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Arma 3: The realist military video game you want.

posted May 9, 2017, 11:28 AM by Jeffrey Wolf

By: Korey Alder, Media Editor

Posted May 9th, 2017

Continuing our video game review series, I’m going to be taking a look at Bohemia Interactive’s Arma III, a simulator-style military shooter with a focus on realism. For the purposes of this review, I will ignoring content related to the Apex DLC.


Arma III, as is probably apparent from its name, is the third and most recent installment in the series, and also the most popular. While the game’s priority is on the online multiplayer aspect, there is a reasonably lengthy single-player campaign which sets up a basic background and story. The game is set around the year 2035 on the small (fictitious) island nations of Stratis and Altis, on which NATO forces fight a variety of enemy organizations. The game developers attempt to keep these situations vague, since they want to avoid unnecessary parallels to real life, but the islands are inspired by Mediterranean locales and the enemy forces are a coalition between unnamed countries in the Eastern Hemisphere. Though the characters in the campaign have splendid voice acting and realistic interaction, the story behind the game is relatively weak. Luckily, the story wasn’t ever meant to be the purpose behind the game to begin with, and the actual gameplay mechanics are what make this game really stand out.


It’s because of the intricate and detailed control which Arma gives the player over their character that prompts many to refer to it as a simulator, rather than a game. The player has to control a variety of aspects of the virtual soldier; they must change stances, balancing cover with weapon stability; running too fast for too long makes the character tired, so a quick route is one around hills; projectiles have realistic physics, meaning that one has to aim ahead of a moving target, and above targets far away, and scopes have to be calibrated like those in the real world; equipment is also of great importance, as the heavier your load, the slower and more tired the character becomes. And beyond that, there are a large variety of land, sea, and air vehicles which have their own associated controls and special properties, adding another layer of complexity. These are just a handful of the innumerous conditions one must take into account to be successful in Arma III, and while this may be frustrating to some, that’s what makes the game so appealing to the 3,000,000+ people who have bought it.


Taking all of this into account, I would have to recommend Arma III to anyone who enjoys other first-person shooter games and is looking for a challenge. If you are looking for a long and difficult, though not particularly gripping, campaign, this game might also be for you. Just remember that this game really shines through the huge community, whether it be through multiplayer, mods, or custom scenarios, and that if the campaign leaves you dissatisfied, there are nearly endless new ways to explore and enjoy this game.
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