Cover art of ARMA 3
|Engine||Real Virtuality 4|
|Release date(s)||Early Access (Alpha):
|Genre(s)||Military simulation, tactical shooter|
|Distribution||Optical disc, digital distribution|
ARMA 3 (stylized as ARMA III) is an open world, tactical shooter video game developed by Czech studio Bohemia Interactive for Microsoft Windows. It was released on September 12, 2013. ARMA 3's storyline takes place in the mid-2030s during the fictional Operation Magnitude, a military operation launched by NATO forces fighting in Europe against "Eastern armies" referred to as CSAT (Canton-Protocol Strategic Alliance Treaty) led by a resurgent Iran.
Set more than 25 years after the events of ARMA 2, in the mid-2030s, NATO forces deployed to islands of the Aegean Sea are trying to hold off a massive Iranian military offensive from the east. During the singleplayer campaign, the player will take the role of a U.S. Army soldier, Corporal Ben Kerry. Initially, the player must survive on his own after friendly forces are defeated in a failed NATO operation. During the campaign, the player will face everything from lone wolf infiltration missions to the commanding of large scale armored operations. The player will be able to choose different objectives and weaponry (such as UAVs, artillery, and air support) according to their play style.
ARMA 3 takes place on the Aegean islands of Altis (formerly Lemnos) and Stratis of Greece, in the Mediterranean Sea. They will feature photo-realistic terrain and water environments. Altis will be the largest official terrain in the Arma series with ground area covering approximately 270 km². The smaller island, Stratis, will expand over an area of 20 km². The islands will feature over 50 villages with buildings that are both penetrable and destructible.
In 2030, civil war occurs on the islands of Altis and Stratis, killing 50% of the civilian population on Stratis, rendering thousands homeless, and causing a refugee crisis. NATO peacekeeping forces, despite decimated economies and civil unrest deploy to the region with the intention of securing peace, and establish joint NATO-Altian Armed Forces (AAF) bases throughout the islands.
Five years later, in 2035, with the western hemisphere's economies still in shambles and NATO investment in the Aegian Sea dwindling, the Canton-Protocol Strategic Alliance Treaty (CSAT), a military alliance of eastern hemisphere countries, begins subsidising the AAF and simultaneously mobilizes its forces in the Pacific. NATO countries, facing political pressure to withdraw from the Aegean Sea at the end of their peacekeeping mandate, begin reducing their forces on the islands, causing tensions to rise between AAF and NATO forces.
By July 2035, the AAF have regained control of most of the two islands. The commander of the NATO forces in the region, Commander MacKinnon, is urgently called to the Kamino Firing Range for unknown reasons.
Meanwhile, U.S. Army soldiers Corporal Ben Kerry and Staff Sergeant Adams are ferrying supplies from Camp Rogain to Kamino. After passing an AAF checkpoint, they discover Commander MacKinnon's destroyed vehicle, with several corpses still inside. Commander MacKinnon lies unconscious and fatally wounded. Kerry and Adams vainly attempt to administer first aid. Without warning, Kamino comes under assault, and it is revealed that the AAF has betrayed NATO. After an AAF jet does a flyby over Kamino, Adams suggests it would be safer to go on foot. After unsuccessfully attempting to rally at Camp Rogain, then Point X-Ray, finding them destroyed and occupied by AAF forces, Kerry and Adams attempt to evacuate to a helicopter, callsign Echo. Before they can reach it, it is shot down by the AAF, and they retreat into the forests nearby.
After a short time, Adams manages to make radio contact with surviving forces from Camp Rogain and a British special forces team. They agree to rally east of Camp Tempest. Before they can reach Camp Tempest, Adams is killed by a landmine, and Kerry is left to reach Camp Tempest on his own. He manages to do so, and proceeds to Camp Maxwell where surviving NATO forces have gathered. The leader of the special forces team is revealed to be Captain Scott Miller, and is apparently the sole surviving officer. He takes command of the surviving NATO forces, and attempts to rescue a downed helicopter crew, re-establish NATO communications across the island, assassinate the AAF commander of the island, and restock Camp Maxwell's dwindling supply of ammunition, all in failure. Finally, he manages to make contact with NATO Mediterranean Command (MEDCOM), and apparently arranges for a NATO re-invasion of the island. Alpha (Kerry's unit), and Bravo are tasked with retaking the town of Agia Marina, Charlie is tasked with creating a diversion away from the invasion, and Delta (Miller's special forces unit) is charged with securing a bay north of the town.
The operation initially appears to be headed towards success as AAF forces retreat, when suddenly Charlie comes under heavy assault from unknown contacts and is presumably overrun and destroyed. Unknown helicopters begin flying over Agia Marina, and suddenly CSAT forces paradrop into the town. Miller reveals the operation's actual goal was to evacuate NATO forces from the island, anticipating a CSAT invasion. After fighting their way to Delta, surviving soldiers from Alpha and Bravo board boats being driven by Delta and begin to evacuate from Stratis to Altis.
Kerry is frustrated by Miller's deceit and demands to know what's happening. Miller refuses to answer, but says that they will link up with a local insurgency when they arrive on Altis. Suddenly the boats are ambushed by jets, and an explosion capsizes the boats.
The next campaign episode opens up with Kerry regaining consciousness on a beach near a town on Altis after a skirmish between the FIA and AAF and CSAT. Taking the radio off a dead comrade Kerry manages to regain contact with Lieutenant James, leader of Delta squad, back on Stratis. With James' advice Kerry manages to get past several CSAT and AAF patrols to rendezvous with them.
At nightfall Kerry is taken to be picked up by a member of the northern cell of the FIA whose callsign was Slingshot. Kerry is told to drive as they head to meet up with Captain Miller after bypassing several AAF checkpoints. They head to the FIA northern cell encampment and Miller reveals that Slingshot is the leader of the guerrilla cell.
Throughout the campaign Kerry is given control of Omega squad and is charged with tasks such as ambushing a vehicle convoy to steal supplies to leading a nighttime raid on Stratis. Unlike in survive the CSAT and AAF are using Counter Insurgent tactics and the campaign revolves around the northern cell of the FIA fighting the AAF and CSAT which leads to the player adopting a guerrilla style of play.
Eventually the FIA find out that NATO will be invading Altis after learning about Task Force Aegis being eliminated on Stratis. NATO plan to Assault the main airfield on Altis so the FIA plan to take a smaller airfield south of the main assault where they can draw AAF forces away and let NATO deal with CSAT. Kerry is given the task of assaulting a town where the CSAT have set up artillery to fend off the invasion. After destroying the vehicle and eliminating the town of all CSAT forces, Spec Ops soldiers attempt to regain control of the town but Kerry and his squad manage to hold them off.
Slingshot tells Kerry to retreat to the airbase after the assault but as Kerry and his squad begin to head towards the airfield, Kerry witnesses two NATO attack helicopters fire upon the airfield. With something clearly wrong Kerry begins to head to one of the attack helicopter that had been shot down. After rescuing the pilot, Kerry tells the pilot what has happened and he is shocked to hear he had fired upon friendlies. The heli pilot and Kerry wait till the commanding officer meets with them and tells Kerry they had no knowledge of FIA forces being active in Altis to such an extent. When Kerry asks about Captain Miller, the officer tells him he has no knowledge of Miller and tells Kerry that British soldiers moved off Stratis months ago. A confused Kerry boards a ghost hawk and the episode ends.
- Ben Kerry - The main protagonist of the game. He is a U.S. Army corporal from Oregon, deployed on Stratis. He along with Sergeant Adams finds their dead commander Colonel MacKinnon. He becomes a member of Alpha unit led by Sergeant Conway.
- Scott Miller - A British captain who is the sole surviving NATO officer on Altis.
- Kostas Stavrou - A FIA commander who cooperates with Miller and Kerry.
- Lieutnant James - A member of Millers's group. He often works behind enemy lines.
- Georgious Akhanteros - The commander of the AAF. He is an ally of CSAT and an enemy of NATO.
- Vahid Namdar - A CSAT colonel who command an invasion of Altis. He is a subordinate to General Attar.
- Andrew MacKinnon - A colonel who commands NATO forces on Stratis. He is killed in the beginning of enemy attack.
- NATO - North Atlantic Alliance has a peacekeeping mission on Stratis. The forces are planned to be withdrawn as US focuses more on Pacific Theatre.
- CSAT - Canton Protocol Strategic Alliance Treaty is as an alliance of states with goal is mutual defense, expanded global influence, and sustained economic growth. Its forces supports Altian government.
- AAF - Altian Armed Forces are loyal to the government.
- FIA - Freedom and Independence Army is an insurgent army fighting against the government and CSAT.
- Enhanced mission editor
- Support for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11
- 20 km view distance
- Ragdoll physics
- Physics enabled vehicle handling and environmental objects (PhysX 3)
- Underwater environments, vehicles and diving
- Weapon and uniform customization
- Volumetric clouds
- Render to Texture
- Improved lighting engine
- Support for six degrees of freedom with a new stance modifier system
- Improved radio chatter (previous games used radio chatter that was clearly several sound files placed together. ARMA 3's radio chatter is more fluid)
Bohemia Interactive officially announced the development of ARMA 3 on May 19, 2011. In June 2012 an alpha version of the game was demonstrated at E3. In August 2013, Bohemia Interactive announced that they will release three downloadable content episodes for free after the game's initial launch. The first of which will be called Survive followed by Adapt and Win.
Alpha and beta
An alpha version of the game was released on March 5, 2013, allowing players to experience the game during development, as well as assist in development by reporting bugs and giving feedback on their experience. The beta version was released on June 25, 2013 and anyone who owned the alpha would have their copy automatically upgraded.
The final version of ARMA 3 was launched on September 12, 2013. At its launch, ARMA 3 featured more showcase missions and the large island of Altis.
The Greek media reported on September 10, 2012 that two Czechs were arrested on Lemnos and charged with espionage. According to Greek media reports, the two men claimed to be working for Bohemia Interactive in an official capacity, recording videos and taking photographs for the development of ARMA 3. They were identified David Zapletal and Pavel Guglava, although it was later confirmed that the two were in fact Martin Pezlar and Ivan Buchta. The duo's employee status under Bohemia Interactive has been confirmed, but the company has later officially stated that they were on the island "with the sole purpose of experiencing the island's beautiful surroundings". Buchta and Pezlar refuted the charges of espionage, maintaining that they "went just to a holiday . . . to enjoy the beauty of the island", noting that the layout of the virtual island in the development studio "was practically done" prior to their arrival, and that any video or photographic recordings were intended for memorabilia purposes and that they would have little or no use in the game's development.
Under Greek law taking photographs of military installations and the like is strictly prohibited for reasons of national security and that the issue of this game causing potential threats to Greek national security had been brought officially to the Greek Parliament and discussed therein already in 2011.
After the arrest incident, Bohemia Interactive has shut down access to one of the threads on their official forums, titled Greek Military, which was created on August 1, 2012. Thereafter, Bohemia Interactive have made several statements regarding the situation on their official forums, discussing legal matters and warning users regarding the problems arising from the photographing of Greek military installations.
On January 15, 2013, the arrested developers were released from jail after being subject to 128 days in custody.
Map name change
As a result of the arrest incident of two Bohemia Interactive employees, on February 2, 2013, Bohemia Interactive announced that the name of the main island "Lemnos" would change to "Altis", stating "as part of the creative process, our virtual environments are often rooted in real-life locations and, during development, they evolve and grow along with our design,” said Joris-Jan van ‘t Land, project lead on Arma 3. “The resulting fictional environment is often close to its inspiration, but it’s never exactly the same – nor would we want it to be. For us, ‘Altis’ echoes the Mediterranean heart of our island, but differentiates it from any undesired real-life connotations."
Lemnos was chosen as the inspiration of the ARMA 3 title after Bohemia Interactive CEO Marek Spanel had visited the island on vacation. The name change, according to Bohemia Interactive, is meant to emphasize that the game is fiction. The smaller ARMA 3 island named “Stratis” will remain unchanged.
In February 2014 the first DLC for the game titled Zeus was announced. It allows player to use Zeus mod in multiplayer where he becomes a god-like and can control scenarios in real time.
ARMA 3 has received generally favorable reviews. Some reviewers praise the modifications Bohemia Interactive have done with the engine, animations and sound. However, others criticised the lack of singleplayer content on release, namely a campaign. ARMA 3 currently holds a score of 73/100 on Metacritic and 74.14% on GameRankings.
Server PC Gamer selected the game to be the simulation game of the year.
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3.(Greek) Legislative Decree 397/1947; in Greek with title,date and index details: Νομοθετικό διάταγμα 397/1947 «Περί προσθήκης διατάξεων εις το άρθρον 1 του Α.Ν. 376/1936 «περί μέτρων ασφαλείας οχυρών θέσεων»», ΦΕΚ 181, Τεύχος Α', August 21, 1947.
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