|Director(s)||Joris-Jan van 't Land|
|Engine||Real Virtuality 4|
OS X, Linux
ARMA 3[N 1] 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 OS X and Linux in August 2015. 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 Canton-Protocol Strategic Alliance Treaty (CSAT), led by a resurgent Iranian military with a coalition of other Middle Eastern and Asian nations, such as China.
The single-player campaign has the player take control of U.S. Army soldier Corporal Ben Kerry. 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-based islands of Altis and Stratis, 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).
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Development
- 3 Downloadable content
- 4 Reception
- 5 Controversies
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 External links
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Setting and characters
ARMA 3 is set in 2030s. The main singleplayer campaign, The East Wind, is set on the Mediterranean islands of Altis (based on Lemnos) and Stratis (based on Agios Efstratios). In 2026, a civil war erupts on the Republic of Altis and Stratis (Altis for short) following a coup d'etat by the nation's armed forces, 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 guerilla campaign against the AAF. NATO peacekeeping forces are deployed to the region, establishing a US-led joint NATO-AAF peacekeeping force, Task Force Aegis.
Five years later, with NATO investment in the Aegean dwindling, the Canton-Protocol Strategic Alliance Treaty (CSAT), a military alliance of eastern hemisphere countries led by China and Iran, begins subsidizing the AAF and mobilizes its own forces in the Pacific. Facing political pressure to withdraw at the end of their peacekeeping mandate, NATO begins a drawdown of their expeditionary forces, causing tensions to rise between AAF and NATO forces.
The main player character of the singleplayer campaign is Corporal (later Sergeant) Ben Kerry, a US Army soldier 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 spec ops group, CTRG for short) 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.
In 2034, several months before the start of The East Wind, Staff Sergeant Adams and Sergeant Conway lead a small exercise for Task Force Aegis. During the exercise, an AAF patrol contacts Adams and requests assistance in response to an "incident". Conway and Adams meets with the patrol and discover that they had killed a group of civilians, who they claim attacked them. Conway discovers an arms cache in the houses nearby, confirming that the civilians were FIA guerillas. Due to the ceasefire, the patrol's use of lethal force becomes a tension point. Adams remarks that the FIA will no doubt retaliate.
One week after the incident, Altis government invites the FIA for a peace talk at the Ministry of Defense in the capital Kavala. Adams' team is tasked by the commander of Task Force Aegis, Colonel MacKinnon, to locate an AAF security convoy that has gone missing en route to Kavala. Searching via helicopter, the team quickly discover the missing convoy; it has been destroyed in an apparent ambush. When investigating, the team is attacked by FIA guerrillas. After eliminating the attackers, the team is recalled to Kavala. They are informed that the FIA launched an all-out assault on the AAF, breaking the ceasefire. The team is assigned to get to the Ministry of Defense. Arriving at the Ministry, they discover a high-ranking AAF officer about to execute prisoners. They threaten the officer but are ordered to stand down by MacKinnon, who informs them that the officer is Colonel Georgious Akhanteros, the commanding officer of the AAF. Conway and Adams leave the area, disappointed.
The prologue credits explain that after the Battle of Kavala, relations between NATO and AAF deteriorated, resulting in the NATO peacekeeping mandate reduced to the smaller island of Stratis.
The East Wind
Episode 1 – Survive
By July 2035, the AAF had taken control of most of the two islands, and NATO had largely withdrawn from Stratis. On July 7th, the AAF suddenly launches a massive attack on the remaining NATO forces on Stratis.[N 2] Colonel MacKinnon is killed during the attack. Corporal Ben Kerry and Staff Sergeant Adams, caught in the midst of the fighting, fight through the AAF and attempt to regroup with NATO survivors, but Adams is unexpectedly killed by a landmine on the way. Kerry eventually meets up with a squad of NATO survivors, and is informed that a group of British special forces have established a foothold and are rallying surviving NATO forces at the decommissioned Camp Maxwell.
After NATO survivors regroup at Maxwell, the special forces leader, Captain Scott Miller, takes command. Miller organizes a number of hit-and-run missions on the island, but these are met with limited success. Miller also conducts several secret operations with his team, independent of the survivors. Miller eventually manages to contact NATO MEDCOM 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 to establish a landing zone. The operation appears to be a success as AAF forces retreat, but CSAT forces suddenly arrive to reinforce the AAF. Miller orders the survivors to retreat and evacuate, revealing that he had prepared two boats in a small cove to evacuate the survivors from Stratis and make their way to Altis. On the boat, Kerry voices his frustration with Miller's deceit, but Miller only divulges that on arrival they will link up with the FIA. Before they can make it to Altis, however, AAF attack jets attack and destroy the boats.
Episode 2 – Adapt
Kerry wakes up on Altis's shores, and finds himself in a skirmish between the FIA and the AAF-CSAT forces in the outskirts of Kavala. He manages to reunite with Miller and his team and is taken to the FIA. Under the lead of FIA commander Kostas Stavrou, Kerry is given charge of an FIA squad and helps the FIA carry out numerous guerrilla missions on Altis, including rescuing an important FIA head, Nikos Panagopoulos. Meanwhile, Miller's squad conducts more unexplained operations.
Later on, FIA learns that NATO will be invading the island through the main airport. The FIA plan to assist NATO by attacking a smaller airfield, drawing forces away from the main one. Kerry's squad is tasked to take over a CSAT-controlled town nearby, before withdrawing back to the airfield. When returning, Kerry witnesses NATO gunships fire upon the FIA-controlled airfield, who kill Stavrou. Kerry approaches a downed gunship and finds its pilot, who is shocked to hear they had been firing at friendly forces. The pilot radios his superior, who promptly orders NATO to cease fire on the airfield. The NATO commanding officer, Colonel Armstrong, meets with Kerry and tells him that they were unaware of the FIA's activities on the island. When Kerry asks about Miller, Armstrong responds that he has no knowledge of "Scott Miller" and tells Kerry that British forces left Stratis many months ago. Confused by what he has heard, Kerry boards a helicopter to be debriefed.
Episode 3 – Win
Kerry meets with Armstrong, going by the callsign "Crossroads", and learns NATO has failed to capture the Altis airport, but had taken control of Stratis. Crossroads says that Captain Miller is to be considered hostile until further notice, and he sends Kerry to the front line on Altis. NATO manages to repel a CSAT counter-offensive and push back the AAF, securing many strategic objectives and most of Altis. AAF is on the verge of defeat, while CSAT largely withdrew from the situation. Crossroads confirms that Miller is not hostile, but he again warns Kerry to avoid Miller and his team, stating that they're "beyond (Kerry's) pay grade". During this time, tectonic activity on Altis increases sharply.
Later, as AAF prepares for a final counteroffensive, Crossroads orders all NATO forces to regroup for one final push on the AAF. However, Kerry is suddenly contacted by a dying Lt. James, Miller's second in command, who provides his location to find him. The player can either join NATO for the final offensive or disobey orders and find James.
If the player chooses to regroup with NATO, Kerry is ordered by Crossroads to lead a recon squad and spearhead NATO's final offensive by marking enemy positions for artillery and air strikes. Shortly after the assault begins, the AAF unconditionally surrender. Six weeks later, the situation on Altis has stabilized. The FIA had become a new political entity. Kerry is tasked to escort AAN World News journalist Mark Cole to FIA leader turned president-elect Nikos Panagopoulos. On the way, Cole asks Kerry about the role of British forces on Altis. Kerry is hesitant, hiding what he knows about Captain Miller. After escorting Cole to Nikos, Crossroads calls Kerry back to base to help deal with a 'situation', and the story ends.
If the player chooses to look for James, Kerry finds him on the site of a failed assault by Miller's team 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 fights through CSAT special forces in the facility, finds the truck, and brings it to Miller. Kerry confronts Miller about his deceit and manipulations, and Miller threatens to kill Kerry, but hints that the device is a tectonic weapon responsible for the many tremors seen throughout The East Wind. As they talk, CSAT suddenly launches a massive invasion against both NATO and AAF, and Crossroads orders all NATO forces into tactical withdrawal. Miller tells Kerry that he will come back for him after his team takes the device off the island, but after he leaves, Miller says that he cannot return for him due the invasion. Kerry's ultimate fate is left in the hands of the player: he can either escape from the island by boat or helicopter, with or without friendly forces, or die trying.
Apex Protocol is a DLC campaign added in the ARMA 3: Apex expansion. It is set on the Northern Division of a South Pacific island group nation known as the Horizon Islands Federation, taking place after the events of the base game campaign, following the regroup with NATO ending. The largest island of the Northern Division is Tanoa. The story is framed as a series of briefings between CTRG commander Major Dutton (callsign Watchtower) and their NATO liaison Lt. Col. Vince Brodale (callsign Northstar Actual).
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 its international special forces, the Combat Technology Research Group (CTRG), covered up by NATO's participation in local military exercises.
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 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, the 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 and secures Eastwind, fighting against both Syndikat and Viper, and manages to kill Maru, disarm Eastwind, and extract with Eastwind. 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
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.
A few days after the end of the NATO invasion of Altis, a 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. As he searches the church, he is killed by a landmine.
Several days later, AAN World News writer 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, is completely destroyed during the conflict and is now a ghost town. Nathan reminisces about Oreokastro's past as he conducts his work, and tells several stories about Oreokastro.
His first story concerns Staff Sergeant Adams after the FIA-AAF ceasefire was broken (as depicted in the Prologue). Supplies in the Oreokastro IDAP camp were running critically low, so NATO arranged for an airdrop. Adams, working with Task Force Aegis troops, managed to secure the supplies and repel an attack by FIA bandits. Nathan notes that Adams was eventually killed by a landmine on Stratis.
Nathan's second story is set in September 2034, during the height of the FIA-AAF conflict, and focuses on Alexis Kouris, an FIA fighter at Oreokastro and the brother of the mechanic killed at the beginning of the campaign. AAF plans to assault Oreokastro, forcing IDAP to move their camp to the town church. Alexis sets up defenses around the town, using civilian vehicles to construct a road block and laying down a hybrid minefield. Alexis' minefield survived into the present day, and had to be defused by Nathan.
Nathan's third story is set in October 2034, when AAF sought CSAT's help to suppress the FIA insurgency. A squad of supposed CSAT special forces parachutes in near Oreokastro, takes over an FIA vantage point near the town, and designates FIA positions in the town for an AAF cluster bomb air strike. The air strike destroys much of the town, and the special forces extract. Nathan notes that NATO casings were discovered on site, and it is implied that the special forces may have been Miller's CTRG team instead.
Nathan's fourth story focuses on Markos Kouris, Alexis' brother and a non-combatant. Markos was caught in the air strike on Oreokastro, and sustained heavy injuries. As AAF assaults the town, Markos limps his way to the IDAP camp at the town church, and was eventually evacuated. He would eventually die at the church after the war's end, as depicted at the beginning of the campaign. The town is abandoned after the assault.
Nathan's final story details the recent firefight at Oreokastro 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. They defend themselves at the town's church, with Gavras deploying a landmine dispersal device. Dimitriou is provided two more and may deploy them too. Dimitriou (and Gavras if he survives the assault) manages to withstand the attack and extract. Alexis is one of casualties in the assault. The leftover landmines would eventually kill Markos.
Back at present, Katherine asks Nathan about who he thinks is most responsible for the destruction of Oreokastro. Nathan may answer with NATO, CSAT, AAF, FIA, or nobody. With the response, Katherine shows Nathan a draft of her report of the impact 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 byes 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.
This DLC was released on November 4, 2014. It was announced on May 1, 2014, alongside another DLC, Marksmen, and an unnamed expansion for the game. ARMA 3 Helicopters featured two new transport helicopters and new flying mechanics. Features exclusive to those who have bought the DLC include:
ARMA 3 Marksmen includes new weapons and shooting mechanics, and was released in May 2015.
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).
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.
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 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 (as all decisions the player makes can affect the outcome) but all offer high replayability.
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 added several new tanks to the game. It was released on 11 April 2018,
Other content updates
The Bootcamp Update was released on July 14, 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 East Wind Campaign. The goal of this update was to present the game to new players.
The Nexus update was released on December 1, 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 February 18, 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 August 1st, 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 December 8th, 2018, the 1.86 update added the Warlords multiplayer missions, based on a capture the island (CTI) scenario.
ARMA 3 has received generally favorable reviews, garnering a score of 74 out of 100 on the review aggregation website Metacritic based on 38 reviews. 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, mainly a campaign.
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. Other video game worlds in the list included Skyrim, Los Santos, Empire Bay etc.
The Greek media reported on September 10, 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 January 15, 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 August 1, 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 February 2, 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 due to the game portraying the CSAT faction (similar in equipment and language to Iran) as an enemy to NATO.
- Stylized as Arma 3, Arma III, ArmA 3, or ArmA III.
- 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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