Play open-world shooter Arma 3 for free on Steam this weekend

Developer Bohemia celebrates its 15-year anniversary with a free game, a Steam sale, and more.

Developer Bohemia Interactive celebrates its 15-year anniversary this month, having been founded in May 1999. To celebrate, it's discounting the prices of many of its games on Steam, giving away the first game it developed, and allowing gamers to play one of its most recent titles for free for the next few days.

From now until May 18, Steam users can download and play Arma 3 for free. The open-world shooter was released as an Early Access game last year before being officially released in September. Since then, the game has received a great deal of free downloadable content, as well as a wide variety of fan-made mods that can be accessed through the Steam Workshop. Bohemia announced earlier this month that a "major" expansion is in the works and will be out in late 2015.

Should Arma 3 not be of interest to you, or if you're simply looking for something to last longer than the weekend, Bohemia is giving away the first game it ever developed, Arma: Cold War Assault, for free through Steam. When it was released back in 2001, it was known as Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis; after a 2011 re-release, it assumed the Cold War Assault name.

Bohemia has also knocked down the prices of many of its games on Steam, including its Early Access games, which it doesn't ordinarily do. The standalone version of DayZ can currently be had for $25.49 (15% off the regular $30 price), while Arma 3's price has dropped to $35.99 (down from $60). The full list of deals can be found on the Steam sale page.

Lastly, Bohemia is allowing anyone who has bought a non-Steam version of Arma 2 or its expansions in the past to redeem their CD keys on Steam in order to gain access to the respective Steam versions.

"I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed in any way to the amazing 15 years at Bohemia Interactive," said Bohemia CEO and co-founder Marek Spanel. "The journey so far has been exciting, often challenging, sometimes hard - but, ultimately, always rewarding. While the games industry has fundamentally changed since the early years, our community continues to stand at the heart of everything we do, and together we will continue to create incredible games."

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

45 comments
kaziklu_bey
kaziklu_bey

Poorly optimized, choppy movement and shooting. You're never sure where the bullet will hit. Sometimes you need one bullet to kill someone, sometimes you can't kill enemy with whole magazine (by the enemy's reaction I'm sure that I'm hitting them). No difference between low and high graphic settings. Sound is outdated and poorly designed. Driving is really bad, no gravity. Bad tutorial, badly implemented keyboard controls. 4/10

bigdawg247
bigdawg247

Arma 3 is the engine underneath Virtual Battle Space 3, which is used as a simulation to train the real US Army.

kereke12
kereke12

Why couldn't they give us it for free??

Damnation_6
Damnation_6

It's crappy, the multiplayer is supported by Gamespy(!) and hardly anyone is doing the original multiplayer. Everyone is off playing a Sims in first person with guns mod (basicly). Glad I did not preorer the game back in the day. And so many bugs still.

But it's free to try so you can always give it a go.

liquidbutter
liquidbutter

Isn't Arma that military simulator with the horrible user interface and sucky inventory system? Yeah, the Arma people are crap at making UI.

Halloll
Halloll

one weekend isn't enough to learn the game.

Talavaj
Talavaj

Arma is a very niche game, unfortunately its "openness" is its biggest downfall. One my argue it gives you "unprecedented tactical freedom" but in reality it results in everybody doing whatever they want and those few who actually want to play the game seriously will more often than not just get stuck in some field doing nothing because the game does not give you any apparent objectives anyway.

It is one of those games you need to play with a large group of friends, otherwise you will have little fun from it.

faizanhd
faizanhd

@people who think its unoptimized Its not badly optimized , there's just so many things going on at the same time it puts pressure on your system. In fact there's a hell of a lot more going on at any given time than probably in any commercial game ever made. That fact that it looks bloody incredible amplifies the problem.


It simply can not be compared to every other action game because of its completely non-scripted nature.

jer_1
jer_1

I was playing this tonight with the "Battle Royale" mod. It's a pretty awesome mod that makes the game play basically like Hunger Games via airdropping in right with the opposing combatants!

MAD_AI
MAD_AI

It's definitely one of favorite games out there, a relief from the rising tide of COD clones. Tho I'm more partial to the Cold War setting of the first one that the near futuristic setting they got going on here, so I'm waiting for someone to mod in the original OFP.

lorider25
lorider25

Tried it, but it's tedious and annoying right off the bat. Yeah, you can get use to it, but I'm a "On-The-Fly" Gamer.


The less **** I have to deal with the better.



nyran125tk
nyran125tk

anyone wondering how to play this game and why some people think its so awesome, watch this video, shows you how to use the Ai or at least goes over some of it and im playing it like a cross between a 1st person shooter and a real time strategy game. I made the mission using the editor and then just play it out in real time for fun. Like a real time strategy Version of X-COM. I prefer ARMA 2 to ARMA 3, but this gives you a good idea of the game. Just skip the boring parts.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSP1ymMAbuk


Psycold
Psycold

I bought this and got 10 hours out if it, by then I had remembered every Bohemia game has the same horrible controls and complete lack of interactivity between your character and the game world...everything is done with a stupid scroll wheel. 

wezkilla
wezkilla

cant believe i wasted money buying this i wasnt allowed a refund :/


ide enjoy it more if the game ran better than a brick with painted wheels, getting the same fps on the lowest settings and the highest well, still feels like the game is in alpha 


you would think a GTX 680 4gb and fx9590 would be able to run this

gruntboy116
gruntboy116

I would really enjoy this game if it ran worth a damn on my laptop xD

Goddammitj
Goddammitj

Poor performance and 90% of servers suck. I wasted my money...Though I guess its worth trying for free. It premise is good.

BravoOneActual
BravoOneActual

Cold War Crisis is one of the greatest games I've ever played.


Downloaded this one last night.  Gotta make the most of Free Weekend.

howiex89
howiex89

awesome stuff, try to buy moment

eternaldragoonx
eternaldragoonx

So gamespot is just ignoring the latest news that Halo 1-4 are coming to the XBOX One?

Williams0907
Williams0907

God I love this game, I play with a great group of people.

Oozyrat
Oozyrat

Arma is probably pretty desperate now that DayZ is separate. They lost a lot of sales since that broke off. I could run Arma II on my laptop (somehow), it was ok, but there was barely any direction lol

BravoOneActual
BravoOneActual

Eastern European developers:  You can have optimization when you pry it from our cold dead fingers.



kaziklu_bey
kaziklu_bey

I'm must say, Operation Flashpoint was much better

_Colossus_
_Colossus_

@Damnation_6 They are currently under way of converting it from Gamespy to Steamworks. I believe there is a button somewhere in the server browser that lets you switch inbetween Gamespy and Steamworks for the time being.

pelvist
pelvist

@Damnation_6  Multiplayer uses Valve Steamworks servers now since Gamespy is no more....

postalsam
postalsam

@Damnation_6  It runs on Steamworks too and once Gamespy is gone every server will use Steamworks or you can host your own sessions/servers

sortajan
sortajan

@eternaldragoonxif i personally don't mind not hearing about another batch of HD remakes. it's like 40% of all games released nowadays are HD remakes of old games.

_Colossus_
_Colossus_

@Oozyrat Don't know what you mean by lost sales when it's the same company. I'm sure folks that prefer zombies over warfare might just buy DayZ, but that seems rather rational to me. As for ArmA fans, well, I'd say most of us buy both of them. Either way, it's a profit.

As @sortajanmentioned, the ArmA fanbase is pretty solid and I doubt it's core will fade away just because of DayZ. Even more, I notice ArmA 3 actually sells more on Steam at the moment than DayZ, even though it's about 7 euro more expensive. But of course, DayZ have been quite beneficial in terms of long lasting profits over the last few years. 

sortajan
sortajan

@Oozyrat  Arma has always had a pretty solid fanbase, i don't think they need to be desperate.

Colekern
Colekern

@Oozyrat  Just need to find a server with some good missions. The community is what makes the game special, Arma 3 is basically a few missions and game modes, and a mission editor. The community is what makes the game special.

Saidrex
Saidrex

@quickshooterMk2 game is too wooden for your PC! Most Arma games in their time had dreadful optimization, this one is no better, it runs like crap.

ChiefReaver
ChiefReaver

@Saidrex  Multiplayer performance in dependent in the server. As for single player, lower the draw distance. The game runs fine.

Colekern
Colekern

@Saidrex  Indeed, Arma isn't known for it's wonderful optimization. If you've got the hardware, the games are great though.

arrowhead927
arrowhead927

@ChiefReaver Singleplayer doesnt change the fact that is not optimized