The Arma 3 Alpha Gives Us Reasons To Be Excited

By Jim Rossignol on March 5th, 2013 at 8:00 pm.


The Arma 3 Alpha has shot to the top of the Steam charts, and for good reason. It’s looking like Bohemia’s most potent offering yet.

Trailer and thoughts below.

First up, I should point this out: ARGH. The alpha has stopped working on my PC. I’ve reinstalled it from scratch, done all the requisite PC game tinkering, and still nothing. Baffling. I am crying. There are number of things you can take from this: one, it suggests that I am a technical incompetent who has done something terrible to his PC. Or it could be a sign that this is, well, an alpha. But don’t forget I that I am crying. Crying, like Roy Orbison in a love song. And that’s because I want to play more, because Arma 3 is so beautiful. (Was it love at first mouse/keyboard interaction?)

Needless to say, I am abusing my journalist powers to badger BIS directly for technical support. Also, I got to have had a good kick about in it, so here are some battle thoughts:

- Holy cow, this is slick.

Yeah, it’s marvellously improved on Arma 2 in all manner of ways: lighting, animation and so forth. Even the “MAN AT ONE HUNDRED METERS” stuff actually sounds more like real people, and is markedly less absurd. And this feeling of ooh slickness begins at the title screen and continues as you head into the game. It’s a handsome beast if ever I saw one. BIS weren’t pulling your leg when they said that fixing the rough edges they’ve become known for was important this time around. This higher level of polish, combined with a decade of iteration on (basically) the same game, is paying off like a century of implicating professional bankers in central government.

- I Can’t Wait To Explore This.

That’s pretty much the next thought I had. Arma 2′s maps were fairly interesting by large PC game environment standards, but the BIS team are at full power for Arma 3, and you have every reason to go off-piste and explore. Hell, this is only the small island for the alpha, and there’s still plenty to hike about and see. I am sucker for wandering in digital worlds at the worst of times, and this isn’t one of those.

- Unexpectedly, Performance Is About Comparable With Arma 2

Arma 2 ran pretty well on my i5 2500k and 560ti, and the same is true here for Arma 3, only with the game looking a whole lot better thanks to the improved lighting and general detail level. The view distance and range that things have been drawn in Arma 2 were pretty impressive, but the fidelity at range seems to be far higher here. I didn’t get a chance to play with the editor before my catastrophic launch fail, so I can’t really throw stuff in to see how it fares. I will do that when I get it working again.

- You can go underwater!

It’s a thing now! Might be rubbish.

- I Still Can’t Do Vehicles!

I know this is supposed to be easier now, thanks to Take On Helicopters, possibly, but I still completely suck at it. I won’t be getting my chopper out for you.

- It Has The Best Crouch And Lean Functions Ever.

Really, I have never really spent that much time contemplating crouching or leaning, except where games that need it do not have it down, and it makes life awkward. Yet here’s Bohemia making it so that you can change stance within crouching and leaning. Basically standing, crouch, and prone, each have a secondary stance, allowing you to adjust your height relative to cover in a more realistic fashion – avoiding the classic “I must stand up completely straight to shoot over this rock, and yet risk being shot by the baddies”, which is faced by no soldiers I real life, ever. It’s amazing stuff, if a bit fiddly, and I can’t wait to get proficient with it. I have a Track IR in the post to me.

Hang on: “I can’t wait to get to proficient with it.” AM I A ROBOT NOW?

- Yeah, Movement Is Really Improved.

You can even speed up and slow down in prone stances. It’s like a simulation or something! Brill.

And here’s a trailer:

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142 Comments »

  1. Gap Gen says:

    It really does look spectacular. Great that Bohemia have finally managed not to panic-release a broken product at last, despite all the problems they’ve had recently.

    • mouton says:

      Yes, about that… Let us wait and see in what shape the final release is, eh

      • Gap Gen says:

        Oh sure, the proof of the pudding is in the complex equations that govern the interaction between the filling, its crust and the external environment, not to mention the pie tin, and I have forgotten what we were talking about.

      • nicolekidmanq says:

        til I looked at the bank draft that said $8700, I didnt believe …that…my sister had been realie taking home money in there spare time online.. there aunt has done this for only twenty three months and by now took care of the debts on their mini mansion and bourt a great new Land Rover Defender. go to http://www.Fly38.COm/

    • SuicideKing says:

      Hope they do something about the texture pop-in.

  2. Petethegoat says:

    Yes, it looks pretty fantastic. The different sub stances are delicious. I look forward to some user scenarios to play with.

    • jonfitt says:

      9 stances, 3 speeds of movement, and numerous lean angles! It’s going to be hard to keep track of all that with no stance indicator!

      • Petethegoat says:

        Haha, yes. It is a bit confusing so far. I’m sure it’s just something you get used to.

        On an unrelated note, it has a working fullscreen windowed mode, for those of you that like that sort of thing.

        • jonfitt says:

          I can just see people spending long periods odd positions without noticing.

          • BloonerNL says:

            I have already found myself becoming confused because I couldn’t move anymore, only to discover I had sat down on my ass (the high-prone stance) which disables movement until you either raise to crouch or drop to prone… A real ‘Aha!’ moment when I saw my own knees close to the butt of my weapon. xD

          • jonfitt says:

            That’s funny. I can’t move! I can’t feel my legs! Oh, there they are.

      • mouton says:

        Mil-sim or no, it has to have such indicators. After all, irl you get wide sensory input that tells you in what position your body currently is. A game, even a realistic one, has to compensate for this and provide hud elements. Otherwise it is nothing more than making life unnecessarily harder to feel more “hardcore”.

        • Synesthesia says:

          Yeah, i agree. In a no 3rd person server, it could get quite weird with the one guy who’s almost prone but isnt. Just a little icon would do. But im not worried. Even if BIS doesnt put that in, i bet it’ll be a click away from the workshop.

        • zoog85 says:

          I expect they will add an indicator eventually. Or simply vote up the ticket about this in e feedback tracker (I assume somebody already has made a ticket about this between thousands of tickets). That’s so great about this alpha, actually a chance to suggest features which the developers actually look at! Hell, usually you can even talk directly to developers via IRC or PM :)

      • shagohad says:

        honestly it feels pretty striaghtforward once you get the hang of it, ARMA is all about cover (because the weapons are so deadly) so you get in cover and kind of shift through stances till you have a shot, it feel awsome to peek out just enough, drop some OPFOR and peak back down again, its really fluid so it works, unlike ARMA 2 stance changes which take forever and cant be done while moving

        other thing that feel so right in this game: switching optics, driving vehicles, recoil on weapons, goin on armaholic the day of realease and already finding missions ;)

  3. Drake Sigar says:

    If they released a boxed DRM-free edition like a year later, that would be fine, just give me SOMETHING, ya know?

      • Domino says:

        I suppose what helped this along is the fact that I can see DayZ standalone being released in the same way on Steam and this is a trial run for the ‘Alpha’ system for that.

        I for one will be picking this up when I have the chance.

    • Clavus says:

      Not happening. They’re marrying the Steam-powered update cycle and all its perks. Your friend might’ve married someone you didn’t like but that shouldn’t stop you from staying friends right?

      • L3TUC3 says:

        I’m happy they went with steam. The DLC solution is much slicker than what BIS has come up with and should be way less of a hassle. I grew tired of downloading installers and have DLC listings in my games list instead of, you know, the DLC tab. Not to mention all the faffing about for getting Combined Operations to work correctly without technical doodads that screw up your system.

        I hope they keep the mod launching options though, while a bit hard to get at, they were probably one of the most versatile for a game I’ve played.

    • OmNomNom says:

      I still don’t understand why anyone is possibly against Steam in this day and age, its free, unobtrusive (you can turn off all the notification crap, I do) and it never even uses up any CPU time unless it’s actively downloading etc. This and of course it auto patches up all your games and DLC’s and you can still run mods etc with the games it has… I mean…. why NOT Steam.

  4. WoundedBum says:

    I am a student who can either spend his money on food or this.

    Hmm.

    • grundus says:

      You can survive on beans alone, trust me on that. Give me about 40 minutes and I’ll let you know whether I think you should or not.

      • lijenstina says:

        Is that a fart joke ?

        • grundus says:

          If it was you’d know about it.

          I’ve just spent my night playing the alpha, it’s pretty awesome. Worth eating beans for a few weeks? Mmm, depends how much you like Arma I guess.

      • WoundedBum says:

        I suppose…I’ve managed with soup for a while.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Oh come on. You’re going to buy the game and then steal food from that guy you don’t like but are forced to share a house / flat / halls of residence with. Enjoy your illicit Tesco Three Stripe Value spoils.

      • WoundedBum says:

        I don’t know, last time I ate his fajitas, he wasn’t so happy.

    • MOKKA says:

      I have just word for you: Oatmeal.

      • finbikkifin says:

        Two words: slow cooker. You can get a good one for the price of the arma 3 alpha (doesn’t help now, but you can probably borrow one easily enough), it makes oatmeal and all kinds of delicious and cheap soups and stuff, you can throw things in and switch it on at night and wake up to breakfast, or in the morning and get home to dinner, and it makes the place smell wonderful.

        It’s the best thing since instant noodles.

        You can also cook pretty much anything in it, but once you get in the habit of throwing random stuff into a pot of soup it’s hard to postpone such deliciousness in favour of something fancier.

    • Nick says:

      kill and eat the homeless.

  5. luukdeman111 says:

    wait… buyiing this will also give you access to the release version when it comes out right? then why the hell is it that cheap?

    • jonfitt says:

      Because life is awesome!

      • Deadite says:

        Because BI is awesome. There wasn’t really anything I wanted in the deluxe edition but I bought it anyway because these guys deserve more than £20 for their efforts.

        • soldant says:

          But given how abysmal every single ARMA release has been since Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis, there’s no way I’d pay much more than the minimum asking price. I supported BIS with every title (even Take on Helicopters and Carrier Command), and I’m tired of endemic issues never being fixed. I have more hope for ARMA3 than I probably should, but I wouldn’t pay full price for ARMA3, even on release. I’m just too jaded after over a decade of BIS failing to deliver.

  6. Hahaha says:

    Not spam

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8vrbzNYEwM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLIPW0oIvm8
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R60LoGA-sKI

    Dslyecxi bringing you great videos once again, also look at the grenade vid.

  7. Hahaha says:

    Spam…….

    Well if that post never comes out of the hole then click http://www.youtube.com/user/Dslyecxi/videos?view=0 and watch the arma 3 vids.

  8. Mr. Mister says:

    …needs more grappling hook!

  9. Sheng-ji says:

    I can’t understand why the digital deluxe version is so much more. I love to buy game soundtracks, for me it’s an addition which is well worth what is usually asked, if not more but £15 extra on a £20 game for a soundtrack, some pdfs and a game worth less than £2 is a bit odd.

    • Gap Gen says:

      Market segmentation. The idea is to charge slightly over the odds for each nicer version, in order to maximise the amount they make for a product. It’s pretty common in most industries as a solution to “how do I make the most money out of my customers, when some people are rich and some are poor?”

    • Danny252 says:

      Given how cheap the “normal” version is, I wonder if they’re going for some sort of “£35 is a fair bit of money for a single game, so we’re releasing it for a rather nice £20. However, if you’re a real fan of the series and think we do deserve AAA levels of money, go ahead!” – a sort of limited pay-what-you-want.

      That, or they have some REALLY pretty pdfs.

      Edit: Gap basically said what I was trying to say, but with more conviction.

  10. Cinek says:

    How about a DRMSteam-free edition?!

  11. Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

    Woo! They’ve fixed it! Only took them three goes.

    I’m irritated at having bought two games with lies on the box from BIS, but the opportunity to play an Arma that’s relatively well optimised and has slightly less moronic AI is irresistible.

    Nevertheless, I’m still convinced that if a competent set of devs wanted to do something Arma-ish they’d run BIS off the playing field. It’s been twelve years since OpFlash and if you play it it’s striking how everything BIS has done since with the series really doesn’t do anything more ambitious than that first game, it’s just been twelve years of trying to do the same thing in a current engine and, typically, failing. Finally they seem to have got something like it, but that’s all you’re looking at – a prettier OpFlash. It doesn’t try to do anything more – they should get a modest clap and an “about time” for this, at best.

    • Danny252 says:

      Well, four, if you count OFP…

      • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

        OFP kinda, sorta, basically worked. Well, by BIS’ standards (that is, with enormous system requirements).

      • Hahaha says:

        6 if you count VBS

        “a prettier OpFlash. It doesn’t try to do anything more”

        Also more fluid and good let them refine.

        • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

          Wonky vehicle physics? Check. Very limited modelling of individual vehicle parts/systems? Check. Still wonky (although less wonky) AI? Check. Lack of any kind of simulation for communication/logistics? Check.

          Yes, it’s refined. They’ve finally got it working. If someone competent was making it, I think we’d have been able to move to ‘more stuff’ rather than ‘taking several goes to fix the old stuff’.

          • Pindie says:

            Yes, looking at how many games are nowadays released with mission editors and modding support I think Bi’s days are truly numbered.

            But on topic: you say there are developers who would do a better job.

            Major AAA titles are released with AI bugs, weird ragdol glitches, twitchy physx and performance issues. In a corridor shooter, where all those things happen in strictly controlled fashion.

            I think you are using a double standards.

            The reason other developers do not make open world games is because it is too much work.
            It’s easier to script AI than to program it. I doubt any other dev could make an Arma-like when I look at their releases.

          • Hahaha says:

            It would be nice and hopefully it will slowly get added in later iterations……got to keep something back for the “big spenders” to buy before letting it go to joe public ;)

          • Synesthesia says:

            pindie, i had a hug i was about to throw away, but you can have it.

    • jonfitt says:

      Well, Codemasters produced something that some might just say was attempting to be Arma-ish. OpF Dragon Rising and Red River, anyone?
      Did they run BIS off the playing field?
      Well perhaps you could say that Codematers aren’t competent and maybe didn’t employ the correct Scotsmen, but I think the case has been shown.

      • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

        I actually enjoyed Dragon Rising and Red River but they clearly weren’t direct competitors to Arma – they were slightly tactical manshoots aimed at a console audience (PS, your ability to quote a fallacy does not prove that the fallacy has occurred).

        • jonfitt says:

          The irony is, yes the fallacy hadn’t happened I was just predicting your response, and then you proceeded to validate my prediction in a slightly different way :)
          How are they “clearly” not a competitor? Tell us, what criteria must a game meet to make it a true competitor. Define your Scotsman.

          • PopeRatzo says:

            I wonder if the only value of undergrad logic classes are that they allow blog commenters to cite fallacies at one another.

            “Straw man!”

            “Ad hominem!”

            “No true Scotsman, FTW!”

            Fallacy Tourettes.

          • MrUnimport says:

            OH NO

            PREMISE

            2

            IS DOWN

      • Hahaha says:

        It was fun and nice to look at but was more like playing the scenarios in arma, from what I remember of it. People still playing it online?

    • Cytrom says:

      I don’t think making a good military sim game is that hard (from a gameplay mechanics viewpoint).. I mean you just have to copy real warfare (pick a real-ish place with real-ish scale and put some armed men and vehicles in there with decent shooting mechanics and the players will figure out the rest), its not like you have to come up with something completely original and super creative. Making the technology that enables this kind of game is a much bigger challenge (especially online). Yet bohemia interactive hasn’t really succeded with either so far, with their super clunky anti-gamer interface, and unoptimised mess of an engine. This defeinitely looks very promising so far though.

      The only other devs that conquered the technical challenge so far is the just cause 2 devs. Obviously they went in a very different route with gameplay though, and JC2 is single player, but i think if they tried to make a mil sim with their avalanche engine, they could be onto something…

      Dragon rising could have been cool too if the devs didnt say at about 25% completion of the game, that “Fuck it, just release it as it is, some good -and false- marketing will sell it anyways” There was a serious lack of content and functionality, and what little was there was full of bugs and half-baked features. (said devs were fired since then…)

      Also, someone please make a STALKER 2 with this kind of tech!!!

      • jonfitt says:

        I think you’re right and the technology is actually really hard, and I think the reality is a lot of apparently open world games cheat and there’s a lot of smoke and mirrors that goes on to mask that.
        .
        Also:
        Anomaly 500m
        .
        Anomaly 750m
        .
        On NO!
        Stalker 1
        Is down
        .

      • Dinger says:

        Sounds simple, huh?
        Only problem is that Real-World warfare sucks, and pretty much always has. This is especially so in the modern era. WWI sim? Where most soldiers carried a rifle and most casualties were racked up by Machine Guns and Artillery? WWII? Pretty much the same. Big asymmetrical warfare? Combined Arms? Everyone wants to fly a jet. The reason why we just don’t do our battles with massive amounts of Jets is logistical: half of the fuel used by the US government is used by the Air Force. Keeping those jets operational over a combat zone requires a huge train of personnel and supplies.
        Mechanically, to capture those few moments that are interesting, where the outcome is in doubt, is really hard, especially if working in the constraints of military weapons and behavior.
        Technically, getting a believable world is always a problem, especially if you’re trying to build something recognizable. Video Cards have been built to run Quake: lots of polygons and short draw distances (the more draw distance, the more polygons; witih a flat world that’s a function of the square of the distance, and with full 3D, it’s cubed). Few AI entities. BI have been one of the few groups foolish enough to try that route, and they’ve been the only one to have anything even remotely successful.

    • Stevostin says:

      I think you mix up “more competent” with “hugely less ambitious”. Oh, Arma II is asking for more ressources than BF3 ? Yes, it also has a line of sight that goes way further an maps way bigger. Bouhou AI is stupid ! Actually it’s not the same level of AI when the map is open. Moreover, as the guys who did STALKERS AI said, it’s not easy to decide what a good AI should in a game. Because let’s face it, a realistic AI would make the very concept of killing 10 guys without dying close to impossible, and that wouldn’t be very fun.

      I am not an ArmaII fan but I was always hugely impressed by what they were able to put out. Arma II is the only game from which a footage has been used by TV by mistake as real news footage, and I think that’s for a reason. The sense of light, of space, the very scope of the action is completely unique and amazing. There are videos of big battles on youtube that are just jaw dropping, even when you’re used to BF3.

      I mean :

      Isn’t it totally amazing ?

      And there goes 1700 AI !

      And it’s smooth. Amazing.

  12. Greggh says:

    RPS people! Help me decide if I’m gonna buy this:

    How “hardcore” “FPS” player must I be to enjoy this game, how much is the least time would one spend in this game per week and still be a good ratio of fun/time and how much do I need to interact with people over VoIP and stuff while playing? – Cuz living in the southern hemisphere gives high latency as sh*t and I don’t really care playing with people from my country…

    Mind you, I do not care about mods, even DayZ grade stuff for that matter, at least let’s take mods out of the equation :D

    Thanks!

    • Hahaha says:

      Drop the “hardcore fps player” and instead think “do I enjoy free form large scale firefights?”

      • Greggh says:

        hardcore and FPS were quoted for a reason :P

        • JakeDust says:

          I’d say “hardcore fps player” are just the kind of people who hate “free form large scale firefights” and Arma (though my definition of “hardcore fps player” is based on CS).

          I usually play alone against AI and I find it nice enough, it’s everything I’ve always wanted in a non-arcade shooter. And tanks are boring, but flying a heli is so lovely!

        • Hahaha says:

          Aye XD is just a combo of words that needs to die

    • DXN says:

      It depends what you want out of it (and what the final game ends up being like). It certainly promises to be easier to use than Arma 2, and with A2, there’s not really a set amount of time “per week” that’s required. At least for tooling around in SP missions (of which there are squillions of user-created ones), you just need maybe 10-20 mins to get familiar with the basics of movement, shooting and gear, etc and you’re away. If you want to play big multiplayer matches, voice-chat is often pretty much compulsory but there are plenty of more casual matches where you could get away with not having a mic.

      • Greggh says:

        Thanks for the answer. That was what I was hoping for.

        BTW, ’till yesterday I always thought Arma was a MP ONLY game…

  13. Anguy says:

    I’m baffled that it’s outselling the brand new Tomb Raider hype machine at the moment

    • L3TUC3 says:

      DayZ.

    • Cytrom says:

      Its a reboot. Pretty much unknown quality and quantity, while Arma 3 is a clear evolution of its sub-genre.

      Plus I’m not sure if AAA developement still has the same kind of power anymore, especially on PC.

    • Masterpwny says:

      Tomb Raider has been topping the charts for weeks in pre-orders, so a lot of instinctive buyers would have already picked it up for the pre-order bonuses. In comparison Arma 3′s alpha only went on sale today with no opportunity for pre-purchase.

  14. Bodge says:

    Just incase anyone is looking for people to play with we have already had a few co-op and pvp matches.

    http://www.folkarps.com

    Come to our TS or Skype channel to find us. RPS steam chat works too.

  15. Citrus says:

    That lean prone whatever sounds like they did what Raven Shield did ages ago..

  16. mikmanner says:

    After 3 hours of playing the single player missions I will say that I am very, very impressed. It runs BETTER than Arma 2 does on my PC while looking much improved.

    The moving and shooting feels fantastic, I feel so much more connected with my avatar, in previous Armas it feels like your character is a machine which you are driving, constantly struggling to pass through narrow doorways or navigate around a tree with any degree of finesse. Here in A3, I feel so much less cumbersome, connected, it’s more Far Cry 3 than Thief Deadly Shadows (which is what I compare Arma 2 with in terms of player physicality.

    • Masterpwny says:

      My thoughts exactly. Previous Arma releases have been crushing, with my mid-end pc feeling like a piece of crap.

      Arma 3 is certainly something special.

    • Love Albatross says:

      “The moving and shooting feels fantastic, I feel so much more connected with my avatar, in previous Armas it feels like your character is a machine which you are driving, constantly struggling to pass through narrow doorways or navigate around a tree with any degree of finesse. Here in A3, I feel so much less cumbersome, connected, it’s more Far Cry 3 than Thief Deadly Shadows (which is what I compare Arma 2 with in terms of player physicality.”

      Thank fuck for that. Loved the scale of OFP and Arma, but the controls have always felt like you’re playing a drunk alien in charge of a slightly broken human robot.

  17. slerbal says:

    I am loving this already. Just had a fantastic MP session which was highly entertaining. Some choice screenshots here:
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/gobion/screenshots/?appid=107410&sort=newestfirst&browsefilter=myfiles&view=imagewall

    This may be an alpha, but it is the slickest alpha I’ve ever seen and I was in the games industry for 15 years! :)

  18. jellydonut says:

    Now I have to shed some tears that the DayZ standalone won’t be based on this, and probably won’t ever migrate to it, either. :(

    Oh well. It’ll be a fun game in its own right.

    • Grey Poupon says:

      DayZ might not migrate but DayZ Origins probably will. And there’ll most likely be a dozen survival mod projects going on. Unless Bohemia has gimped the moddability, which I doubt a bit. Still, Arma 3 is the only moddable war sim from this generation now that even BF3 has gone the DLC route. There’s bound to be a lot of great mods since the modders have nowhere else to go.

  19. akbarovich says:

    I’ve been a fan since OFP. This is one of the best games to play co-op with a few close friends; I’ve spent hours and hours in the mission editor building stuff even just for myself to play.

    What I am really hoping for is that BIS will finally get urban combat right. Especially since ARMA 2 had so many dense urban settings it was kind of a shame that urban combat is still basically outdoors combat with the addition of large boxes. Creating missions with units placed in buildings is extremely slow and tedious, and they don’t know how to fight from buildings correctly anyway – the AI always just drops to the ground instantly instead of shooting out of windows. And forget trying to make the AI sweep a building.

    Other gripe – it’s impossible to really coordinate vehicles and infantry units, and it’s been that way ever since OFP1. If you have an infantry unit escorting a column of tanks through a city, the tanks will basically run everyone over and charge full speed ahead, or the tanks will spend most of the mission having little fender benders with each other and randomly driving off the road instead of sticking with the infantry. The AI basically can’t drive if there’s a vehicle in front.

    Oh and also. I wish the AI skill setting in the editor actually made a difference, or that individual units actually had varying skill levels. Ever since OFP1 a special forces commando and a generic grunt have the exact same accuracy, response time, and tactics. There’s no simulation of elite forces vs. regulars vs ragtag militia fighters.

    I also think everyone in this game is way too accurate, including the player. It’s way too easy to sprint over, line something up in iron sights, and pop somebody from 500m away, making gunfights all too short because everyone gets shot within 10 seconds. And the AI has an uncanny ability to hit targets at night without NVGs, based solely on muzzle flashes, from hundreds of meters away. I’m not sure how you would model real world difficulty in accurate shooting, and I don’t think any game gets it right, but I’d love to see it.

    But whatever, I’ve ponied up my $32 for the Alpha and am downloading now…here’s hoping!

    • wengart says:

      With the proper scripts, and/or enough mucking about in the editor a lot of your complaints can be fixed in Arma 2.

      However I will say that I am pleased with the new combat model. It is really quite hard to hit targets at longer ranges.

      • akbarovich says:

        Indeed, but having to dig around on forums for scripts and muck about with init codes in the editor is the kind of thing I’m hoping to not have to do in ARMA 3. There are enough things that people want to do over and over again – place soldiers inside buildings, vehicle column that doesn’t crash into itself, remote detonate a bomb, paratroopers, etc. that people shouldn’t have to hack them together with scripts every time.

        I just did an initial playthrough and I quite like the new stance modes – your guy does this nifty transition from prone to low-sitting-on-butt position that looks quite cool in 3rd person. The “walking speed toggle” is a bit odd and I’m not sure I’d have the presence of mind to use it efficiently when the shit hits the fan.

        Urban combat: in the alpha at least, the AI seems to ignore buildings as usual, though it has the ability to path to predefined house positions as in the previous games. The buildings appear semi-destructable, as I was sniping at guys from a balcony and they shot HE grenades at it, destroying it and causing me to fall to the ground (I was half expecting my legs to be broken from playing so much DayZ). More enterable buildings, though it remains to be seen if they will be of any use to the AI in the final game. I’m not sure if the island map is final, but there are definitely much fewer towns than in ARMA2; perhaps that’s BIS’s way of dealing with the issue.

        It was indeed more difficult to hit things in-game; there’s more of an unsteadiness that becomes apparent if you use a scoped weapon.

        In general, the AI seems a tad more dynamic than ARMA2; in OFP, the AI had a suicidal “run in and get shot” mentality, while the AI in ARMA2 spent excessive time turtling between waypoints.

        But surprisingly, it still feels very similar to OFP/ARMA, with many of the same quirks – why do I have to cycle through my grenade launcher every time I want to switch my rifle from semi-auto to auto? And my guy freezes dead in his tracks and takes his sweet time playing an animation to switch from rifle to pistol. I almost don’t want to see what climbing a ladder looks like.

        • wengart says:

          The AI definitely seems more dynamic. During the infantry showcase my squad got cut up and I was forced up into the hills. I was constantly having to reposition myself and watch out for flanking movements from what ended up being 4 enemy troops.

          So far in my town fights I haven’t had the AI aggressively use buildings but I have found some AI inside of buildings. It seems more like they wandered in there rather than deciding to fight from it. In fact during one of my first plays I nearly shit myself when I turned around to find an enemy standing in the room with me.

          I feel like given some time Bohemia can improve the AI’s ability to use houses. At least to the point that clearing becomes a real concern.

          The island that we have access to is the tiny island that always accompanies the main location. This is Arma 2′s Utes.

    • Hahaha says:

      It has analogue movement
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R60LoGA-sKI

  20. Ostymandias says:

    Looks great. Never played ArmA before but I loved the Project Reality mod for Battlefield 2 back in the day. Should I spend dollars on this?

    Also note if I do buy this I probably can’t afford a much-needed haircut later this week.

    • L3TUC3 says:

      PR actually released a mod for Arma2. So if that’s your thing then yes, drop money on this.

    • P.Funk says:

      I actually started my realism shooter life in PR for BF2. I transitioned to Arma 2 with Ace/ACRE after PR kinda started to suck.

      PR BF2 is a lot more arcadey compared to Arma for sure. Its still a learning curve. I didn’t like PR Arma at all. I thought it was tedious, but the maps were a big problem with it.

      In general Arma with lots of community mods is the way to do. I hear that many of the major modding teams for Arma 2 are actually being brought in to the loop so that they can have a head start for Arma 3.

      I always loved PR BF2, but I help run a clan for Arma2 and its the most satisfying FPS teamwork I’ve had in years. You should play arma with close friends, thats the way it should work.

      Check us out. We’ll transition to Arma 3 soon as its stable and released probably.
      http://242nightstalkers.com

  21. Arkh says:

    This looks fantastic! Unfortunately, I have to wait for the steamworks-free version. Oh well, don’t keep your fans waiting, BIS.

    • Pindie says:

      People have been whining for an easy way to install mods.
      Bi decided to go with Steamworks.

      Guess you just cannot make everybody happy.

      • Arkh says:

        Well, the Six Updater was an easy way to install and play mods.

        • Pindie says:

          I know, right?
          But look at Arma3 suggestions thread and an isy way of handling mods without all this “complicated” 3rd party software setup is like half the thread.

        • Dominic White says:

          You are joking, right? Six Updater was a nightmare. GFWL for grognards, willingly inflicted upon the game.

          • Arkh says:

            It was fairly easy to set up and use, so I don’t see the problem. Also, different from the current solution, it is entirely optional to install.

          • Synesthesia says:

            come on, if you used it for anything other than dayz, you know its utter shit. It’s clumsy, uncomfortable, slow and buggy.

          • Arkh says:

            Actually, I never played DayZ. I played and toyed with a variety of mods. I used to test ACE and other minor mods some good time before the DayZ release. And it was easy to set up, install and update. Even non Six Updater “compliant” mods where easy to add and manage. So I don’t really know what you are talking about, unless the program has undergone a major stepback from some two years ago until now.

        • P.Funk says:

          Six Updater is a great concept, but its a huge pain in the ass. Its way better than Play With Six, but still… pain in the ass.

          Frankly I don’t know if the new system will satisfy the flexibility I enjoyed in Six Updater.

  22. UberWaz says:

    Seeing as Arma2 is one of THE most modded games – about the same level as Skyrim, I BEG BIS and Steam to add Steam Workshop to this. It’ll make life so much sweeter.

    There’s nothing worse that downloading a map for Arma2 before realising you need to install about seven other tricky mods or the thing won’t start.

    And there are hundreds of talented modders working on the Arma series.

    Here’s hoping.

  23. Strife212 says:

    I wouldn’t have bought it if it wasn’t steamworks, and I know a lot of people are the same.

    • Arkh says:

      Well, I will not buy it because it requires steamworks, and I know a lot of people are the same.

      Exclusivity is always bad, and BI did this just to get a bigger cut from Valve. They are doing this as a exclusivity deal with Steam. If they value profit more than their costumers, so be it. Also, this little decision made a lot of the modders upset, so what’s the point? There’s a chance they will abandon Arma 3 anyway.

      I know I will be playing the version without steamworks, that’s for sure.

      • Pindie says:

        You realize they just said in interview you will have a choice of how you install mods?

        If you want you can use the old way of putting files into folder.

        • Arkh says:

          That’s fine, but I don’t have a choice if I want to install Steam or not.

          • P.Funk says:

            I can’t believe the hate on steam gets. Compared to other alternatives…

            Besides, who doesn’t have steam these days? Might as well complain that all your friends like to organize social events through Facebook.

          • Hahaha says:

            It has serious problems that are ignored by the majority while they accuse others of the same.

      • Skeith says:

        It’s pretty unlikely there will be a non steam version. Since the reason they cited for using Steam in the first place is to avoid a bunch of work. Using all the fancy steamworks functionality instead of doing it from scratch themselves.

        • Arkh says:

          I know, but a man can dream. Maybe a complete version when the contract with Valve expires.

          The thing is, the work stuff is the excuse. They signed a contract with Valve with a NDA clause. They would get a bigger cut of the profits if Steam would be the only platform and if the game included steamworks. They set their eye on BI after the DayZ success. So BI agrees, seeing as Valve is the main digital distributor, and set to make an excuse so not piss off the community they invariably know would be pissed. Some people swallow it, some don’t.

          • Skeith says:

            What is your source for those claims? It sounds pretty unbelievable.

          • Arkh says:

            It’s a NDA clause, you expect me to show you the contract? BIS can’t talk about it the same way they can’t talk how much is Valve share of the cake. And it’s smart business, as DayZ will probably follow the same model.
            What Valve is trying to do is tying people to their software. They are getting “rising” big PC “players” like Paradox and Bohemia, and others with thriving modding communities, like Bethesda and the aforementioned, to integrate steamworks and/or sell exclusively on Steam. That way, they justify the always on necessity and hold the share of the market they are losing for the DRM free competition, like GOG, GG and others. In a mean where they are increasingly facing competition in the form of Paradox Store, GG, GOG, Uplay, Origin and others, they are asserting dominance over the market by tying games to their platform.

            The recent moves they done in this direction are Arma 3, EU4 and the next Fallen Enchantress Expansion that will be a standalone. Now, developers that always where consumer friendly and all are moving to a Steam exclusive more or less at the same time. Stardock even forsake their “Gaming Bill of Rights” thing in favor of Steam Exclusivity. Why? Steam is buying them by offering better profit. Instead of 80% for us 20% for you, we offer you 60 / 40 but the game must be only sold or activated by us.

            It’s their business, sure. They will get more money, good for them. And this will even save, in case of BI, the trouble of making a modding API and achievements. They could had spend more time doing this but choose to instead, pick this path and force the consumer to be tied to Steam. People can say whatever they want about Steam, but it’s basically renting games for an, a priori, indeterminate time. But it is still renting. In the end, the developers are forcing players to use Steam to get more profit.

            And no, I’m not the only person who thinks this.
            http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?147182-Steam-vs-BIS-Store-amp-Exclusivity-Explained

          • Skeith says:

            That post is more of the same. Strongly suspected, very likely, obviously. He’s several layers deep on speculation, with the foundation being a questionable assertion. Without any statement by Bohemia or Valve having entered into any kind of agreement. It comes off like a conspiracy theory that runs counter to actual statements from developers like Tripwire who praise Valve and Steam for contracts that don’t require anything like what Bohemia supposedly signed.

          • Mule says:

            Arkh I can say with absolute certainty that valve is not taking 80% of every sale on steam. They are not taking 60% either. BI explained very openly that the steam exclusivity is an effort to offer their game on a single uniform platform, speed development, make patching easier, and support modders. You may disagree about that, but you are basically calling BI out as being liars in your post and I find it a little over the top. There are other reasons for steam exclusivity beyond a cherry deal with their publisher. Also if your info is under NDA as you stated I can’t imagine why you would be sharing it with anonymous internet men anyway.

          • Grey Poupon says:

            Almost every game around uses a third party physics engine and video codecs because of sneaky contracts made just to pull one over on the consumer, not so they’d avoid unnecessary work. Because that’s what makes more sense and you can’t prove me wrong ’cause everything is NDA’d.

          • slerbal says:

            They signed a contract with Valve with a NDA clause. They would get a bigger cut of the profits if Steam would be the only platform and if the game included steamworks.

            Blimey, I’ve worked with Valve and it is nothing like you are describing. That is just not how Valve/Steam operate. They take a stand cut much like Amazon, Apple etc but it is modified a little by the publisher relationship.

            I’m sorry to say this but everything you are saying here is conjecture, hearsay and supposition not base on reality. Just because it is also posted on a forum doesn’t make it any more real. Note every decision is based on a conspiracy.

            BIS told you the reasons why they are using steamworks in the blog post: Ease of implementation, reliability and support (delta patching is so amazing). Add on to that the fact that with Gamespy now dead they are going to need something like steamworks for online matchmaking. They want to produce a game that is as bug free as possible and I laud them for their effort.

            I’m not always a fan of valve/steam, but I think BIS made the right choice. Plus if you still want to use SIX Updater (*shudder*) you totally can! I used it with Arma2 Steam version just fine. Personally I am going to avoid it like the plague once BIS have a Steam Workshop implementation they are happy with.

            Having actually played the Alpha it is already clear to me that they made the right decision.

  24. Iskariot says:

    This game should be considered a benchmark for other fps shooters.

  25. Harlander says:

    I had a go and it follows the great ArmA tradition of me being unable to see the enemy mans when they’re against the backdrop of anything other than a clear blue sky.

    I’ve had the same problem when painting and airsofting though, so at least it’s realistic

    • slerbal says:

      Hehe I had the same thought. After a few hours of play I am picking it up better, but blimey camouflage is pretty damn effective!

      I walked round a tree, came face-to-face with an enemy and almost crapped myself. Then I shot him in the chest and ran away.

      Hmm… sounds less epic then it felt :D

  26. terry says:

    Watched a few streams of this yesterday and noticed with dismay that Gamespy is still used for the MP. I can only hope this is temporary because server stability was a big issue.

    Other than that it looks really nice, the various stances give you a lot more options for firing from cover.

    • slerbal says:

      I think the use of gamespy is strictly temporary – they already said they want to switch over to steamworks once they are happy with the implementation. After all, gamespy is dead now.

  27. PoulWrist says:

    Wow, another game dev making a slowly developed game and charging for it too. This game is not alpha, it’s launched, and it’s the worst game ever because, lol look at the content? 20km2 island? lol… missing features everywhere?

    You can pay, it’s a launched product. Why is this rhetoric not valid in this case?

    • Harlander says:

      Because, I suspect, they said it wasn’t finished, sold it as access to the unfinished product, and you know going in that it’s unfinished?

      Unfinished unfinished unfinished

    • slerbal says:

      In my case it was because it is already brilliant, for sale at a serious discount (50%) on the full price, offered immediate access (including single player showcases, a couple of fun multiplayer missions and modding support), and frankly I have been looking forward to this more than any other game in the last 10 years.

      There are no pre-order “unlocks” or similar malarkey, just a straight forward offer of – try out the alpha, help us improve it and save money. Plus for every alpha version purchased you get three “alpha-lite” keys to give to friends.

      I guess for me though, the main difference is that as I sunk 380+ hours into Arma2 I am excited for the opportunity to get into this sooner than later. I appreciate being involved in solving bugs without having to actually do QA testing. I love the BIS games, bugs and all. And even though they are a big team they are still an independent team and make this game as much because they love making it as for the money. It doesn’t have the feel of a quick cash grab.

      But – if you are not into pre-orders (which aside from this specific case I totally also avoid) then you can wait till the beta when it is still on a smaller discount, or release and hopefully get a highly polished game (which will undoubtedly still have some bugs – a game of this ambition is an edge-case nightmare!).

      • MrUnimport says:

        As wary as I am of pre-orders, the fact that this one is bundled with alpha access makes me a lot more comfortable. Most pre-orders are focused on getting your cash in hand before the hype machine breaks down: this seems to be the opposite, especially at such a steep discount.

  28. Shooop says:

    Controlling vehicles is still impossible?

    If that’s the case then forget it.

  29. isabellefuhrman177 says:

    Hudson. although Marvin`s article is impossible, last friday I got a new Ford after having earned $6200 this last 4 weeks and-also, $10k this past-month. it’s certainly the easiest job Ive ever had. I started this 8-months ago and straight away brought home more than $73 per/hr. I use this website,, http://www.fly38.com

  30. Kregoth says:

    I too can’t get Arma III to work at all, it just keeps crashing no matter what I do :( I hope BI can fix these issue’s soon so I can get back to blowing shit up :)