Arma 3 looks amazing

The Arma series has been the game version of a universal military simulator that Bohemia has been selling to militaries for training use. It features huge, open world gameplay with a large variety of military units. Everything from jeeps to attack helicopters you can put into your scenarios and use. The worlds are literally hundreds of square kilometers with a lot of detail. The view distances are the greatest you’ll find in any game. The scale is huge, yet detailed. The game is highly customizable and moddable. You can design scenarios in which the player uses a small special ops team to raid a base, using stealth against guards, to massive battles involving hundreds of AI soldiers, with AC130s filling the night sky with tracers, A10 attack runs, tanks, etc.

The game had lots of detail in terms of all of the variety of vehicles. It would basically a infantry simulator, tank simulator, helicopter simulator, jet simulator, etc. all rolled into one package with total user control.

The series has always been kind of rough around the edges, unpolished. The interface and controls have always been rough. The voice acting quite poor. It could be frustrating to play.

They’ve been working on Arma 3 for quite a while now. They’ve advanced the technical side of things - the game looks utterly stunning, cutting edge, properly taking advantage of the amazing hardware we have available in 2013. But they also seem to be very concerned about the polish this time around. If they get it right, this game will be incredible.

Keep in mind that the game is in alpha, so there’s still room to go, but here are some screenshots. There’s a cinematic depth of field in some, so the actual gameplay would look crisper in terms of long view distances and such, but still, amazing. Random screenshots:

View from up high
Out for a walk
Fire mission
Some sort of armored aardvark

Anyway, just google image “arma 3”, there are zillions of these things. I think they should’ve laid off the cinematic depth of field effect, but still, amazing.

You can see in this video they’ve given a lot more thought to controls and movement, which is one of arma’s big weaknesses.
Here’s a video showing off some of the island and some gameplay. The island currently available in the alpha is about 20 square kilometers, which pretty much makes it the largest playable area in any game outside of Arma 2, but it’s only about 1/10th as big as what will be in the final game.

Anyway, it’s currently in alpha phase. You can actually buy it now on steam for $33. It’s both a preorder and alpha/beta access. You’ll get to play the alpha and beta stages of the game and then you get the full game when it’s released. For a pretty great price. So I’m leaning towards getting it, although I need to give it a try. MikeG was nice enough to give me one of his copies of the limited alpha to try out, I’ve just been too busy to get to it.

I don’t know what the deal will be with Arma 3 and day z. They hired the creator of Day z, but they’ve been working on the day z standalone product. I don’t know, given the similar release dates, why they didn’t just have him work on a full blown Day Z mode in Arma 3. Would be incredible.

Anyway, thought I’d create a thread to see if anyone else is interested, and keep up with the buzz.

The controls and the GUI are the main thing I would like to see updated, along with the AI. It doesn’t have to be call of duty, but it needs to provide a much more streamlined approach to accessing all of it’s details.

Today is the last day (I think) you can preorder the game for $33. Once it advances to beta I assume the price goes up. I played the alpha-lite and I’m pretty impressed so far. Arma 2 to me was for the most part unplayable, I tolerated it for day-z but I couldn’t get into it because the interface was so horrendous. There was bad input lag - the worst of any game I ever played - and I was extremely sensitive to it. Working the interface was an exercise in frustration. Movement was awkward.

Happy to report it is improved in pretty much every regard. There is still a noticible input lag, but it’s maybe 1/5th what I experienced in Arma 2, it goes from unplayable to playable. The movement feels much better. The radio voices are still a little bit stilted but way better than Arma 2. The game both looks better (it’s gorgeous) and has a higher frame rate than Arma 2, which helps with the responsiveness. The interface is improved but still kind of clunky. It still has the same mousewheel-based action menu which can be offputting.

Some of the graphical elements can be a little offputting. The lighting system is amazing, possibly the best there’s ever been in a game, and people and vehicles and building exteriors have a ton of detail, but the distant terrain still gets fairly low detail treatment. It can kind of be jarring looking at a scene where some elements are rendered amazingly beautifully and some elements are primitive in comparison. But overall, it works. The impression you get while you’re actually playing is often awe-struck and immersive.

Helicopters are awkward to fly but possibly not as bad as Arma 2. The problem is that the second you tilt nose down you’re going like 80 mph. It’s really hard to do any sort of helicopter attack without making a high speed pass. I don’t know if that’s realistic or not, but I doubt it. It’s not in line with other games and less fun. There’s a ton of skidding/momentum too.

The alpha-lite trial thing is very limited in terms of content but overall it’s pretty impressive. It really does look like they’re getting a lot closer to the ideals of the Arma series without getting in your way with an awful interface. If they’d have integrated DayZ into arma 3 like they should’ve, it would be an instant buy at twice the price, but it’s probably still worth it.

Son of a bitch, even though the alpha is just ending today, they already jacked it up to Beta price, $45. Damn, I shouldn’t have dragged my ass on this one. I guess I’ll probably wait for release.

It was released yesterday. Anyone have it? I’m probably going to end up waiting for a sale. It probably needs some time for the community content to make it great.

I’ve been following DayZ pretty closely. It’s my understanding that the standalone is really a new game using a heavily modified version of the Arma engine. One of the problems with the mod was that the zombies had to use Arma’s pathfinding. So they tend to run in weird serpentine patterns like a soldier trying to dodge incoming.

Sadly the standalone has no release date as I believe they are switching over to the Duke Nukem Forever engine.

Ive got it but steam botched the download and im missing a bunch of files. About to go try and get it sorted. Looking forward to some dirty Altis Life.