ARMA III: This Is War

E3 2012: ARMA III looks gorgeous and untamed. And it makes you earn your victories, one bullet at a time.

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In an age of military-themed turkey shoots and hackneyed battlefield dialogue, we need games like Arma III more than ever. Like its predecessors, it isn't a shooter as we think of them: it's a war simulator in which you cover a vast expanse of land on foot and in vehicles. Land isn't your only means of travel, however. You can jump into a helicopter and admire its authentically crafted cockpit before soaring into the blue beyond. You can don scuba equipment, swim through the bubbling sea, and pilot a submarine to your destination.

We didn't see a lot of full-fledged gameplay during the ARMA III demonstration, but it's clear that Bohemia Interactive is trying to clean up its interface, spruce up the AI, and deliver a clean, well-optimized experience. There's no way to say this without sounding overly enthusiastic, but it must be said: the graphics engine is stunning at this stage. The series has always strived for visual authenticity, but this might be one of the most realistic-looking games we've ever seen. ARMA II's stiff animations and odd blurriness have given way to fluid soldier movement and crystal-clear textures.

Not that games are all about graphics, of course, but when you strive for authenticity, these touches can make all the difference. When diving into the reefs, you notice the way the sunlight plays on the surface above you and how the water reacts when a helicopter hovers overhead. Grass and bushes sway realistically, and light reflects as you expect it would, without filling the screen with excess glare and unnecessary blood splatter. The point of it all? To make you feel like you are there.

And boy are you ever there. When night falls, it's truly dark. You can position your own body in various ways to avoid damage while maximizing your own. Forget just leaning, going prone, and crouching: you can roll while prone, lean back on your elbows, and dip forward while in a crouch. In ARMA III, enemies take advantage of your vulnerabilities. You need to survey the landscape, don night-vision goggles when the situation calls for it, and avoid open areas that could make you vulnerable. But Bohemia Interactive doesn't just want its game to be hardcore: it also wants it to be more playable.

If you're an ARMA fan, don't freak out. The producers aren't trying to make the game more "accessible" per se; this isn't the next Call of Duty. Rather, it's about a better interface (onscreen indicators were cleaner than in the past, for instance) and making the controls as fluid as possible. The team has lots of time to optimize the game, certainly: ARMA won't be released until 2013. For more on how ARMA III strives to best its predecessors, watch the video at the top of this article. If anything else, it demonstrates the passion Bohemia Interactive brings to its wargames.

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Written By

GameSpot senior editor Kevin VanOrd has a cat named Ollie who refuses to play Rock Band because he always gets stuck pla

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Discussion

74 comments
sbuk56
sbuk56

Please make it possible to disable cross hairs - they are really irritating!

Jason-BroDY
Jason-BroDY

PLease MAKE the AI BETTER THIS TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :O  arma 2 was great but the AI was tooooo Fuc**d up!!!

Crush_Project
Crush_Project

oh but i hope they improve the flight and vehicle mechanics this round.  Its not cool when ea and the battlefield series has more realistic control then arma a simulator.

SiniStar121
SiniStar121

Finally... a game developer who sticks to what he knows the studio does well, and does that perfects the craft every time they roll out with a new product. Im gonna DL Arma 2, then wait patiently for Arma 3. Good Job guys.

AceBalls
AceBalls

My reasonably new PC is going to SHIT itself.

eddieham13
eddieham13

Awesome games, just hope they improve the AI

rgray34
rgray34

Arma games have always been good i enjoy playing them with my friends.  Guys' dont forget about the Armory there is fun to be had there as well.  Im really looking forward to having a better interface that's been a long time coming.  I think most people have been with bohemia since 1985  Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis days,  like myself and to see how this series has envolved is amazing.  I would love kevin to do a article from where Bohemia started and show the progression to Arma 3 its like walking down memory lane for me.

blakeney
blakeney

I tryed to get into Arma1 and 2 ages ago...but my pc has always been weak for it, so its been hard playing with 11fps.... I got a new gfx card about a year ago, then saw this.... installed Arma2, and i gotta say... this should be AMAZING!

 

The size and scope of Arma2 is unbelivable! I have found that in 2, firing has a high amount of "Random Deviation" (i could be wrong), and either the guy filming this is pure pro... or they have sorted that abit?

mastergundam
mastergundam

in term of realistic, this game puts other fps games on the market to shame

staggermann
staggermann

props to that guy for admitting the game's limitations

 

Conifereq
Conifereq

Congratulations BIS, you've done well. I can't wait to play it.

Catalyst222
Catalyst222

Looks like they forgot the whole bullets don't travel more than a few feet underwater. :/

markcusdd
markcusdd

They still need to modernize the character animation. It still looks unnatural.

BloomerNYC
BloomerNYC

It looks gorgeous? It looks like Fallout...

nyran125
nyran125

Arma 2 i prefer over BAttlefield 3. As a single player game its huge. I havent played much of the multiplayer . But you can pretty much do anything you want in the editor. You want a Cod style game? fine, just calve up the map in a small chunk and make map markers and anything outside it, out of bounds. Want a Battlefield style game? just throw flags in there. Even better want a NO RESPAWNING battlefield style game?. Just dont add respawns make only a few flags and make it so as soon as your team reaches the end flag the game is over.

 

Easily my favourite open warfare game by a long way. Theres just so much to do . Yeah and since Dayz mod has taken off, its even better. I played it way before the dayz mod existed though.

HankyPanky-51
HankyPanky-51

The ONLY REASON i'm looking forward to Arma 3 is to have a fully developed mod. You may have heard of it... its called DayZ.Oh, you haven't heard of it?  

syler4815162342
syler4815162342

This kind of games have really complex programing rather than simple shooters! i like it!

EvilMonkie3
EvilMonkie3

now these guys are dedicated! this sounds like an interesting project and ill definitely be following it. I only wish that most shooters could be at least 1/4th as detailed as this game.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

The graphics are mind blowing for such an immense game. Kudos to Bohemia Interactive for making it look do fantastic.

tevic
tevic

Great ! Oen world games FTW !!

face_ripper
face_ripper

the guy seems to love the game too much

 

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

I'm very excited about this game. Hopefully this franchise will continue to grow as a balancing force against CoD-type gameplay in FPS.

trfritzen
trfritzen

Please let there be object/building destruction as seen in B3.

ShadowOfKratos
ShadowOfKratos

Holy sh**, that underwater picture... is that guy fapping?

Caldrin
Caldrin

Of course Dayz brought me back into ARMA II and tell you the truth I have probally been playing ARMA II more than DayZ and not sure why it sat on my shelf for so long...

 

ARMA III is looknig even better, a totally updated engine with really nice modern graphics, better character movement, better vehicle control, better well everything... can not wait for this :)

JPLN
JPLN

This game's predecessor, Operation Flashpoint, had half of these features 11 years ago...

ChaosUndivided
ChaosUndivided

I don't mind big worlds to explore but when you spend more time travelling from one spot to another then shooting it can become very boring very quick.

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

my problems with this game is just stiff movement and bland environments,

 

if they can get past through this, it definitely will be the best simulation-shooter at the market.

TheoAlmighty
TheoAlmighty

It doesnt look too different from past Arma games. They just fixed a bunch of bugs, improved animations, and optimized the game to run better; could have been a patch or expansion instead of a numbered sequel...

Pablo_Heroin
Pablo_Heroin

Did I see health regen? I hope that Im wrong

james_324
james_324

 @AceBalls Same here even though I have an i7 2600k @4.5ghz and a 7970.. I really hope I don't have to x-fire....

pelvist
pelvist

 @blakeney

The "High ammount of random deviation" is actually Bohemia Interactives anti piracy measure called FADE that kicks in when it detects a non legit copy of the game. The guy in the video isnt really pro, hes playing on a version that wasnt pirated.

CHJL
CHJL

 @BloomerNYC

 Arma games look close to photo realistic when you see it in person.

you're not gonna see that in streaming video like this.

toshineon
toshineon

@nyran125 I prefer Arma 2 to BF3 as well, I'm more of a singleplayer person, not to big on playing online, and Arma gives you a whole open world to play war in. Battlefield used to, then someone thought that adding a campaign was a good idea...

deedaw
deedaw

 @nyran125 I think you forgot to add fully destructible environments, best graphics in any FPS and the most realistic animations/physics to make this game anywhere NEAR Battlefield 3.

phatsanta
phatsanta

 @face_ripper well if you were trying to sell something you wouldn't be saying anything negative either dip

fastica
fastica

 @ChaosUndivided Those moments were nothing happens help to make the firefights more intense. I prefer this rather than starting the level with 20 terrorists, 2 tanks and an helicopter shooting right at you, like CoD .

Caldrin
Caldrin

 @TheoAlmighty Well going by that all COD games should just be exp packs LOL..

 

No this is a new game in itself.. Engine has been totally updated from what was in ARMA III and as you can see by the video tons of things improved because of that.

Catalyst222
Catalyst222

 @PS2fweak

 The type of gun that shoots it is negligible. Water is about 829x denser than air. So say a bullet travels 5280 feet on land (thats a mile), in theory underwater that same bullet would travel a little over 6 feet before its stopped by drag.

dakkafex
dakkafex

 @Alexanderone ^ this, and this is the exact same destruction as BF3, scripted, only BF3 has more break points to make for more realism.

 

want realistic calculated( voxel based) destruction?, look up the geomod engine of the first red faction, blasting your way trough the walls 

pelvist
pelvist

 @Catalyst222

 Firearms that shoot underwater, specifically the one in this video shoot specially designed 120mm (in length) 5.45x39 steel darts from a 5.45x39mm cartridge propelled in the same way a bullet is on land.

 

Here is a picture of them, http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/underwaterE.jpg

 

Also, "supercavitating ammunition" designed by the DSC is a multi envinroment amunition that looks like a regular bullet and works effectively underwater with an accurate range of up to 60 meters.

Black_Pander
Black_Pander

 @Catalyst222 assuming the bullets being fired are the same shape. if the rounds were more streamlined (and normal rounds aren't very streamlined) they would go quite a bit further.