Arma 3 Playable Alpha Coming Post E3

Tanks: always willing to help look for a
Just like they did with Take On Helicopters, Bohemia Interactive are going to crowd-source a portion of Arma 3’s bug-testing to the community, as well as just letting everyone have a poke around, with a playable alpha release sometime after E3. Their military sim series has always suffered brutally buggy launches, but with plenty of players poking at it in the months before release, things should run a lot smoother. And by that, I mean a LOT smoother. Gamers will be able to start planning mods ahead of the full launch, and you’ll also totally be able to put ‘Game Q&A Tester’ on your CV.

The blog post points out how they’re striving for useability, a welcome addition to the clunky finger-curling series. I understand why they feel the need for the reams and reams of menus, but I don’t think it’s particularly well done. Here’s hoping they’ll achieve a balance of complexity and accessibility. A difficult thing when your game has 900 square kilometers of land filled with dynamic AI and missions, and hundreds of accurately modeled military toys, but at least they’re asking for input.

It does amount to a delay, as the full game was expected in summer, but quell that rising anger with a few new screenshots. They’re pretty.


  1. grundus says:

    Excellent. I’ve been playing a bit more Arma II: OA lately and while I still can’t get within 300 metres of an enemy without becoming considerably more dead than I was, I do enjoy 600 metre plus sniping and the use of vehicles. I have yet to try it online, though, I suspect that would be immense fun, if only I could work out which servers I can join if I only have OA and the BAF DLC and not the original Arma II.

    Oh yeah, therefore I’m looking forward to Arma III. Yes.

    • pepper says:

      Each server shows what content its running in the bottom(BAF Lite, PLC Lite, OA etc). You can use this to check against your own content. Note that you DONT have to own the British Armed Forces(BAF) and the PLC Addons. If you dont have them low-res content will be loaded and you can happily play on servers running it.

      But, most servers require ARMAII and OA as a minimum unfortunately.

    • Harlander says:

      The scheduled RPS and Folk sessions require both original ArmA2 and OA, but it might be possible to arrange some goings-on on the RPS server that only needs OA.

      (I think we’ve got some missions without A2 stuff in still on the server, right? Anyone?)

    • egg651 says:

      Lord knows, Harlander… Though come to think of it, I don’t recall Stillborn Eagle using any non-OA content. And if there ever were a mission to introduce someone to ArmA with ARPS, that would be it.

    • egg651 says:

      I have been sent by the God of the RPC Steam chat, harakka, to give you this link.

    • Premium User Badge

      Joshua says:

      APpernetly there is some “Combined Ops Lite” floating around on the Bohemia Interactive forums – so you can apperently let Arma 2 free “blend into” OA so that you can play on CO servers… But you will have to look on the forums.

    • Chortles says:

      @ grundus: It’s been discovered that apparently ARMA 2: Free is actually multiplayer-compatible with OA ever since the 1.11 patch for ARMA 2: Free, which was rolled out alongside the 1.60 patch for OA at the end of last year, so you should now only need OA for full multiplayer compatibility/mod support.

  2. Artist says:

    Bet it will still be a Bohemia release? With cake, bugs, rants and everything? Im sure they dont need another shooter that makes them rush into traditional disaster, hehe!
    Im in – with or without release rant party! =)

  3. Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

    Bloody hell. Never mind crowd sourcing, I’m thrilled that Bohemia are actually planning to do some QA, of any sort.

    Not that I’m buying it – I’m fed up of giving Bohemia money for games that won’t work on any extant PC.

    • Chortles says:

      Define extant here? Incidentally, I’ve heard that BI’s own QA team consists of only fourteen people…

    • lurkalisk says:

      I’ve never seen any evidence that it’s ever been so bad as you… Imply.

  4. kataras says:

    @grundus: You should be able to find Arma2 on the cheap. Then read this and join the fun:link to

    On a more general note, I can attest the ripples on the sea are realistic. And I can’t wait for the game and the subsequent melting of my PC when I try to run it…

  5. yhalothar says:

    Whee! I guess this is what prepubescents feel while waiting for the next release of Modern Warfare.

    • Mavvvy says:

      Haha got to agree I’m feeling that. Although I reackon an actual SAS soldier has jumped off a building spun around 3 times and hit someone in the nuts with a knife a 100 meters away!!

  6. Goodtwist says:

    This is all really great. Now, BIS, please make the in-game voice sound more human and less robotic.

    • Neurook says:

      Yes, but maybe not quite as “human” as the guys in BF3. I swear that game needs to have it’s mouth washed out with soap.

    • egg651 says:

      I always thought that being told of the enemy… MAN two HUNdred.. metres LEFT in that way had a certain charm to it. Or maybe that’s because I usually play co-op and don’t have to put up with the AI chatter often.

  7. Dowson says:

    I hope they do improve accessibility, like just adding in an option when you boot up for say, Arcade/Realistic versions, with Arcade cutting down the controls and making the AI partners more competent without commands.
    I really enjoyed ARMA 2 but I always felt so hopelessly lost and confused by the command/control system.

    • DaftPunk says:

      I don’t believe that will happen with Bohemia,ever. Thanks god.

    • Jekhar says:

      I second that. Granted, ArmaAs Interface is overwhelming for first time players and could certainly do with a little usability smoothing here and there. But the trick is to start simple, as a lowly grunt following orders.

    • egg651 says:

      What jekhar says is true – All you really need to do is learn to move, shoot and use the scroll wheel and that’s good enough to play; despite all of the various other fluff it tries to teach you in the tutorial. ArmA’s control scheme suffers from perceived complexity that stems from its subpar tutorials and reputation as a fustercluck of a game.

    • Lionmaruu says:

      Agree with you, Arma 2 is a mess to play, its not “realist” its just stupid, not fun at all. And it is a pity because the game have potential.

    • Ruminator says:

      Sure it was clunky and a little buggy, but I had a great time. Not realistic? Definitely more realistic than any other shooter out there. Not fun? For many people, certainly. I imagine most people don’t have the patience for this sort of thing.

      I for one, really enjoyed my slow cautious walks through Arma II’s fantastic terrains (imo), constantly checking my surroundings and making use of cover. Then punctuated by some great surprises and good challenging firefights. Fun in my book!

    • Chortles says:

      What Jekhar and egg651 said.

      If all you’re doing is moving, shooting and reloading, you’re mostly using the same controls as other modern first- or third-person shooters on PC, other than leaning, lacking a jump (V being to “vault” over the infamous low fences) and the first-person/third-person toggle. The mouse wheel for changing weapons and grenades being part of the fire modes cycle I believe to be the only major actions that are ARMA-specific.

  8. Shooop says:

    Lots of eye-candy, but little fun. Will this finally change?

    • Khemm says:

      I admit Operation Flashpoint had a better campaign than ArmA 1 or 2, but to say ArmAs aren’t “fun” is a lie… Unless you’re not into sims, then it’s understandable.

      Speaking of sim-like shooters, we need another Rainbow Six in the vein of RS1-3. BADLY.

    • Shooop says:

      There comes a point in any sim you have to realize you can’t pull off each and ever single action/mechanic you’d have in reality because you are using a keyboard and mouse (unless you’re playing a flight sim because you’re insane and insanely rich, buying $1500 joysticks and pedals). There are limitations you have to adjust your game to deal with so it can actually be played somewhat effectively without a direct link to your brainwaves.

      ARMA has had a lot of trouble dealing with this. It should never be easier to order your entire APC convoy to evacuate their vehicles in the middle of a firefight instead of ordering them to flank the enemies like you were trying to tell them to do.

      The “go anywhere, get blown up by real tanks!” sandbox is brilliant. But trying to experience it is unnecessarily painful in pervious ARMA games. I really want to see that change this time around because I absolutely love the concept.

    • Unaco says:

      Play it with other people. It’s great… Most of the issues, with AI compatriots and the like, disappear if they’re replaced with real people.

  9. sephiroth says:

    well as I’m disapointed with battlecod 3 I think I’m going to be trying this ARMA thing.

    looks like a PC game should in 2012 as well which is a refreshing change, yes a few little things could be better graphically but graphics a good game does not make and anything that looks nice enough to give a playstaion some kind of anaphylactic shock is good enough for me.

  10. Shortwave says:

    No matter what I do, I can’t get the previous game to run on my PC without crashing.
    Still, I’m going to buy this and hope it’ll actually work for me.
    Looks brilliant. I’ll want it just for a flight simulator alone.
    I like having little realistic meat puppets scattering on the ground below me.

  11. Kadayi says:

    I look forward to future TV reports mistaking ingame footage real events.

  12. Zib says:

    Just to point out:
    ‘Game Q&A Tester
    It’s QA, not Q&A. ‘Game QA Analyst’ would be better.

  13. BoZo says:

    Working rear view mirrors! Finally.