European Union cover art
|Engine||Real Virtuality 3|
|Genre(s)||First-person shooter, tactical shooter|
ARMA 2[N 1] is an open world, military simulation video game developed and published by Bohemia Interactive for Microsoft Windows. It is the sequel to ARMA: Armed Assault (ARMA: Combat Operations in North America), and the predecessor to 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. It is also considered the official successor of Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis (which has since been renamed to ARMA: Cold War Assault by Bohemia Interactive).
The game had sold 2.3 million copies as of February 2015.
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 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 state 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 Defense Forces (CDF), Chernarussian Movement of the Red Star (ChDKZ), National Party (NAPA), and the citizens of Chernarus.
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.
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ARMA 2's single-player campaign takes place in late 2009, in the province of South Zagoria in the north-eastern 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 are 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.[clarification needed] 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 launch 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 inland town of Zelenogorsk.
On 21 September 2009, as a part of their coup, the ChDKZ invade 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.
Operation Harvest Red
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 allege are 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.
The ending of the campaign depends 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.
Operation Eagle Wing
After the conclusion of Operation Harvest Red in 2009, the civil war in South Zagoria province has escalated into a outright war between the U.S., backing the Chernarussian government, and the Russian Federation, backing the ChDKZ insurgency, sparking World War III. The U.S. launches "Operation Echo Wave" and dispatches a naval fleet carrying a U.S. Marine expeditionary unit off the coast of South Zagoria to aid the Chernarussian Defense Forces (CDF) in their retaking of the province from the Russians.
ARMA 2 was announced in 2007. It 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 co-operative play for up to four players.
ARMA 2 uses the third-generation Real Virtuality game engine, which had been in development for over 10 years prior to the game's release 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 2 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 single-player 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 anti-aliasing modes like FXAA and SMAA in the ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead engine.
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.
The demo version of ARMA 2 was released on Bohemia Interactive forums on 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: 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 single-player campaign was omitted and players are not able to use high-resolution textures. In 2012, Steam removed ARMA 2: Free from its database. The service eventually was discontinued on 8 April 2014.
|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.
|Metacritic||77% (38 reviews)|
|PC Gamer (UK)||83%|
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 greatest PC games of all time ArmA received 22nd 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."
ARMA 3 is an open-world military tactical shooter video game developed by Czech studio Bohemia Interactive for Microsoft Windows. It was released on 12 September 2013. Set more than 25 years after the events of ARMA 2, in 2035, NATO forces are trying to hold off a massive enemy offensive from the east.
- Stylized as Arma 2, Arma II, ArmA 2, or ArmA II.
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Buggy campaign is almost unbeatable; AI drivers should have their licenses revoked
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