Wednesday, September 11, 2013

ArmA 3 – Enough water towers and cars with orange bumpers to keep yerselves entertained for years

ArmA 3’s official release is hours away and I know that I will fall in unconditional love with it. I’m just that hard of a critic. But before that happens, allow me to put into words my last effort of resistance.

1.       Competition is ferocious and the market has the last word, but the setting of ArmA 3 sounds implausible and a lot of the featured military hardware is too futuristic.
a.       The likelihood of a Middle East superpower, as generic as BI wants to present it (is it Iran or some other made up country?), rising within the next thirty years and looking into maritime projection seems remote. Imagine the reaction of Turkey, Saudi Arabia or Israel to a Mediterranean invasion! They say that reality is stranger than fiction. There are plenty of potential sources of conflict out there. Ironically, Operation Flashpoint Dragon Rising was more verisimilar than ArmA 3.
b.      The above blue pill swallowed (you may call it “let it go it’s just a game”), what’s the likelihood of Middle East country being able to afford the weapon systems featured in ArmA 3? Not that these systems are totally made up … It is just that the OPFOR’s organization and opulent equipment looks like a defense contractor’s sales pitch.
2.       Many of the irritations that were in since Cold War Crisis are still there
a.       Getting yourself stuck on rocks and bushes. It happens less, but it is still there.
b.      Driving. Improved now, but I just want to drive like I am totally sober
c.       Vehicles with AI crews that drive like in a Fast and Furious movie while in the open and like a drunk moron in closed areas.
d.      The utter inability of the AI to use indirect fire. Without some coding effort, that is. If modders can do it, why not BI?
3.       Not many new tactical talents vested upon the AI. I like ArmA’s AI and yes, it is the best out there. ArmA 3’s AI is allegedly better. What about a notch more? Something like, ambush or attack by fire commands?  I know these things can be asked from the AI with proper commands, but the meaning of the mission gets lost in the cumulative defects of the individual commands.

This new ArmA 3 was without any doubt a huge project. Keeping all in perspective, the overall balance is a primary focus on looks, user interface and new content. Lots of new content. The new content stopped just a few inches short of a G.I. Joe movie, but that’s just my opinion.  But who am I to judge? Content is what scored Bohemia Interactive a victory over America’s Army 3 in a bid for the US Army’s attention. In the words of Col. Casey Wardynski, “we lost because it didn't [AA3] have enough water towers or cars with orange bumpers”.

Anyway, the clock is ticking. Resistance is futile.


RangerX3X said...

I am looking forward to the release and intend to pick it up on Steam (hopefully in a few hours). I appreciate your sober analysis of the product and agree with the points made about possibly being too futuristic to be plausible. And it is a sad sight to see that it appears the developer is silently looking on the mod community to continue to carry their water in terms of improving the game (kind of like releasing the D-Day DLC for Iron Front and forgetting to put in parachutes).

Essah said...

Don't play with AI, find an online community, that's where the good stuff is. You're missing out on the best ArmA has to offer.

that aside I completely agree with your opinion of the setting. I really liked ArmA2's setting and would have liked more of that. contomporary equipment more likely story

JC said...

Hi Ranger,

I never forget the comment you made a few months ago about the pistols not showing in their holsters. It's the little things what sometimes kills a franchise.

Hi Essah. Good point. I do play with an online community. Guess who we play against? :)