It’s A Win-Win: Arma 3′s Final Campaign Episode Out Now

By Graham Smith on March 24th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

Stand easy, soldier. Now stand awkward. Perfect.

Arma 3‘s campaign has been deploying from exploding helicopters for a while now; first Survive, then Adapt, and now the third and final act, Win, is available. It’s available to all those who have bought Arma 3 so far, and while we ready a WIT of the whole campaign, there’s a launch trailer below.

Arma games are, of course, primarily played and beloved for their multiplayer campaigns and the modding possibilities that lie within its engine. That’s why we’re so excited about things like the recent Zeus DLC, which allows one player within a multiplayer map to act as a kind of dungeon master, crafting an experience around the soldiers playing on the ground.

But Bohemia have it in them to make a great singleplayer campaign, and I’ve still got plenty of fond memories Resistance, the first expansion pack to Operation Flashpoint. If Bohemia have found a similar excuse to thread a needle through Arma’s various systems, this could be great. I even hear positive rumblings from friends in-the-know.

Have you played it? Tell us if it’s worth our time in the comments.

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30 Comments »

  1. BadBannana says:

    I like reading stories and posts about Arma but it gave me such bad motion sickness. Seriously, Arma 1 is much worse then anything in Disneyland.

    • guus says:

      The thing is, Arma 3 has changed tremendously since Arma 1. It looks and handles completely different, and in my opinion, a lot better than the previous Arma games.

    • Premium User Badge Joshua says:

      There is an option in “game options’ (IIRC) which allows you to adjust the headbobbing.
      Setting this to nil greatly reduces the motion sickness.

    • Aaarrrggghhh says:

      I experience motion sickness in a lot of games but Arma 3 is not one of them (after a short visit to the options menu. All needed options are there (fov, head bobbing, bloom, etc))

  2. Paul says:

    The person most responsible for awesomeness of Flashpoint + Resistance campaigns (and they were absolutely amazing) is now out of Bohemia, at Warhorse, lead designing Kingdom Come – Viktor Bocan. That said, I heard some good things about Arma 3 campaign, namely that it is their best singleplayer work since Resistance, so I am curious about WIT.

    • Artist says:

      Nah, Arma2+3 campaigns are “ok” at best. They barely scratch the surface of what is possible within Arma! And from the perspective of the stories told? Meh! Even more average pulp novel fiction. Default “Bohemia Style” and lacked of decent showcasing, imo.

  3. Premium User Badge Thirith says:

    One of the guys who’s working on SP content for Bohemia, Zipper5, has done two magnificent campaigns for Arma 2, namely Operation Cobalt and Blood on the Sand. I haven’t yet played more than the first part of the A3 campaign and haven’t found anything I like as much as those two campaigns, but he’s definitely got potential to spare.

  4. Premium User Badge Cinek says:

    Oh… so that’s the last one? If so than two questions if I may:

    - How long you have to waited since buying a game to get it?

    - How bugged were previous mission packs?

    • guus says:

      The mission packs we’rent bugged at all, maybe in the initial devbranch release, but once they hit the public they’re almost certainly bug free.

  5. BobbyDylan says:

    Such a disappointment. The first 2 were quite good by the 3rd one just screams of a quick wrap up job.

    Really bummed.

    • MkMax says:

      well, its already showing up with heavy discounts on sales, honestly im surprised they even bothered, they probably dont want to tarnish their reputation by pulling the plug so quick wrap up it is

  6. Premium User Badge heretic says:

    I just played the start of the second campaign chunk ‘Adapt’, have to say the first mission is ruthless – but it’s the first time in ages I’ve been this immersed in a game!

    Literally had some great blood pumping moments, probably due to the fact that you can only save once and some of standoffs with enemies when you don’t know where they are exactly can be pretty damn tense.

  7. MrUnimport says:

    Have they optimized it any since Christmas?

    • Premium User Badge Joshua says:

      The game runs on my ancient dual core PC at low settings. However, if you have a killer PC, don’t expect that you can turn up all the options to maximum (which is a mistake a lot of people commonly make) as the highest options are without compromise.

      • MrUnimport says:

        It would be nice if it ran at Planetside 2-level visuals at least, or if being able to read in-game signs didn’t depend on having texture quality above a certain level.

        • Uboa Noticed You says:

          Actually, what I’ve found with my computer, which runs an Intel INTEGRATED chip and a fucking i3, is that setting everything to low and the textures to Ultra gives not a single frame difference between doing that and the same except with textures on low. Of course, I’m running at 1024 x 768 at a forced 16:9 resolution and with the texture resolution at 75%, but still.

      • Lord Byte says:

        Actually I can, and mine isn’t THAT killer… I haven’t dropped below 60 fps everything to the highest (apart from vision/detail ranges, I left those at the default settings).
        Top of the line graphics card R9 290X and an i7 @3,7Ghz + 16Gb ram.

  8. L3TUC3 says:

    ***STRONG SPOILER WARNING***

    The campaign is a pretty enjoyable in a cod-sy handholding kind of way. A more scripted affair with no real divergent story arcs or sense of influence. You’re a cog in the machine and kept small both artificially and story-wise despite single-handedly giving the opposing forces a significant what-for.

    They designed the campaign in such a way it’s not as likely to break with every patch like would happen with the previous installments where engine and code updates could influence campaign triggers etc. In ways it’s the best campaign they’ve done so far, but on some fronts it’s disappointing to see where it ended from what their ambition was a few years ago. Technically and on presentation it’s pretty ace and shows off what the RV4 is capable of. Conceptually, it’s a bit lacking with a few poorly thought out mechanics and under-utilizing the ones they added.

    In the first episode you get introduced to the “hub”, the inter-mission area with an armory where you can gear up, a briefing area where you get briefings on the next mission and a few other POIs you can get some story background. The hub’s a signifier of how your character’s current team is doing. In Survive, you’re down in the dumps and it shows with the hub gradually decaying as your team gets beat up and squeezed harder. Missions go wrong, stuff goes south etc. etc. It’s a pretty linear introduction to ArmA with Stratis as the tutorial island and there’s almost zero exploration which is a bit sad seeing how Bohemia’s environs are real treats.

    In the second episode you end up on Altis and link up with the resistance, a pretty familiar theme for OFP and ArmA fans. Again they give you the hub area like on Stratis, but a bit different as you’re no longer delegated to just the story missions. The ambient conversations give you TeS style optional “scouting” missions in the surrounding area. This time you’re allowed to stray from the base and go do these solo mini-missions. You’re given almost ultimate freedom to go about them as you wish. This is what ArmA’s about. Observe your enemy, form a plan and execute. Am I going to shoot the patrol, or let them pass? Am I going to use my one grenade on that clump of AAF guys or shall I lob it at the static MG? There’s a fair bit of variety of them and they go from easy to OMFG HEADSHOTTING AI/BS MINES RAGEQUIT. As you accomplish these mini-missions any some gear you take is stored in the hub armory.

    This is where it gets confusing. You can haul in a truck full of launchers and rocket ammo, but the truck disappears and the launchers and ammo might, or might not get moved and stored as the armory only has a finite amount of storage space. Took all the guns and ammo from dead AI in a previous mission and filled up the crates? Now you can’t store anything else! There’s no way to tell besides walking up to the crate and attempt to manually add stuff. It’s also baffling that any GPS/NVG/Helmets/vests seem unwanted by the Resistance as they simply do not get stored or used at all.

    The main mission also assigns you an equipment loadout after the briefing the mission designer deems appropriate, though this might be a bit paltry and/or completely different compared to what you hauled in previously.

    (true story)
    “You’re attacking an AAF base at night, take this 5.56mm rifle and this flashlight”
    “But what about the thermal-scoped 7.62 LMG, RPG, ballistic helmet, plate carrier, big backpack full of ammo and NVGs I had just a minute ago before I walked into the briefing?”
    “Sorry, they’re gone now.”
    “WAT?”

    Yeah, if you don’t stash your stuff before attending a briefing it disappears, which is a shame.

    The scouting missions, aside from netting you better gear, have zero effect on your standing within the resistance story wise or practical in the main missions despite what you would assume. Knocking out armored vehicles doesn’t give any lighter opposition, stealing medical supplies does not give you another medic, wiping out a checkpoint doesn’t give fewer patrols at the target and recovering vast amounts of superior weapons and vehicles does not give your comrades the luxury of them. Not even a thank you or acknowledgment other than “Task Completed”. A lot of missed opportunities there to give them purpose within the hub context, but at least they’re pretty enjoyable to play. It’s odd to see considering BIS executed the side-mission influencing main-mission concept successfully in the the original ArmA.

    Then in WIN, the mission hub shows up once at the start and the mechanic is abandoned after that. It’s pure campaign missions from then on, but in good Arma fashion that allows you the tactical freedom to approach objectives as you want (within the usual artificial boundaries, on punishment of instant mortars when crossed). It’s a bombastic OMG explosions finale that doesn’t really pull any punches but is fun to play and leaves you with a cliffhanger.

    • hemmingjay says:

      OMG, this sums everything up perfectly! You described the only issues I have with the game. Overall, I really enjoyed it, but the gripes you mention are indeed bothersome and never go away.

    • SystemiK says:

      This is the problem that I always seem to keep coming back to with Bohemia. No matter how much they manage to get right, they always manage to get so much wrong. It’s almost like, after so many years, I’ve grown to love hating them. I imagine this will never change…

  9. Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

    I switched hard drives and never managed to persuade ArmA 3 to reload my save partway through the second campaign. Gave up in the end. Shame, as it was quite promising.

  10. soldant says:

    None of them have been as good as Operation Flashpoint. The new attempts aren’t bad but they’re primarily hampered by the AI doing stupid things outside of your control. I’m all for dynamic gameplay but when the AI does one thing wrong because it’s too stupid to properly navigate within 100m of a building, I have to give up.

    • Uboa Noticed You says:

      My favorite was when I ordered my anti-tank soldier to fire at an APC and he did so… with his assault rifle.

  11. vegeta1998 says:

    I genuinely don’t think they have improved much at all since Operation Flashpoint, if anything the AI seems worse, and it’s now inexcusable 15 years down the track from OF.
    Every Arma game just seems to be a reskin job, with some new weapons and sounds I don’t care about, while the same problems persist.
    Arma sequels are like a long Chinese menu – all they seem to want to do is add more and more flashy options that don’t work together and make you sick.
    Gordan Ramsay should visit Bohemia, they need to learn how to do the basics well first.

    • soldant says:

      That’s why I’ve given up on the series. The environment keeps getting better, but the AI have never, ever learned to use it properly. The exact same AI issues that were in the original game persist over a decade later. I appreciate that it’s a big job to get decent AI, but they’re so ridiculously unreliable that your successes or failures during the campaign are attributable to whether the AI screw up or not.

    • Volcanu says:

      Has anyone really improved AI in the past 10 years? I’m not defending ArmA on that count, but it does feel like games have been stuck in a time warp from an AI standopint for years now. It’s particularly noticeable in franchise games, and happens in all genres – RPGs, FPS, RTS, TBS – none of these seem to have done any better with AI than they were doing in 2005 (an arbitrary year). I cant remember the last game where I went, “wow, these enemies FEEL smart”. It might have been Half Life 1 (which I know created the illusion of being smart, more than was actually the case).

      I’m guessing because it’s hard. And I suppose it’s not a very sexy bulletpoint when you are trying to flog your game, compared to whizzy new graphics.

      Anyway maybe I’m wrong, but that’s certainly what it feels like. RPS-herd feel free to correct me.

  12. herschel says:

    Here´s my two cents… I´m playing the Adapt chunk right now and I really enjoy it.

    There are just two point I cannot get over.

    1. The friendly AI is veeeery dumb. I mostly put the men I command behind cover and pull the shit off myself (which is possible, because I play on low diffculty, because I can and because I´m a casual gamer)
    2. Why enemy AI won´t surrender? I really miss that… standing in front of a truck and aming a 7.62 rifle at the driver from point blank should make him surrender, considering all of his teammates are dead. An enemy soldier taking his last stand in a wooden shed should surrender, when he´s under heavy fire.

    That´s all.

  13. DThor says:

    I have a 3 year old computer with a 1 year old card that cost me under $300 and the game has always run gangbusters for me. As long as you have 4 cores (+ hyperthreading), a decent clock speed(I’m 3.2) and a somewhat recent card (not at all bleeding edge), you’re fine. I admit back when I got the system it was sort of bleeding edge but it’s nothing special now. This is the longest I’ve gone without upgrading my desktop and I don’t feel the pinch at all. Golden times, people. Moore’s Law is dead!
    As far as the game, I bought and *hated* Arma 2,I couldn’t get past the interface and horrid AI, but for whatever reason 3 is awesome. Yes, you have to invest a little time in figuring out how to interact with the world, and charming bugs like calling down a command post when you’re in a lighthouse and finding it’s been built *into* the structure and you’re trapped(restart). I’ve found the campaign to be obvious, uninspired and amateur in execution. You see everything coming miles away, writers they are not.
    It’s all about the community, hands down, and the incredible sandbox these guys have created for them. They cater to this market like crazy and the stuff getting generated is far better than anything they’ve made. The sandbox is incredibly immersive.

  14. yvettegjones says:

    hi