|Director(s)||Joris-Jan van 't Land|
|Engine||Real Virtuality 4|
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS|
OS X, Linux
ARMA 3 is an open-world, realism-based, military tactical shooter video game developed and published by Bohemia Interactive. It was released for Microsoft Windows in September 2013, and later announced for macOS and Linux in August 2015.
ARMA 3 takes place in the mid-2030s, on the islands of Altis and Stratis in the Aegean Sea, and the South Pacific island of Tanoa. The islands feature photo-realistic terrain and water environments. Altis is the largest official terrain in the ARMA series with ground area covering approximately 270 square kilometres (100 sq mi). The smaller island, Stratis, expands over an area of 20 square kilometres (7.7 sq mi).
The single-player campaign has the player take control of U.S. Army soldier Corporal Ben Kerry. During the campaign, the player is placed in a variety of situations, from lone wolf infiltration missions to the commanding of large-scale armored operations. The player is able to choose different objectives and weaponry (such as UAVs, artillery, and air support) according to their play style.
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Setting and characters
ARMA 3 is set in the 2030s, when a new Eastern military alliance, known as the Canton-Protocol Strategic Alliance Treaty (CSAT), led by Iran and China, is growing in global influence, while the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is on the decline.
The main singleplayer campaign, The East Wind, is set on the Republic of Altis and Stratis (Altis for short), a Mediterranean island nation comprising the islands Altis (based on Lemnos) and Stratis (based on Agios Efstratios). In 2026, a civil war erupts on Altis following a coup d'etat by the Altis Armed Forces (AAF). In 2030, a ceasefire is declared. A loyalist rebel group, the Freedom and Independence Army (FIA), rejects the new military government and wages a guerrilla campaign against the AAF. NATO peacekeeping forces are deployed to Altis, establishing a US-led joint NATO-AAF peacekeeping force, Task Force Aegis (TF Aegis). Five years later, NATO investment in the Aegean dwindles, and CSAT begins to subsidize the AAF and mobilizes its own forces in the Pacific. With the peacekeeping mandate nearing its end, NATO begins to withdraw from Altis, and tensions rise between AAF and NATO.
The DLC campaign, Apex Protocol, added in the ARMA 3: Apex expansion, is set on the Northern Division of a South Pacific island group nation known as the Horizon Islands Federation. The division is commonly known as Tanoa, the largest island in the division. The campaign takes place after the events of the base game campaign, following the regroup with NATO ending.
Remnants of War is a story-driven DLC campaign added in the Laws of War DLC. The story focuses on Nathan MacDade, an EOD technician working for the International Development and Aid Project (IDAP for short), a humanitarian NGO. Other scenarios are explored as Nathan reminisces about past events. Some actions the player can take have moral consequences, which are reflected in the ending.
The main player character of the singleplayer campaign features Corporal Ben Kerry, a US Army soldier assigned to the NATO peacekeeping contingent deployed on Stratis. Players also play as Sergeant Conway during the prologue. Other major NATO characters include Staff Sergeant Adams, General Armstrong, as well as Combat Technology Research Group (a NATO special operations group, CTRG for short, whose existence is officially denied by NATO,) personnel Captain Scott Miller, and Miller's second in command Lieutenant James. Major FIA characters include Kostas Stavrou, leader of northern FIA forces, and Nikos Panagopoulos, an FIA head. Players play as CTRG Group 15 operators in Apex Protocol.
The East Wind
In 2034, a firing incident between the AAF and FIA leads to the breakdown of their ceasefire, and eventually escalates into open warfare. NATO-AAF relations deteriorate, and NATO peacekeepers are reduced to the smaller island of Stratis. By 2035, NATO prepares to fully withdraw from Stratis. On July 7, 2035, the AAF suddenly attacks the remaining NATO forces on Stratis, destroying their bases and killing their commander.[N 1] Corporal Ben Kerry and Staff Sergeant Adams attempt to regroup with NATO survivors, but Adams is killed by a landmine. Kerry and other NATO survivors eventually regroup with a British special forces unit led by Captain Scott Miller.
Miller organizes a number of ineffective guerrilla missions against the AAF, while his own squad conducts clandestine operations independently. Over the course of a few days, under group Alpha, Kerry helps destroy a helicopter to hide the position of the NATO survivors, breaks an AAF siege around a small village, assassinates a high ranking AAF commander, and helps attack Air Station Mike-26 to try and contact NATO MEDCOM (which fails). After making contact with an FIA operative by the name of Nikos Panagopolous, Kerry's group follows them to a cache, only to have it destroyed by AAF forces, with Nikos seemingly escaping. With the cache lost, Miller orders an attack on AAF positions in the south, but after overrunning a village, mortar fire hits Camp Maxwell where the NATO survivors are hiding. Despite Miller's orders, Kerry's team returns to camp to find it in ruins, with NATO survivors tending to the wounded. The next day, Miller manages to contact NATO command and arranges for a re-invasion of Stratis. To assist with the invasion, Miller leads the survivors to take control of a town on Stratis, called Agia Marina. However, CSAT reinforcements foil the operation, and Miller orders the survivors to head to Altis on two boats he prepared in a small cove. Miller states that the survivors will link up with the FIA upon arriving at Altis, but AAF attack jets attack and destroy the boats before they arrive at Altis.
Kerry wakes up on Altis and manages to reunite with Lieutenant James, Miller's second in command, who laid in on a mountain after an FIA attack on Kavala (the former capital of Altis) failed miserably. Kerry is taken to the FIA and given charge of an FIA squad to ambush a convoy. During this part, Kerry can accidentally destroy the ammo truck, though it does not effect the outcome of the mission as CSAT carries out a massive counterattack and nearly exterminates the FIA, forcing them to move to a different camp near Gori. More missions pass as Kerry helps take down an outpost and capture a fuel truck (he can either use the fuel truck to blow up a ranking commander from CSAT and lower CSAT's reserves in later missions, or bring the fuel back and get a head start on other missions). In the next mission, Kerry helps an officer named Orestes defect, and uses him to either take down a helicopter or raid a CSAT repair depot. Eventually, the FIA learns that their main smuggler and figurehead, Nikos Panagopolous, has been spotted on the island of Stratis, and CTRG arranges a rescue operation to retrieve him. The operation is successful, and the FIA begins to become more emboldened in their strategy. Later on, the FIA learns that NATO main forces will be invading Altis, and plans their own operation to assist. During the operation, Kerry witnesses NATO heli gunships firing on FIA forces. Kerry manages to call off the attack through a downed NATO pilot. The next day, NATO commander Colonel Armstrong meets with Kerry and tells him that they were unaware of the FIA's activities around the AAC airfield. When Kerry asks about Miller, Armstrong responds that he has no knowledge of Scott Miller, and that British forces left Stratis many months ago. Mentioning Miller drives Armstrong to believe Kerry may be hostile, on top of the fact that he is the only survivor from Task Force Aegis on Stratis.
Armstrong, under the callsign "Crossroads", orders Kerry to lead an FIA squad and assist in NATO operations. NATO manages to repel AAF and CSAT forces and secure most of Altis. Crossroads confirms that Miller is not hostile, but he warns Kerry to stay away from his team. During this time, tectonic activity on Altis increases sharply.
With the AAF on the verge of defeat, Crossroads orders all NATO forces to regroup for one final offensive, Kerry is suddenly contacted by a dying Lt. James who provides his location to find him. Kerry can either regroup with NATO or disobey orders and find James.
Canonically, Kerry regroups with NATO, and is ordered to lead a reconnaissance squad to mark out enemy positions and spearhead the offensive. The AAF surrenders shortly after the offensive begins. An epilogue set six weeks later shows peace returning to Altis, while Kerry, now Sergeant, works with the continued NATO presence to maintain peace.
If Kerry looks for James, Kerry finds him at the site of a failed assault on a secret CSAT facility. James orders Kerry to find a truck loaded with a special device and take it to Miller, before dying. Kerry finds the truck in the facility and brings it to Miller. Kerry confronts Miller about his actions and the nature of the device, but Miller only hints that the device is responsible for the recent tremors. As they talk, CSAT suddenly launches a massive invasion against both NATO and the AAF, forcing NATO into withdrawal. Miller initially promises to return for Kerry after he takes the device off the island, but breaks the promise after he leaves, leaving Kerry alone to find a way off the island.
Following a major tsunami known as the Pacific disaster, the paramilitary crime syndicate, the Syndikat, rose to power in several regions on Tanoa. Finding the Syndikat's rapid expansion suspicious, NATO sends in CTRG Group 15 to investigate.
CTRG Group 15, under callsign "Raider", deploys on Tanoa and conducts several operations against the Syndikat, destroying a Syndikat ammo depot and ambushing a Syndikat convoy. They discover evidence of CSAT support of the Syndikat. During an operation to capture the Syndikat's leader, Solomon Maru, Raider instead finds that they've been led into an ambush by the Chinese CSAT special forces Viper Team. Raider manages to escape from the ambush.
Following the ambush, Raider conducts an operation to rescue CTRG asset "Keystone". Keystone turns out to be Captain Scott Miller, leader of CTRG Group 14, who had been tracking the special CSAT device since it left Altis, which is a tectonic weapon codenamed "Eastwind". Miller believes that Viper deployed Eastwind on Tanoa, causing the Pacific disaster, and supported the Syndikat, all to destabilize Tanoa.
After rescuing Miller, CTRG raids a Viper black site on Tanoa to retrieve Eastwind. They find the black site already attacked and abandoned; Syndikat double-crossed CSAT before CTRG arrived, holding Eastwind ransom to blackmail against CSAT. CTRG did however recover files about CSAT's "Apex Protocol," which involves using operatives to destabilize strategically important nations so CSAT can provide assistance and foster CSAT support.
CTRG tracks Eastwind to a large port, where CSAT attempts to deal with Syndikat to recover Eastwind, while Maru arms Eastwind. CTRG quickly attacks, fighting against both Syndikat and Viper, and manages to kill Maru, disarm Eastwind, and secure the device. Following the operation, CSAT's Apex Protocol is exposed to the whole world, leading to international condemnation, while Eastwind is now in NATO's possession.
Remnants of War
Days after the end of the NATO invasion of Altis, a civilian mechanic from the Altis town of Oreokastro returns to the town, after hearing news that his missing brother had appeared at the town's church in a recent firefight. As he searches the church, he is killed by a landmine.
Several days later, journalist Katherine Bishop conducts an online interview with Nathan MacDade as he works on the disposal of explosive remnants of war at Oreokastro. Oreokastro, formerly a major FIA garrison and the site of an IDAP camp, was completely destroyed during the war and is now a ghost town. Nathan reminisces about Oreokastro's past as he conducts his work, and tells five stories surrounding Oreokastro during the war.
- In the first story, after the breakdown of the FIA-AAF ceasefire, NATO peacekeeper Staff Sergeant Adams led a TF Aegis squad to secure a NATO airdrop intended for the Oreokastro IDAP camp, and repelled an attack from FIA bandits.
- In the second story, a FIA fighter from Oreokastro, Alexis Kouris, sets up defenses around Oreokastro after the AAF announced their plans to assault the town.
- In the third story, Nathan recounts a rumor that a squad of supposed CSAT special forces parachuted in near Oreokastro and designated FIA positions in the town for an AAF cluster bomb air strike, destroying much of the town. Nathan notes that NATO casings were discovered on site, and it is implied that the special forces may have been NATO forces instead.
- In the fourth story, Markos Kouris, Alexis' brother and a non-combatant at Oreokastro, was heavily injured by the AAF air strike. As the AAF assaults the town, Markos limps his way to the IDAP camp at the town church, and was eventually evacuated. The town is abandoned after the assault.
- In the final story, set during the NATO invasion of Altis, AAF officers Lieutenant Antoniou Dimitriou and Major Gavras were overwhelmed by NATO-FIA forces and were pushed back to Oreokastro. The two defend themselves at the town's church, and deploy landmines for self defense. They withstand the attack and extract. Alexis is one of the casualties in the assault, leading Markos to search the church after the war, resulting in him being killed by leftover landmines.
Back at present, Katherine asks Nathan about who he thinks is most responsible for the destruction of Oreokastro: NATO, CSAT, AAF, FIA, or nobody. After Nathan responds, Katherine shows Nathan a draft of her report on the impacts the war had left on the life on Altis, the contents reflecting on the player's actions throughout the campaign. As Nathan completes the EOD operation, he bides Katherine farewell as he and his team pack up and leave Oreokastro, proceeding to their next cleanup site.
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. 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.
In February 2014 the first, free DLC for the game, entitled Zeus, was announced. It allows players to use the game's Zeus mode in multiplayer where the player(s) designated as Zeus gain god-like powers and can control scenarios in real time using a full 3D overview of the match reminiscent of the game's Eden editor's primary interface. Zeus was released on April 10, 2014.
Bohemia Interactive featured an April Fool's joke video on April 1, 2014. It announced a DLC Karts that would add a Go-kart racing into the game. The video was a parody of Jean-Claude Van Damme's Splendid Split video using the character of Scott Miller. The video became popular and fans liked the idea so Bohemia Interactive released the DLC on May 29, 2014. The DLC added 20 types of Karts and objects useful for creating tracks and driver models. ARMA 3: Karts is the first paid DLC for ARMA 3.
The Helicopters DLC is second premium DLC for Arma 3 and was released on November 4, 2014. Content exclusive for owners of this DLC includes two new heavy transport helicopters, NATO's CH-67 Huron, based on the CH-47 Chinook, and CSAT's Mi-290 Taru, based on the Ka-226. It also includes single-player scenario and time trials.
The DLC was also accompanied by a platform update, which added new mechanics including firing from passenger seats of vehicles, sling loading with helicopters and an advanced flight dynamics model which is an improved version of the flight model from another Bohemia game, Take On Helicopters.
The DLC was supported by a free update for Arma 3, which included new mechanics for weapon resting, bipods, recoil, AI suppression and sound scape alongside new content and a game mode called End Game.
ARMA 3: Apex is ARMA 3's first expansion, released on July 11, 2016. It was announced as part of Bohemia Interactive Roadmap for ARMA 3 in 2015–2016. The expansion includes some free features for users which optimize the game and act as a visual update as well. The main features for this expansion are:
- Tanoa – A new map for ARMA 3 set in the South Pacific Islands with an overall map size of 100 square kilometres (38.6 sq. mi).
- New Faction, 13 New Weapons, New Uniforms & Gear
- 10 New Vehicles
Arma 3: Jets is the first piece of DLC developed in cooperation with a partner, Bravo Zero One Studios, adding gameplay improvements and new units to the game including planes and an aircraft carrier. It is included as part of DLC Bundle 2 and was released on May 16, 2017.
Some of the aircraft included in the Jets DLC are NATO's F/A-181 Black Wasp II, based on a combination of the F/A-18E Super Hornet and F-22 Raptor of the U.S. Navy and Air Force, and To-201 Shikra, CSAT's counterpart, based on the Su-57 and Su-35. It also comes with an AAF operated jet, the A-149 Gryphon, based on the Swedish JAS 39 Gripen, and the NATO operated Sentinel UCAV, based on the X-47B. The DLC also includes many performance changes and the addition of a new interactive object, a nuclear-powered Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier, the USS Freedom (CVN-83).
This DLC also includes a large sensory overhaul, changing the way radar, laser and missile tracking functions. Some of the other overhauls included in the DLC include an extended damage model and a dynamic load out system.
To celebrate the 16th Anniversary of Operation Flashpoint, Bohemia Interactive announced it was working on a full recreation of one of the game's maps: the fictional Mediterranean island of Malden. It contained new assets as well as many already created for Altis and Tanoa, and was released free for all game owners in June 2017.
Laws of War
This DLC was developed by Bohemia Interactive's new studio in Amsterdam, Netherlands under the code-name Orange, and pursued an aspect of warfare not often covered by other games. This DLC was released on September 7, 2017.
The DLC added many new features, including a new faction called the International Development and Aid Project (which specialises in rapidly responding to crisis requiring humanitarian aid), a new miniature campaign for users to play, new vehicles, two new unmanned aerial vehicles, an APERS Mine Dispenser, cluster munitions, and various new clothing items.
Tac-Ops Mission Pack
This DLC is included in DLC Bundle 2 and was released in late November, 2017. It includes three distinct singleplayer military "operations" (essentially mini-campaigns), each focusing on different aspects of ground combat. Each operation requires careful planning in order to succeed but offer high replayability as the decisions the player makes can affect the outcome.
Other features include an "After Action Report" video, which includes insights for each operation from one of Bohemia Interactive's military consultants, new music tracks, new Steam achievements, and improvements to the game's scripting system in order to help players more easily create complex scenarios.
The Tanks DLC is a premium DLC released on 11 April 2018 focusing on armoured assets. Premium content includes three vehicles, an anti-tank launcher, and a mini-campaign. An accompanying platform update brought new handling and damage models for vehicles alongside expanded anti-tank launcher systems and additional content.
This DLC was released on 29 April 2019. It includes a 10 mission singleplayer Campaign, four new factions (West Germany, East Germany, Poland and Denmark), 70 new vehicles (with new variants), 30 weapons (with new variants), 'various' infantry clothing, new terrain and gear, and 17 multiplayer scenarios. The DLC is set in Cold War West and East Germany during the 1980s, which includes the new map of Weferlingen which is 419 km2 (162 sq mi) and adds a new building style and 'fresh feel' to the Arma 3 series. Unlike other ArmA 3 DLCs, the Global Mobilization was developed by Vertexmacht.
Contact is an expansion released on 25 July 2019 set in the fictional Eastern European country of Livonia in form of a new 163 km2 (63 sq mi) map. The DLC brings two new factions, the Livonian Defense Force and Russian Spetsnaz, along with new weapons and equipment.
This DLC also contains a new campaign called First Contact, in which the player takes part in a military training exercise when an alien vessel enters the atmosphere.
Other content updates
The Bootcamp Update was released on 14 July 2014. It features training content, a Virtual Reality terrain, and a short campaign. The Bootcamp Campaign serves as the prequel to the main game. It follows Sergeants Conway and Adams one year prior to the Eastwind Campaign. The goal of this update was to introduce new players to the game's mechanics.
The Nexus update was released on 1 December 2015. It brought an improved version of the official multiplayer mission "End Game", a spectator mode, and multiple improvements such as soldier protection, stamina, and an audio overhaul.
The Eden update, released on 18 February 2016, added an in-game 3D editor, making the creation of missions easier. It also included launcher and server browser improvements, and an update to the audio system.
A 'Visual Update' was released with the 1.60 update, in May 2016, in advance of the Apex update.
As of 1 August 2018, the 1.84 update was released, together with the Encore content pack, which contains additional anti-air assets, fixed-wing armaments, and the fictional Liberty-class destroyer.
On 8 December 2018, the 1.86 update added the Warlords multiplayer missions, based on a capture the island (CTI) scenario.
|Metacritic||74/100 (38 reviews)|
|PC Gamer (US)||8.4/10|
ARMA 3 has received favorable reviews, garnering a score of 74 out of 100 on the review aggregation website Metacritic based on 38 reviews and a user score of 7.6 based on 1048 ratings. Some reviewers praise the modifications Bohemia Interactive have done with the engine, animations and sound. However, others criticised the lack of single-player content on release.
PC Gamer selected the game to be the simulation game of the year. ARMA 3 also gained Czech game of 2013 Award for technological contribution to Czech video game output and was elected to be best Czech video game of the Year in Booom 2013. Rock, Paper, Shotgun selected ARMA 3 to be 16th best FPS of all time and the 10th best Simulation Game of all time.
The islands of Altis and Stratis also received much praise. The Guardian even included them along with Chernarus (the setting of ARMA 2 and DayZ) in its list of 10 most beautiful video game environments.
The game has sold 5 million copies as of June 2019.
The Greek media reported on 10 September 2012 that two Czechs were arrested on the Greek island 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. Under Greek law taking photographs of military installations and the like is prohibited for reasons of national security. Prior to the incident, the issue of the game causing potential threats to Greek national security was discussed in the Greek Parliament in 2011.
The two were initially identified as David Zapletal and Pavel Guglava, although it was later confirmed that the two were actually Martin Pezlar and Ivan Buchta. The duo's employee status under Bohemia Interactive was confirmed, but the company later 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. After being held in custody for 128 days, the Greek government released the arrested developers from jail on 15 January 2013.
While the two were imprisoned, Bohemia Interactive shut down access to one of the threads on their official forums titled Greek Military which was created on 1 August 2012. Bohemia Interactive has since made several statements regarding the situation on their official forums, discussing legal matters and warning users regarding the problems arising from photographing Greek military installations. As a result of the incident, on 2 February 2013, Bohemia Interactive announced that the name of the main island 'Lemnos' would change to 'Altis'. The Greek island of Lemnos was chosen as inspiration after Bohemia Interactive CEO Marek Španěl had visited the place on vacation. According to Bohemia Interactive, the name change is meant to emphasize the game is fiction. The game's smaller island named 'Stratis' remained unchanged.
Ban in Iran
In September 2012, Iran's National Foundation of Computer Games and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps refused to allow the sale of ARMA 3 because the game portrayed the CSAT faction (which was partially composed of Iranian soldiers in the main campaign) as an enemy of NATO.
- The exact cause of AAF attacking NATO is unclear, though it is implied to be a reaction to a NATO black operation.
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