Hands On with Arma 3 (Steam)

 

Experience true combat gameplay in a massive military sandbox. Deploying a wide variety of single- and multiplayer content, over 20 vehicles and 40 weapons, and limitless opportunities for content creation, the PC’s premier military game series is back. Authentic, diverse, open – Arma 3 sends you to war.

 

Pros:

  • First thing to greet you in the game is the graphics. My god, They are stunning and despite not even running on ultra settings, The game looks absolutely amazing. Next gen beating territory is this.
  • 360 controller support. Selecting just a mere handful of the commands from the keyboard, Players are encouraged to use the controller just for vehicle controls.
  • Controls, Yep it has them. See all those keys on your keyboard? Good because you will be using all of them! Want to lean whilst in prone? There’s a key for that. Want to run with your gun ready? There’s a key for that. Want to salute people like a Sgt Bilko fan on acid? There’s a key for that. You get the idea and GLG can confirm that the game does not contain drug use.
  • Tutorial section taking a leaf out of the COD series. You perform a variety of tasks on a course with a timer always running. Compete for the fastest time. Different courses and objectives that deal with every part of the game.
  • Showcase which serves as a arcade slash tutorial section. Each level has a particular theme such as vehicle use or underwater warfare. You spawn in as a soldier with pre defined loadouts and commands. Follow objectives and work with your squad. These scenarios are really best approached as  a more hands on practical tutorial.
  • Online multiplayer is available and comes in two flavours. First flavour is your co op where you can team up with other players and take on the AI in many varied missions. The second flavour is your player vs player. Self explanatory and has a few game modes to choose from. Domination being a good one, Players must build a base to protect their ammo and hunt the other team.
  • Steam workshop is built in and a god send. For here you can find and indeed create your own scenarios and levels within Armas world. I encourage every player to go and check it out. There is something for everyone.
  • Wanna tweak those settings? Well like the keyboard, You have loads to pick from. From adjusting everything audio in the game, Graphic whores will love all the AA, MSAA and other settings I don’t know what they do are all available to you.
  • Better optimization this time round.Comparing to how Arma 2 ran on my rig, This game does everything better and runs a lot better. Being able to fine tune every option allows people on the lower spec rigs to get a decent experience.
  • Underwater missions are in the game and look and play just as well as the rest of the game. I suffered no performance hits at all, Movement retains the Arma excellence for realism. Well except when killing fish, They just seem to drop and contain no blood but this isn’t Finding Nemo the game, This is Arma and this is war.
  • Editor, Powerful and easy to use for basic missions. Much like any game that requires imagination and a bit of learning,  *cough Minecraft* cough, You get out of the editor how much you put into it. With a huge library of guides both visual and typed, Gamers will have a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips for discovering all of the editors tools.
  • The campaign is to be released in 3 stages as downloadable content and will go into detail about how you came to be fighting where you are.
  • Two huge maps, Artis and Stratis. Both completely different from one and another. Stratis is more your bright holiday postcard island with huge forests and golden sandy beaches. Various building dotted all over the place with a heavy military presence. Artis is more your wide open fields and churches, Loads of churches. With towns more spread out, Artis does boast a lot of dome buildings (Think Eden Project on steriods) and solar planets.
  • Huge selection of guns from pistols to rifles to rocket launchers and UAV devices, The game will have any gun toting, bullet chewing, players happy.
  • Every gun has its own unique feel and I want to say sounds realistic but living a sheltered life, I can honestly say I know what a Titan rocket launcher sounds like. Bottom line they all make huge noises and kill people so Im happy.
  • Dynamic lighting, I cannot put into words how magnificent it really is. Shadows on the gun, The way the light hits your cross hair…Just wow, To see just how good it is, Whack the game on in the dark and put a flashlight on. Your welcome.
  • Player animations are improved and look a lot more realistic than previous games. Vaulting walls though for instance still have you looking like youve wet yourself so be warned.
  • Steam trading cards support.

 

Cons:

  • No campaign day one, New players will feel a bit miffed at he lack of campaign additions.
  • Controls are still over complicated for no other reason but to annoy the holy crap out of the player. With multiple button presses need for some actions, It could easily be streamlined. I am grateful it has some controller support, But the fiddly nature of the menus make configuring it a nightmare.
  • The menus, Especially in the editor have a clunky feel. Options hid behind options, Finding anything is a chore and kind of takes the edge off of things. They have made some progress with the editor but even then the lack of respawn in game options and a all in one ammo box missing, Players have to use init commands and notepad to create what should be considered basic functions.
  • Players are still complaining of FPS hits while playing online as it looks like they are still hosting the game on low standard servers, Which in term affect gameplay.
  • Missing a lot of in game actions you come to expect, Like no bi pod deployment for example.
  • To reiterate the pad does work but access to a keyboard and mouse at all times is still necessary.
  • Couldn’t find a way to download a scenario from Steam workshop and then tweak it myself. Could be there buried under a sea of options and clicks but nothing. The konami code did nothing either so I am at a lost.

 

In summary, If you can look past the lack of campaign, You are in for a treat. Yes the controls are awkward but only at first, After that you have one of the best looking army simulation games on the market. Playing with friends is the true Arma experience. Due to the editor being so powerful, The only limitation is your imagination and if that fails you, Steam workshop will sort you out. If you like hardcore shooters where slow and steady is your bag, Get this game. Like humming around in gorgeous landscapes in helicopters get this game. Jumping in a submarine and harrassing Bikini Bottom residents? Get this game. Love all the tactical planning and calling out enemy postitions via the compass co ordinates then get this game. Like kill streaks, Instant respawns, Prestige ranking, shouting abuse then get….Call Of Duty and knock yourself out. This is a true first person (and third person if you so wish) shooter game. Ignore the bits that are missing and enjoy what is there.

 

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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