Bohemia Rhapsody: Humble Bundle Offers Old Arma Games

By Graham Smith on January 17th, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

Carrier Command? I hardly know her! ...

Bohemia are well known as the creators of the deep and deeply shonky military sim Arma and its zombie-infested survival spin-off DayZ. They’re moderately known as the creators of turn-based spinoff Arma Tactics and commercial helicopter sim Take On Helicopters. They’re not at all known as the developers of XCOM-homage UFO: Afterlight and Alpha Prime, which is some sort of videogame.

Yet you’ll find all of the above in this week’s Humble Weekly sale, the Bohemia Humble Bundle.

The bundle contains Arma: Gold, Arma II, Take On Helicopters, UFO: Afterlight, Alpha Prime and Arma Tactics. If you pay more than $6, you’ll also get Carrier Command: Gaea Mission and ArmA II: Operation Arrowhead, the latter of which is required to play the DayZ mod.

Take On Helicopters is a solid skybound take on (yep) the Euro Truck Simulator formula, in which you collect and deliver and fly commercial missions around real cities. It’s a few inches short of greatness, but I’d recommend it to people who like helicopters.

Carrier Command: Gaea Mission is a reboot of Carrier Command, and operates like a science-fiction spin on Arma. Your base is an enormous carrier which farts boats and vomits planes, and you can alternate between directing your vehicular troops from the sky or commandeering their controls for yourself. You’ll want to do the latter a lot, because the AI is so shit that your idiot brood of machines can’t be trusted on their own for even a few minutes. I’d recommend it to people who like failed ambition.

UFO: Afterlight is an “homage” to the XCOM series, which began life as a project from Julian Gollop’s Mythos Games before being cancelled and bought by Czech developres ALTAR Interactive. They’re now a wholly owned subsidiary of Bohemia, hence this and Alpha Prime’s appearance on the list. I haven’t played either game, but I’d recommend them to people who enjoy the thrill of gambling with their time and the romance of exploring where others fear to tread.

The Bundle runs for the next six days, and I’d recommend it to people who like Arma, and the simple pleasure of securing a bargain regardless of whether or not it’s feasible to

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40 Comments »

  1. hypercrisis says:

    I see they finally mentioned that DayZ was the free mod, as before it was deceptively under the “beat the minimum to also get…” section

    • Bullfrog says:

      It may be because Operation Arrowhead is required for DayZ Mod and that’s only included if you pay above the norm.

    • Phinor says:

      They did mention that right from the start even when it was strictly under beat the average section. I bought the bundle few minutes after it went live and when you clicked DayZ on that front page, it clearly said it’s a free mod but you need, yada yada. Nothing deceptive about that, unless someone decided to ignore specific part of the page when buying stuff on the Internet. I would always recommend against blindly buying stuff.

  2. communisthamster says:

    I would not really recommend alpha prime. It’s a generic FPS with a scifi setting, in the vein of FEAR but executed with “unknown eastern european studio” levels of quality. I got it for £3 when buying some Arma 2 DLC a while ago and I played it all the way through out of curiosity.

    • brulleks says:

      Agreed, only I got it for a meagre £1.00 and that was probably still a little overpriced.

      Mind you, I didn’t manage to cope with it as long as you – I got to about the fourth level when the general shonkiness and lack of fun overwhelmed me.

    • kalirion says:

      I actually enjoyed Alpha Prime quite a bit when I played it 4 years ago or so. Got it on sale for $1, but would not have regretted paying $5. I did play it on Easy though, as I had heard the game was really unbalanced difficulty-wise.

      Comparing it to other “not great” FPS titles, I would personally put it above Chrome and Chaser, around the same level as Unreal 2, and not quite as high as Vivisector.

  3. jaronimoe says:

    I haven’t played either game, but I’d recommend them to people who enjoy the thrill of gambling with their time and the romance of exploring where others fear to tread.

    Graham Smith, you have the soul of a true poet.

  4. Bullfrog says:

    I played and rather enjoyed ALTAR’s UFO:Aftermath, not sure where that sits in relation to the games on offer here making this comment mostly useless.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      Afterlight is the least “XCOM” of the UFO:Trilogy. It’s quite good, but people shouldn’t expect a straight XCOM clone. It’s strange that it’s the only one of the trilogy in the bundle – does Bohemia only have to rights to the 3rd UFO game and not the 1st and 2nd?

      • Drake Sigar says:

        I think that’s why I liked Afterlight.

        • Squirly says:

          Afterlight never clicked with me, for some reason, though I really enjoyed Aftershock. I even made melee focused cyborgs and USED them.

          • DatonKallandor says:

            I’ve found vanilla Aftershock the weakest of the 3. With mods Aftershock is probably better than vanilla Aftermath and equal to modded Aftermath.
            Without any mods whatsoever I’ve found Aftermath the best one (none of the other XCOMlikes do the rise from crappy start to well equipped powerhouse so well – because Aftermath not only does it well, but does it several times in one campaign).
            Afterlight’s big downside (which mods fix) is the gigantic difficulty jump – it’s quite common to encounter enemies with 95% and higher dodge chances in the late game, which is just absurd. They also downgraded the animations (no more leaning around corners like in Aftermath) and changed the art style from gritty semi-realism to out-right cartoony (which can be good or bad depending on personal preference).

      • Baines says:

        For some reason, the other two games don’t appear to be available on Steam. A store search only returns Afterlight and UFO: Extraterrestrials Gold (which was a different X-Com inspired game by a different developer and different publisher.)

        A Groupees bundle has offered all three games before, but Aftermath and Aftershock only gave download links with no Steam key.

        Wikipedia says Afterlight’s publisher was TopWare, while Aftermath and Aftershock were published by Cenega/TriSynergy.

        • DatonKallandor says:

          If you want to buy the other two parts of the trilogy GOG has you covered at pretty decent prices.

        • Nice Save says:

          It’s weird, I looked on Gamersgate and they weren’t available there either, but I apparently have them in my library, although I think I got them as a trilogy bundle.

          Edit: While I’m at it, I thought Aftershock was the best of the series, but Afterlight is a close second. I enjoyed Aftermath when I played it, but it has that lack of features thing you get with prequels where the step back down hurts too much.

    • Sorbicol says:

      Afterlight was pretty good, certainly the best of the 3 UFO games I would say. The combat and TBS but not really mechanic take a bit of getting used to but you get there in the end – or YouTube how to do it – I’d certainly recommend it and there used to be a lot of mods out there to make it a better game.

    • jonfitt says:

      I really quite liked Aftermath too. It filled the post-X-COM void with something familiar yet also with its own ideas.
      I never finished Aftershock it just wasn’t quite as good, and then I didn’t buy Afterlight.

      So this will be interesting.

      However we’re in a post-XCOM world now and I don’t know how well it will stack up.

    • sinister agent says:

      I’ve played two of the three after-x ufo games extensively, and they’re really interesting. They each have flaws, some of which are shared, and yeah, they’re not even attempting to be remakes in the same way that xenonauts is, rather structurally and thematically similar, yet still quite radically different games. It’s interesting, and I have great fun seeing where they’ve taken influences from – there are bits from all the ufo games, and even from Abomination, the flawed distant cousin of XCOM/UFO.

      I’d say their greatest strength is their story. A two-edged sword, since it does lose its effectiveness on the replay, but the first play through of both those games really captures the sense of unknown, alien things that UFO/XCOM had back in the day. The big reveals are genuinely interesting, and the sense of continuity between them is artfully maintained.

      They have their problems, certainly, and the first one in particular becomes a horrible, joyless, one-strategy-only chore about three quarters in. But they’re worth getting into, if you can get over some of their quirks.

  5. Dudeist says:

    Good year for Bohemia. After 1 day they got $500K already, will be another few $M soon. I played dayz mod last night again, and a lot of new players, will be more.

    • kirby_freak says:

      Would you recommend any servers? I just picked up the bundle solely for DayZ, and was having a bit of trouble finding servers with a good amount of people. (I’m a U.S. guy if it matters)

  6. KDR_11k says:

    Carrier Command got enough patches that the pathfinding for the ground units works most of the time, you can safely give them long distance travel orders now and they’ll make it there about 90% of the time. You’ll still want to be in control of the lead vehicle when moving into hostile terrain to fight better and know when to stay at a distance but it’s now very usable for just busywork like retreating to the carrier or moving to another secured objective.

    • TimePointFive says:

      Does the game get any better? The opening to the campaign (On-rails craptastic FPS) made me want to uninstall after just a few minutes.

      • KDR_11k says:

        The on-foot shit is pretty short, it’s much more at home when vehicles are involved. There are some short on-foot sections later on as well but the vehicle gameplay really is the main part.

        • dE says:

          The on foot sections are annoying and I found myself rushing through them, but yeah… they’re but a small part of the game. Most of the time will be spent in vehicles, trying to snipe that damn EM Generator.

    • Love Albatross says:

      Of note: Carrier Command does not appear to have yet come below £4.99 in any Steam sale, so even if there’s nothing else in this bundle you wanted getting just that for £3-ish seems a pretty good deal.

    • savant1974 says:

      If you’re going to play carrier command, I highly recommend a mod available from BI’s Carrier Command modding forum. It’s called ‘deadly islands’ and it makes the game so much easier to use. Smooths out a lot of problems. I’ve clocked up a ridiculous number of hours with it on the strategy mode and I wouldn’t play the game without it.

      Oh and yeah the main campaign is eye-rollingly bad. It does introduce you to how the game works, so once you’ve got the hang of it, ditch the campaign and switch to the strategy mode. No foot sections and it’s a lot of fun!

  7. Synesthesia says:

    but can you do this?

  8. Baines says:

    It might be worth noting that with the publisher change, UFO: Afterlight was re-added to Steam under a different app id.

    This means that if you already owned Afterlight under the previous publisher, Steam’s current store page (which is set to the newer Bohemia app id) wouldn’t say that you already owned it and would let you buy it again.

    There are a few threads about it on the forums, but it has been over a week without a fix. Bohemia acknowledged the issue, telling people who accidentally rebought the game to contact Steam Support for refunds, while they tried to work with Valve to resolve the issue. On the 14th, Bohemia said that they were talking with Valve and that no ETA could be given.

    As expected, I don’t think “Valve has said anything publicly at all. Not even to put a warning message on the shop page. Sadly enough, Valve has probably already spent more time and money dealing with refund requests that it would have taken to merge the app ids. Heck, they’ve probably spent more time talking to Bohemia about the issue than it would take to actually fix it. (And if that isn’t true, then they should fix Steam so that such changes would be fast and easy, because this apparently isn’t the only game to have app id related issues.)

  9. hotmaildidntwork says:

    I feel that Carrier Command, and Bohemia, have been denied the laurels they so richly deserve for their revolutionary work in Wall Locating AI technology.

    The efficiency with which a ground vehicle can locate and sidle up next to the nearest wall, or even corner (that’s *two* walls in one attempt!), is beyond anything current gen tech previously seemed capable of.

    What a shame.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      Far Cry 1 must surely have had some hand in the development of this technology. I found many (frequently camouflaged) enemies capable of locating and staring at walls throughout the game, who would then damn near make me crap myself.

      Having convinced yourself the level was clear and started looting in a lovely but utterly false sense of security, suddenly the wall admirer would get bored with their wall, decide you are more fun and bellow HOW D’YA LIKE THOSE APPLES, whilst indeed, SHOOTING YOU IN THE FACE. Same bug affecting a Trigen: Not funny.

  10. bill says:

    Does Carrier Command compare to the greatness of Hostile Waters?

  11. Bodge says:

    If you end up with ArmA 2 and Operation Arrowhead then come and join us at http://www.folkarps.com and fight alongside your fellow rpsers. Well die, mainly die. We would quite like you to know the basic controls but after that get Teamspeak 3 installed and come join us. All the relevant info is linked on the front page.

    This is our 2013 highlight reel – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O41JXE-aoeo&feature=youtu.be

  12. BarbaraRGonzalez says:

    my roomate’s half-sister makes $78 hourly on the internet . She has been out of a job for ten months but last month her paycheck was $12406 just working on the internet for a few hours.

    see this,,,,,,,,,,,, http://x.co/3fSON

  13. RegisteredUser says:

    I figured its worth asking: Is there any reason left to get the “old” Day-Z mod version if you have bought the new standalone one?

  14. callumdarke says:

    my buddy’s step-aunt makes $82/hr on the computer. She has been out of work for 10 months but last month her paycheck was $18010 just working on the computer for a few hours. read this….
    http://www.dub30.com

  15. Universal Quitter says:

    “. . . but I’d recommend it to people who like helicopters. ”

    So, everyone then?

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