The aliens have arrived in Arma 3

I really like the idea of extraterrestrials in Arma 3. There's something about a modern military FPS that's famously devoted to realism being overrun by an alien invasion that just tickles me. Of course, this is Arma, and so it's not a full-on Mars Attacks scenario: Instead, Arma 3 Contact is a confused first contact situation where no one knows what's going on, and you're one of the front-line flunkies who gets to stick his finger in the water to see if it's hot.

Arma 3 Contact begins with the discovery of an unknown object beneath the surface of the fictional Eastern European nation of Livonia, which precipitates the arrival of a massive alien ship above it. You, a drone operator for NATO, are sent on a recon mission to figure out who they are and what they want. But the situation is complicated by the pre-existing tensions in Eastern Europe, and the fact that there are a lot of high-strung humans with guns running around.

This still being Arma, there will be "infantry combat encounters," but "non-shooting gameplay" makes up a large portion of the campaign, developer Bohemia Interactive said. That includes things like studying alien anomalies and manipulating the electromagnetic spectrum with the "Spectrum Device," which can be used for intel gathering, signal jamming, and other means of electronic warfare.

"Looking back at Contact's concept phase, I'm very proud of how we managed to convert the many ideas into the original experience we're releasing today. It tackles the 'first contact' premise in a way not yet seen in other games, while also showcasing the diversity of the Arma 3 platform," Arma 3 Contact Project Lead Joris-Jan van ‘t Land said.

"Beyond the campaign experience, we're also glad to be expanding the traditional Arma 3 sandbox with loads of cool content. I'm confident our community will be able to put this expansion to good use, and we hope everyone will have a lot of fun playing. The truth is out there!"

That new content includes 163 square kilometers of Livonian terrain, the Livonian Defense Force and Russian Spetsnaz factions, five weapons, two vehicles, new gear (like the Spectrum Device), new multiplayer scenarios, and "bonus content" including decorative props, terrain objects, and new civilian clothing.

The Arma 3 Contact DLC is available now for $28/£22/€25 on Steam and the Bohemia Store. You can also opt for the Arma 3 Contact Edition, which includes the base game and Contact DLC, or the Ultimate Edition, with all previously-released DLC and expansions developed by Bohemia.

And speaking of aliens: See you in September.

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.