ARMA III Continues To Look Absolutely Absurd

By Nathan Grayson on May 29th, 2012 at 8:00 am.

If you're using a laptop, tilt the screen back and forth to simulate the effects of ARMA III's day/night cycle.
I mean that, of course, in the best way possible. I suppose the best way I can put it is that I’m excited about a lighting trailer. I tried to count the number of graphics on display, but I ran out of fingers and toes, and my abacus resigned citing unfair work conditions and vague claims of harassment. Goodness, though, those underwater bits, especially, put other things that prominently feature water – which include other games, lakes, and the human body – to utter shame. Now then, let’s just hope the engine doesn’t crash and burn on day one – like ARMA II’s bug-plagued release, or me piloting any sort of aircraft in ARMA II.

So that was impressive. And did you catch the incredibly not-subtle-at-all dig at Medal of Honor? There’s also a fairly in-depth Q&A about tech improvements, day/night cycles, and potential effects on multiplayer balance. It’s definitely interesting stuff, given that such a seemingly┬áminuscule aspect of a game stands to affect overall combat so significantly. For instance, Bohemia’s currently “working on fine-tuning the multiplayer situation, where, for example, one side might be considerably affected by attacking/defending against the Sun.” And while I’m slightly disappointed that they’re not referring to an outright war against the Sun, it’s a fascinating look into something we hardly ever think about while playing other shooters.

ARMA III’s scheduled for release at the end of the year, with a crowd-sourced bug-squashing session set to take place sometime after E3. With any luck, that’ll also give players a chance to chime in on the series’ notoriously rough-around-the-edges UI, which tends to be about as intuitive and user-friendly as a “back-scratcher” that’s definitely just a piece of rusty barbed wire.

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105 Comments »

  1. Quasar says:

    Normally, I wouldn’t have been interested in the slightest. But having grabbed Arma 2 for Day Z, I tried out some of the campaign missions, and they’re actually pretty great. This might have to be on the list.

    I hope it runs a bit smoother, though.

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      Saul says:

      I have very little doubt that they’re already developing Day Z for this, probably as an in-house project.

      • KeyboardGato says:

        if that’s true, then insta-buy for me. honestly… 50 hours into DayZ and i simply don’t get bored. it’s great.

        they MUST make a DayZ in-house mod included with the game. it would sell so much more. either that or they’ll make it Stand-alone. which would make a lot of money as well

        • Axyl says:

          I was talking with Rocket (the Dev of DayZ) on our Twitch chat last weekend and he actually talked to us about the future of DayZ and if it’ll be on ARMA3 and/or it’s own standalone..

          As amazing as it was to have him say the answers to that question.. He also asked me not to say anything about it as it’s not publically announced yet…

          But… (and I’m not going to say which).. one of those two options is 100% confirmed and budgeted.

          ARGH! If i didn’t love this guy’s work so much, I’d just flat out say it and link to the video of the twitch stream.

          #soexcitedithurts

          • Kaje says:

            You act as if it’s an exclusive… the dev, who also works on the ArmA franchise, has said that it WILL be available for ArmA III and that it’s already being tested with the ArmA III engine in-house.

            Oh and what’s more, he’s said it in public interviews.

            Sorry, but if you think you have an exclusive bit of secret information there – you don’t.

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            AlwaysRight says:

            Edit: my post was pipped by captain comedown up there ^

      • HexagonalBolts says:

        I’d probably explode with happiness. I think they should just sod the main storyline (the AI made it unplayable anyway) and only bother with zombies from now on heh.

    • sPOONz says:

      If anyone owns Arma 2 and has yet to play the actual game, be sure to install ACE mod when you do! Also use Six Updater for making installation easier. Oh, and if you’ve got the spare cash, buy some surround sound headphones! All of that = pinnacle of gaming! Happy days!!

      • Latterman says:

        While ACE introduces a few interesting features and adds stuff that should have been in the main game it overcomplicates things, especially if you’re new. And Six up dater is a horribly designed piece of software if I ever seen one.

        There’s lot of fun to be had with Arma2:CO Vanilla. In fact, our regular ARPS gaming sessions require nothing but that and we regularly field 30-40 people.

      • Unaco says:

        ACE does add some interesting features, but it does also swamp people with extra complications and the like. If someone hasn’t picked up the medical system from vanilla ArmA, they’re unlikely to pick up the ACE medical system just like that.

        ACE should be something you come to, of your own volition, after you are familiar with vanilla. Research it, see if it’s what you’re looking for though.

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        Harlander says:

        If you can get it to work, ACRE is pretty sweet. That crackly radio tone adds all kinds of atmosphere.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      You should probably look into joining the ArmA RPS guys (they have their own subforum and all) – the campaign missions are alright, but playing custom-made missions with 30+ other humans is where all the fun is at. :D

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      Gap Gen says:

      Ah, so the campaign isn’t completely broken now? Might give it another shot, then. Was a bit galling when I played it on release to play a long, drawn-out mission that involved covering huge amounts of ground only to find that a bug meant that I didn’t get armoured support and had to take out tanks with zero anti-armour weapons, which is of course where I gave up.

  2. Neurotic says:

    Yes, after about an hour or more of slowly adjusting to and redefining the controls, I now find that I can’t play ‘normal’ shooters – they’re too fast for me. Arma’s turned me into a belly-crawling, cover-seeking creature of careful habit. I’m fucked for Battlefield 3 which I just bought the other day.

    • ankh says:

      You can play BF3 like that. Play recon with a silenced bolt action and strategically place spawn points and TUGS. Also ignore the assholes in the chat calling you names.

      • Eggy says:

        Kharg Island seems a good place for that kind of gameplay. I’ll never play recon but it has alot of hills/hillsides you can hide on.

        • ankh says:

          Caspian Border is better for me. I like moving around and for this you need trees and shrubs.

      • Cytrom says:

        Except if you do that in BF3 you are not tactical, you are just lazy and useless for your team… PTFO!

        There is nothing more infuriating than trying to win a match, but nobody helps with the objectives because all your teammates are busy being pussies.. I mean ‘tactical’, and we suffer a crushing defeat as a result.

        (Which is part of the reason i stopped playing bf3, besides the HORRIBLE netcode, that completely sucks the fun and any competitive aspect out of the game.)

        • ankh says:

          ^ These are the sorts of people you will have to ignore.

          • MasterDex says:

            Exactly! The type of person who blames other people for their own inadequecies.

            @Neurotic: To help you along, here are some terms anyone new to BF3 should know:
            -Crap Netcode = My connection is shitty/I don’t understand how latency works so I’m gonna blame the devs.
            -Hacker = You’re better than me and my ego is too big to admit that.
            -Rocket/M320/Sniper/Mortar/Tank/Jet/Heli/C4 = You killed me with one of these so you must be a noob.
            -I don’t play BF3, I play forumfield! = I’d rather cry like a little girl on the forums than play this game.
            -NERF [insert weapon here] = This weapon killed me. Nerf it so it doesn’t kill me.
            -Lol, your stats! = You made a very good point and I have no comeback so I’m going to use your player stats in a vain attempt to invalidate it.

          • Cytrom says:

            Campers who dont contribute towards their own team = selfish morons who have no place in multiplayer games. You may be a useful asset to your team if you sit in a bush miles away from the action in arma, but you most certainly are NOT in BF3.

            Crap netcode = people can shoot around corners before you can physically see them. The hit registration is clientside in BF3 thus this will happen all the time regardless of your own connection or computer knowledge. It is unavoidable unless you play on a lan. this is one of the primary reasons why bf3 is unviable as a competitive shooter (besides the skilless luck based gameplay)

            You obviously never played a decent shooter in your life if you think BF3′s netcode is ‘good’ or even acceptable.

            Keep on being ignorant, that’ll get you far.

          • ankh says:

            Ignorance is bliss. (PROTIP)

            MasterDex: I feel the same but please for your own sake stay away from the battlelog ‘forums’.

    • Kohlrabi says:

      You could also (re?)visit Red Orchestra 2. They ironed out some of the problems of the game recently, it really plays a lot better now on my machine. But make sure to join a “classic” or “realism” server, and not an “action” one.

      • Doth Messar says:

        Unless they’ve done that and released new maps that weren’t small enough to be COD maps, I wouldn’t bother.

        • Brise Bonbons says:

          Actually yes, they did release a much larger map as part of the patch, and there is another large-scale map or two in development by the community.

          I understand why people are pissed about the launch of RO2, but the new patch from this weekend represents a huge investment in the game by Tripwire – exactly the sort of thing we PC gamers like. I think that should be rewarded by at least giving the game another try if you’ve already bought it.

          The game runs much better, the new classic game mode is a significantly different experience than the realism mode, and many community requested features have gone in, such as breaking out use/bandage/cover into their own hotkeys.

        • cassus says:

          This, very much so.

          I bought RO2 and played it for about 2 hours, then never touched it a gain. In RO1 I remember almost ArmA style gameplay where I crawled around and stayed alive if I was careful, at least most of the time.. In RO2… Spawn, move 3 feet.. BRAPPP burst of smg fire to the face… Spawn.. Walk to a building, peek out a window BRAAPP!! same again… Spawn BRAPP! spawn camper. I figured it was just a bad map, and then I tried two more.. same crap, never played again.. No idea how the devs thought smaller maps with just ridiculous CQC would make that game fun at all.

    • Phantoon says:

      This explains why I can’t play Arma! Too slow, with Tribes being at the opposite end of the scale GOTTA GO FAST

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      Gap Gen says:

      Ha, yes. After playing Scourge of War for a long time, I jumped into Shogun and was terrified by the speed of the battles, where engagements can be over in a minute or two once you start sticking yari into each other.

    • MD says:

      Heh, it’s like the opposite of the Quake effect. QL and Warsow have ruined me for every other multiplayer FPS. (First-Person… Slowness? I’m sure there’s somewhere cleverer I could be going with this.)

  3. Nemon says:

    I’m delighted to see the devs paying that much attention to an important aspect of the game.

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    Wisq says:

    Considering I scratch my back with a glow-in-the-dark neon green crowbar, I’m not entirely sure a rusty barbed wire would be that much different.

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    kregg says:

    Just saw the showcase trailer, why do they do the same static text distortion thing that Battlefield 3 does?

    I found it irritating enough when BF3 did it. But apart from that, not bad.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      It’s a thing. As is saying something’s a thing. I think.

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    golem09 says:

    Maybe a Day Z port for this? After all, Day Z itself is still in early alpha, and I think it shows heavily. To me it’s almost unplayable because of bad zombie animation, non existing loot in the countrside except for TWO repeating buildings and a privy.

    • BrendanJB says:

      DayZ has been confirmed playable on the ArmaIII engine.

      • olemars says:

        Certainly doesn’t hurt that Rocket’s official job description at BI is “Designer, Arma 3 multiplayer”.

  7. ANeM says:

    “where, for example, one side might be considerably affected by attacking/defending against the Sun”

    This ruined a good number of BF3 maps for me. There were too many maps where jets were involved that had the sun located directly behind one spawn. It made it very difficult for the opposing teams AA to actually target them.

    • grundus says:

      I came here to say the exact same. Half the time if I’m trying to shoot down a jet in the AA tank it’ll come in with the sun behind it, so the best thing I can do is spot the jet and aim for the marker but you get absolutely fuck all depth perception. Add the fact that jets can kill you easily with one rocket salvo and you really can’t kill a jet as easily, and you have unbalancement due to the fucking sun, of all things.

      • Tubbins says:

        Bunch of god damn carebears up in here. The sun blinding you is a gameplay mechanic. Someone is playing smart and using it to their advantage, and you are whining about it because you can’t shoot them easily.

        • UsF says:

          Current gen high tech anti air vehicles being blinded by the sun. This is modern warfare!

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          yeah I’ve always appreciated the use of the sun in BF3. Especially when you’re going to be up on a hill with the sun at your back…. of course you always are because you plan that ahead, right?

    • peaceticles says:

      Did Battlefield 3 have day/night cycles? And will this have them in multiplayer, cause that could be potentially awesome flying in from different angles depending on where the Sun is at. Also I want the ability to say “I only like attacking on that map during the night cycles”.

      • Unaco says:

        Yes, ArmA3 will have day/night cycles, and they’ll be in multiplayer games (unless the mission maker decides to stop them). However, day/night cycles are (usually) 1:1, as in, real time… for any significant change in the Sun’s position you’ll have to wait a decent amount of time. This is OK, perhaps, if you’re in a very ‘simmy’ community, and people don’t mind waiting several hours for the time to pass, for example. Or if it’s a very large, long mission, that runs for a couple of hours, with choice as to when you attempt objectives. Or if the mission starts around sunrise/sunset.

        However… One of the great things about ArmA, with the maps being actual Islands or countries (as opposed to a lot of other games, where they’re large boxes with ‘walls’ around them) is that that sheer size and openness allows for so much flexibility. If the sun is up in the East, and you’re coming from the West to assault something, that is attacking into the Sun… you don’t have to, you can change the plan, look at the map, find another approach from the North or South and attack from that direction.

    • MasterDex says:

      Something tells me the sun won’t be nearly as awful as in BF3. Everyone wants everything nerfed in that game but let’s be honest, the only thing that’s really overpowered in BF3 is the lighting.

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      Gap Gen says:

      Reminds me of the BF: Bad Company 2 desert maps, where you were shooting blurs hiding behind a wall of glare.

  8. olemars says:

    My computer is going to catch fire and burn with an interesting lighting effect :-\

  9. Didero says:

    Yes, nice graphics.

    Now use it for something else than another manshoot >_>

    • peaceticles says:

      Extreme Accounting: now with super intense glare. Better get those reports done before lunch or things could get … problematic.

    • Zarx says:

      like Carrier Command: Gaea Mission or Take On Helicopters?

    • Unaco says:

      ArmA is pretty far removed from being a manshoot. It has men in it, and there is shooting, but that’s about all. It’s more a military/tactics simulator, and it puts as much emphasis on the things that go around the shooting (movement, positioning, scouting, detection, coordination, etc) as the shooting itself. If you want, you can spend 30 minutes setting up an ambush, culminating in only 30 seconds of manshooting at the end.

  10. Zarunil says:

    This + DayZ.

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    neofit says:

    It’s the Arma curse, no avoiding it. Even the recently released Iron Front: Liberation 1944, which is technically a total conversion built on the latest Arma2 1.60 engine patch, is still as “playable” as Arma2 on release day, between the crashes, campaign-breaking bugs, texture pop-up and whatnot.

    Let’s hope that for Arma3 they at least harness the extremely complicated technology of making a checkbox to disable/enable radial blur, so that we don’t remove a few other useful graphic effects at the same time.

    • Unaco says:

      A couple of us (ARPS people) picked up Iron Front… No serious bugs or issues. Perfectly playable and quite, quite lovely. The maps are incredible, decent voice acting, and single player missions that are actually playable.

      • MrWeed says:

        I have to agree, I bought Iron Front on release day and it is VERY stable.
        In fact, in the 10 hours I played it so far I had one texture displaying wrong and two or three crashes to desktop (but that was because I was running XSplit Broadcaster at the same time). The maps are incredibly well done and patches that improve dedicated servers have already been released.

        This is nothing like what ARMA 2 was upon release, you can easily play through all the campaign missions and the MP is great in Iron Front.

        • Shortwave says:

          OHHH REALLY? >.>
          Was wondering bout’ that.
          Checked out the forums a bit ago and it still seemed up in the air.

          I’m very interested in taking role of a pilot in that game..
          Nothing I love more than swooping down to an insanely detailed world with liddle men to tear into sheds in a hailstorm of bullets and a roaring echoing scream. Oh’ and look at the grass! Sexy!

  12. Howard says:

    It really says something about the chaps behind this that, even though ARMA was quite crap and ARMA 2 spent a long time being very broken, I will still buy this on day one without hesitation.
    I just pray that they actually have some AI this time around (unlike every other game before it) as it would be nice to get some single player usage out it for once.

    DayZ too could be good but only if it is an actual game by then and not an over hyped Hiking Simulator covered in 5 feet of fan-boy drool and froth.

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      Mechanicus_ says:

      Bloody hell, where do you go hiking?

    • Unaco says:

      DayZ may not be to your liking, but is there really need to use the disparaging ‘fan-boy- term? Really? You can not like things, but please don’t be a dick about. Just say you don’t like it, no need to go insulting those who do.

    • Mattressi says:

      So, essentially, you dislike the mod because of the entire idea behind the mod. Then you go on to complain about frothing fan boys. Seriously? People tell you to go play something else if you don’t like one of the core concepts of the mod and that makes them frothing fan boys?

      What would you have it do to make it not a “hiking simulator”? Reduce the map size? So that there is nowhere to hide in the forest and hunt – that way the only play style is deathmatch in a city? I’m genuinely very interested to know what this mod could possibly do to please you, other than be a completely different mod. If you don’t like the whole point of a mod (in this case; having a large, open world that accommodates many different playstyles), then just don’t play it. Clearly a large number of people like it, so there is no reason to change a core concept of it (certainly there is room for improvement, but being a “hiking simulator” is a core part of it).

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    princec says:

    I do hope the fix the utterly fucking awful avatar interaction scheme they’ve attempted to inflict on us. I bought ARMA II specially to try out Day Z but the base game was just so dreadfully awful to control I gave up trying to play it and haven’t even bothered with Day Z.

    YMMV.

    Cas :)

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      I don’t even know what you’re talking about here, but you don’t need to play the base game at all to play Day Z.

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        princec says:

        That was my problem – I got on so badly with the implementation of the base game I can’t be bothered to dry Day Z. The “game” part of the base game didn’t have much bearing on my decision to stop bothering, it was just that the whole way of interacting with the game was appallingly designed.

        • Runs With Foxes says:

          Still not sure what you mean specifically, but it’s a soldier simulation, not a run and gun shooter. Bohemia’s games have played like this since Op Flashpoint over a decade ago. You might not like it, but that doesn’t make it ‘appallingly designed’.

        • Shortwave says:

          Sort of with you on that.
          I really can’t justify spending another twenty bucks on Arma II ever.
          Not after how many issues and how much grief it’s given me.

  14. Setroc says:

    well, ITV’s documentary team are fucked.

  15. -Spooky- says:

    You called ArmA II bug-plagued as hell and hyped Day Z all the whole time? I mean: Serious, dafuq? Very first alpha stage, master srv to the prime time near on a collapse and the game play? Jesus. With all respect to the dev. Nice ideas and heavy potential – but .. stay focus on Day Z for ArmA III. Just sayin┬┤.

    • Unaco says:

      ArmA2 was a ‘finished’ product. DayZ is a mod that doesn’t claim to be in anything other than Alpha. DayZ has been released after the vast majority of the ArmA2 bugs have been quashed. You’ve got a lot of confused in your comment after this… you should maybe read it back to yourself and see if it says what you mean it to say. DayZ has a nice (some would say brilliant) ideas and vast amounts of potential… it struck a chord with the RPS writers, and vast, vast swathes of the PC Gaming community. Hence the coverage it got.

  16. Moni says:

    “one side might be considerably affected by attacking/defending against the Sun”

    Vampire mode confirmed.

  17. SiHy_ says:

    This has convinced me to finally install ArmA 2 + the expansion after owning it for about a month. I’m not really a big military gun gun shooty fan but I can’t wait to give it a go.

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    Ham Solo says:

    Nice, a fennek. will there be a leopard 2?

    • DrunkenScoper says:

      @Ham Solo: Don’t worry, if there isn’t one in the game at launch, a modding team will no doubt add a Leo 2 soon after. Probably a group associated with the Bundeswehr Mod. In the meantime, we can still enjoy our delicious, delicious Merkava Mk 4!

    • egg651 says:

      I’m fairly sure I read somewhere that A3 would be backwards compatible with most mods. If that’s the case, then this should do nicely.

  19. buzzmong says:

    I just really hope Bohemia make use of the community like they’ve said and actually do a proper beta for bug squashing so there’s not a repeat of ARMA II’s launch.

    Arma II, despite being rather good, was pretty bad for ages. It still doesn’t play that well on modern-ish hardware.

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      Harlander says:

      The early-access beta (“Play and Contribute”) for Carrier Command is probably a pretty good indicator of how the A3 beta will go.

      I’d give more detail, but I kept getting distracted by other shiny things.

    • Zarunil says:

      ArmA 2 at release was a total disaster. It was so full of game-breaking bugs, I can’t count how many times I had to restart a mission. At one point I could no longer proceed because at the start of the mission all my soldiers stood around doing nothing and I had no control of my character.

      It was a fucking mess of a game.

  20. Siresly says:

    I’d like to highlight that the muzzle flashes do not appear to illuminate the environment and surrounding objects? Watt is up with that ohmission? Enlighten me.

  21. the_magma says:

    the underwater stuff is looking good.

    does this mean that future day z versions are going to feature zombies versus sharks

  22. Shortwave says:

    As beautiful as this game looks. (Nothing unexpected there!)
    What concerns me and always will till I can touch the game myself..
    Is clearly optimization and a smooth fluid gaming experience.

    This game won’t be worth a cent to me if it runs as bad as previous Arma titles.
    Everything else though.. Love it. : /

  23. Unaco says:

    Multiplayer then. If you don’t want to do something, and are playing with people that aren’t going to force you to do those things, you won’t have to do those things. Easy.

    • Unaco says:

      Except for ARPS.Check the ArmA2 sub-forum some time

      Edit: Actually, there are plenty of groups that are focussed on “lets have fun for a few hours” and not focussed on the simmy aspects of the games.

      • Unaco says:

        I know plenty of European groups, but not so many US based. Off the top of my head… You might want to have a look at Cerberus 5. We’ve played with a couple of them before, and they seemed all right guys. Also, they have the motto of the Bridgeburners as their tagline, which can only be a good thing.

        Saying that though, we have a number of US based people that join in the ARPS/FOLK sessions. They start at 730pm British time, and usually go on for 2 – 3 hours, fitting in 3 or 4 missions. So that would equate to afternoon (Tuesday and Sunday) for US people. Ping shouldn’t be an issue either. Our server(s) are also up and available 24 hours, so at the worst, a US/AUS time friendly session could be arranged… heck, most of the Euro players would even turn up to it.

  24. thekyshu says:

    Remembers me of myself playing ArmA II’s training missions yesterday, and failing horribly at the helicopter part, hehe.

  25. JauntyAngle says:

    Did anyone else find it incredibly jarring that the red and blue police lights didn’t cast any light into the surrounding environment?

    • Snuffy the Evil says:

      But they do cast light onto the surrounding environment. Watch in HD and pause the video around the 0:45 mark.

  26. psyk says:

    A 680 eats arma 2 going to be fun seeing what arma 3 does to it XD