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Arma: Cold War Assault is free right now to celebrate its 20th birthday

The former Operation: Flashpoint is still a classic two decades on

It’s been 20 years since the release of the Operation Flashpoint, and about a decade since Bohemia Interactive repackaged their mil-sim as Arma: Cold War Assault. So what better way to celebrate that milestone than by giving the game away for free? You can now grab Arma: Cold War Assault for zero of your local currency on Steam and GOG for the next couple of days.

The giveaway was announced in the 20th anniversary livestream while a small gathering of old Bohemia Interactive hands relived the old days.

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Even though there’s nothing else like the Arma series today, Op Flash was even more out there for its time. It was astonishing. Buggy and confusing, sure. But it had scale and depth. And. The. AI. Talked. Like. This.

Pretty much everyone I grew up with in PC gaming has a favourite Operation Flashpoint moment or mod. For me, it was when a few of us on PC Gamer gathered together on a LAN to play a zombie mod. It started out as a normal mission, then the sky turned red, the fog gathered, and the dead attacked. It was a blast. This was years before DayZ was a burst blood vessel in Dean Hall’s eye, and a testament to a community that was really getting to grips with the modding potential that the series had.

It’s telling that there’s really only one developer making this sort of game. It takes more than resources. Something like Arma 3 needs an Arma 2 before it, and an Arma 1, and a renamed original game wrestled from the original publishers. Original owners Codemasters' attempts at Operation Flashpoint sequels were a pale imitation of the series, and Soldner was... well, Soldner.

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I’m not going to tell you that you’ll grab it for nothing and that it’ll stand up to today’s Arma series. Not even nostalgia can hide how old it is, but a few mods can spruce things up a little. Go grab it from Steam or GOG while you can.

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