Thursday, March 14, 2013

Opa! Arma 3 Alpha Lands in the Mediterranean

According to my Steam guilt-o-meter (the thingy that details how many hours I've spent not completing my chores, including blog updates), out of the last seven days I dedicated an entire one playing the new ArmA 3 Alpha.

I approached this thing with some considerable reluctance. My opinion of alphas was very low and I pretty much considered them as useful as bug-ridden demos. This time though, even yia-yia approves. There are bugs off course and the contents are limited. But Bohemia Interactive have crafted a cool mix that worked for me beyond just simple showcasing.

The setting for the upcoming ArmA III is in three Greek islands of the Aegean Sea during a massive Iranian invasion around the mid-2030s.

I have to admit I'm not very fond of the futuristic setting and some of the gear presented in the alpha, but certainly can see the forest behind the trees ... And I like what I'm seeing.

The helmet of the Iranian infantry men make them look like termites. Oh, well ...
A close up of the British infantry featured in the Alpha.
Iranian infantry. I want those gloves for my next fist-fight!
Besides a noticeable more fluid movement of my pixel-self, there are options to fine tune my stance to in-between the classical standing, crouching or prone. In this picture, a marksman shoots at a distant hill from a low window at a building.
For the time being, the only artillery available are mortars.
Modules extravaganza. The new available modules will reduce the programming skills threshold needed to edit solid and engaging missions. Case shown here, the artillery and helicopter support modules. The player (icon with red outline) is synchronized with a "support requester" module (blue circular icon to the east). In turn the support requester module is synchronized with a "support provider" modules to the north and south. Each support provider is synchronized with its corresponding asset(s): a helicopter transport to the north and two mortars to the south.
The options of the support requester module synchronized with the player. In this case, just 5 indirect fire missions.

This is me playing the mission discussed above. Note how I have helicopter transport and mortars as support.
On time, on target, every time. Scary stuff.
A 10 men squad is a very welcome change from ArmA 2's eight ...
Another interesting module is the "observation post". Just add the module in the editor and a team of infantry will man the position. I was almost floored to find out that this automatically placed infantry occupies military buildings ... And on a second floor! 
But wait, there is more: the observation post module placed one infantry inside a military building ... It will be fun to storm and clear these AI controlled OPs.
The setting of the game feels a bit like pushing it too close for the Call of Duty/Tom Clancy crowd. But the ability to produce user content remains and is now more accessible. The future seems bright. Let's shoot at it!



Marco said...

It's so goood, we are just waiting in our community that somebody release an Acre stuff for the commns and we´ll star rolling on this amazing game, Arma 2 it will be a very difficult thing to let go, but this is premium quality, it's so good even as an alpha. Great report.

Anthony Mercando said...

Dog Company's been playing pretty consistently. It's in great shape for an Alpha. Can't wait for the bugs to start getting stomped. JC, if you have any scenarios you're willing to share, I'd love to give them a go with a bunch of dysfunctional players!

As far as the new editor things, a lot of things we're still finding out. I'm happy to see you've already figured out a lot, I haven't dared to try to mess with the new modules, but I will be now.

As for ACRE, Marco, Noubers told me to expect it within the next few weeks.

Gowan James Ditchburn said...

I just got Arma 2 the complete package, not a bad price but I think that I better stay away (for the sake of my wallet) from Arma 3 for a while... besides I have models to paint, and if you are interested when I post a picture of all the pretty tanks I painted I'll tell you.

as for Arma 2 great fun, playing around with the editors (especially the 3D one is great. Shame I cannot get the Czech Republic add-on to work. but hopefully it should not matter.

(besides the free mods available are very interesting, the Challenger 2 is on my must download list, because its a favourite of mine and the police stuff also looks good)

Anonymous said...

Have they done away with the awful key control system ?

Anonymous said...

Was the game a hog on system resources??.. I like this but not sure if my old first gen i7 machine can handle it.

Anthony Mercando said...

If you can run Arma 2, you're good. A lot of optimization's gone into it already, and a lot more's being done.

Anonymous said...

Performance is alot better than ARMA2. Game looks better and performs better, and even plays better. AI seems to have had a major overhaul, amazing watching them assault a town. I finally feel safe within an AI controlled team.

ARMA 3 is a must buy.

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