Bohemia Rhapsody? RPS Debates ArmA II

By RPS on May 27th, 2009 at 9:28 am.

Alec and Jim have both had the pleasure of some time with Arma II recently, and so we sat down to discuss our impressions of the formidable-looking soldier game. We even allow ourselves to get a bit giddy before the cynicism sets in. Could Bohemia’s soldier game really be as incredible as it seems? Four-player co-op in a sandbox world appears impressive enough, but with everything else that’s going on… well, what could it mean?

Alec: Arma II, then: a bit like being beaten up by a very large man, but enjoying the challenge of it.

Jim: I think the large man will try to trick you too, it’s a big brain game, as well as pure tech muscle.

Alec: So, Arma II then: Einstein on a roidrage. It’s the maxi-game – almost the nexus of everything PC. That it escalates from being a guy with a gun, to a guy with a helicopter, to a guy that orders around an entire army and who can build bases, is extraordinary.

Jim: It does seem a bit like GAMING SCIENCE, they’re experimenting with what can go into the mixture of a game: and, yes, there’s even a touch of RTS in there for the ending open-world stages. The problem for me is that I skipped ArmA entirely, thanks to the complaining, and have no reference for it. OpFlash I played a bit, dabbled in some editing, and did some general running about in mods and missions. But I don’t really know what ArmA did, other than it was buggy.

Alec: From what I gather, ArmA 1 was mostly about earning some cash and getting the tech from the xbox port of Flashpoint into the hands of fans. This is the real sequel, the once-mythical Game 2.

Jim: Yeah it does seem to be operating like that, there’s clear ambition that they needed to fund: open world, complex AI, loads of vehicles, vast editing options, co-op campaign, dynamic faction stuff. It’s full of random details, like only one of your American combat team being able to speak the local language, and have to translate for the others. It’s that kind of design that only tends to come from Eastern devs now: where getting loads of stuff in is more important than getting it right.

Alec: I pick up a vague Stalker vibe from it, only without the sci-fi element and, as far as I can tell, without that custard-thick atmosphere. That attracts me to it – yet I’m held back by fear of constant insta-death and crawling around on my belly for four straight hours.

Jim: Well, yes. It’s got both the scary “oh this is going to be hardcore and I’ll have to sink hours in to get anywhere,” and a thrilling element of “what we really want games to be doing” to it, as Stalker had. It’s got a huge scope for exploration, freedom etc. I can imagine just wandering off into the woods rather than hitting the campaign missions.

Alec: One of the things I was shown at the briefing the other day was using the editor to fill a forest with boars, then just going off hunting – a quicky version of those ‘orrible hunting sims large Texan men love so.

Jim: I think what excites me about it is the idea that we could have a drop-in drop-out game of war going on, and that we could, as you say, have edited fifty cows into the landscape. Just because you can – and we should stress that the editor is largely point and click. If you want to populate a town it’s drag and drop. None of that scripty trickiness from previous games. This is the most accessible this kind of game editor has ever been.

Alec: It’s almost D&D – someone creating a scenario for their friends to play. Only WAR, not elves.

Jim: Yes. It’s got that double pronged attack on PC gaming sensibilities: a complex open-ended game with a story, and the back end controls to work around that and make it your own.

Alec: Do you think we /can/ sensibly play it, though? There is still its clear slant towards a particular type of hardcore?

Jim: Of course, it’s all tempered by the fact that we don’t really expect it to work out of the box, so to speak. (No boxes for me, thinternet.) From what I’ve seen, which was a brief hands-on session, it’s still about ten times as tricky as the next hardest FPS to get the hang of. It’s hugely configurable – and the FPSness is good, you can hop over low walls, lean, and do all the other stuff you should be able to do in an FPS.

Alec: It still seemed a little buggy, but in more of a Stalker way of minor annoyance than the “oh God, you’ve got to be kidding” way of ArmA 1’s initial release.

Jim: There’s going to be a steep curve. I was ordering around troops and instantly getting lost in the command menus.

Alec: At the briefing, they had signs showing three separate sets of keyboard controls – each of which involved most of the keyboard. The tutorials didn’t seem anywhere near elaborate enough to convey all of this, but it seemed as though the singleplayer campaign was going to cheerfully reiterate the core stuff as you played the first few hours

Jim: I mean, having seen OpFlash2 (preview next week, foreknowledge fans!) and Arma2, it’s now clear that they’re not really in the same space at all. OpFlash is an open world FPS with loads of realism going on, Arma2 is the ambitious all-things mega-game that will terrify most gamers into blanking it from their mind. Or possibly never even learning of its existence. I mean this is the kind of game that 90% of games journalists won’t bother to tackle.

Alec: Yeah, ArmA 2 is off down a path no other dares tread. And it has to, because of that incredibly passionate community. There were community guys at the London briefing quoting the exact maximum altitude of various aircrafts.

Jim: So do you think the midcore gamers – the average Quintin that reads RPS – will be down with Arma 2?

Alec: I think it’ll pick up a slowburn of new fans as Stalker did, but I’m not convinced it’s going to instantly wow men like us in their legions. Part of me thinks they should have ditched the Arma name, as there’s a bit of an unfortunate legacy to it, even if its current state is much more robust.

Jim: Agreed, it should be called “Indistinct Ex-Soviet State Megawar”.

Alec: Oddly, they’ve expunged all tract of “Armed Assault” from it now – it’s just Strange Made-Up Word Two.

Jim: Heading off on that game-world angle – that does interest me – the creation of essentially an entire working country. They’re talking about people driving to work, going about tasks, etc. It’s hugely detailed, too. Entire towns and villages. And there’s this big backstory going on, alongside all the faction stuff. I think you can even ask NPCs for intel, and if they’ve seen enemy units they can describe them?

Alec: Yes, and their reaction to you based on how you’d behaved to them and theirs. Like a ramped up, more meaningful Oblivion.

Alec: What about you – do you think this is a game you would naturally gravitate to if you’d not been shown it in a professional capacity?

Jim: No, I don’t think I’d have looked at it if I hadn’t been asked to look at it, even with close chums being enthusiasts.

Alec: And it’s worth observing that much of this is stuff they’ve talked about rather than that I’ve experienced. There are many promises that will require first-hand proof before this can be hailed The New God.

Jim: Yeah, exactly – how far does it really go? And how much will be broken? There’s almost no doubt something vital will break as soon as you start playing. I’ve seen the soldier stuff in operation, and destroyed a village with a helicopter, but will all the open world, living war campaign stuff work? Until we get a few hours alone with it in a dark room, it’s all just hot air. There’s a sense of excitement among my personal circle of gamers – both journalists and gamers alike. People are planning to play this together, and that feels like a big deal. If co-op doesn’t work, or we get some kind of Demigod technical farce, it’ll be disastrous. And the Bohemia games have always lived on their multiplayer. It’s been the big story of OpFlash onwards: the huge military ops in scenarios constructed by players, played out with trained precision across entire weekends. And that’s only going to get bigger and madder in this game.

Alec: Yes, that’s crucial: the entire campaign can be played co-op, and I think that’s how I’d like to approach it.

Jim: I’m no stranger to large multiplayer – I’ve run 100-man Eve fleets – but it’s still daunting to approach a game that will be rapidly populated by the hardcore.

Alec: A – hopefully – forgiving learning curve, and the joy of learning and messing up together will be key.

Jim: I hear tales of pre-op prep drills, and latecomers being forced to be insurgents because they missed the practice runs.

Alec: I wonder how comfortable BIS are with that? Does it hold their game back from the general public?

Jim: Well BIS are the genuine “livin’ the dream” developers. They’re doing this for the love, as much as for the profit – which is true of most studios, but this is an extreme case. Half of them even live on site at the studio. If they were producing religion they’d be a cult.

Jim: Anyway, even if multiplayer mega-sessions are too formidable to bother with, what might really sell it for me is the capacity to be ludicrous in the editor. The defining moment of OpFlash was the tractor race, which we set up to give each of us tractors to race across the island, while Ste Curran from Edge hunted us in a helicopter. Good times. The first thing I did in Arma2 was steal a tractor, racing towards my doom while my AI squadmates ran along behind.

Alec: Cow hunt could be a great mode – everyone as bovines, one guy with a machine gun.

Jim: Haha! Can the cows escape into the woods? Assuming the animals are still playable, that was unconfirmed last I heard.

Alec: It was in there when I saw the game. I was merrily steering a cow through a warzone.

Jim: Awesome.


Arma 2 set for release on June 19th. Expect patches.

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115 Comments »

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  1. Dslyecxi says:

    Regarding the multiplayer side of things, there are a variety of different approaches that are taken to ArmA MP. It stretches from completely-not-serious to you’re-in-the-army-now serious, playing an equal variety of mission types. There are roleplaying-oriented servers where people do those.. “roleplaying”… things, as well as every variation of military experience you can think of (and some that defy description). There are public servers – good and bad – and private servers – again, good and bad. The range of possibilities that exist in the MP community are simply vast, even if it isn’t the largest by-the-numbers community around.

    Due to the create-your-own-adventure aspect of the mission and addon development tools, you really can craft whatever experience it is that you or your community are interested in. If you want to do something different, it’s completely within your power, assuming you spend a bit of time learning the basics of mission development, or use a mission framework like BASf to get you started.

    I’ve been running an OFP/ArmA group called Shack Tactical for several years now, and the experiences we’ve had in these games are really second-to-none. I wish I had more time to write about it on my site – the last article I did was about this incredibly unique airborne invasion mission we did (think: Normandy paradrop). Reading that gives a good slice of what is possible, but it only tells one part of a much larger story.

    OFP, A1, and A2 are all extremely compelling games if you are interested in unique, ever-changing MP experiences, or realizing your own visions of ‘how things should be’. It’s a military sandbox game, really. From my perspective as a ShackTac guy, it never ceases to amaze me to sit back and look at a group of 70 people in one of our sessions, playing any variety of unique missions crafted from our in-house developers. People who never would have thought they’d have the skill to make a mission in a ‘typical’ game, find themselves putting out all kinds of unique content in ArmA. It’s really cool to see, and the same thing can be seen to occur throughout the community.

    It’s definitely something unique in gaming, I’d say. I can’t imagine what I’d be playing these days if OFP/A1/A2 had never come to be.

    Anyhow.. enough of my rambling for now. When they put a demo out for this, hopefully people will check it out and get a taste of what it has to offer. :)

  2. Jad says:

    It is unfortunate that with the whole open-world thing going on, there probably won’t be a demo of this. I can tell this will ride the edge of my personal frustration curve: either it’ll be a exhilarating challenge, or difficult-to-the-point-of-no-fun. And I probably won’t plunk down $50 until I’ve had a hands-on to find out.

    Anyway, the concept of the game sounds staggeringly awesome. I love open-world games, I love FPSes, I like easy-to-use editors, and I really like the idea of being a part of a dynamic, unscripted war. I eagerly await the RPS review.

  3. Turin Turambar says:

    Jad, there will be a demo. And in two weeks, it seems.

    For the people not in the know, Dslyecxi is a “external collaborator” for Bohemia. Goddamint Dslyecxi, spill the beans! :P

    What do you think about the rocky launch in Germany?

  4. CrashMonkey says:

    Is there any word on a US publisher or release date?

  5. Turin Turambar says:

    @CrashMonkey: ArmA also didn’t have a US publisher at first, 3 or 4 months later it came to US published by Atari. I think Bohemia is already in negotations with different publishers, seeing which will be better.

  6. Jad says:

    Jad, there will be a demo. And in two weeks, it seems.

    Yay! I’ve got my download finger at the ready.

    (although, if there is no US publisher lined up, I’m not going to be able to buy the game immediately anyway. Oh well, still have an enormous backlog to get through as it is … )

  7. Dslyecxi says:

    @CrashMonkey – A2 showed up on Steam briefly yesterday, showing a June 26th release date but no further info. I’m not completely familiar with how regional stuff works re: promoting upcoming releases, but I think that could be an indicator that it’ll be launching on Steam for the US market.

    @Turin – I’m not worried about the German release myself. There hasn’t been enough reliable info at this point from the German press, re: the review version, to make a good judgment. Ignoring that entirely, though, I’m more interested in seeing how the UK/US releases go. I know what I think of the game myself – I’m excited to get my group transitioned over to it, for a variety of reasons. I think this is going to be a very nice step up from ArmA1 and should give us a great number of unique experiences over the coming years. All in all – I’m optimistic and excited.

  8. Turin Turambar says:

    I think someone from 505 spoke in the twitter feed about a Steam release… for UK.

  9. Tei says:

    My brother was a big fan of OF, but after testing ArmA, is now playing 24×7 Counter-Strike. He has give me the ArmA box. What a gamer to do? open that box, install ArmA, patch it, and test what it the fuss is about? I fear I will become another CS addict, like my bro.

  10. Turin Turambar says:

    If he is now playing CS 24×7, he never was a TRUE HARDCORE fan. :P

    Yeah, install it and patch it (1.14 last patch, 1.16 beta if you have Ati + Vista 64).

  11. Lack_26 says:

    OPF and ArmA were all about the editor for me and my brother. I loved the campaign in the first one, but the editor is by far the best bit of it.

    I remember setting a gigantic helicopter assault on a heavily fortified Opfor position. Having your BlackHawk hit, warning sirens going off, a BlackHawk spins past metres in front of you, blood splattered on the windows. The pilot is going down too hard, you’ll never make this. You look to your right, the pilot is dead, slumped over the joystick.

    Everything goes black, 20 seconds later you regain conciousness. Half the squad is dead and the rest have set up around the heli, the officers smoke obscuring the enemies fire. You drag yourself from the seat and crawl to the medic. Once on your feet you fire off your clip at the enemies MG post before making for cover with the rest of the men. Once there you assault the hill under fire from the few Helicopters still flying.

    That’s the sort of experience you can have with the editor (and lots of mods, don’t even get me started on the mods).

    Did I mention I love ArmA?

  12. Serondal says:

    I also love Arm-A , should be mentioned since the main post acts like Arm-A didn’t have an editor exactly like Arm-A2, it does :P You just drag and drop units onto the map, could not be easier. The way points ect are easy to use and you CAN script if you want but you don’t have to.

  13. Nallen says:

    ArmA was like hammering nails in to a brick wall with your forehead. I don’t think I even loaded it a second time, neither did my brother who actually liked Flashpoint.

  14. Serondal says:

    You obviously never actually played it then Nallen. It’s horrible people playing a game for 4 minutes and deciding it is a horrible game based on no play time what so ever then they go around bad mouthing the game for everyone else. If the game was so bad it wouldn’t have 70 more people playing at the same time on the same server with no lag having an insanely good time on a regular basis.

    It would be nice if people stopped for a second to realize that Arm-A is not hard, other games are just insanely easy.

  15. Turin Turambar says:

    I suppose it’s one of the advantages from these games. They are so big that it meant different things for different people. For some it was all about the editor, for others the action was in multiplayer servers, for another it was the single player campaign.

    Nallen, while i agree that ArmA was an inferior game to Ofp (mediocre campaign, bugginess in the first versions), it wasn’t truly soo bad and different from Ofp. I don’t understand people who says they loved Ofp and hated ArmA.

  16. roBurky says:

    Woah. This actually looks interesting. I probably wouldn’t have even read this article if I wasn’t trying to avoid exam revision. I has OpFap and its children filed away in my head as something very different to this.

    I’m not at all a fan of pretending to be a soldier. But proper open-world stuff is always good.

  17. Tim James says:

    Alec: try theHunter. It’s a stealth sniper game where you happen to track deer poop instead of coming across techno-Nazis.

    Jim: I can’t believe after all the unknown games you talk about loudly that you wouldn’t have tried ArmaII on your own!

  18. Golden says:

    I’m Scared..

  19. JeCa says:

    Aww, I was just about to recommend the Hunter. Haven’t played it that much myself, but from the little I’ve seen of my friend (He’s Irish/Swedish and volleys between that, TF2 and Project Reality) you can hardly get closer to RL hunting. I can also assure you that any mid-core (or omni-core) PC gamer easily can get converted into getting fully dedicated to a good enough game, which this has the potential to become with a good enough patch support.

  20. John says:

    Still wondering about the US release as it looks like the steam release will be UK only…

  21. Nallen says:

    @Serondal, You’re right, I should have said “My ArmA experience was like…”

    I didn’t play it online, which I can see is where the game
    could come to life, but I certainly played it for more than 4 minutes, and gave it what I would call a pretty fair chance just to start making sense. But it didn’t.

    I’m not afraid of the learning curve, or the relative complexity or scope – I joined EVE over 3 years ago which wasn’t an altogether different experience – but EVE got the hooks in regardless. ArmA didn’t.

  22. Quercus says:

    My objection to OFP (which I did play) and also to ArmA (which I also played and had the same problems), was that the interface and HUD (including aiming) just didn’t wuite feel right.
    That combined with the propensity of the AI to snipe you before you had even seen them made it incredibly frustrating a lot of the time, even when playing with friends.

    My concern is that for all the advances, ArmA 2 will be more of the same, whereas OFP2 has a new engine and may be a better, more rounded experience.

  23. Serondal says:

    arm2 will be more of the same most likely because they don’t feel like there is anything wrong with the aiming ect. I felt the same way you did when I first started playing but if you edit some of the settings it feels more natural.

    Nallen I can’t blame you if all you did was play the campaign in Arm-A , it was very strange and random feeling ect. Though there is an awesome mission where you get on a water tower and snipe a convoy full of soliders

  24. Jesse says:

    Quercus: No worries, they have made the infantry experience more fluid with responsive aiming and movement. No more that stiffyness. Also the interface and HUD are improved and you can even adjust it to your needs from the settings.

  25. redviper says:

    @ Quercus

    In Arma1 and I presume also Arma 2 there are sliders in the options menu from which you can customize the ai, so if you want them to be less accurate you can do that.

    As for the aiming thats down to the free aim or ‘floating’ aim, you can also customize this as well so that the aim feels more like in a traditional fps. I personally quite like the free aim, but I can see how it would annoy those not accustomed to it.

    The games might simply not be for you, these games as have been said are unique, BIS make these games according to their vision. You won’t find anything like them in terms of gameplay, and content. Ofp2 may indeed be more to your liking if you want something along the lines of Bf/or the newer ghost recon games. I also have a hard time believing that ofp2’s engine will be ‘better’ when its originally been used for racing games and not much else.

  26. A-Scale says:

    This is the kind of solid RPS coverage I love. Nice work gents. How much time have you had with the game hands on?

  27. Wisq says:

    Two things that ruined public ArmA 1 multiplayer for me:

    One, “Evolution” — the MMO-style co-op map the server would play for hours or days on end, where you had to retake the entire island, and you had to get a certain number of points to spawn teammates, call in support, or even use the vehicles or weapons at your base.

    OFP multiplayer had been about nice little skirmishes on short maps. CTF maps, short co-op maps, sometimes deathmatch maps, and the occasional piece of wackiness like car race maps. Later, there were some RTS-style maps, fun because you could set up your base anywhere and try to outproduce the other team. Good fun with friends.

    In ArmA, the best you could hope for on a regular basis was to be playing Evolution with decent teammates rather than basically having to ignore them and play it single-player, hoping to eventually get enough points to do anything useful. Mainly because Evolution was popular, and if you didn’t run it, you never got any visitors to your server. Maybe you could run something else once you had a bunch of decent users, but they would slowly disappear over time, and then it’s back to Evo.

    Two, exploiters. Hopefully BIS has learned their lesson about doing everything client-side and only using the server to do some basic syncronisation, because ArmA’s exploits were truly insane, far worse than OFP (which was already kinda bad for this).

    Their least harmful, most artistic scripts introduced masses of zombie citizens into towns or created giant lag-inducing spiral towers of objects — the most interesting being gas stations, with predictably explosive results if you fired on it.

    Less interesting but more disruptive scripts included things like carpet-bombing the spawn so that nobody could do anything, or setting everyone’s score negative so that Evo-style maps would put you in the punishment room indefinitely for your (presumed) teamkilling.

    But worse than either of the above? Combining them. Imagine a semi-persistent world where you’re working your way up the ladder, just getting to the interesting bits … and then some exploiter nukes your score, or blows you up indefinitely, or creates a tower so laggy that you have to restart the map and lose all progress, or just crashes the server outright.

    If ArmA 2 has enough of a playerbase so that the servers don’t have to be dominated by hollow, boring, inexplicably popular maps like Evolution, and if they can deal with the exploiting issue in a slightly more useful fashion than previously, then maybe I’ll be able to do public multiplayer.

    As is, I can already see myself perhaps joining up with one of the various tactical realism squads and doing weekend skirmishes (something I meant to do with ArmA 1) with known, trusted people. But aside from that, I can’t see myself playing a ton of ArmA 2 unless it’s a bit more like the OFP experience, a bit less like the ArmA 1 experience.

  28. Turin Turambar says:

    Evolution was a mission done by some dude. The same could happen in ArmA 2, or in Ofp. You can’t blame Bohemia. Yeah, i also prefer other styles above Evolution/Domination, i would like more something shorter term and pvp.

  29. Fenchurch says:

    Oh my gosh, I sure hope there are zombie mods in development for this already!

    I heard there were zombie mods for ArmA1, are they worth playing?

    I thought a zombie level from a PCG cover disc (“The Volcano”) for OpFor was one of the scariest horror game experiences I ever played, despite how ropy it was. x-D

  30. Wisq says:

    Evolution was just a player-created mission, yes. But the fact that Evo dominated all the servers was due to a lack of players, and a lack of a community creating fun alternate maps.

    I tend to ascribe those two problems to, among other things, the general bugginess of ArmA and the prevalence of exploiters. Subsequent patches improved the bugginess somewhat (though it was always way too high), but by then, it was far too late, and everyone was gone.

    At that point, there were too many servers, not enough players, and the only way to get a decent number of people in one place was to either organise it yourself, or play the most popular choice.

    Made even worse was the fact that, while Evo was the most popular map, it was also the map most easily ruined by exploiting. So you played in constant fear that a single person would join the server, destroy everything, and you’d be starting from scratch again on an empty server.

    So, yes. Evolution itself wasn’t BIS’s fault, but the factors that led to an Evo-only multiplayer space, were.

  31. Serondal says:

    “everyone” is not gone, even now. I played a 20 person public match just last week on a domination server hosted by my “group” The reason they are so popular is because they’re a heck of a lot of fun.

    The goal is not to beat the entire map in one setting. What it does do is allow you to drop in and play for a while with your friends and assault a town or do a side objective which is a great deal of fun. If you can’t get everyone to work together that is more the players fault than the games fault. Personally I never had any trouble getting people to play together and take commands from me or higher ranking people in the group. Even had a guy that didn’t speak english that followed orders very well when we issued them via the in game command system :)

    Also private multiplayer as has been said can be mind blowing supporting a huge raid of a town from an apache gunner seat is amazing. Once was shot down by a Shilka in the middle of brutal combat and had to call from for evac while the other gunship protected our wreckage (The pilot landed the helicopter perfectly! Better than he normally lands it when it is undamanged even LOL) and this is all with a mod that makes the game ever harder and more realistic than it already is!

    People have been so babied by games like COD4 where everything is so easy that when they get thrust into the world of Arm-A for example they can’t take how hard it is. In reality it isn’t hard at all, it just takes some ajustment and pratice, training yourself to think like a real solider more so than a guy who can run all day long at top speed and still be fine. Who can get shot 3 or 4 times and magically regenerate his health :P

    Why the other day I assaulted a town and killed 20 soliders in a row in building to building combat without getting shot once, and I’m not that good at the game. It’s just about using tactics and cover to your advantage instead of running out into the open and blasting people like you’re rambo. I’m sure Arm-A 2 will be no more forgiving than Arm-A 1.

  32. Marcin says:

    Ok, ok, I’m sold already. Now where’s mah release date (US)?

  33. Erlam says:

    “I am inclined to think that OFP2 will actually be the better (most polished) game as far as most people are concerned, even if it doesn’t allow the same freedom that ArmA2 does.”

    To follow in the same basic wording, but different idea, I think OFP2 will be the COD4 to ArmA2’s Stalker. They are similar in that you shoot people in both, but one is actually (mechanically) realistic, while the other… really isn’t.

  34. El_MUERkO says:

    Indistinct Ex-Soviet State Megawar \o/

  35. AlabasterSlim says:

    I have a video of a recent ShackTac game.

    Link

    Dslyecxi is right, the experience really is second to none.

  36. Serondal says:

    As far as Indistinct Ex-Soviet State it is actually not as indistinct as you let on, it is almost exact replication of Czech Republic. There is some place that has the Google Earth Image of Czech Republic compared to the Sat Image of the in-game nation it is exactly the same. There are even exact recreations of locations down to water towers and bridges ect. There is a post on Armaholic about.

    http://www.armaholic.com/forums.php?m=posts&q=6347

    Recently was playing a combined game with several units 1rst ID 101rst Airborne-187 Rakkasans ect and my commanding office was lasering some targets for harriers to blow up. He accidently left the thing on while he was looking around for something on the ground and caused one of the bombs to explode right next to our formation :P One second we’re saying how boring this is the next BOOM and our captain is dead and our stryker is blown to hell ect. you can’t really experience this in any other game.

  37. Thiefsie says:

    Wow if only I could get Arma and a bunch of guys to play it like in that video. That is what I miss from OFP that Arma never seem to had for me.

    Let’s hope ArmaII gets a nice community and espec local to me in aus.

  38. Junch says:

    ArmA 2 will be that game that everyone is too scared to play, but know that they need to if they ever want to experience FPS realism Nirvana.

    And I don’t mean those that are military-nuts. Just those avid gamers that play CoD and BiA and think they know shooters. But they won’t know anything till they’ve played ArmA.

  39. Serondal says:

    Thiefsie you can get Arm-A (on the cheep no doubt) and join a group like that. 1rst ID has a lot of people and the 101rst 187th Regiment is recruiting as well. You CAN join these people and most of them will carry over to Arm-A 2 there.

    Btw you can clearly see in that video the player is looking to this left but continues to run straight ahead, that is the use of track IR in a game such as this. Even more useful when you consider your character cant’ side step as fast as he can run forward like in some games ;)

  40. Lack_26 says:

    I’m not sure I really need TrackIR for that kind of stuff, I religiously use double-Alt to quickly enable free-view with the mouse and I have free view on all the time in the helicopters (use a mouse for free-look and joystick for flying).

  41. EBass says:

    Love OFP one of ze best games ever.

    Gonna need a new PC for this though.

  42. CaptainEnglishPants says:

    I remember the old days of OFP. Dyslexci really hits the nail on the head when he talks about having a lot of experiences. I remember lanning this game with a friend after we downloaded six gigs of mods (Yes, really) — we raced , fought mechs, took over cities populated by about eighty different kinds of bad guys, and held off alien invasions.

    But the best game was when I took the Nogova map and made the whole island a zombie apocalypse. There were empty cars, guns lying around, dead cops and civilians. Burning helicopters. Roaming groups of police and armed office workers and gang members and farmers. And each group had their own escape plan, some of which were doomed from the start — but never mind that.

    We played that level for probably twelve hours in two six hour sessions. No joke.

    There’s nothing like seeing a light on top of a hill, knowing there’s a car with its engine running and its lights on, and having to weigh the following facts against eachother: Your car is almost out of gas. You’re in the middle of nowhere, in the darkness of night, surrounded by trees. In those trees are likely to be zombies. At the top of the hill, by the running car, are likely to be zombies. There may also be other people with guns. You have two magazines left for your M16. Your buddy is out completely, so you hand that extra one over. Do you risk getting stranded, or do you go through the woods for the car?

    Then, of course, are the times when you’re speeding around and you nearly run into someone else — either on foot or in another vehicle. Or you do actually run into them.

    Question: Do you know what the difference between a run over civilian and a run over zombie is?

    It was a rather Shaun of the Dead moment — getting out of the car to go inspect the body. You knew if the guy carried a gun that he’d been alive and that you’d killed somebody who could’ve helped you or been helped by you. Bummer. Take his gun and ammo and roll.

    Your car becomes a moving armory, this way. “Never throw away a gun” was our motto. If we’re going to fight a massive horde of zombies for twelve hours, we needed twelve hours of ammunition. And indeed, we did leave at least a hundred empty guns in our wake, trading them for fresh ones from the back of our car. Russian weapons like AK-47s, police weapons like the SPAS shotgun, quite a few cheap throw-away hunting rifles, a few three-fiddy-sevens… We’d sometimes come across guns we’d dropped before, checked them out, only to realize that the reason they were totally empty and lying on the side of the road was that we’d already been through that part of town.

    But the car-as-armory poses another problem. A few times we crashed our sedans, jeeps, and sports cars. Our mobile armory would have to stay there while we went off to find a new one (or a repair truck), a tear in our eyes.

    And that would be an especially bad time, low on ammo from shooting zombies, and without a car, to come across a roaming band of gang members who shoot on sight since we’d been… hmm… unfriendly towards? (Alright, alright, we were sniping them, okay? They only carried pistols and they had a cool jeep). We’d choose to lie in the bushes nearby while they moved on — hopefully not straight towards us, in which case we count to three and try to mow them down all at once.

    It’s these sorts of difficulties and details that make everything fit so perfectly together. The openness and potential for certain situations to arise, totally by accident, keeps me returning to OFP and Arma.

    And, in seriousness, playing a zombie apocalypse level like I’ve described above, with a friend, is a life-altering experience in terms of gaming. I have dial-up here, but if I had broadband, I probably wouldn’t even be typing this — I’d be playing Arma-zombie-pocalypse.

  43. hrmf says:

    Yay, just bought it and installing it right now. (It’s out in Germany). Sooo looking forward to playing it… install faster, dammit!

  44. tigershuffle says:

    For me the best thing in OpFlash and ArmA is the amount of mods made. I think my Arma mods with ACE etc runs to about 10gig on top of the original install. Im actually still in the process of replaying the campaign but with mods and on Veteran. Love the ability to dish out the morphine and drag bodies around.. :D. Both games have always been frustrating but rewarding in equal measure.

    ArmAII will probably be my only major purchase over the summer.
    Now where did i park that Stryker?

  45. jackflash says:

    Wait, Arma2 is out in Germany??

  46. Mike says:

    CaptainEnglishPants. I’m struck by the fact that this mod must be made for ARMA2, and made within 48 hours of launch. No?

  47. Andrew Dunn says:

    CaptainEnglishPants, I absolutely must play something like that in ArmA2. Are you available for contract work?

  48. hrmf says:

    @jackflash

    yeah. don’t really understand why, but hey, I won’t complain ;)

    unfortunately, the spoken language is English, but the menus and subtitles remain in German.

    anyway, first impressions are great (although it manages to
    slow down my machine with max viewing range..). will see if the more advanced stuff will be as good as promised. :)

  49. CaptainEnglishPants says:

    @Mike: I don’t doubt that there will be a zombie mod, but I think 48 hours might be pushing it. Heh.

    @Andrew Dunn: As soon as there’s a zombie mod, it shouldn’t be too hard to throw a map like that together yourself. The main reason nobody else had done it (as far as I know — I remember looking for a map like it and couldn’t find one) was that you needed to go around in the editor and put stuff all over the place. The island, Nogova, is so big that this is really a daunting task. To have the attention to detail necessary to create the right atmosphere, it might take about a week.

    The other main problem with doing it yourself, of course, would be that you know where everything is. Say you put a functional helicopter down somewhere on the island — well, that’s no fun if you remember where you put it. There are ways around that, like using the “placement radius” (so the helicopter would spawn somewhere within a giant circle) but then you risk that it spawns somewhere in a forest where you could never get to it, or it explodes pretty much instantly.

    Anyway, I’ll certainly be making a map like that the second I get my hands on the game and a zombie mod. Probably a slew of them. And the zombie mods for OFP and Arma have always had a small but devoted cult following. You’ll have your maps, I’m certain. :-D

  50. jackflash says:

    @hrmf : more status reports, please!