Straight & True: ARMA II: Op Arrowhead

By Alec Meer on March 16th, 2010 at 11:20 pm.

AH-64 Apache gunship, M2A3 Bradley IFV, MH-6 Little Bird… I confess I know as much about these things as I do about the mating habits of giant grasshoppers, but many people are greatly enamoured of them. The tanks and aircraft I mean, not the rutting insects. Such enthusiasts will be duly pleased by this really very pretty trailer for Operation Arrowhead, the upcoming standalone expansion for ARMA 2. Interesting that it’s standalone, given ARMA’s audience is something of a fixed one and thus surely most potential purchasers of this will own ARMA 2 anyway, but I guess it’s a sensible way to try and reach beyond its niche.

Here’s what it’s all about, too:

Three years after the conflict in Chernarus, portrayed in the original ARMA 2, a new flashpoint in the Green Sea region heats up and coalition forces led by the US Army are sent to Takistan to quickly restore peace and prevent further civilian casualties.

The video showcases a selection of US Army content featured in ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead and created in stunning detail. Near future American troops are equipped with the best weapon platforms, including modernized Abrams main battle tanks, AH-64 Apache gunships, fully playable M2A3 Bradley IFV which is a superb modern armored fighting vehicle that can transport troops whilst also offer effective covering fire, the versatile light attack helicopter MH-6 Little Bird as well as the eight wheel armored infantry vehicle Stryker in numerous variations. The video also contains the first official sneak-peek at the very popular and much anticipated modern FLIR system created with Bohemia’s precision to every detail including the full vehicle heating phase.

Soldiers carry an assortment of newly introduced Mk16 and Mk17 assault rifles, fitted with various optics and laser markers. The in-game American hardware is taking the signature ArmA 2 gameplay to new levels by offering the latest military technology: night-vision and most anticipated thermal imaging simulation, threat indication for crews and additional anti-missile countermeasures for aircraft. The player is also capable of controlling much improved UAV drones, including experimental AH-6X remotely controlled reconnaissance helicopter. On top of this, Alliance forces consisting of a brave Czech contingent of paratroopers and special forces (vehicles included) and German Special Force Commandos are ready to protect civilians and ruin the bad guys’ day.

Set in the new, visually attractive environment of hilly central Asia, Operation Arrowhead will offer a realistic combat simulation experience in a modern day setting with unprecedented freedom of movement, actions and tactics. Players will enlist into various roles within the US Army, from basic infantrymen, through special operatives, to pilots and tank crew in this new installment in the award winning line of military simulators for PC from Bohemia Interactive.

Featuring top hi-end military equipment, new units modeled with love and desire for stunning precision and realism ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead will blur the lines between your comfortable chair and a first line war experience!

ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead will be available in Q2 2010.

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50 Comments »

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  1. DMcCool says:

    Ah, the return of the only game in existance that can still excite me over killing people/not being killed. ARMA II was one of those ultra-rare games that was exactly what I thought games were going to be like when i was a kit. More ARMA II, more of my money.

    • GT3000 says:

      Well said, brother. Well said.

    • squirrel says:

      Given its nature of being a commercial version of a serious game, it ought to be.

      Given how great ARMA 2 is, I really want to get my hands on VBS2, its true form.

  2. Lack_26 says:

    Although some people will probably moan about most of these things already having been added in by modders (and most of it has), I’m still going with a resounding ‘yey!’.

    I mean that FLIR looks lovely. It’s probably a bit worrying that I get this excited about military hardware.

    • KP says:

      the FLIR addons out there are abominations on par with Dragon Rising’s FLIR. which is to say ugly unrealistic hackjobs. this is the only good FLIR recreation in a game to date.

  3. Mythrilfan says:

    I’m relatively intrigued by the robo-MH-6.

  4. Doeke says:

    It’s the ghost helicopter without pilot! RUN!

  5. Premium User Badge

    Kelron says:

    I wonder if the setting will appeal to more people that are unaware of the series, or lead to them dismissing at as another Modern Warfare clone.

  6. Vinraith says:

    This is as good a time as any for my monthly “how’s ArmA 2, then?” post. That is, what’s the state of the game, particularly the campaign, single player, and co-op?

    • Javier-de-Ass says:

      awesome.. as always :))

    • Richard Clayton says:

      Vinraith: I’d second this request (particularly as I am a disappointed Operation Flashpoint 2 owner). Has ARMA2 been patched into an acceptable, even excellent experience?

    • Vinraith says:

      Addendum: I note that ArmA 1 is on sale for $10 on Gamersgate this week, in a world that contains ArmA 2 is there any reason to pick up the first game?

      @Javier

      “as always?” That’s not what I’ve heard, particularly regarding the campaign.

    • Javier-de-Ass says:

      yeah, it did have some script problems on the bigger levels like manhattan. when it came out. not a huge deal

    • Javier-de-Ass says:

      oh and “in a world that contains ArmA 2 is there any reason to pick up the first game?”. not really. especially when this expansion covers that afghanistan setting again, and better. since you were interested in single player and campaign, in arma1 there pretty much is none. it’s really bad.

      btw isn’t arma 2 priced like this http://www.play.com/Games/PC/4-/9004913/ARMA-II-Armed-Assault/Product.html pretty much everywhere? not exactly something think about, buy it

    • Vinraith says:

      @Javier

      Thanks for the information. As for the price, in the US it still seems to be $50 most places (Steam, Gamersgate, Amazon), the best price I can locate at the moment is $35 (GoGamer.com).

    • Weylund says:

      Ooh, more ArmA 2 content. Joy.

      @Javier: *had* script problems? script problems that were not a huge deal?

      Have you played (or should I say, attempted to play) Manhattan with the latest patches, beta or otherwise? It’s still a gigantic mess of scripting bugs and is still riddled with terrible design flaws (hey, gosh, that’s basically describing the whole SP experience though, isn’t it?) – there’s basically no way to smoothly complete that mission, which I admittedly love the idea of, unless you already know how to.

      Things are too broken for the game to actually flow. Reinforcements disappear, guys you need to kill randomly appear and then get run over by free-wheeling hamsters, weapons caches are “hidden” in piles behind churches, objectives and “next steps” trigger randomly… it’s basically a s***-fest, to put it nicely.

      That said, slap a bunch of mods and third-party “fixes” on top and it becomes playable. Not beforehand, not vanilla, and the developer deserves next to no credit for any improvements in the state of the SP game, as there have been just as many steps backward as forward. I had to review this damnable thing and it nearly put me right off PC gaming.

      Ugh, Arma 2. Let me go!

    • Javier-de-Ass says:

      yeah, had script errors.

    • RiptoR says:

      @Vinraith: check here if you’re from the uk >>> http://gamestation.co.uk/Games/PC-Games/ArmA-II/~r416047/

      Already bought 7 games there, all delivered within 3 days to Belgium, nicely packed and in mint condition. Best online shopping experience I’ve ever had.

  7. Phried says:

    I’m very excited about these additions. Despite being added by modders already, it’s extremely difficult to play online spontaneously when the server is hosting mods. I’m really glad to see the little birds back in action as they were small and maneuverable and really useful for small scale missions.

    Does anyone know if the NA version of the expansion will be compatible with a UK vanilla game? I imported mine because of the month earlier boxed release.

  8. Slippery Jim says:

    Don’t bother with the original, the sequel with ACE2, CBA, GL4 etc. (and importantly, the upcoming Project Reality mod from the BF2 Project Reality team (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)) is far, far better and really worth the money… if you have the hours of life to waste in it ;)

    Epic sounds, atmosphere: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i54qsri72n8&fmt=37#t=4m00s

  9. JonFitt says:

    I wonder if they’ll fix the controls so they don’t feel like you’re playing a puppeteer.

  10. Premium User Badge

    El_MUERkO says:

    That trailer does a pretty good job of hiding all the engines weaknesses, owning all the OFPs, ArmA + Expansion and finally ArmA 2 I’ve given up on the series.

    What moments of fun I’ve derived from them were high points of my gaming life but they were fleeting and surrounded by frustration.

    • Fatrat says:

      I feel the same way, not so much about OFP though… i had some of my best gaming times playing that with my buddies. ArmA 2 however still wasn’t working right when i tried the online co-op a couple of months ago. I too have given up on them.

  11. Thiefsie says:

    Too much effort needed for ArmA 2 now I fear. I’m one of the ppl in the ‘OFP was some of the best moments ever’ group and well… just haven’t felt it since, with the issues.

    And since when did Arma look that good? They must be some beastly computers up there… looks like cg using engine models almost…

    Ghost copter haha.

    I downloaded ACE, all that stuff ready to fire up with ausgamers and well…bfbc2 does 80% of the stuff arma does with more fun, more ease, more people, and well bottom line… more performance and less bugs, even with bc2 being pretty messy at the moment.

    shame really.

    • jackflash says:

      I believe there’s a way to pre-render the movies using the editor. You’re still using the game’s renderer, obviously, not an external renderer, just not doing it at real-time.

    • Slippery Jim says:

      Nope, no such technique. What you can do is slow down time so you can then speed it up afterwards for better FPS, but the sound doesn’t slow down with it. Since the sound corresponds here, this is true, real-time in-game, but ARMA2 has always been a game that can look amazing and not-so-good at times.

      Arma2 is good as it stands, and bloody amazing with mods and custom missions. The sequel will only keep the community offering more :)

  12. john says:

    Couldn’t have added British forces, “OH NO”, they say, “it’s the heroic Czechs and Germans doing most of the heavy lifting not done by the Americans in places like Afghanistan isn’t it”. oh wait, no it isn’t.

    Not like the UK’s the second biggest games market in the world as well or anything…

    • Javier-de-Ass says:

      island morons suck, get over it

      edit: missed the reply earlier :)))

    • Zaphid says:

      They are Czech, can you complain about them including one of the best forces in Czech republic?

    • jonfitt says:

      Ah but John, this spares us the ear destroying sounds of a Czech developer attempting a British accent.

  13. Zombat says:

    Takistan, land of gaurdy jewerly and other nicknacks?

    This video does remind me that I haven’t reinstalled ArmA2 since I built my new rig in November…

  14. nichevo says:

    Looks like Takistan has a lot less trees than Chenarus. Maybe I’d actually get decent frame rates?

    As an owner of OFP, ArmA and ArmA 2 I don’t know whether to trust BIS again. Their ambition seems out of control. I mean, ArmA 2 was/is a decent enough engine. Instead of wasting time on an epic, sprawling campaign full of bugs and rough edges they should’ve made a simple straightforward campaign and more single/co-op/adverserial scenarios.

    Someone sorely needs to teach BIS the KISS principle, methinks.

    • Weylund says:

      This is basically what I was saying above, but you’ve done it with fewer, more pointed words and no haughty invective. Well said. The fact that the engine *still* can’t handle the missions they explicitly designed for it (or at least it does a very, very poor job of doing so) makes me think I’d be better off throwing my money into a fire than buying an expansion.

      I have sympathies for small developers that take on big tasks and fail. I’ve been there. It happens. But to do it twice? To do it bigger and worse the second time? That seems to indicate a mind-boggling lack of connection with reality.

  15. Javier-de-Ass says:

    island morons suck, get over it

  16. Slippery Jim says:

    Two new in-game Arrowhead shots (confirmed by BIS employee) demonstrating their tree generation system. Looks just like Afghanistan green zone :)

    http://pro.bistudio.com/images/stories/gallery/Linda/afgan_spring.jpg

    http://pro.bistudio.com/images/stories/gallery/Linda/afgan_spring_peach.jpg

  17. Clovis says:

    The game takes place in “Takistan”?? That sounds like the kinda’ fake country name a moron would come up with.

  18. squirrel says:

    “Interesting that it’s standalone, given ARMA’s audience is something of a fixed one and thus surely most potential purchasers of this will own ARMA 2 anyway”

    No offense, but this comment sounds kind of wired to me. I owned ARMA2 (no luck to enjoy ARMA1, I asked if it would work properly on 64bit system, BIS replied that they were working on a patch for that, but with ARMA2 out for a while I better not waiting for that, and ARMA 2 is great anyway), but I really see no rationality to implement requirement of installation of original ARMA 2 to play this expansion. I think it was in the old days when our HD spaces were scared that we need such arrangement to reuse code from original game for the expansions.

    ARMA 2 is great, but I sincerely hope this expansion will not suffer from some unbelievable bugs like artifact bug for systems using ATI 4800 series GPU (the game was unplayable prior to version 1.04 for systems with over 4 GB system ram, it is the first time I found that more ram hurt the gameplay, and more insane given this game is so demanding on CPU power and system ram). I was even more frustrated by BIS’s comment on their official forum, something like “How do we know what happen? We’ve test it on every kind of configuration we can come up with.” You believe that? It’s the whole ATI 4800 series to be affected, as reported on their official forums by gamers. I am using HD4870, so I was no luck to avoid this. I heard Win7 had no problem running this game from day 1, but hell with them there was no finalized version of Win 7 released on the market back then. I was using Vista 64bit, and they considered it reasonable to test our machines with a beta OS just for playing their game? Given how common this series of GPU is, I think such official comment is totally irresponsible. I bought the game in July 2009, and it was 3 months later, Sept (if I dont recall wrongly) that patch 1.04 solved the problem (still a minor bug, I have to manually amend the shortcut path to make it work). I paid the full price during launch, sigh.

    • Skurmedel says:

      Hmm yes, there are some aggravating issues around. I have to run it with -cpucount 4, don’t know why really but it runs better. It would be nice if they put these things on their wiki, instead you have to scour their forums up and down to find out about these things.

  19. l1ddl3monkey says:

    Alec – FYI:

    Most male grasshoppers make noises to call to females but giant grasshopper males meet their mates at their food supply.

    The female lays her eggs deep in the ground, as deep as she can reach. This means the eggs stay damp as long as possible when the ground dries out in the dry season.

  20. Helloes says:

    The “Ghost Copter” is actually a real technology in testing by the US army, it’s a remotely controlled helicopter for use as scouting/medevac/laser designation etc.

    The idea is that sending in a manned helicopter to rescue someone in a hairy situation is very risky, sending in a helicopter isn’t. Worst case? you lose a helicopter, best case? you rescue people.

    • DMJ says:

      @Helloes: No, worst case is that it sees humanity as the true threat and decides our fate in a microsecond.

  21. Derek Smart says:

    Day One Purchase!!!

  22. syrion says:

    I don’t get much chance to play ARMA 2–it really takes a good chunk of time to play well–but the coop games I’ve had are among the best gaming moments I’ve ever experienced. Lying in the trees, in the dark, in the rain, waiting for an APC to pass–and nearly having a stroke when it slowed down directly in front of me–is among the best gaming moments I’ve ever seen… and it was a user-made mission.

    • Luomu says:

      If you haven’t played the Eagle Wing mission that came with the 1.05 patch, do it — it’s great, condensed and memorable.

  23. MadMatty says:

    nurse, my computer needs a new graphix card!

  24. Tommo says:

    All hail the great BIS gods! Whatever software scraps they throw my way I am ever great full.
    Cant wait!

  25. prom gowns says:

    Im glad to see that people are actually writing about this issue in such a smart way, showing us all different sides to it. Youre a great blogger. Please keep it up. I cant wait to read whats next.