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Arma 3's free Zeus DLC promises a new form of multiplayer

Arma 3
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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.

"Wielding an intuitive real-time editor, you can invent new stories, challenges and locations" explains the trailer description. "The result is always unique, always dynamic combat - for both Zeus and, especially, those with boots on the ground. Your rules, your war."

"The Zeus multiplayer concept works across all familiar multiplayer game types, such as Team Deathmatch and Sector Control, where players can either work with or go up against Zeus," expands the announcement post . "The most distinctive game type in Arma 3 Zeus, however, is 'Zeus Game Master'. Here, Game Masters are entirely free to create objectives, spawn units, and steer players across Arma 3's massive Altis and Stratis terrains."

I'm always sceptical when claims like "a new form of multiplayer" are made. But setting aside the hyperbole, this is an extremely clever idea. The whole point of Arma's scenario editor is to encourage new and inventive missions for the game's community. To give players the option to respond to surprise events on-the-fly seems like the natural conclusion of that ethos, and one that will hopefully lead to some amazing experiences for military sim enthusiasts.

Zeus will be released free for Arma 3 in the second quarter of the year.

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.