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The new Arma 3 scenario is about a retired badass who just wants to be left alone

You know all those mid-budget action flicks where the crusty old guy living in a remote cabin just wants people to leave him alone, but then some high-level d-bag shows up and starts causing trouble, and eventually it gets personal and then it's revealed that the crusty old guy is a retired CIA assassin who took an oath of non-violence, but just this once he's gonna make an exception? Now you can enjoy that experience as a videogame in Old Man, a new singleplayer scenario for Arma 3 Apex that was released for free today.

In Old Man, you play a retired member of the French Foreign Legion, trying to live a life of peace and solitude. When the Canton Protocol Strategic Alliance shows up, you try to keep your head down and stay out of trouble—but if you're familiar with the recent works of Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, or Liam Neeson, to name just a few, you know how that's going to work out.

"Then the people start dying. Good people. Innocent people. And, well, I guess it's like they say, huh?" the world-weary narrator says. "An old man, in a job where men die young, well, that's not a man you want to mess with."

The scenario begins with an outbreak of a new strain of malaria, which only grows worse when the local authorities fail to distribute an effective vaccine. You get word that a plot of some sort is afoot, and so you join up with a former military contact—who I can only assume will cop a bullet somewhere near the end of the second act—to "avert a catastrophic power play in the region."

In keeping with Arma 3 gameplay, players will have free movement within the 100 square-kilometer sandbox of Tanoa, gathering intel, equipment, and weapons, and employing whatever tactics you see fit to get the job done. Developer Bohemia Interactive said it "aims to offer an authentic experience," but players will be able to take advantage of some "convenience features" including time dilation and fast travel.

Arma 3 Apex: Old Man offers more than ten hours of playtime, according to Bohemia, and is free as part of the Arma 3 1.98 update, although you'll need the paid Apex DLC to play. Owners of the Old Man beta released on the Steam Workshop in December 2019 will also want to unsubscribe from that and restart the scenario in order to avoid compatibility issues. Full patch notes are below.

Notes:

  • Please be sure to unsubscribe or disable the Steam Workshop version of the "Old Man" scenario. It contained the beta version, but an improved version has now been integrated into the vanilla platform. The Workshop item will no longer contain game data (to avoid conflicts), but is no longer necessary for anybody.
  • Contact consists of 2 data packs / folders:
  • Contact (via PLAY CONTACT or -mod=Contact): for the singleplayer "First Contact" campaign experience (accessible only to owners - optionally loaded)
  • Contact (Platform): for most other use cases, including sandbox multiplayer (loaded by default for all players)
  • Consider using the Steam client option to verify the integrity of the local game cache to avoid corrupted data after downloading this update.
  • Consider defragmenting your HDD after downloading large updates.
  • Updating a deeply moddable game and its platform is not without risks. We use various methods to communicate upcoming changes to our awesome modding community, such as via the Dev Hub. We also co-operate directly on troubleshooting, and we offer an opportunity to test updates via our Release Candidate tests. Modders, server administrators and other members of the community do their best to prepare for updates and to address issues post-release as quickly as possible. Please be mindful of some interruptions (especially in the first hours / days after a release) while we all work to improve the game together.
  • A Legacy Build Steam branch is available for advanced users. It contains the previous significant main branch version (1.96). It can be used to compare specific changes between major releases. The access code for this branch is: Arma3Legacy196
  • This update does not apply to the experimental Linux and Mac port betas.
  • You can find the servers in the Steam library (switch the filter to "Tools") - "Arma 3 Server" (based on your OS, it will download the Windows or Linux version).
  • Administrators can also use the command-line SteamCMD utility. The app ID is to be 233780.
  • NVIDIA GameWorks™ Technology provided under license from NVIDIA Corporation. Copyright © 2002-2018 NVIDIA Corporation. All rights reserved. NVIDIA® and PhysX® are trademarks of NVIDIA Corporation and are used under license.
  • In case of problems, please check the Bohemia Interactive support F.A.Q., Arma 3 F.A.Q., BattlEye F.A.Q., or Launcher troubleshooting guide.
  • You can help us to further improve the game by posting your feedback on the Feedback Tracker.

Changelog

Data:

  • Added: "Old Man" open-world singleplayer scenario* (unsubscribe or disable the Workshop mod)
  • Added: Static M2 (low / raised), with optional ballistic shield and collimator sight
  • Added: Red Beret
  • Added: Infected Characters (not accessible in the editor; documentation pending)
  • Added: Old Man items and props (medicine, bank cards, ID cards, etc.)
  • Added: Old Man decals
  • Added: Old Man Welcome Screen
  • Added: Old Man Field Manual records
  • Added: Old Man main menu tile (image only for now)
  • Added: The old Czech Hedgehog asset is no longer hidden
  • Added: Localization strings to some of the armed variants of vehicles (Qilin, Prowler (AT), MB 4WD (AT))
  • Added: Additional geometry to Tanoa Fire Escape Stairs - FT - T145614
  • Added: RscListBoxMulti config class for scripted UI creation of multi-selection list boxes
  • Added: BIS_fnc_transformVectorDirAndUp function for rotating vectorDir and vectorUp in 3 axes
  • Added: Optional mission config property arsenalRestrictedItems to blacklist undesired Arsenal equipment
    • Example: arsenalRestrictedItems[] = {"U_B_Soldier_VR"};
  • Example: arsenalRestrictedItems[] = {"U_B_Soldier_VR"};
  • Tweaked: BIS_fnc_startLoadingScreen - activated support for different loading screen resources
  • Tweaked: BIS_fnc_rotateVector3D was optimized and should now run up to 5x faster
  • Tweaked: BIS_fnc_ambientFlyBy was improved and cleaned up
  • Tweaked: Van should now be able to drive over bridges correctly - FT - T146150
  • Tweaked: View Geometry of some Altis structures - FT - T146447
  • Tweaked: Medikits and Toolkits can be now stored in vests if there is enough space - FT - T128710
  • Tweaked: AH-9 / M-900 fording depth
  • Tweaked: Crouched walking with sidearm animation collision shape - FT - T147980
  • Tweaked: Skin tone matching on various characters and their injury materials
  • Tweaked: Made consistent the Fire Geometry across all characters
  • Tweaked: Light configuration on the To-199 aircraft - FT - T127800
  • Tweaked: Re-binarized key terrain assets to match the updated PhysX version (more in the next update)
  • Tweaked: Copyrights mentions updated to 2020
  • Changed: Tanoa was made the default world once again in support of the "Old Man" release
  • Fixed: Miscellaneous translation issues (kudos to POLPOX, KC45, Kaoru Uduki, and various others for their help with improving Japanese texts especially)
  • Fixed: Broken tooltip in object equipment storage in 3DEN - FT - T117193
  • Fixed: CTRG Northgate had an incorrect magazine
  • Fixed: Script error in Splendid Camera when mouse or joystick inputs were mapped to camera controls - FT - T146601 / T117681
  • Fixed: Rugged Tablet custom texture - FT - T145005
  • Fixed: The medical decal on Medical Tent should no longer flicker
  • Fixed: Typo in Livonia's ILS configuration
  • Fixed: Scrollable building door states in 3DEN
  • Fixed: NATO Pacific Mk6 Mortar, HMG and GMG were assembled into Independent versions instead of NATO Pacific - FT - T145362
  • Fixed: Warlords - The inventory screen no longer remains open when opening Arsenal - FT - T147759
  • Fixed: Broken Offroad (Repair) damage and destruction materials - Forums - General Discussion
  • Fixed: Potential script error in the patrol module - FT - T117706
  • Fixed: hintC not showing special characters when used with alternative syntax - FT - T76965
  • Fixed: Corrected a typo in BIS_fnc_ambientBlacklist
  • Fixed: Some Spectrum Device values disappeared after unequipping the device and equipping it again - FT - T148160
  • Fixed: Ifrit shadows were broken when hiddenSelectionsMaterials were used - FT - T148354
  • Fixed: Spectrum Device antenna ground holders were broken when Contact was not loaded
  • Fixed: Y-axis of the Spectrum Device was incorrect when Contact was not loaded - FT - T148470
  • Fixed: Ability to climb down from Garage (Large)
  • Fixed: Floating bricks in the Scaffolding (New) prop
  • Fixed: Removed obsolete Fire Geometry elements in the Scaffolding (New) prop
  • Fixed: Removed ill-defined glass panels in the Dome (White, Under Construction, Nearly) prop to prevent issues with impact sounds and grenade throwing
  • Fixed: Pole Wall 03 was indestructible
  • Fixed: Wipeout airbrakes rotating in the opposite direction - FT - T144897
  • Fixed: Turret indicator on the armed Speed Boat - FT - T148400
  • Fixed: When setting the date in Eden Editor, days of the week were incorrect in January of a leap year (e.g. January 2020) - FT - T148292
  • Fixed: Script error at the beginning of "Remnants of War" campaign scenario "The Redacted" - FT - T142535
  • Fixed: An undefined variable error in the Functions Library
  • Fixed: Various RPT spam errors on several terrains
  • Fixed: The random placement radius could be too big when using large markers in BIS_fnc_moveToRespawnPosition
  • Fixed: Zeroing text offset in the GUI
  • Fixed: Shadows on CSAT APR masks - FT - T149715
  • Fixed: The default marker description was replaced
  • * Content requires ownership of Arma 3 Apex expansion
  • Potential Spoilers ("First Contact"): Fixed: Issue where dialogue got stuck if the player entered the mini UGV before Čapek finished his biopsy probe briefing in Anomalous Phenomena

Engine:

  • Added: Updated to PhysX 4.1.1
  • Added: BattlEye anti-cheat update
  • Added: Script commands triggerInterval and setTriggerInterval to make it possible to alter the trigger condition check frequency of detectors
  • Added: Script command getTextWidth
  • Added: allActiveTitleEffects script command to detect currently active title effects
  • Added: vehicleMoveInfo now returns sendSimpleCommand status
  • Added: Possibility to change armor simulation of a character hitpoint via classes defined in HitpointsProtectionInfo with a simulation parameter
  • Added: FOV is now synced in Picture-in-Picture screens if a turret[] parameter is used in the RenderTargets definition
  • Changed: Network synchronization when two vehicles collide improved (local versus remote)
  • Fixed: Some task commands returned nil when their argument was null
  • Fixed: Crash when you request support for a soldier in your squad
  • Fixed: Simulated things should no longer fall too fast and fall through the ground (e.g. weapons)
  • Fixed: Optics Post Process Effects (opticsPPEffects) not being loaded correctly
  • Fixed: Crash when releasing a joint constraint without any actor
  • Fixed: PhysX CCD for small objects with a different PhysX shape and object bounding box
  • Fixed: Event Handler "HitPart" did not return selection names properly when a vehicle was damaged by an explosion (this prevented accomplishing the Mass Virtual Destruction Steam Achievement)
  • Fixed: Ability to equip vehicle weapons as a player (has been disabled)
  • Fixed: Various potential exploit vectors

Server:

  • Updated: Stand-alone Windows Dedicated Server (1.98)
  • Updated: Stand-alone Linux Dedicated Server (1.98)
  • The data in -mod=contact is not fully multiplayer compatible (it is meant for the singleplayer campaign experience); we recommend only hosting servers with it for special use cases - This data is signed by a new A3C key whose presence can be used to control what client data is allowed on the server
  • Known issue: Steam client modifies the steam_appid.txt file incorrectly. In case of issues, verify its content is: 107410
  • Known issue: Sometimes the add-ons are loaded from the wrong installation (e.g. main game)
  • Try adding -mod=curator;kart;heli;mark;expansion;jets;argo;orange;tacops;tank;enoch to your arma3server.exe shortcut
Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.