The ARMA 3 Alpha is available starting today. I think this about sums it up for me:
That’s right, kids! ARMA 3, the new installment from Bohemia Interactive, begins its open alpha today. I know most of you may or may not know about the ARMA series, but let me give you a breakdown. If you played ARMA series and its expansions, you got to experience the fun of:
- Running in a straight line for an hour and then getting killed by an unseen sniper.
- Asking yourself continually: how the hell do I take something out of my backpack?
- Having multiple key bindings for ambiguously named commands, such as Prone/Go to Prone/Toggle Prone/Send Prone Bitcoins
- Pretty trees! Front porches! 16x ASAA and OH GOD MY COMPUTER IS IN FLAMES HELP ME
- The amazing generative speech system that sounded like robots face-humping.
- That NPC voice that I SWEAR TO JESUS is John DiMaggio.
- Not knowing where the fuck to go most of the time.
- AI so dense that it comforts me that computers will never, ever take over the world.
- And a deep, open-world immersive military simulator that outclasses any other competitor in the genre.
In all seriousness, for all of ARMA’s finickiness and bugs and sometimes impenetrable difficulty curve, the ARMA series is one of the most interesting, complex, and truly amazing military simulations out there. It’s a work of art.
I’m convinced that the reason so many players of CALL OF DUTY sound like they’re just starting to shave is that the various CoD games treat you like you’re actually a child. The games are rated M, but they assume you just got up from nap time. They hold your dainty, fragile hand and gently push you down the scary corridor of their over-the-top set pieces, making sure you don’t ever get lost, so you can kill the big bad baddy with a, ugh, quicktime event. They always remind you of what their 6 buttons do by throwing a big-ass reminder up in your face. You get more ammo and more guns than the NRA. You’re an unstoppable, one-man murder machine who mows down an entire swathe of scary brown people. And you can do it all on your lonesome, “Real” America!
What I respect about the ARMA series is that it rewards teamwork in a very real way. You can’t win without good communication, collaboration, and planning. Strategy trumps twitch-skill. It respects the military by reminding the player that no soldier is an island and player death has long-lasting consequences. It’s not for the casual, it’s for a different type of player, and I respect Bohemia Interactive for not dumbing this series down.
I’ll spend a few days with the ARMA 3 Alpha and give you fine folks a rundown of what I thought later this week.
Here’s the full recap of upcoming features (Via Bohemia Interactive)
Check out more Arma 3 pew pew pew at their website.