Stuff Explodes, Dudes Get Shot: Arma II

By Jim Rossignol on May 1st, 2009 at 5:39 pm.


I was just poring over some of the newer information on the Arma II site, and I realised that we hadn’t posted the major game-footage trailer (below). Now I have to argue – having played a bit of the game for a huge, awesome feature which is in this month’s PCG UK (redesigned mag out next week, fact fans!) – that this isn’t entirely representative of how the game plays. It does look this good, however. You’ll have to go pick up a copy of the mag for my full, honed, beautifully illustrated brain-dump on the subject – and this 4-player co-op soldier-sim in open, living world really is a game worth keeping an eye on. Mmm.

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50 Comments »

  1. Chaz says:

    Is not OFP2 the one that is doing the “4-player co-op soldier-sim in open, living world” thing?

  2. Dominic White says:

    Yeah, OFP1/ARMA were always about much larger-scale encounters. Having a team of 20 taking on a huge co-op mission never got boring.

    Edit: Oh yeah, the crazy head-motions that look nothing like gameplay in that video: Probably done with a TrackIR headset, a piece of kit that a lot of the more hardcore ARMA players have. Jammy gits. I want one.

  3. Turin Turambar says:

    I think Jim says the real gameplay is nothing like the video, in the sense that the video if full of action, it seems something between a Battlefield game, a Rainbow six and a CoD4 in a few parts in that video. While it is truly is like Operation Flashpoint and like ArmA: a much more slower, methodical, realistic, modern warfare sim-game.

  4. Turin Turambar says:

    Oh yeah, ArmA 2 + TrackIR

    And every preview published this month is from a Febraury build, not from April, i suppose it’s the same case with PC Gamer

  5. Fat Zombie says:

    Sadly, my computer looked at this trailer and posted a message box on my screen saying “No chance, mate.” Still, I’m sure I would have sucked at it anyway. I can always get OFP2 for PS3, I guess.

    Anyway. I’m not sure how the others will feel, but the head-moving motion-blur thingy that tries to simulate actual lookin’ and stuff? That looks fantastic. I’m a sucker for handycam, motion-blur “authentic” first-person viewpoints like that, and this one is the best I’ve seen so far.

    Also, guns and stuff. Neat.

  6. Jim Rossignol says:

    There’s reportedly 4-player campaign co-op in OpFlash too, yes. The two games really are going head-to-head.

  7. Slippery Jim says:

    Looks great, I hope to pick the preview up some time.

    Watch this footage that came out today:

    (sorry was already posted, oh well)

    Can’t wait to play some 50+ player battles in ARMA2 with the ACE mod :)

  8. Turin Turambar says:

    I suppose Jim you can’t speak about the perfomance of the beta version you have tried??

    I kind of fear the requisites. One of the problems of ArmA is that it needed a hell of a machine. Seems the same this time. :/

  9. Daniel says:

    I am sold. OPF2 has too much to make me feel reticent about it, but this just looks lovely. I hope they’ve got their mojo back.

  10. Slippery Jim says:

    It probably does require a hell of a machine for the higher settings (for the TrackIR vid, the specs were Quad core @ 2.66GHz and Geforce 285). I’ve got a pretty bog-standard PC by today’s standards (E6400, ATi X1950) and it runs ARMA well on medium-high. We’ll have to see what ARMA2 is like on the medium settings.

  11. bergotronic says:

    You Lucky Bastard!!!

    I hope they release a demo before the June release to give us plebes an early taste. I also hope the ACE mod team is ready for an early Arma2 release version.

  12. Blunt Trauma says:

    If it uses multi core like they said, it may actually play better than arma on your machine. not sure about the graphics card though.

  13. jackflash says:

    OMG the trackir video is incredible. I’m totally buying one.

  14. jonfitt says:

    Will everybody please stop getting shot.

  15. CryingTheAnnualKingo says:

    I was hoping the game’s campaign would abandon the melodramatic jingoism of the first game, but the last few seconds of the trailer hint otherwise…

  16. Rep says:

    MMMMMMMMM…. YES!

    This is looking much more true to OFP than the original ArmA felt. I played OFP hardcore for many years and can’t wait for this. I hope the modding community ends up being as good as it was in OFP. A lot seemed disinterested in ArmA, as was i.

  17. El_MUERkO says:

    i’m still not too happy with the animations

  18. Impossibly Daft says:

    In my mind, that’s exactly what Operation Flashpoint looked like anyway; all the gameplay aspects (and some of the animations) look completely unchanged from their previous two attempts.

  19. Dozer says:

    Only 4-player co-op? ArmA I had at least 16-player co-op, possibly upwards of 32-player. I don’t remember. I got ArmA I on glowing reviews but abandoned it after a couple of months because a) I sucked and b) the uninterruptable character animations were a huge pile of fail. Soldier reloading his gun gets shot 50 times, calmly finishes reloading then falls down dead…

  20. Chaz says:

    Surely with that Track IR every time you turn your head you end up having to stare at your screen out of the corner of your eye? That just seems a bit of an immersion breaker and more than a bit awkward, especially for someone like me who wears glasses.

    What we need is for someone to build that sort of motion sensing tech into a set of VR specs.

    When I think about it, isn’t the Wii remote like a sort of reverse setup of the Track IR system?

  21. Rasdenfasden says:

    OFP1 and the Arma series doesn’t have a player limit, it’s all based on the mission.
    So the campaign is 4 players but when you make a mission you can set the amount of playable units.

  22. Dongles says:

    You guys are kidding yourselves if you think ArmA 2 is going to be seriously different to ArmA. The AI still looks absolutely retarded, no suppressive fire or using cover. The only significant change is the prettier graphics.

  23. Slippery Jim says:

    @Dongles: What recent footage has shown the AI looking retarded? I rest my case.

    @Dozer: I can’t account for all the problems you experienced but the ones you mentioned were fixed ages ago in a patch. In ARMA2, you can walk whilst reloading, not that it’s revolutionary. Also the movement has been greatly improved and everything flows better so PvP is now fun and, to paraphrase: “doesn’t feel like you’re fighting the game”.

    I think the way to see what ARMA2 is like is to wait for the demo. Preconceptions about how it will be based on the previous games is silly. Trust me, the community knows ALL the flaws and doesn’t shy away from pointing them out to BIS (the devs). BIS listens and inputs the most-wanted features, or gives reasons to the fans why it won’t be doing a particular feature. BIS is very community-centric.

    Edit: I know graphics aren’t everything but blimey!

  24. KP says:

    Chaz:
    Holy crap. In the video he goes out of his way to explain that the head movement is scaled. You can adjust it to your liking how far turning your head translates. For example a 1/4 turn can be a full turn.

  25. Rei Onryou says:

    After that video, I want a TrackIR, even though the only compatible game I have is ArmA (so far). That needs to become standard kit for all FPS/Racing/Flight games.

  26. Chaz says:

    Well I don’t tend to bother watching these vids with the sound on. But even so, even a quarter turn would still mean I’m turning my head to look in one direction but having to keep my eyes fixed on the screen. And as I said for some one like me who wears glasses it’s not really doable. It’s always seemed a rather expensive solution for what is essentially a hands free mouse look function, and it’s a rather awkward and convoluted solution at that.

    Like I said, if they could evolve that tech into a pair of VR type specs, so that you didn’t have to keep your eye sight anchored whilst you moved your head. Then they would be onto a big winner.

  27. MacBeth says:

    I was thinking of investing in a TrackIR set for Rise Of Flight. Now this looks like another good reason for it…

    Also I’m probably way too late on this but is it just me who mentally stumbles over ‘OFP’? – I think of it as Operation Flashpoint => naturally contracts to Op Flash => naturally contracts to OPF. Ah well… please yourselves

  28. Slippery Jim says:

    Yeah it’s a quick way of telling a fan from anyone else. OFP comes from “Operation FlashPoint”. It’s always easy to tell when a previewer has done their homework.

  29. crozon says:

    Got to say the trackir system is great for flight sims. but for FPS games like arma i couldn’t get the hang of it.
    can’t wait for arma2, its going to buggy as shit but one of a kind.

  30. psyk says:

    Strange no crying about the specs for this game and how the rig it needs is to powerful.

  31. MultiVaC says:

    Why do they have to have such nice graphics, but such horrible animations?

  32. not the rob with a pony says:

    Get in dog as driver
    Get in dog as gunner
    Ride in back

    Oh please please please

  33. Muzman says:

    I thought the animations were almost too lifelike for their own good. Shooting people being serious business is sometimes a bit of a turn off.

  34. Dongles says:

    @Slippery Jim: What recent footage has shown the AI to be anything but retarded?

    “BIS listens and inputs the most-wanted features, or gives reasons to the fans why it won’t be doing a particular feature.”

    Doh ho ho. Good one. There are almost no meaningful feature changes between OFP and ArmA2 (bar a few features that the community already implemented for ArmA and OFP).

  35. Kieron Gillen says:

    Dongles: This isn’t true, from everything I’ve heard.

    KG

  36. Jim Rossignol says:

    You’re a bit wrong there, Dongles. Fundamentally the same game, yes, but that’s quite different to saying that there are no meaningful feature changes.

  37. Slippery Jim says:

    Indeed, the amount of ‘meaningful’ changes is staggering (if the hands-on previews are to be believed). Also, with a game so huge and complex, a few will only be noticed by the most hardcore of fans. However, many are plain to see in the recent videos.

    Anyway, fans of the games know that it’s the imminent and inevitable mods that make the game so astonishingly great after release for years to come.

    Also since a few weeks ago, if John Walker is reading this, I take back my comment that ARMA2 isn’t getting as much press as FP:DR. I was naively starting to believe CM were working behind the scenes.

    EDIT: Astonishing!

  38. A-Scale says:

    Those faces are AWFUL. Thankfully the movement and other graphics look nice.

  39. Dongles says:

    Does ArrmA2 feature vaguely realistic AFV combat? Wounding beyond that featured in OFP? Suppressive fire? FLIR? FCS on AFVs? No. Then where are the meaningful feature changes? Better graphics?

    What ArmA2 does have is dragging wounded, UAVs and a command engine, all of which were available via mod in OFP.

    Being a hardcore OFP fan (I still play and mod it a lot), I know that the community will likely do wonderful things with ArmA2. Things the devs should have had in there from the start.

  40. phuzz says:

    Aww Dongles, my heart goes out to you. It must be so terrible to be forced to play a game that would have been so much better had the devs just come and asked your opinion first.

  41. Slippery Jim says:

    Nice selection of features, there, Dongles. A miserable detractor f I ever saw one. Oh, and suppressive fire and more advanced wounding is included in ARMA2 (though no doubt not up to your standards).

    I admit that I would have liked to see FLIR, FCSs, and a better damage model, but I also think that the improved AI (show me otherwise), good story (I hope), improved movement, and more will make up for it. After all, OFP was great due to its realism yet accessibility, a good story and wide-open battles. Most people don’t want to be taught how to use a FCS before they fire a shot in a tank.

    Unfortunately for you, BIS are making the game for a wider market than those who want perfectly-modelled FCSs, who are vocal but low in number. Feel free to skip ARMA2 if it doesn’t live up to your excessively high standards.

  42. Gap Gen says:

    Presumably that stuff is in the military’s version? Maybe they could add it as an ultra-Veteran option? I dunno.

  43. Dinger says:

    Uh. Chaz: TrackIR works really well: the problems you mentioned just aren’t there — it’s not at all like looking out of the corner of your eye.
    On the other hand, I’m not a fan of ArmA’s implementation of TrackIR. It feels like they limited the speed of head movement. So you turn your head, and the view “catches up” to your position. It’s the only game implementation of TrackIR that made me queasy. So that tracking in ArmA2 is much faster is more necessary than good news.

    The rest? Their dynamic range still looks hard to me. I remember playing with the sky lighting in the engine in ArmA, and I never could get it to “feel” right. It still looks that way: really bright sky, really dark terrain. It’s as if the whole game were shot on a cheap digital camera on a bright overcast day.

    Still, it’s the only thing of its type out there, and I hope it does really well.

  44. Bhazor says:

    Pet Tech Peeve: Where a satellite is shown zooming in and the image becomes blocky and then becomes crisper. Zoom does not work like! That only happens if you zoom in on an actual picture and then replace the image with a crisper close up a la Google Maps. I’m pretty certain the American Army doesn’t use Google Maps to analyse war zones.

  45. Dongles says:

    Wow, if rudimentary FCS modelling is too complex for you guys, maybe Halo or BF2 is more your speed. M1 Tank Platoon had more advanced FCS and armor/penetration modeling on 386s almost 2 decades ago. The OFP/ArmA hitpoints system is suitable for action games like BF2, but hardly appropriate for a self-proclaimed tactical shooter/simulation.

    As for advanced wounding and suppressive fire, can you provide a link? Because that is the first I’ve heard of it.

    I’m complaining about ArmA2 because I want an actual successor to OFP. Something superior. I’d love to be totally wrong and throw my money at BIS for a game that has more features than WGL 5.1. I don’t understand why you BIS sycophants are so delighted with “OFP 1.97: Not really the next generation, but gosh, it’s fairly pretty”.

  46. Slippery Jim says:

    If you provide a link for the ‘retarded AI’ I’ll provide you a barrage of links for the suppressive fire and a better wounding system.

  47. Drahza says:

    @Slippery Jim, I’d have to say that the burden of proof lies with you my friend, let’s see these fantastic AI in action.

    Lets have a look at the major features that have been added to the game from OFP 1.96 to Arma 1.16.
    -JIP multiplayer
    -Multiple turrets on vehicles
    -New scripting commands
    -Swimming
    -Missiles on car class vehicles

    That’s less improvements, developments and additions than came with the Resistance expansion pack for OFP, let alone the difference between OFP 1.00 and 1.96.

    More work went into OFP patches than went into the whole of Arma1. Just look at the ‘campaign’, the woeful single missions and it’s near unplayability at initial release.

    Arma2 looks amazing, for sure, but there’s nothing to suggest the actual game engine is any better than ARma1.

  48. Slippery Jim says:

    Sigh… here’s a clip of very old and WIP AI: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBEFgBsIyio&fmt=18#t=03m10s

  49. Bassem B. says:

    Huh… I’m a fan of OFP and ArmA1, but colour me very unimpressed. This feels identical to ArmA1, especially the trademark unrefined character animations.

    I really hope the final product will feel more “final” than the clusterfuck that was ArmA1.