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Tactical Strike: ArmA Goes Full XCOM On Nvidia's Shield

Hey tiny ArmA soldier man who’s tiny now, something’s different about you. Something tremendous, but in a comparatively puny package. But what– sorry, WHAT COULD IT BE. Oh, wait, you’re the one who should be shouting to compensate for your newly diminutive stature? Not me? Right, I always get that mixed up. Anyway, I guess I’m just going to give up on guessing now– wait! I figured it out! I’ve become a giant. Now all will cower before me and write melodious odes to my unkempt toenails. Or I suppose Bohemia could be downsizing and XCOM-ifying ArmA’s brand of modern military simulation for Nvidia’s Project Shield gizmo, but no, that’d just be crazy.

ArmA Tactics is being developed as a showcase for Nvidia’s upcoming portable powerhouse, though Bohemia’s pretty strongly suggested that regular PCs will also get their own itsy bitsy army men to fling about in the sandbox. Here’s the basic idea behind ArmA’s not quite so in-your-face edition:

“Arma Tactics is a turn-based close-combat strategy game, where the player takes control of a four-member Special Forces team. There are no given strategies, rails to move on, or paths to follow; it‘s up to the player to decide how he will play through both the story-driven missions and generated missions with randomized objectives.”

Apparently we will, in the process, go brain-to-brain against “many different opponents – ranging from unorganized local militia to smart and skilled mercenaries.” No aliens, however, sadly. Also, Bohemia made sure to emphasize that there will be so many graphics. Motion-capture, “sophisticated” particles (I like to imagine they wear tiny little monocles), and post-processing effects top the list, suggesting that Nvidia and Bohemia are trying their damndest to dispel the “bigger is better” myth.

Of course, any sort of hardware showcase runs the risk of coming in feature-light and whizzbang-special-effects-heavy, so that’s something to keep an eye out for here as well. Fortunately, a full single-player campaign, “special” game modes, individual character progression, and randomly generated side missions at least make ArmA Tactics sound like a big deal. But then again, it’s easy to write a fact sheet. It’s a fair bit harder to ensure it’s not all just fiction. We’ll find out once this year’s second Q rolls around. So spring-ish, I guess.

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Nathan Grayson

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