European Union cover art
|Engine||Real Virtuality 3|
|Genre(s)||Tactical shooter, military simulation|
|Distribution||DVD, digital distribution|
ARMA 2 (stylized as ARMA II)[N 1] is a military simulation video game for Microsoft Windows, developed by Bohemia Interactive Studio. It is the official sequel to the Operation Flashpoint-series, following its predecessor, ARMA: Armed Assault (ARMA: Combat Operations in North America), and preceding ARMA 3. ARMA 2 saw a limited release in May 2009, and a wide release from June 2009 through July 2009. An expansion pack titled ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead was released in 2010. In June 2011, a free version of the game was released, featuring multiplayer and limited single player modes.
ARMA 2 is a tactical shooter focused primarily on infantry combat, but significant vehicular and aerial combat elements are present. The player is able to command AI squad members which adds a real-time strategy element to the game. This is further enhanced by introduction of the high command system, which allows the player to command multiple squads using the map. ARMA 2 is set primarily in the fictional Eastern European nation of Chernarus (meaning "Black Rus"). The Chernarussian landscape is based heavily on the Czech Republic; the home country of the developer.
ARMA 2, plus all expansions, features eleven distinct armed factions, each with their own vehicles and weapons. Caught in the middle are the Chernarussian and Takistani civilians. The factions included in Arma 2 are: USMC, Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Chernarussian Defence Forces (CDF), Chernarussian Movement of the Red Star (ChDKZ), National Party (NAPA), and Citizens of Chernarus.
ARMA 2 features around 80 realistically represented weapons with many variants including assault rifles, machine guns, and missile launchers, with realistically simulated ballistics. Rounds travel in parabolic trajectories and show effects of bullet drop dependent on their caliber; Muzzle velocities are modeled, and rounds lose speed and damage the longer the time and distance they have traveled. Sniper rifles can use stadiametric rangefinding to adjust for long-range shooting. U.S. rifles use mil-dot scopes while Russian rifles use Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC) scopes such as the PSO-1. In addition, bullets can ricochet from surfaces depending on angle of impact. Penetration is also modeled, as bullets that pass through materials suffering from altered speed and direction.
There are around 130 vehicle variants, and any vehicle that exists in-game can be controlled by the player, including civilian cars, tractors and bicycles. Similarly, all aircraft encountered in the game can be flown by the player, with limited fuel and realistic weapon loadouts.
ARMA 2 includes a mission editor which makes it possible to create user-made single player missions or campaigns and multiplayer missions through use of the in-game wizard. More complex missions can be enhanced with scripting commands. The syntax and interface have both been kept largely consistent with the ARMA series, meaning that missions are ported across games.
ARMA 2's single-player campaign takes place in late 2009, in the province of South Zagoria in the northeastern region of the fictional post-Soviet state of Chernarus, as well as the remote Chernarussian island of Útes. South Zagoria's approximately 225 square kilometers is based on actual satellite photos of České Středohoří, in northern Bohemia, Czech Republic. The precise location used is the remote area between Děčín and Ústí nad Labem.
Chernarus is in a state of political unrest, with its democratic government trying to keep from being overthrown by pro-communist rebels. Among the most powerful of these rebels is a group calling themselves the "Chernarussian Movement of the Red Star" (Chernarusskiy Dvizheniye Krasnoy Zvezdy), abbreviated as ChDKZ. Referred to by the locals as the "Chedakis", the ChDKZ are led by communist revolutionary, Gregori "Akula" (English: Shark) Lopotev. After many months of civil war, the ChDKZ fails to overthrow the current government and establish the Socialist Republic of Chernarus. The Chernarussian government asks the international community for assistance in defeating the rebels, and the United States responded by sending a U.S. Navy Expeditionary Strike Group off the coast of Chernarus, hoping that a presence of an Amphibious Ready Group with hundreds of U.S. Marines stationed on board would calm any tensions in the area. However, the ChDKZ remains undeterred, and by late 2009 the ChDKZ launched a coup d'état against the Chernarussian government, taking control of the northeastern Chernarussian province of South Zagoria. This caused the remaining Chernarussian military forces in the area to retreat towards the coastal town of Zelenogorsk.
On 21 September 2009, as a part of their coup, the ChDKZ invaded the island of Útes (home to a Chernarussian military training base). Overwhelmed, the remaining Chernarussian military forces in the area regrouped at a church in the Útes village of Strelka in an attempt to fight off the tenacious ChDKZ attack. Ultimately, the Chernarussian military forces on the island were overwhelmed by the massive onslaught, and the island fell to the ChDKZ. As a result, U.S. Marines, operating nearby from the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, USS Khe Sanh (LHD-9), launched an amphibious invasion of Útes to liberate the island from the ChDKZ forces. Soon after the U.S. Marines landed on the island, the ChDKZ were routed, and Útes was liberated.
A few days after the liberation of Útes, U.S. Marines on board the USS Khe Sanh (LHD-9) prepared to deploy to mainland Chernarus in support of Operation Harvest Red, whose purpose is to bring an end to the civil war in Chernarus and re-establish Chernarussian sovereignty. Officially, the U.S. Marines are deploying to Chernarus as a peacekeeping force. In reality, they are there to capture ChDKZ leader "Akula", and to help defeat the ChDKZ once and for all.
- Master Sergeant Patrick "Eightball" Miles - He is the leader of Razor team and. His father is a California politician and lawyer.[N 2]
- Master Sergeant Matt "Coops" Cooper - The player character throughout the single-player campaign. He is a college-educated senior NCO from New York, who dropped out of college to pursue a career in the military; he serves as Razor Team's second-in-command out in the field.
- Sergeant Chad "Robo" Rodriguez - An orphan with a delinquent childhood, serves as Razor Team's heavy gunner.
- Staff Sergeant Randy "Ice Cold" Sykes - He comes from Texas and serves as Razor Team's designated marksman.
- Staff Sergeant Brian "Scarlet" O'Hara - He is from San Francisco, California. Formerly served as a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman in the U.S. Marine Corps; he serves as Razor Team's battlefield medic.
- Captain Shaftoe - The Force Recon Company's commanding officer. Razor Team which ultimately reports to him.
- Captain Carl Dressler, MCIA - He assists Shaftoe.
- Lieutenant Tomas Marny - A CDF soldier who assists Shaftoe.
In preparation for Operation Harvest Red, elements of the U.S. Marine Corps' Force Recon are deployed behind enemy lines into Chernarus, to weaken ChDKZ coastal defenses for the invading Marine Expeditionary Unit. Among the Force Reconnaissance Marines is Razor Team, a five-man special operations team, consisting of the main character, Master Sergeant Matthew "Coops" Cooper, Razor Team's second-in-command, and the team's leader, Master Sergeant Patrick "Eightball" Miles.
Razor Team's mission is to conduct a raid on the small Chernarussian town of Pusta, to disrupt ChDKZ communications in preparation for the invading Marine Expeditionary Unit. During Razor Team's raid on Pusta, the team rescues a couple of torture victims, and subsequently uncovers a mass grave, revealing that the ChDKZ have been conducting acts of genocide and are guilty of war crimes in South Zagoria. After the raid on Pusta, Razor Team is tasked with helping to unite the Chernarussian military (CDF) with National Party (NAPA) guerillas, who are led by a man named Prizrak. Originally hostile to each other at the beginning, their subsequent cooperation will help restore peace to Chernarus.
As the civil war in Chernarus rages on, a terrorist bombing occurs in the middle of Red Square, in Moscow, Russia, killing dozens and wounding hundreds more. The ChDKZ blames this attack on the National Party, which causes the Russian Federation, already wary of the presence of U.S. forces operating near its border, to demand the unconditional withdrawal of U.S. forces from Chernarus. The Russian Federation proposes to the United Nations Security Council that the United States withdraw its forces from Chernarus, whom the Russians see as escalating the conflict. The United States' mandate in Chernarus expires, and U.S. forces are quickly withdrawn from the country. Shortly after the U.S. withdrawal, the Russian Federation sends a United Nations-backed peacekeeping contingent into South Zagoria, to replace the U.S. forces. However, in the confusion, Razor Team is left behind as the rest of the U.S. forces withdraw from the country, leaving them in Chernarus. Later, it is revealed that the terrorist bombing of Red Square was in fact a false flag attack committed by the ChDKZ to paint the National Party as terrorists. Razor Team is now tasked with finding evidence which will prove the ChDKZ's involvement in the bombing of Red Square, and the National Party's innocence.
ARMA 2's campaign has several different endings, which are dependent upon a number of different factors; whether or not Razor Team eliminates Prizrak, who is opposing the alliance between the Chernarussian government and the National Party, and the arrest of Gregori "Akula" Lopotev. The campaign's endings range from victory for the player, or to defeat, with the elimination of Razor Team by the victorious ChDKZ.
- "Revelation": A NAPA member calling himself Yuri Olegich asks for a meeting with Razor Team and they agree to meet with him near the Russia-Chernarus border. Meanwhile, Russian peacekeepers, who are under heavy attack, retreat back across the northern border and into Russia. At the meeting, Razor Team is informed that the entire Chernarussian civil war was orchestrated by a select few in the Russian government were collaborating with the ChDKZ; deceiving their own country. Suddenly, a tactical nuke detonates nearby; killing Razor Team along with anyone else who was present at the meeting. It is revealed that the nuke had been detonated by the Russian military in response to a perceived invasion from Chernarus. In the conflict that soon followed, the evidence of the Russian-ChDKZ conspiracy was destroyed by the conspirators. Razor Team was declared missing in action, and their true fate was never revealed.
- "Missing in Action": Under heavy fire and on the run for their lives, Razor Team makes it to an extraction point located at an abandoned church, but are quickly encircled by Lopotev and his band of ChDKZ insurgents. Razor Team, wanting revenge for Miles' death, attempts to fight them off, but they are swiftly killed. After Razor Team's death, there is nothing left to stop the ChDKZ offensive and Chernarussian forces withdrew from South Zagoria. The next year, in 2010, the civil war was over with a total ChDKZ victory, and in the summer of 2010, Lopotev installed himself as the dictator of not only South Zagoria, but all of Chernarus. Chernarus was now under the rule of a totalitarian regime and its populace had little hope for the future. In 2014, four years after the ChDKZ victory in the civil war, Lopotev was killed by an unknown assassin at his summer villa in Chernogorsk. However, his death has no effect on conditions inside Chernarus. The involvement of Force Reconnaissance Marines in Operation Harvest Red post-U.S. withdrawal remained denied by the U.S. government. Razor Team was retroactively declared missing in action at the very moment U.S. forces withdrew from Chernarus, and their true fate was never revealed.
- "Setting Sail": Despite the pro-ChDKZ Russian peacekeeping contingent withdrawing from Chernarus, Razor Team fails to help the Chernarussians recapture South Zagoria from ChDKZ clutches. Barely escaping with their lives, Razor Team and a small group of surviving Chernarussian soldiers plan to escape South Zagoria via truck, by driving west and into safer central Chernarus, when the route they've planned to take is blocked off by ChDKZ forces. They come up with a different plan, diverting onto a different road with a plan to escape the country via boat. Under heavy fire, Razor Team makes it to a boat in a harbor on the Chernarussian coast and escapes the country; they have failed their mission completely. Chernarussian forces suffered a terrible defeat during the civil war and were pushed back into the southwest, out of South Zagoria. South Zagoria suffered for a year under harsh ChDKZ rule. However, Chernarussian forces eventually recaptured the province in 2011, in a bloody and violent epilogue to the Chernarussian civil war. An international United Nations peacekeeping contingent, composed mostly of Russian and European forces, was deployed into Chernarus, in an effort to help stabilize the country. The Russian government suffers a minor crisis in 2009, when several high-ranking Russian officials were charged with treason and sentenced to death for their role in the Chernarussian conflict. General Shagarov of the Russian Ground Forces was awarded the Order of Saint Andrew for his role in uncovering the origins of the Russian-ChDKZ conspiracy and capturing Gregori "Akula" Lopotev; he would die in a car accident in 2012. Razor Team successfully escaped South Zagoria and their involvement in the Chernarussian civil war post-U.S. withdrawal became a well-kept secret. None of them would ever set foot on Chernarussian soil again.
- "The War That Never Was": After helping the Chenarussians take back South Zagoria from the hands of the ChDKZ, Razor Team captures Lopotev at a hideout on a remote island off the Chernarussian coast. They are then ordered by their commanders to transfer him into Russian custody via General Shagarov of the Russian Ground Forces, an order that Razor Team resents due to the strong possibility of a ChDKZ-Russian conspiracy. However, they end up heeding the order anyway. During the prisoner transfer, Loptoev is freed in an ambush orchestrated by a rogue elements of the Russian Spetsnaz GRU. Razor Team fights back and kills all of the ambushers, identifying one of them as "Karelin", a rogue Spetsnaz soldiers that was responsible for several war crimes, atrocities, and the deaths of several U.S. Marines, including that of Ian Simmons, one of Razor Team's colleagues who helped free them when they were captured by the ChDKZ earlier in the campaign. Despite Lopotev escaping, the ChDKZ is essentially defeated, with the Chernarussians tracking down the stragglers. Chernarus eventually becomes a powerful, free, and stable democracy, even sending their armed forces on United Nations peacekeeping missions into neighboring Takistan a few years later, in 2012. Razor Team's mission in Chernarus is considered successfully accomplished and they are extracted from the country via a MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter and to the USS Khe Sanh (LHD-9), which is awaiting their return off the coast of Útes island. After arriving on board, Razor Team is greeted to a hero's welcome and a steel beach picnic celebration held by the USS Khe Sanh's sailors and Marines. General Armstrong, the commander of the local USMC MEF contingent, congratulates Razor Team on a job well done and reminds them that their valiant achievements will be classified as top secret, thus remaining unknown to the general public for years to come. The CDF and NAPA announce their new joint partnership, Russian peacekeeping forces are withdrawn from Chernarus, and several years later, Lopotev is killed by an unknown assassin outside his summer villa in Chernogorsk in 2014. After the end of Operation Harvest Red, Rodriguez is killed during Operation Fiery Mountain in Zargabad, Takistan in October 2010, and his heroics during the Takistani conflict become legendary throughout the U.S. Marine Corps. With six years of service to his name in the 27th MEU, O'Hara is discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps several years later and returns to his native San Francisco, becoming a doctor of medicine. Sykes is severely wounded during Operation Fiery Mountain in Zargabad, Takistan in October 2010, but makes a full recovery, becoming an instructor at the Marine Special Operations School at MCB Camp Lejeune North Carolina; putting his wartime experience to use in training his fellow Marines. Cooper is put in charge of Razor Team and retires from the U.S. Marine Corps after a deployment in Takistan. After his retirement, Cooper becomes a security consultant for various government agencies and travels to Chernarus regularly.
- Hidden ending: A hidden ending occurs early on in the campaign; Razor Team raids a warehouse, capturing Lopotev and several of his associates. Razor Team is then tasked to transport their newly captured prisoners via truck, when they are ambushed and captured by ChDKZ insurgents, after Nikola Nikitin, a CDF officer and secret ChDKZ mole, betrays Razor Team. Miles is summarily executed by Lopotev, and although Razor Team is rescued by Force Recon Marines shortly thereafter, it is too late to save Miles' life. Razor Team's commanding officer, Captain Shaftoe, feels sympathy for his men and offers to end their mission, sending Razor Team to Germany for liberty. Razor Team reluctantly obliges, boarding a C-130 transport out of the country later that evening. Several months later, the former members of Razor Team reunite at a diner, where they express their disappointment at ending their mission early, which left Chernarus abandoned by the international community and in complete shambles. The team discusses a possible conflict emerging in Takistan, and Cooper walks off in disgust.
ARMA 2 is named after the Latin word "arma", meaning weapons, soldiers, and war. Due to the fact that the previous game in the series was named Armed Assault, ARMA 2 is often referred to as Armed Assault 2, albeit in error. Although ARMA 2's title is stylized as ArmA II, it is done as an homage to the previous game in the series, because the game's title is a slight contraction of Armed Assault in the first game in the series
During development, Bohemia Interactive stated at the Electronic Entertainment Expo that ARMA 2 was to have a "roleplaying feel to it", with in-game events affecting the character as well as the entire campaign. For example, terrorizing non-playable characters would result in losing their trust, thus encouraging the victimized NPC(s) to give away valuable information to enemy forces. The entire campaign can be played either offline, as single-player, or online cooperative play for up to four players.
Arma 2 uses the third-generation Real Virtuality game engine, which has been in development for over 10 years and of which previous versions are used in training simulators by militaries around the world. This engine has full DirectX 9 support (Shader Model 3). It features realistic day-night cycles, changing weather, fog and visibility, and a view distance of up to 15 kilometres. Every weapon in the game fires projectiles with real trajectories, bullet drop, and penetration characteristics. As such, no weapon system in the game is "guaranteed" a hit – only after the engine has simulated the event can it be determined if a given shot or missile has hit the target. The number of agents supported by the engine is limited mainly by computer performance. This allows a wide range of scenarios to be played, from small unit actions up to large-scale battles. Almost all events in the game are dynamically defined, including most unit speech and AI choices about how to evaluate and respond to specific situations in the game world: scenarios rarely unfold the same way twice – although a side with an overwhelming advantage will tend to win consistently. The player can choose to turn their head independently from their weapon / body, unlike in most shooters where the view is locked to the weapon. This allows players to look left and right while running forwards to maintain awareness of the battlefield or to look around while in a confined space without having to lower or shift their weapon.
Arma 2 provides a battlefield with all necessary data loaded in the background, with no interruptions by loading screens. However there are loading screens between episodes and missions. In order to augment player immersion in the gameplay, ARMA features an optional "ambient battle" feature in which the world around the player can automatically be populated by friendly and hostile units who will engage in combat.
Shortly after the game's German release a 1.01 patch appeared, with the objective of improving the game's AI. Another patch, v1.02, was released on 20 June 2009 fixing more AI graphical issues such as the AI walking through walls during cut scenes, driving vehicles with no hands, and unrealistic war reactions by the AI and other various singleplayer campaign problems. Then, another updated patch v1.02.58134 was released on 26 June. Patch v1.03 was released on 4 August albeit without an option for stand-alone server hosts. Patch 1.04 was released on 15 September. On 22 December 2009, patch 1.05 was released, which included a new mini-campaign, Eagle Wing, and a new vehicle, the AH-64 Apache. Patch v1.07 was debuted on 28 June 2010. Changes of note include improved performance within larger cities, enhanced AI driving skills, a raise of the file cache size to 4 GB RAM or more to take advantage of 64-bit operating systems, and improving the game engine's use of processors with 4 or more cores. Currently, the latest patch for ARMA 2 is v1.11 (debuted on 22 December 2011, and sharing many features with ARMA 2 Operation Arrowhead patch v1.60), which brought significant optimisations in multiplayer netcode and performance, as well as numerous singleplayer campaign and missions fixes. On 19 August Marek Španěl from Bohemia Interactive announced that the latest beta patches are available to everyone from the official ARMA 2 website. Current development of the beta versions has added, among other things, support for more efficient antialiasing modes like FXAA and SMAA in the ARMA 2 Operation Arrowhead engine.
The demo version of ARMA 2 was released on Bohemia Interactive forums 25 June 2009 and shortly thereafter on Steam. In the demo version, the player is given the possibility to play two single player missions as well as six of the eight training missions, with limited access to the mission editor. There is also access to a benchmark and limited online multiplayer.
Arma 2 uses different copy protections depending on publisher as well as a in-house coded copy protection solution against tampering known as DEGRADE. If the software detects that it was pirated, the DEGRADE-system degrades features of the game, rendering it unplayable. The version downloadable from Steam is not limited by number of installs, but other download services may utilize some limits. As of version 1.05 the publishers copy protection have been removed from ARMA 2 although DEGRADE is still included.
|Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead||29 June 2010||Standalone expansion pack||DVD
|Arma 2: Combined Operations||29 June 2010||Standalone expansion pack||DVD
|Arma 2 + Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead|
|Arma 2: British Armed Forces||26 August 2010||Expansion pack||Download||Units of the British Armed Forces|
|Arma 2: Private Military Company||30 November 2010||Expansion pack||Download||Units of private military companies|
|Arma 2: Reinforcements||1 April 2011||Standalone expansion pack||DVD
|Addons British Armed Forces + Private Military Company|
|Arma 2: Army of the Czech Republic||1 August 2012||Expansion pack||Download||Units of the Army of the Czech Republic|
ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead
On 22 April 2010, Bohemia Interactive confirmed that a standalone expansion pack for ARMA 2, titled Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead, would be released worldwide on 29 June 2010. According to the site, players will be able to play as members of the United States Army in a fictional region of west-Asia named Takistan, where the terrain is based on Afghanistan. Operation Arrowhead includes three new maps, a variety of new units, vehicles and equipment, as well as the eponymous campaign. Among the new units are a new array of United States Army personnel and vehicles, Czech forces and German KSK units. United Nations peacekeepers are also present as an independent faction.
Bohemia Interactive has so far released two downloadable content packs for Operation Arrowhead. The first DLC, titled British Armed Forces, adds units from the British Army, and a new mini-campaign, where players assume the role of a company from The Parachute Regiment operating in Takistan. The second DLC, titled Private Military Company, includes a new campaign, environment, vehicles and weapons. On 4 June 2012, a third DLC titled Army of the Czech Republic was announced.
ARMA 2: Free
In June 2011 Bohemia Interactive released a free-to-play version of ARMA 2, featuring full multiplayer compatibility with the retail version of ARMA 2. However, the singleplayer campaign was omitted and players are not able to use high-resolution textures. In 2012, Steam removed ARMA 2: Free from its database.
ARMA 2, like its predecessors, has an extensive support for modding the game. The developers have released a complete suite of tools to modify and create new content for ARMA 2. The Real Virtuality Engine includes a built-in scripting language to do tasks such as control AI characters, create triggers and waypoints, and add post-processing effects.
In April 2012, Dean Hall released DayZ, an open world survival horror modification for ARMA 2 which also required the Operation Arrowhead standalone expansion pack to work. DayZ received much critical acclaim in the video gaming media for its "innovative design elements", with Kotaku and Eurogamer describing it as possibly the best zombie game ever made, and PCGamer saying it was one of the most important things to happen to PC Gaming in 2012. The mod was responsible for putting the three-year-old game into the top seller charts for over seven weeks, spending much of this time the top selling game, and is responsible for over 300,000 unit sales within two months of its release.
ARMA 2 received generally positive reviews. The game has been praised for its realism, graphics, and the sheer scale of the game. However, as with the original Armed Assault, the game has received criticism for the number of bugs it contained on release and the quality of the AI. A reviewer at TheReticule.com ultimately felt that though at times it "doesn't work", the game is "a genuinely excellent game of the same pedigree of Operation Flashpoint and has done a lot of [sic] regain my faith in BIS". Another reviewer noted that the game managed to show the "job of a real soldier today: contact with the population", something that is lacking in other similar games The developers have since released several patches addressing common bugs. In PC Gamer´s leaderboard of top 100 best PC games of all time ArmA received 13th place. The game was also awarded by PC Gamer as ' MOST PC GAME of the year. ' The reason was complexity, community, technical perfection and miracle of simulation.
British TV network ITV broadcast footage taken from the game in a documentary aired on 26 September 2011, entitled Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA, mistaking it for footage taken of an IRA attack in 1988. The broadcaster apologised, blaming human error. A spokesperson for ITV commented on the error and said: "The events featured in Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA were genuine but it would appear that during the editing process the correct clip of the 1988 incident was not selected and other footage was mistakenly included in the film by producers. This was an unfortunate case of human error for which we apologise."
- Stylized as Arma 2, Arma II, ArmA 2, or ArmA II.
- Miles was listed as a First Sergeant in early press releases.
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