by Ingvi Snædal
previewed on PC
The Choice is Yours
The customisable weapons and the library of vehicles available to the player are perfectly suited for personalised styles of gameplay. If you are the kind of player who likes sneaking around at night, silently taking down key enemy patrolmen while making your way into the enemy camp, then all you need to do is wait for nightfall, attach a suppressor on your gun and set off into the night. If you prefer to roll around the countryside in a massive tank, picking off every living being you can find, then that’s fine too. With the new underwater combat system, you can even dive past the front lines and emerge from the water deep behind enemy lines for surgical strikes on key enemy targets. From land, air, or sea, your choice of approach for each mission is virtually limitless.
The player inventory system has been drastically overhauled from previous iterations and now resembles those of classic Role-Playing games with one page displaying your current loadout, including the attachments currently on your weapon, and the next displaying the equipment you’re carrying on your fatigues. Switching out the attachments on your weapon is as easy as double-clicking on the item you wish to remove and again on the one you want to attach. This means that although you can only have a flashlight and a red-dot scope mounted on your gun, you can carry a laser designator and a 12x Sniper Scope with you in case the situation demands them, making you a force to be reckoned with in every conceivable situation.
A Community Builder
The single-player campaign lets you evolve from a single man, hunted by the enemy after a botched NATO operation to a full-fledged commander with the authorisation to rain down fire and brimstone on enemy locations. Multiplayer enables you to form squads and engage in huge player-vs-player battles, or take up arms together in a co-operative fight against AI controlled enemies. ArmA III’s official website states that the servers will be “multi-platform dedicated servers” begging the question whether the game will later be released for consoles as well, although considering the complexity of gameplay, I find that highly unlikely.
The game will come with a mission editor and considering the success of mods like Day Z, a massively popular mod for ArmA 2, it probably won’t be long until the internet is full of delicious user-generated goodies for us to enjoy. Taking into consideration the enormous leap in graphical quality between the two iterations, ArmA III is also destined to be much more appealing to the more casual gamer who makes his purchasing decisions based on screenshots alone. The new hints system is meant to help the transition between “mindless shooter” and “thinking man’s military simulator” for those players and offers helpful tips as to how to do things like order an artillery barrage or call in support choppers. For those of you more familiar with the series and resenting the baby coddling this represents: don’t worry, the system can be easily switched off, allowing you to keep your enormous manhood by going it unsupported.
The ‘Carbine’ of a Gamer’s Arsenal
ArmA III appears to cover all the basis: An interesting plot and setting, immersive ultra-realistic gameplay, and a stunningly beautiful environment. For those of us still playing the original Ghost Recon, scoffing at what the series has become but longing for something that looks like the new but feels like the old, ArmA III appears to offer what we seek and more. Although this series has passed by me undetected until now, I for one cannot give them my credit card number fast enough. With my disappointment in the direction current triple-A shooters are heading, all I can say is: “Please, Bohemia, accept my cash already.”