrong."
As attendees stumble shell-shocked away from the underwhelming assault of godless noise that was the Microsoft E3 2012 press conference, Bohemia quietly announce that they're preparing a new expansion pack for ARMA 2. It's called Army of the Czech Republic, which will add said army, along with an armoury of "authentic weapons," new weapons and some summery new environments in the invented regions of Bystrica and Bukovina. It's due out Autumn this year, requires Operation Arrowhead or Combined Forces to run, and is available to pre-order now from the Bohemia Interactive store.
Get an early peak with these lovely new screenshots, in an aspect ratio that time forgot. Click to see them become relatively enormous and peruse the feature list below, at your leisure.
In September last year, an ITV documentary, Gaddafi and the IRA, ran a clip that they claimed to show an IRA attack on a helicopter. It was actually footage from ARMA 2. While most of the world facepalmed, British TV regulator, Ofcom, launched an investigation. Their verdict is in. They're not impressed.
The Guardian report Ofcom's findings, which declared the film "materially misleading" and labelled the error "a significant breach of audience trust, particularly in the context of a public service broadcaster."
Realistic military sim ARMA 2 has been updated to version 1.60 by developers Bohemia. The patch covers Operation Arrowhead, the British Armed Forces and Private Military Contractors DLC, the original Arma 2 and Arma 2: Free. Among the whopping 158 changes are a new anti-aliasing mode, new scripting commands, smoother multiplayer, netcode fixes and improved AI. More important fixes include, “AI no longer considering a car horn as a threat,” and “Dead body temperature was not saved.”
The Bohemians have also created a Christmas message for all their fans, which is so incredibly festive we’re about to explode in a shower of tinsel and fake snow.
Changelog highlights after the break.
We first looked a the US Army’s Dismounted Soldier Training System back in May, but two new trailers have just been recruited onto the internet. Or something. It’s all powered by the CryEngine 3, which isn’t just a pretty games engine, but a complete environment simulator.
The first trailer, above, is billed as an in-game “cinematic”. It features all your usual manshoot elements, but it does look rather gorgeous. You need to remember that the engine’s rendering huge areas, too, rather than Battlefield 3 or CoD’s comparatively constrained maps.
Trailers have evolved, and so has the the new Rainbow 6: Patriots trailer. It's made up of "proof of concept" footage designed to give us an idea of the final product the devs are aiming for. First person story sections with quicktime prompts make up the bulk of it, containing strong overtones of PS3 detective drama, Heavy Rain.
The moments in which you rappel down the side of the building and stalk from cover to cover to reach the endangered civilian feels the most like Rainbow 6: Vegas and Vegas 2, but it looks as though Rainbow 6: Patriots (Heavy Rainbow?) will take a more story-driven approach. What do you think?
A post on the Red Orchestra blog announces Rising Storm as the first expansion pack for Red Orchestra 2. It'll ferry Red Orchestra 2's bloody, muddy realism out to the sunny, sandy beaches of the Pacific theatre, where American forces will battle the Japanese army on famous battlefields like Tarawa, Kwajalein, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Peleliu.
Remember the ITV documentary that claimed ARMA 2 footage to be a secret IRA film? The Guardian report that the slip is getting the broadcaster into trouble with the british media regulator, Ofcom, who today announced that they will be launching an investigation into the incident to see if the mis-labelling of the documentary footage constitutes a breach of its broadcasting codes.
The scene showed a helicopter being shot down by a soldier taking cover near an armoured vehicle, and was instantly recognised by Arma fans on the Bohemia Interactive forums. The documentary was the first in ITV's new Exposure series, which hoped to expose links between Muammar Gadaffi and arms supplied to the IRA. ITV ended up issuing an apology instead.
One week ago I got a press release telling me that in one week's time, ARMA 3 would get a brand new website. Excited, I set my WAR CLOCK OF DOOM to T-minus 7 days, turned all the lights off and lay in wait. Now, that time has come. The Arma 3 site is live, with eight new videos of the Gamescom presentation. You don't even have to go to the new Arma 3 website to watch them, because I've nabbed them and hidden them under the camo net below. Don't tell anyone.
Thirteen new Arma 3 images have show an entire alphabet worth of war machines, from Artillery to Zubmarines. There are some bloody good views as well, including a shot positioned so high that you can see the very curvature of the Earth. There's also a shot of a man in jeans and sunglasses chatting with some insurgent soldiers. We've no idea what they're saying, of course, but it's probably something like MAN IN JEANS: "Enemy. Man. Front. Three metres?" MAN WITH GUN: "Enemy. Man. Front. Three metres!" Click on each screenshot to see it full size.
Four new Arma 3 screenshots have appeared on the Bohemia Interactive forums, spotted by VG247. They show some more of Arma 3's vehicles, including a column of tanks and a jet flying so high we swear it's possible to spot PC Gamer towers somewhere below.
For more Arma 3, check out the E3 screenshots, the recent tech demo video showing the improved physics engine, and make a note of the system requirements. The new Arma will need a beast of a machine to run when it comes out next year.