I hope they bring out the server files soon.. In the meantime we have created this video
The ARMA III alpha test gives a tantalizing glimpse of what the upcoming war simulator has in store.
Crowe's ultimate hope for grenade handling is to make it fluid and natural--but also to make sure it's simulated in an appropriate way. He's also conscious of how the modding community might further adjust that mechanic, and other ones as well. "This same through-process can be applied to a whole range of new or refined features," he says. "Is it useful? Is it appropriate? Are the community going to try to hijack it?"
Controls in general can be a sticking point for ARMA fans and detractors alike. I noted how much more fluid the game felt straight off--and it seems I am not the only one. Says Crowe, "The change hit me when I recently reinstalled Operation Arrowhead on a new PC. At least compared to ARMA III, the first run of OA was not a great experience--the first 15 seconds, the first 15 minutes. For example, I stuck a rifleman in the editor, moved around, and immediately felt somehow…stuck. I hope our players appreciate the difference in ARMA III."
The adjustments to how the game handles go much deeper, however. ARMA III can handle control presets, so if you're enamored with ARMA II's control scheme and have no intention of messing with what works for you, that's fine. But Bohemia Interactive is also pushing forward with a control preset that falls a bit more in line with standard controls in other games--though just what that preset will entail is still up in the air. "Sitting at Alpha, we've still got some way to go, and rancorous disputes within the team yet to be had," says Crowe, "but we're working towards our 'default' controls setup."
This rabbit hole of player control goes deeper still, however. More from Crowe: "The biggest changes are probably combat pace and adjusted stances, and the way that these are controlled. The stances enable an increased range of movement and are controlled using Ctrl as a modifier, together with WASD. Combat pace is where you can maneuver quickly with your weapon raised, making it more useful in closer quarters. Currently it's a toggle, but we're still working on how best to integrate this into the existing controls to make the best use of it."
My favorite of the four scenarios might be the scuba mission. It starts slow, having you swim from one mine to the next to disable them before emerging from the water and stealing a missile launcher from a nearby base. Even if you shy away from third-person views in the ARMA series, it's worth hitting the enter key on your number pad and moving out of first person, if only to admire the way your avatar glides forward. It's a nice, dreamlike introduction to the nail-biting bit of subterfuge that follows. The scuba options are new to the series, and I asked Crowe how they will fit into the overall package.
"First, it's a logical extension of what ARMA always offered, the idea of freedom or opportunity," he says. "It's another option, another tactical choice, that can be made to execute your mission. It, like other choices, comes with its own unique constraints and its own advantages. Giving players more opportunities always leads to good things. Plus, the sea turtle models are exquisite."
"Secondly, I like to think of it as removing an arbitrary barrier," Crowe continues. "It's like when I loaded up Grand Theft Auto III a while ago. I was in a pinch so jumped into the water, and died. I forgot that they only added the ability to dive in later versions. Now, we want to be careful not to make our game too 'arcade'--it comes back to the balance we were talking about before--so, there are constraints about using weapons underwater or how much air you have in your lungs. But we also don't want to unnecessarily frustrate the player when he wants to do something. It's not necessarily what gameplay it brings to the players, as what it's no longer preventing."
Based on what I played, I am not worried that ARMA III in any way represents a dumbing down of ARMA conventions, but I asked Crowe what he would tell anyone who voices those concerns. His response was candid. "Oh, veterans will always have troubled minds whatever I say! That's part of the beauty of being a diehard fan: complain loudly, frequently, but love unreservedly! More seriously, though, our teams are densely populated with ex-community members, and we're certainly keeping the core of ARMA III the same as ever. Once again it comes back to that difference between dumbing down features and trying to design them more effectively."
One thing Crowe isn't worried about is attracting the Modern Warfare-playing masses. Instead, his goal is to support new players and help them realize ARMA III's unique potential. He says, "ARMA will never be an 'easy' game, as it were. Its rewards are found in the mastery of the challenges it presents you--sometimes by design, and sometimes by our own limitations--and the openness of the platform."
So no, ARMA will never be the next Call of Duty or Battlefield. It will never be bombastic, or linear, and Bohemia Interactive has no current plans to bring the series to consoles. The team knows that its games have a unique identity on the PC gaming landscape and is unwilling to compromise its vision for the sake of being more cinematic. In fact, Crowe wants ARMA III to be there for the players exhausted with cinematic shooters. And he hopes that once they experience the kind of war only ARMA can provide, they won't have any need to return. "When I played the original Operation Flashpoint," Crowe says, "it just blew me away, and it totally ruined other critically acclaimed, but more linear, experiences. I've really never recovered. When you have a game set in an enormous world with a huge number of different weapons and vehicles, you'll find--even in some of the very biggest budget games--the odd glitch or imbalance. That's true of ARMA, but the rewards, for me, outweigh that."
Later this year, we will discover whether ARMA III finds that perfect balance of fluidity and authentic challenge. For now, anyone who has preordered the game has access to the alpha, which includes four single-player scenarios, online multiplayer (which we were not able to test, since the alpha wasn't live to the public), and a map editor. It's clear that Bohemia Interactive takes this series seriously. And that's to be expected, given how seriously the ARMA community takes the series, too. And that's as it should be; after all, few games take the subject of war as seriously as ARMA.
I hope they bring out the server files soon.. In the meantime we have created this video
I'm a BF3 fan/player like many here, but played ARMA 2 a little back in the day. I bought the A3 alpha and love it to bits. It's in a different genre to BF3 but it 'IS' a game. I hate it when people say it's a simulator... It's not a bleeding simulator, it's a game 100%. It's a realistic shooter but not a simulator. And dang, is it a good shooter. I recommend it to anyone to try it out. It's an acquired taste, but worth it. It's a bit like that sniper game set in WW2, its name eludes me at the moment, it felt intolerably slow at first, but once you got into it, it was fantastic. Same goes for ARMA really.
Good article by the way Kevin.
Arma uses the Real Virtuality engine that's used in training simulators by militaries around the world. Battlefield has the Frostbite engine for video games. Both games are fun in their own ways, though I like Arma more.
I am a avid BF3 player, clocked over 350H hours. Played since release, and still playing today. Enjoy every moment of it. My advice to people who loves BF3: ARMA is not a game for you, BF3 is just a game, ARMA is a simulation.
@thetarget thats a pretty stupid comment. just because you love playing BF doesnt mean your not going to enjoy arma. Iv been playing both since the originals
@thetarget arma is not a simulation. Its just the same as BF3, but with larger maps. It doesn't simulate anything at all.
@HarryPalms That's simply not true.
I tried to play this game even though I didn't play any of the others but once I put a lot of practice In to get used to the game and now that ive gotten the hang of it I just don't like it. Its just plain out really boring even though it looks good and is a realistic simulation its just not any fun or entertaining. Im glad i got the chance to play the alpha for free without buying the game because I would never pay for something like this.
Battlefield or Call of Duty franchise never even comes close to realistic as Arma franchise does. I believe another series is has a very harsh realism is Operation Flashpoint.
@ulgk operation flashpoint was like the grandfather of ARMA. bohemia and codemasters both made it. they split and codemasters kept making those shitty operation flashpoints, dragon rising and red river, while bohemia moved onto its own iteration Armed Assault aka ARMA
I find amazing that everytime I say something about BF3's lack of realism, all the fanboys start to bash me saying BF3 is the most realistic FPS ! Can't we all agree that BF3 is a game for people whose want to have fun blowing up stuff and putting C4 on their vehicles, and ARMA is the real deal for those who understand what is a military operation ???
It's a shame that the engine Frostbite 2 was so misused, the possibilities were so promising ! I remember playing Red Faction Guerrilla in 2009 and we could destroy buildings in different ways depending on the point of force applied, but on BF3 they just created pre-destructible samples with no real physics in action! Imagine Frostbite 2 using the same concept of Red Faction Guerrilla in a game like Arma 3??
@alexbartle I believe that this is what we will get in my opinion, like all the betas and demos we experience, there's no graphic "tweaking" until retail version , so, assuming this is the final version (I always expect the worse !), I'm still happy that I have ARMA 3 in my hands because after those two guys got into jail I almost lost my hope! Btw, what happened to them ? Anyone knows any lastest update ?
I honestly don't understand all the complaints about the graphics, you guys do understand what a miracle it is to have these kind of graphics with this size of a game?
As is, the engine is amazingly well optimized. I mean if we were to shrink the map down to the size of a CoD multiplayer map, and remove all of Arma's special features you could get this game to run with these level of graphics on a Commodore 64 (A bit of an overstatement to say the least, but you get the point I'm trying to make).
It's better optimized than arma 2, but it's still not what I'd consider an optimized game. It doesn't take full advantage of my 3930K or my 2 GTX 670s. I'd say on average I get about 45-50% utilization on both GPUs, and it's never taking advantage of all my CPU cores.
The physX implementation in the game disappointed me a bit too. It's still an improvement over what they had in Arma 2, but death animations and vehicle handling still looks and feels very primitive. I hope they polish it more before final release, I'm sure they will.
@BuBsay i give you the size and scope, good for them for solving that y making animations and character interaction with environment stiffer that road kill. I mean you just warp through the side of walls into a helicopter
Just played it and man it's good,I think it's a big improvement over Arma 2,it looks fantastic,AI isn't too bad but Iv'e not played too much as yet,the voices are alot better and not "robot" like Arma 2,weapon feel is better and it doesn't feel like your controlling a puppet. I pleased with it so far.
I really, really hope that the AI has been improved for this else I'll be very disappointed. The amount of time i wasted in ARMA2 trying to get my squad to do simple tasks such as moving to a waypoint is just uncountable. Otherwise though, this looks mighty fine!
@GIgewg066 Sorry mate AI is still as terrible as in ArmA2 and I don't think it'll get better in the Final... They don't even plan to change anything "bigger" for the AI... just some "Optimization and teaching them usage of the new features"
Bohemia Interactive is really lazy when it comes to AI... instead they focus on making it more appealing by dumping it down and ripping off the ideas and features of Mods like ACE...
It's a shame there is no real competitor for ArmA... Bohemia is milking the Fans, knowing they have nowhere else to go...
@BoP-Falcon Ugh that's just shit :P Such a shame cos it would be a 10/10 for me if the AI was actually decent...so disappointing. At the end of the day it is a war simulator and they should be making a game to reflect that realistically. I personally think they've been too wrapped up in the new graphics and gameplay mechanics to give a shit about NPC AI :(
@BoP-Falcon @GIgewg066 Just sounds to me like they're starting to follow the 'Call of duty' formula-just give the next game better graphics, new weapons, maps etc and actually completely ignore the core mechanics which are the reason most of the hardcore players buy the game. It's totally ridiculous. Even so, I'll still be buying it because like its predecessor, despite the little niggles ARMA 2 was extremely good :)
@GIgewg066 @BoP-Falcon Yes, it's pretty frustrating... under the hood the AI actually has some real nice tactical stuff coded in, but they can't get it to work... and most of the basic configstuff like how good the can spot players, hear people and their "weapon handling system" are totally fucked up... and that's mostly stuff that can't be fixed by modders... they can change some values, but that doesn't fix anything... They even "cheat" with the AI by giving Squadleaders (the charactermodels) worse camoflage-Values resulting in the AI shooting at them first... Most people think thats an actual "Feature"... But as you said their focus seem to be the "cash features" like graphics and garbage like Warfare, new models (that modders will replace with better ones after some months anyway)... They shouldn't even talk about realism all the time... they do NOTHING for the Mods and Communities that really focus on realism etc. they just lure the "tacticool Children" into the game and the real Hardcoreplayers have to babysit them...
I am arma 2 ace player love the game but something i have noticed in the beta that must be fixed is something you mentioned in the editorial is the character modeling while moving is OFF way off it doesnt look right going up hills its robotic and seems like feet dont move at the speed the body is travelling im hoping with the beta this will be noticed and tweaked otherwise its looks great also i noticed the sounds once again are off which is why JSRS and others were built for A2 for realism in sounds FIX IT BOHEMIA WE LOVE YOU!!!!
To me it looks just like ARMA II, of course, with all the improvements from the third, but from the screens you can't really differ if you are not told that this one is the third or second.
This is a game I'm seriously looking forward to... Although, I'd prefer a little better graphics. They don't look as I would expect.
Managed to get some testing in last night and for a game in its alpha testing phase i was very impressed with what was there.
maxed out the game looks and run amazing :)
Also a lot of the mods have already been ported over from ARMA II :)