Full Metal Demo: Arma II

Update: Mirrors and some troubleshooting tips in this thread.

The demo of soldiering giganto-sim Arma II, which contains a surprisingly large chunk of the full game – including a limited version of the extremely versatile scenario editor – is now available. Get it here.

The demo comes to just under 3gb, but it’s an essential download for those of you who want to check out compatibility and performance issues before buying. And anyone else vaguely interested in the game, obviously. I’ve been caning the full thing for the best part of two weeks, and I’ve kept delaying the RPS review because, well, I just keep finding more stuff to do in it. I’ll stop tinkering and post full impressions early next week. Launch trailer and full demo content details below.

From BIS:

Overview of the demo content:

Boot Camp:
Boot camp provides you with several scenarios which can help you to better enjoy the ArmA 2 demo.
To play the scenarios, start the game and select SingleplayerBootcamp from the main menu. The following tutorials are available:
Basic Training – You can learn the basics of the game controls, movement and principles of first aid and infantry combat in this tutorial. If you’re new to the world of military simulations, it is strongly recommended to learn these basics.
Parachute Jump – In this tutorial, you have a chance to try precision-jumping with a steerable parachute.
Helicopter – Learn the basics of helicopter flight, transportation of troops and attack chopper tactics.
Team – Learn the basics of your team’s command and control. This tutorial will teach you how to command your subordinates and manage your team.
High Command – You are often given command of whole groups in the bigger battles (e.g. Death Valley scenario). This tutorial describes the basics of the high-commander’s job.
Construction – In a large-scale scenarios (Death Valley in the demo), you can construct defenses, HQ buildings or structures which enable you to enroll certain unit types.
This tutorial will teach you the basics of the construction interfaces.

Three scenarios and an editable mission template are featured in the demo. Scenarios are accessible from the main menu’s Singleplayer > Scenarios section.

Trial by Fire – A marine assault team is inserted on the Utes island to capture an OPFOR base. To successfully complete this mission, advance together with the rest of your team, follow your orders and avoid being too brave.

Death Valley – Small mission to introduce and also teach you how to use the RTS/FPS blend mode for ArmA 2 – The Warfare mode.
In this large-scale battle, your objectives are to capture all strategic locations or destroy all structures on the enemy base in your area of operation.
It is recommended to play Team, High Command and Construction tutorials before you start playing this mission.

Benchmark – This scenario is an unplayable cinematic benchmark test that will help you determine the best setting for playing ArmA 2 on your computer or to compare your hardware. Average FPS is displayed at the end of this scenario.

Mission Template: Basic – To start this mission template, activate “My missions…”, select “”, “01:Basic”, choose the side you want to play for, and edit the mission conditions.


It’s possible to play a multiplayer battle or customize some of the available mission templates.

To start the template-based multiplayer, select “< >” and select from the list of available templates. Note that templates are customizable, and you may prepare many variations of existing setups.

Death Valley – Multiplayer version of the scenario. Up to 16 players may take part in this battle. In “Create game”,
Multiplayer Mission Template: Deathmatch – Free-for-all fight for up to 16 players.
Multiplayer Mission Template: Team Deathmatch – Two teams fight in a small area. Up to 16 players may play in this scenario.
Multiplayer Mission Template: Seize The Area – Cooperative scenario for up to 6 players, whose task is to eliminate all hostile units in a designated area.

Mission editor:
Limited version of Mission Editor is present in the demo. Note that it’s not possible to either save or load a custom mission in the demo.

Check http://community.bistudio.com/wiki/ArmA:_Mission_Editor to learn more about the basic features of the editor.

And those system specs:

Minimal PC System Requirements
• Dual Core CPU (Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz, Intel Core 2.0 GHz, AMD Athlon 3200+ or faster)
• 1 GB RAM
• GPU (NVIDIA GeForce 7800 / ATI Radeon 1800 or faster) with Shader Model 3 and 256 MB VRAM
• Windows XP

Recommended PC System Requirements

• Quad Core CPU or fast Dual Core CPU (Intel Core 2.8 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ or faster)
• 2 GB RAM
• Fast GPU (NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT or ATI Radeon 4850 or faster) with Shader Model 3 and 512 or more MB VRAM
• Windows XP or Vista


  1. cullnean says:

    download server is full…………..gah

    must take advantage of work uber connection!

  2. dartt says:

    Oh Wow! I had no idea this was even coming.

    I had forgotten that they did demos for OF and AA. Roll on home time!

  3. Tom says:

    thanks for the comments

  4. cullnean says:

    hopefully its as good as the flash game!

  5. Markoff Chaney says:

    This game has moved to the top of my must play list. Thanks for the tip on the demo. I can’t wait to read more of the hivemind’s (Overlord or plebian like meself) thinks on this game. The last thread was fantastic. Make me spend more money I can’t afford. At least this game looks like it has some LONG legs to her and will be more than worth the money. Now I can find out for myself.

    On a similar note: I’m always glad to see a demo pop up. Doubly so on a game as ambitious as ArmA2 is. I wish all games had one so we could test out the code on our boxes and see if we can even play what that fifty dollars buys us. Thanks Bohemia Interactive!

  6. Mike says:

    Yeah, really do download this before buying. Even if you hit the specs, hardware and software conflicts still seem abounds in places.

    I’ve heard it’s awesome though.

  7. tapanister says:

    Man, I dislike military fps’s where you liberate the world and stuff from evil tyrany (being more of a quake/ut/sci-fi guy) but that’s some seriously good visuals in that game.

  8. cullnean says:

    file planet has it as well

    link to fileplanet.com

  9. Bergotronic says:

    Hmmm, do I download the demo to play for a couple hours before my steam pre-order unlocks tommrow? Dare I needlessly contributre to my bandwith cap? DAMN YES!

  10. Turin Turambar says:

    This is a case of the recommended specs being really the “medium” specs. The really recommended specs are a overclocked (or high speed) iCore 7, 4 GB of RAM, and a Ati 4890 or GTX 275 (or even better gpu if you want AA, everything on Very High, and a good framerate).

  11. TC says:

    Too late…Already speculated £25 on it.

    Mission editor is worth it alone really, SP campaign not as much fun IMO but I never really was one for ground pounding.

  12. IdleHands says:

    Already brought it and found it hates my lappy with a passion. I just see it as an investment for my future computer, nothing worse than upgrading a computer and having nothing to truly test it on.

  13. Theory says:

    If you don’t fancy a 3GB HTTP download, and like me don’t have the luxury of Bittorrent, wait for the demo to appear on Steam. :)

  14. Richard Clayton says:

    Does the mission editor allow you to make single-player missions or is it just for multiplayer? Anyway I will clear some space, start the download and go down the pub while it gets on with it!

  15. Theory says:

    I take that back! Looks like BT have unthrottled torrents (for GameUpdates, at least).

  16. Bogie says:

    Dont be fooled by the pretty graphics this game is as buggy as hell.
    I’m done with it after 2 hours of frustration. I’d send it back to the shop if I could.
    I might try it again after a few more patches.

  17. meeper says:

    I bought the full version a week ago and am thoroughly enjoying it. That being said, it’s still very much an ArmA or OFP.

  18. ascagnel says:

    This might be my game of the summer… if it doesn’t run as poorly as ArmA. That, on a Core Duo w/ 8800GT, still chugged in cities at the lowest settings.

  19. Anton says:

    Excellent, great thinking about the gamers. And from the demo description it looks like lots of gameplay is possible in it. Lots of gameplay HOURS too, for slower PCs :)

  20. Mr Dan says:

    I’m trying link to gameupdates.org game demo/patch torrent tracker. Faster than fileplanet or gameshell so far anyway

  21. IdleHands says:

    Actually while I’m here, if I may intrude and ask for some advice. What kind of specs would you recommend for playing such games? I may be a gaming geek but I know very little of the latest tech out now.

  22. jatan says:

    wow- i was big into ofp– but the reviews and the videos make it all look just the same as ofp but with 2009 graphics….i have played that game already (for about 2 years :)…… no sale…not sure why but the player uploaded videos look so like my memories of ofp that it barely looks any better at all – memory is a funny thing …..

  23. autogunner says:

    took longer for vista to scan the bloody thing than it did to download, anyway installing now, apache flying soon! thoughts later.

  24. autogunner says:

    oh dead installer isnt working, this makes me sad

  25. Slippery Jim says:

    If this may help anyone with a DX9 error:

    link to bluesnews.com

  26. Fat says:

    Enjoying the retail version of this, and not sure of all these bugs people keep mentioning, have they all even played it? Only bug i had was a graphical one caused by my drivers.

    But that said, the patch that came out a few days ago actually made SOME bugs appear that weren’t present after i first installed it, so i uninstalled and am gonna stick to the DVD version (1.01).

    I’m only playing the co-op campaign with friends and a bit of solo stuff anyway… the lag (maybe bad netcode) is so awful at the moment that any large scale battles seem to kill the servers so that’s pointless at the moment. Which is a bit of a shame, but hopefully they’ll fix that.

    But yeah, patch or not… i ain’t seen any of these crashes or anything that people keep talking about.

  27. MrBejeebus says:

    got the full game on tuesday and while it all looks like a blob on my screen – my pc sucks – its great fun, me and a friend decided to take motorbikes and take some hunting rifles and just went off into the forest hunting deer :D

    I cant wait till i get a new pc anyway, will be able to enjoy it fully

  28. Gap Gen says:

    My main complaint is the intelligence of Razor team. In the assault on Chernagorsk, I lost a team member and was forced to reload a number of times because they wandered into the open and were shot by the sniper we were trying to take out.

  29. Petethegoat says:

    Also got this on Tuesday, and have now ordered another copy to get me some multiplayer action! I have seen no crashes yet, and very few bugs actually, which is awesome.
    It doesn’t bring my system to its knees either, even at most settings on high and with the view distance at 3000-ish.

    This begs for a Stalker mod though- it already has boars and a similar atmosphere! Come on people, get modding! :D

  30. Gap Gen says:

    On reasonable settings at the native resolution of my monitor, the framerate is about 20, which is OK, but to be really playable I had to turn my resolution down to a vaseline-smear, which is a shame.

  31. Petethegoat says:

    Actually, I noticed that the Razor team AI isn’t brilliant too, but I guess that’s what coop is for. Also, I’m running it on the above settings at 1680*1050, with a nice frame rate. Maybe it just likes my PC. I’m not running an uber-rig, either. How bizarre. Oh well, at least I can play it! :p

  32. Ed says:

    A pox on shader model 3.

    My PC is reasonably decent, my GPU was decent a year or so ago. Plays Bioshock with the community hack really well.

    It’s a mostly arbitrary limitation that annoys the crap out of me. I can’t justify the cost of a new graphics card.

    This must be what it feels like to own a HD-DVD player.

  33. Jim Rossignol says:

    “the assault on Chernagorsk”

    The AI does seem to really struggle with urban environments. Battles in woodlands etc see Razor team behave much more sensibly.

  34. Thirith says:

    I’m hearing contradictory things on the game’s performance on different hardware setups. What’s the RPS crew’s impression of how the game runs?

  35. Shamanic Miner says:

    I find that it runs much better than ARMA did and really is a step up in visuals. I’m very impressed so far even with some bits not doing what they should. In fact, it can come over to my house and f**k my sister.

  36. Thirith says:

    I run better than ARMA did and on a good day I look better than it. Can I come over? ;-)

  37. Dominic White says:

    I’ve got a fairly aged PC, and run the game at maxed out detail. In fact, I uploaded a video of it to youtube here:
    link to youtube.com

    And a direct download version (81mb) here:
    link to mediafire.com

    That’s 1440 x 900, maxed out detail on:

    Windows XP 32bit
    2GB RAM
    2.13ghz Core2Duo
    ATI 4850HD
    Creative Audigy 2

    And very playable too. Plus, recording via Fraps lowers the framerate by quite a bit as well.

  38. Koopa says:

    The demo is available on Steam now. Looks like I got my friday night plans all set up for me…

  39. Linfosoma says:


  40. Dominic White says:

    Oh, by the way, in my video above I’m using an audio mod (better gunfire, engine sounds, etc), and a radio protocols hack that makes radio comms faster and more terse, so while the information flows faster, it doesn’t sound as natural as usual.

  41. GregP says:

    A couple of things I wanted to mention:

    1) No need to wait for Steam unlocks or retail availability in the US; it’s been available online from Nexway (link to arma2.nexway.com) since last Friday, I bought and downloaded and was playing by Saturday morning.

    2) If everything looks blurry when you start the game up, crank up the ‘render res’ (I think that’s the name of the setting – it’s the one that shows higher resolutions than what you’re actually running and then what percentage that represents of your actual res, i.e. 100%, 125%, 133%, etc.). Rather than using the standard FSAA/MSAA technique, ArmA2 uses an “over-rendering and downsampling” technique where internally it renders a higher res and then downsamples to the res you’re actually running. FSAA is actually supported via a tweak in the arma2.cfg file, but doesn’t look that good and deactivates most shadowing.

    3) Required system specs to get good performance at high res are indeed quite high. I run a Core2Duo E8500 @3.8GHz, 4 GB PC-8500, and a GeForce GTX 280, and at 1920×1080 with render res set to 150%, I often stuggle in the 15-20 range.

  42. Dominic White says:

    @GregP – the reason you’re struggling is because you’re effectively rendering a 2880 x 1620 (which is a retardedly high resolution) image there, and downscaling it to 1920 x 1080 (which is merely very high).

  43. Turin Turambar says:

    1080p with 150% fillrate is 2880×1620, GregP. A big resolution.

  44. GregP says:

    @ Dominic and Turin,

    Right, I understand that. :) I guess I didn’t say it clearly enough, but what I meant was, if you want to run high res AND high quality, sysreqs are REALLY high, and/or you’re going to suffer low FPS.

  45. GregP says:

    Also, should’ve mentioned that for me, even at 1080p the jaggies were annoyingly too distracting, that’s why I choose to over-render. Although admittedly, even at 125% it’s a good enough improvement over 100%; I’m just using 150% because I actually didn’t see much of a FPS drop going from 125 to 133 to 150.

  46. Feanor says:

    Too much for my PC to run.

  47. Pedwarpump says:

    Dominic, that’s almost exactly the same as my specs, in fact it is the same, yet I get 20ish fps running the campaign on mid-settings? Any secrets I’m missing?

  48. Turin Turambar says:

    Gregp, in the demo i get AA and shadows working, perhaps in the next patch it will be also the case, in the full game.