Arma 3

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Arma
ArmA 3 Logo (Black Transparent) (SVG).svg
Developer(s)Bohemia Interactive
Publisher(s)Bohemia Interactive
Director(s)Joris-Jan van 't Land
Jay Crowe
Producer(s)Marek Španěl
Programmer(s)Ondřej Martinák
Vojtěch Hladík
Artist(s)David Zapletal
Composer(s)Ondřej Matějka
Grigorij Tolkačev
Nathan McCree
SeriesArma
EngineReal Virtuality 4
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows,[3] Linux, macOS
ReleaseMicrosoft Windows
  • WW: September 12, 2013[1]
OS X, Linux
  • WW: August 31, 2015[2]
Genre(s)Tactical shooter
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Arma 3 is an open-world, realism-based, military tactical shooter video game developed and published by Bohemia Interactive exclusively through the Steam distribution platform. It was released for Microsoft Windows in September 2013, and later announced for macOS and Linux in August 2015.[4]

Arma 3 mainly takes place in the mid-2030s, on the fictional islands of Altis and Stratis in the South Mediterranean Sea, and the South Pacific island of Tanoa, as well as the island of Malden and a landlocked terrain set in the historical region of Livonia in the Suwałki Gap between Poland and Lithuania. 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).[5]

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.[6][7][8]

Since its initial release, the Arma 3 platform has been actively maintained and extended by Bohemia Interactive and publishing partners with almost twenty significant game engine updates and downloadable content (DLC) releases, including most recently, in 2021, a major Vietnam War era DLC expansion S.O.G Prairie Fire.

Arma 3 also has a very active modding community that has published nearly 100,000 mods, adding thousands of additional terrains, buildings, vehicles, weapons, placeable objects, missions, campaigns, and game mechanics enhancements, most of which are freely and easily available from the Steam Workshop.

Despite its relative age, Arma 3 maintains a substantial player community, often being in the top 50 games (by active players) on Steam, with hundreds of official and community multi-player servers, community groups, and many dedicated Arma 3 mil-sim realism groups.

Synopsis[edit]

Overview[edit]

Flag of Altis and Stratis

The original universe content of Arma 3 is set in a realistic near-future historical fiction scenario. In-game events take place primarily in the period of 2034-2038, with the non-canon First Contact campaign taking place in 2039 and the Beyond Hope mini-campaign taking place in 2026. The two primary factions in Arma 3 are NATO and its direct counterpart the Canton Protocol Strategic Alliance Treaty, or CSAT. Only three member nations of CSAT are depicted in Arma 3: Iran, China and a strike force of various North African states. Notably, Russia is explicitly depicted as non-aligned, being neither a member of NATO nor CSAT, though they do have technology sharing agreements with some CSAT countries. The only appearance of Russian forces in game is in the First Contact campaign, where the Russian GRU Spetsnaz assists the player with stabilizing the situation in Livonia.

The story of Arma 3 takes place over a variety of campaigns which introduce the player to the game's mechanics and universe. There are four flagship campaigns and various smaller "scenarios" which exist to provide unique challenges or showcase certain aspects of the game. The four main campaigns are, in chronological order:

  • The East Wind and its prologue, which are set on the fictional Republic of Altis and Stratis following a military coup by the Altis Armed Forces. The campaigns concern the firsthand experiences of various NATO peacekeepers trying to prevent fighting between the new government and the former government-in-exile, who are waging guerilla warfare, as relations between the Altian government and NATO deteriorate.[9][10] The East Wind was the first campaign to be released for the game, requiring only the core content to be played.
  • Remnants of War, a mostly non-combat campaign surrounding the International Development and Aid Project, a humanitarian NGO and their work in the Altian village of Oreokastro. The player controls bomb disposal expert Nathan McDade as he recounts his firsthand experiences of the civil war to a news reporter. Remnants of War was released with the Arma 3: Laws of War DLC, which in addition added new props for placing in the editor, new mine-clearing mechanics and a variety of drones.
  • Apex Protocol, a campaign concerning the NATO black ops unit the Combat & Technology Research Group (CTRG) and their attempts to stop China from acquiring a seismic weapon of mass destruction. The campaign was released with the Arma 3: Apex DLC and includes the terrain of Tanoa, a former French colony in Southeast Asia. The campaign is fully multiplayer and designed to be played with up to 4 different players.[11]
  • First Contact, a non-canon spinoff set in the fictional Polish-speaking country of Livonia. The campaign concerns the deterioration of relations between the Livonian Defence Force and NATO training assistants as extraterrestrial phenomena occur around the country. The campaign was released with the Arma 3: Contact DLC, which featured the new terrain of Livonia and a variety of other content. The selling point of the DLC was its focus on extraterrestrial life, however the fantastical elements of Contact, including the aliens and advanced technology, are an optional piece of content that can be loaded from the game's launcher.[12]

The East Wind[edit]

The East Wind is broken into a three-act structure, with each act concerning a different state of affairs regarding the crisis on Altis. The acts are titled Survive, Adapt and Win respectively. Survive concerns the player character, NATO Corporal Ben Kerry, trying to survive on the island of Stratis while being hunted by the AAF. Adapt involves him and a cell of the Freedom and Independence Army (the government-in-exile) waging guerilla warfare on Altis against the AAF. Win involves Kerry rejoining NATO and helping push the AAF into a surrender.

Survive[edit]

Following continued fighting between the AAF and FIA, the last remaining NATO peacekeepers are preparing to leave the island of Stratis. This is interrupted when the AAF, seemingly without provocation, attack NATO forces and a state of war is de facto declared. Kerry regroups with a British special forces unit led by Captain Scott Miller after his commanding officer is killed. The survivors attempt to gather supplies and reach NATO through an air station communications facility, but both attempts are unsuccessful. After multiple attempts, Miller informs his team that he reached NATO, and that their job is secure a landing zone for reinforcements. They are initially successful, but an CSAT helicopter fires on them, forcing them to withdraw. The peacekeepers are forced to flee to Altis, where they plan to meet up with the FIA. While fleeing Stratis, their flotilla of speedboats is attacked by AAF planes and most of the vessels are capsized.

Adapt[edit]

Kerry wakes up on the beaches of Kavala, the largest city in Altis, and is contacted by Miller's second in command Lieutenant James. James leads Kerry through a firefight in the city to his position. They link up with the northern cell of the FIA, led by former government agent Kostas Stavrou. Stavrou and Kerry are forced to perform guerilla operations against the AAF and CSAT to supply themselves, as their arms dealer, Nikos Panagopoulous, is missing. The insurgents rescue Nikos from an AAF camp on Stratis, where he has learned that NATO is planning to invade Altis. Knowing this, the guerillas assault the AAF before the landing to assist. However, NATO forces arrive during the battle and fire on the guerillas, mistaking them for hostiles. Kerry, after saving the pilot of a crashed helicopter gunship, tells NATO to cease fire on the FIA, and inquires about Scott Miller. The NATO commanding officer, David Armstrong, informs Kerry that there is no NATO register of a man named Scott Miller, and that the British contingent had left the peacekeeping operation months before the flashpoint occurred.

Win[edit]

Kerry, although now with NATO, is put on tedious and unimportant assignments due to Armstrong's distrust of him, due to his suspicious activity and supposed contact with a special forces operator. Kerry proves his loyalty during an attempted CSAT landing operation, and is eventually permitted to command NATO forces. During this time, an unusually high number of earthquakes is detected throughout the island, which disrupt NATO operations. Kerry is contacted by Armstrong, who absolves him of suspicion but tells him to cut all ties with Miller, and orders him not to get involved with, "the Brits and their black-ops bullshit." Once the AAF is on the verge of defeat, Armstrong orders all NATO forces to regroup in the north for a final operation. Right afterwards, Kerry is contacted through a broken transmission by a wounded Lt. James, who provides his location and asks for assistance. Depending on the choices the player makes, he can either:

  • Assist James and discover the true purpose behind Miller's team and their operations (a CSAT seismic weapon of mass destruction called the Eastwind Device), and consequently start World War III, or
  • Continue with NATO orders, helping force the remaining AAF forces to surrender.

The canonical ending of choosing to obey orders grants access to a final mission which allows the player to witness the end of the Altis crisis. Kerry, now promoted to Sergeant, is helping the remaining NATO forces stabilize the country. He meets a reporter at the airport and drives him to a nearby town for an interview with Nikos, who is now running for government in the new Altis Republic. After Kerry says his farewells, the campaign ends.

Apex Protocol[edit]

Following an unprecedented tsunami in Southeast Asia known as the Pacific Disaster, the paramilitary crime syndicate Syndikat rises to power in several regions of the former French colony of Tanoa. Finding the Syndikat's rapid expansion and supply of equipment suspicious, NATO sends in the highly classified black ops unit the Combat & Technology Research Group (CTRG) to investigate.

CTRG Group 15, under callsign "Raider," deploys on Tanoa and conducts several operations against Syndikat to discover the whereabouts of their members. In the process, they also discover evidence that CSAT member China is supplying Syndikat with weapons. During an operation to capture the leader of Syndikat, Solomon Maru, Group 15 is ambushed by a high-tech special forces unit of the Chinese PLA known as the Viper Team and is forced to withdraw.

Following the ambush, Raider conducts an operation to rescue CTRG asset "Keystone." It is revealed that Keystone is Captain Scott Miller, leader of CTRG Group 14, working undercover as a British special forces operator. His true purpose on Altis (wherein it is heavily implied he caused the flashpoint by committing a false flag attack on Kerry's commander) is revealed to be the monitoring of the Eastwind Device, a tectonic weapon of mass destruction developed by CSAT. Miller believes China transported the Eastwind Device to the South Pacific to create the Pacific Disaster, allowing for the rise of Syndikat and the destabilization of Tanoa.

To locate the Eastwind Device, Raider deploys to a Chinese black site. They find the site already attacked and abandoned, and learn that Syndikat double-crossed China and are holding the device as ransom. The team also recovers documents concerning CSAT's "Apex Protocol," which is a set of plans detailing how clandestine methods like the Eastwind Device can be used to manufacture crises and make target nations vulnerable to CSAT influence through recovery aid. Both CTRG groups immediately set out to locate Syndikat and the device.

CTRG tracks the device to an industrial port in the north of Tanoa, where CSAT is attempting to negotiate with Syndikat to get the device back. However, Maru unexpectedly arms the device as leverage, causing panic. CTRG assaults the port, fighting against both Syndikat and the Viper Team, and manages to successfully eliminate Solomon Maru, disarm the device and transport it safely away. Following the operation, the upper echelons of NATO quietly leak a redacted version of the Apex Protocol documents to the press, which leads to worldwide condemnation of CSAT's aggressive expansionism.

Remnants of War[edit]

Days after the end of the NATO invasion of Altis, a mechanic from the town of Oreokastro by the name of Markos Kouris returns to his ruined home after hearing news that his missing brother had appeared at the town's church in a recent firefight. As he searches the church for evidence of his brother's whereabouts, he is killed by a landmine.

Several days later, journalist Katherine Bishop, working for AAN News International, conducts an online interview with EOD expert Nathan MacDade, who works for the humanitarian NGO the International Development and Aid Project (IDAP). His job is to dispose of the explosive remnants of war in Oreokastro, which was almost completely destroyed during the Altian Civil War. Nathan, who was in the town's IDAP camp before and during the war, recounts his experiences of the various sides of the conflict through five playable scenarios which each depict a different facet of the town and the war. In all five, the player's choices make an impact on how Nathan recounts the story.

  • The first story, The Peacekeeper, depicts NATO soldier Staff Sergeant Thomas Adams, the protagonist of the prologue and a supporting character in the East Wind, helping IDAP direct an airdrop of humanitarian supplies and defending it from the FIA with the help of his AAF retinue. In this sequence, Nathan will comment if the player damages supplies by misdirecting the airdrop.
  • The second story, The Guerilla, depicts a young FIA supporter named Alexis Kouris who steals vehicles to build a barricade against an incoming AAF assault. Nathan will comment based on what vehicles the player chooses to block the road with.
  • The third story, The Redacted, depicts a story told by a local goat farmer of CSAT special forces directing a cluster bomb strike for the AAF on the town from the town's castle ruins. Nathan will mention if the player decides to wait for certain characters to leave the blast radius, and which building the player targets, but is regardless shocked at the negligence of bombing a town with civilians in it. During the ending cinematic of this story, Nathan mentions that NATO mil-spec casings were found at the site, and shortly after the two CSAT operators in the cutscene briefly flash to Scott Miller and Lieutenant James. This insinuates that it was actually NATO responsible for directing the airstrike.[N 1]
  • The fourth story, The Survivor, depicts the brother of Alexis Kouris and protagonist of the first scenario, Markos, who is shot in the crossfire during the AAF attack and must limp to the IDAP-controlled church to be evacuated. In this sequence, the player is technically neutral to the AAF, but many actions (including picking up a gun, firing at AAF soldiers or going too close to combatants) will warrant the AAF to target Markos as an enemy. These actions will cause Nathan to comment on the nature of the attack on Oreokastro, and he will further lament the "newfound anger" of Markos if the player decides to go through with the optional objective of killing the AAF soldiers.
  • The fifth and final story, The Major, depicts a battle during the NATO invasion of Altis. The player controls AAF lieutenant Antoniou Dimitriou, who is pushed to Oreokastro with his commander Major Gavras by a joint NATO-FIA attack. They deploy a landmine dispenser device in the church yard to defend the position, and successfully withstand the assault. After the player kills one of the FIA soldiers, Nathan reveals that he was Alexis Kouris, and that this firefight is what led Markos to investigate his brother's whereabouts.

After all five sequences are completed, Katherine asks Nathan about who he thinks is most responsible for the tragedies of Oreokastro: NATO, CSAT, the AAF, the FIA, or "everyone and no one." Nathan responds with a pretermined justification, and shortly afterwards Katherine gives the player access to a draft of her article on Altian Civil War. The contents of the article change depending on the player's choices in the memory sequences and the final few paragraphs change depending on who the player gives as most responsible for Oreokastro's destruction. The player's only objective after completing the main memory sequences is to clear all mines from the village. Once the player chooses to leave, Nathan says goodbye to Katherine and gets in his van to go to his next assignment.

Development[edit]

Jay Crowe was the game's creative director and provided some voice acting for the game.

Bohemia Interactive officially announced the development of Arma 3 on May 19, 2011.[13] In June 2012 an alpha version of the game was demonstrated at E3.[14] In August 2013, Bohemia Interactive announced that they will release three downloadable content episodes for free after the game's initial launch.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17]

Arma 3 uses a new version of Bohemia Interactive's Real Virtuality game engine.

Downloadable content[edit]

Arma 3 is known for its plethora of downloadable content and free content updates, all of which have substantially expanded the game's scope since release. Arma 3 also possesses a unique system for the management of DLC which allows users to test certain aspects of an expansion before purchase.

In Arma 3, DLC content falls into two categories: "platform" content and "expansion" content. Platform content is present and integrated directly into the game for all customers regardless of what DLC they have purchased. Users who do not own platform content can try out various aspects of it in the game's editor, as well as test its use by enemies, but the scenarios, campaigns and direct use of the content is reserved for those who have purchased it. Expansion content is content that is not always installed or loaded, and instead must be purchased and mounted to the game in a similar manner to its modding system. All Creator DLCs fall into this category, as well as the spinoff content of the Contact expansion.

Platform content[edit]

Zeus[edit]

The first piece of downloadable content for Arma 3 was Zeus, announced in February of 2014. Zeus allows players to take control of a "game master" type entity (the titular Zeus) that has full control and jurisdiction over the battlefield of a particular scenario. The interface allows Zeus to place, delete, and modify soldiers, vehicles and static objects, as well as manage countless types of game logic, command enemy forces and control the flow of a mission.[18] Zeus was released on April 10, 2014 at no charge to owners of Arma 3.

Karts[edit]

On April Fool's Day in 2014, Bohemia Interactive released a joke video announcing a Karts DLC, which would add Go-kart racing to Arma 3. The video featured a parody of Jean-Claude Van Damme's "Splendid Split," with the character of Scott Miller. Although the video was intended as a joke, its popularity in the Arma community led Bohemia Interactive to officially announce the actual release of the Karts DLC, which released on May 29, 2014. The DLC added over 20 types of go-karts to the game, as well as go-kart driving outfits, time trial scenarios and a wide range of static props for creating race tracks. Karts was the first paid DLC released for Arma 3.[19]

Helicopters[edit]

The second paid piece of DLC released for Arma 3 was Helicopters, released on November 4th, 2014. The DLC added two new helicopters, the NATO CH-67 Huron (based on the CH-47 Chinook) and the CSAT Mi-290 Taru (based on the Ka-226), as well as new singleplayer scenarios and time trials.[20] The Helicopters DLC debuted with the Helicopters Update for Arma 3, which was a free platform update that added features like firing from vehicles, cargo hooks for helicopters and an advanced helicopter flight model based on Bohemia's Take On Helicopters flight system.[21]

Marksmen[edit]

The third piece of paid DLC released for Arma 3 was Marksmen, released on April 8th, 2015. The content added was focused at improving long-range sniper gameplay, and features new weapons and weapon attachments, outfits such as ghillie suits, and singleplayer scenarios.[22] The Marksmen DLC debuted with the Marksmen Update, a free platform update which introduced new weapon mechanics such as weapon stabilization and bipods, improved AI and suppression mechanics, enhanced soundscapes and a new multiplayer game mode, "End Game."[23]

Apex[edit]

Released on July 11th, 2016, Arma 3: Apex was the first full content expansion for Arma 3, adding content to most aspects of the base game. Apex was originally announced as part of the Bohemia Interactive Roadmap for 2015-2016.[24] The expansion added the Southeast Asian island of Tanoa, part of the Horizon Islands, a former French colony. Tanoa spans roughly 100 km2 (39 sq mi),[25] making it the third-largest terrain in Arma 3. Apex also introduces a fully multiplayer, 4 player story-based campaign called Apex Protocol, as well as all of the assets for use in the editor (including new vehicles, uniforms, factions, weapons, and static objects.) Apex debuted with the Apex Update, a free platform update that introduced a new lighting system, under-the-hood improvements to rendering and performance and a variety of other content.

Jets[edit]

Released on May 16th, 2017, Arma 3: Jets was the fifth piece of paid downloadable content released for Arma 3, and the first to be produced jointly with another developer, being co-developed by Bohemia Interactive and Bravo Zero One Studios. The added content was focused around expanding fixed-wing aircraft gameplay, most notably featuring new jet aircraft for NATO (F/A-181 Black Wasp II, based off the F/A-18E Super Hornet), CSAT (To-201 Shikra, based on the Su-57/Su-35) and the AAF (A-149 Gryphon, based off the JAS 39 Gripen). The DLC also introduced new aircraft-focused objects, including a NATO drone (Sentinel UCAV, based off the X-47B) a variety of air defense systems, such as radars and anti-air weapons, and aircraft-focused props for placing in the editor, including a Gerald R. Ford-class nuclear powered aircraft carrier named the USS Freedom.

Arma 3: Jets debuted with the Jets Update, a free platform update that introduced a variety of new content alongside an improvement of game performance. The update overhauled the existing sensory system, affecting targeting and tracking, as well as plane systems, introducing a dynamic loadout system for most aircraft and an improved aircraft damage model.

Malden 2035[edit]

Released on June 22nd, 2017, Malden 2035 was a free downloadable content update for Arma 3. Its primary inclusion was a total remake of the fictional Mediterranean island of Malden, featured as the primary setting of Operation Flashpoint, the first game in the Arma series. Malden's overhaul was originally developed for the now defunct free-to-play competitive first-person shooter Project Argo, but was ported to Arma 3 and released, along with Project Argo, on the 16th anniversary of Operation Flashpoint's release. The update also included a new dynamic gameplay scenario titled "Combat Patrol," which was retroactively ported to the rest of Arma 3's terrains.

Laws of War[edit]

Released on September 7th, 2017, Arma 3: Laws of War was the sixth piece of paid downloadable content released for Arma 3, focusing on the human impact of war and humanitarianism. Laws of War was developed by Bohemia Interactive's studio in Amsterdam under the codename "Orange." The DLC was created in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross, with a portion of its initial proceeds going to the ICRC. The DLC added a variety of new content focused around humanitarian aid, with new props and pieces of equipment themed around the fictional non-governmental organization the International Development and Aid Project (IDAP). The DLC also included the Remnants of War campaign, a mostly non-combat campaign focused around connecting the player with the personal experiences and effects of conflict.[26]

Tac-Ops Mission Pack[edit]

Released on November 20th, 2017, the Tac-Ops Mission Pack was the seventh piece of paid downloadable content released for Arma 3. Its primary inclusion is three highly complex single-player scenarios intended to challenge the player's tactics and planning capabilities. The scenarios feature unique "after action reports," consisting of videos from Bohemia Interactive's military consultants giving insight about the missions and about Arma 3 in general.

The Tac-Ops Mission Pack was released in tandem with a free platform update that added Steam achievements and introduced a major overhaul to the game's SQF scripting system, allowing content creators greater freedom and ease of use.

Tanks[edit]

Released on April 11th, 2018, Arma 3: Tanks was the eighth piece of paid downloadable content released for Arma 3, and the last piece of content to be developed for Arma 3 by Bohemia Interactive's Czech studio, focusing on armored warfare. The DLC introduced three new armored vehicles, primarily intended to be competent at competing with other armored vehicles: a NATO tank destroyer (the Rhino Mobile Gun System), a CSAT main battle tank (the T-140 Angara) and an AAF light armored fighting vehicle (the AWC Nyx). The DLC also includes up-armored variants of the base game's vehicles and a mini-campaign titled Altis Requiem involving an AAF tank commander's experiences fighting guerillas and, later, the NATO invasion of Altis.

The Tanks DLC was released with the free Tanks Update, a platform update that introduced a variety of improvements to armored combat, including new anti-tank weapons, an improved vehicle handling and damage system, a multiplayer mode titled "Vanguard," and other content.[27][28]

Expansion content[edit]

Contact[edit]

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.[29] The DLC brings two new factions, the Livonian Defense Force and Russian Spetsnaz,[30] 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.[31]

Global Mobilization[edit]

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.[32] Unlike other Arma 3 DLCs, the Global Mobilization was developed by Vertexmacht.[33]

S.O.G Prairie Fire[edit]

This DLC was released on May 6, 2021. It includes a 6 mission co-op campaign with up to 14 players, 5 Singleplayer 'Showcase' missions, 4 new factions (US Armed Forces, People's Army of Vietnam, The Vietcong and Army of the Republic of Vietnam), 54 new vehicles (with multiple variants), 55 new weapons (with multiple variants),[34] 41 different uniforms[35] and a new terrain named 'Cam Lao Nam' (A combination of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam respectively). This DLC is set in the Cold War during the Vietnam War as part of Bohemia Interactive's Creator DLC Program.[36] The new map is 300 km2 and contains the three countries of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, a first in the Armed Assault series. Like the Global Mobilization DLC it was developed by a third party studio known as Savage Game Design, created to make Vietnam War era games.[37][34]

On September 30, 2021, a free update was released adding a new terrain, 31 additional uniforms and 7 vests, 9 weapons (with multiple variants), 13 helmets and 6 new vehicles. The new terrain, named Khe Sanh, is 225 km2. The update also adds the ability to play as one of three primary Navy SEAL groups that operated in Vietnam, complete with underwater diving capabilities which was previously missing in the DLC.[38][39]

CSLA Iron Curtain[edit]

This DLC was released on 16 June 2021. It includes 9 singeplayer 'scenarios', 9 multiplayer missions and 1 singleplayer 'Showcase', 2 new factions (United States Armed Forces and the Czechoslovak People's Army), 30 new vehicles (with multiple variants), 35 new weapons (with various attachments), various new uniforms for all factions and a new terrain named 'Gabreta' with a size of 256 km2 . This DLC is set during the Cold War at a border region of Czechoslovakia and similar to the S.O.G Prairie Fire and Global Mobilisation DLC's it is made by a third party studio known as ČSLA Studio, a team of previous modders for the Armed Assault series.[40][41]

On June 24 of 2021, Bohemia Interactive PR representative "Nillers" released a forum statement saying that BI "recognize[s] that [they] did not do enough to ensure the appropriate quality of this particular Creator DLC." and that they would be offering no-questions-asked refunds for the next 36 days up until July 30, 2021.[42]

Western Sahara[edit]

This DLC was released on November 18, 2021.[43] It includes a scenario named 'Extraction', an open world sandbox featuring 'dynamically randomized contracts' playable in both singleplayer and multiplayer with up to 4 other players, 2 other multiplayer scenarios and a new showcase. It adds 4 new factions (UNA Peacekeepers, Sefrawi Freedom and Independence Army, Tura tribe insurgents, NATO in a desert variant and the official return of the private military company ION Services), 9 variants of existing vehicles, 4 new weapons, various new equipment such as a ballistic shield and a drone mounted with a Light Machine Gun, various new uniforms and a new terrain named 'Sefrou-Ramal'. This DLC is set in 2036 in a fictional Saharan country in Africa and is the first CDLC to not be set in the Cold War era.[44]

Other content updates[edit]

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.[45]

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.[46]

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.[47]

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,[48] based on a capture the island (CTI) scenario.

Reception[edit]

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.[49] 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.[52] 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.[53][54] Rock, Paper, Shotgun selected Arma 3 to be 16th best FPS of all time and the 10th best Simulation Game of all time.[55][56]

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.[57]

It was announced on May 28, 2014, that the game had sold one million copies. In October 2015 sales had reached two million units, and in March 2017 it reached 3 million sales.[24][58]

The game has sold 5 million copies as of June 2019.[59]

Controversies[edit]

Espionage arrests[edit]

The Greek media[60] 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[60][61] 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.[62] Prior to the incident, the issue of the game causing potential threats to Greek national security was discussed in the Greek Parliament in 2011.[63]

The two were initially identified as David Zapletal and Pavel Guglava,[64] 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".[65] 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.[66] After being held in custody for 128 days, the Greek government released the arrested developers from jail on 15 January 2013.[67]

While the two were imprisoned, Bohemia Interactive shut down access to one of the threads on their official forums[68][69] 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.[70] 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[edit]

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.[71][72]

Sequel[edit]

Arma 4 was announced on 17 May 2022 along with a standalone preview Arma Reforger which is using the Enfusion engine which entered Early access on the same day.[73]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ According to the scripting files found within the mission directory for this sequence, the CSAT special forces operators are supposed to flash to Miller and James only if the player completed the game's campaigns in order with the true endings before playing Remnants of War; otherwise it is supposed to fade to black. However, the line that restricts this is commented out and instead it will always occur.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]