Argo, Bohemia Interactive's free online shooter, will be out in June

Bohemia Interactive announced Project Argo late last year as a total conversion of its military shooter Arma 3 into a 5v5 tactical combat game with three modes, two based on capture-and-control and one on attack-and-defend. At the same time, it also warned that, as an "Incubator" project—essentially Bohemia's take on Steam Early Access, but more experimental—there was no guarantee that it would get a full release. But today it announced that the game, now called just Argo, will be given a full, worldwide launch on June 22, and will be completely free for everyone.

Argo pits two teams of mercenaries against one another on a reimagined island of Malden, the setting of the first Arma game, but it will be a very different sort of experience. "We always intended Argo to be more fast-paced and competitive in nature than Arma 3," Bohemia explained in a blog post. "However, over the course of the development, we've slightly adjusted the game's pacing in various ways to emphasize teamplay and communication more."

Those changes include a scaled-down interface "to immerse players more into the game," the addition of unlockables and leaderboards, an overhaul of the Link game mode, and most significantly, the addition of a new co-op mode called Combat Patrol, in which up to ten players take on AI enemies and complete missions in a randomized open world. It will also include a "trimmed down" version of the 3D Scenario Editor that comes with Arma 3. 

"Although we still see Arma 3 as the primary modding platform, and therefore the available content in Argo's editor will remain somewhat limited, we still wanted our players to be able to create their own versions of Argo game modes or even completely new ones," the studio wrote. "Creativity stands at the core of all Bohemia games, and Argo is no different." 

Argo will be available free on Steam and the Bohemia Store, and it will not offer microtransactions or any other form of payment. Those who wish to support it will have the option of purchasing an Argo Supporter's Pack for $10/€10, which will include 14 post-game MVP screen animations, 22 "apparel items," the ability to use vehicles in the Argo Scenario Editor, access to "premium" Argo Supporter servers, and supporter name highlights on leaderboards. 

On the same day that Argo launches—June 22—Bohemia will also release the reimagined Malden terrain as free DLC for Arma 3, which will include the full 62 square km map plus Arma 3's variant of the Combat Patrol multiplayer mode. Full details about the Arma 3 Malden DLC will be released at a later date.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.