America's Army Expands

The US Army's tactical multiplayer action game will be updated with new combat classes, new missions, and a number of technical enhancements.

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The US Army has announced that an enhanced version of America's Army: Operations is making its debut at E3. An updated version of the game will add new combat roles for players, including combat medic and special forces soldier. When the new special forces missions are released this fall, players will be able to go through a series of qualification steps toward earning the right to wear the green beret. Along the way, players will qualify for medical sergeant, weapons sergeant, engineer sergeant, communications sergeant, and intelligence sergeant. As players qualify for these new roles, new attributes and abilities will open up for multiplayer matches. A new Army unit, the Stryker combat brigade, will also make its way into the game. The Stryker combat system will incorporate advanced information systems, light armor, and a grenade launcher or a .50-caliber remote weapon system.

Other upcoming enhancements for the game are also being demonstrated at E3. These include the integration of OC3's Impersonator technology, new character models, new game modes that incorporate AI opponents and allies, and a new interface to provide new gameplay options that will highlight leadership roles and mission planning. America's Army: Operations will also soon be released for other operating systems. A Mac version will be available in June and a Linux version will debut in July.

"The public's positive reaction to the America's Army game has been far stronger than our most optimistic projections," said Col. Casey Wardynski, project originator and project director. "The game has exhibited very high levels of growth in terms of new players, repeat players, and numbers of games played. By embedding information about soldiering within the popular culture, the game has proven to be a valuable channel to place information about soldiering within the decision space of high-potential young Americans."

America's Army: Operations is a freely downloadable game developed by the US Army. The Army reports that more than 1 million players have completed the basic training required before it's possible to play multiplayer matches online. Players have logged in more than 13 million hours of gameplay since the game's launch last summer.

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