Lately — ‘lately’ being extra relevant having played till 4 AM last night — I’ve been enjoying Arma 3.
It’s a realistic, near-future millitary strategic FPS. And when I say FPS I mean “first person shooter”, if you actually expect to get several frames per second you should re-adjust your standards.
Being the first game I’ve had to turn my settings down from max on(I tend to live 3 years behind in the gaming world, for those discounts), it feels weird to think this is a 2013 title. Performance isn’t that bad considering the beautiful graphics and massive scale it achieves, but they can’t be reduced very much — and they shouldn’t be anyway. Having an AyyyMD card coupled with Nvhitleria GameWorks likely doesn’t help.
Arma 3 consists of several default maps, and hundreds of community made ones, which along with missions, vehicles and game modes can be browsed in the steam workshop.
Altis(Previously Lemnos), one of the default maps modeled after some meditarian island no one’s heard of(which in reality is 470 km²), is massive at 270 km². For perspective, Skyrim’s map is 39 km², Far Cry 4 46km², GTA V 81km², and The Witcher 3 136km². Thankfully there is a speed up time feature for when you’re walking large distances, but unfortunately and understandably it doesn’t work in multiplayer.
That’s just the largest default though, If you want crashing your pickup truck into a camoflarged wall half way to your objective to be any more annoying, there is an fan-made map modeled after a a slightly bigger meditarian island no one’s heard of
Combat in Arma 3 is highly strategic. Depending on your rank, troops in your squad can be individually commanded or in group to do almost anything you could do yourself(Patch up x, shoot y, pilot z), and to work as a group member by flanking etc.
The AI have their occasional rough moments, but are still very impressive compared to everything else out there, it’s pretty hard to tell AI and player apart, save for the AI’s overly cautious driving and players walking around like idiots.
There is also a High Command, which allows you to order larger squads with less precision through the map. You get
cool markers a variety of strategic waypoints, here is a nice imgur story to show what I mean by /u/chowdig
I’ve learned the aim sway and bullet droop intricacies well enough to be much more efficient shooter compared to when I started playing, but what makes a far bigger difference, and determines whether you do a mission with 0 casualities or complete failure is a good strategy — both in planning and in compromise. Arma 3’s realism throws in hundreds of strategic nuances, which sound trivial on paper but are incredibly helpful in good practice, here is a gyfcat of a good strategy making a big difference. eand can be game-changing with some ambitious creativity and unconventional tactics. Of course there is your standard counter, counter-counter, and counter-counter-counter… flank, enemy funneling etc., but I’m talking about that Ghost Army shit.
For example you could booby trap a friendly parked vechle, detonate when an enemy squad checks it out, have a squad shoot up the reamining survivors and place friendlies in the right place to tear up the inevitable enemy backup.
Convoy coming through the area and you want to hit them with artillery, but it’s too dangerous for a spotter? Set up a claymore or two and fire everything from a safe distance when you hear the explosions.
And you could probably distract a whole army and sneak into the enemy HQ while they try to shoot one of them damn RC quadrocopters too.
When you pull an ambitious plan off it’s very rewarding(Humming along to the A Team’s theme tune after saying “I love it when a plan comes together” is obligatory, else you face harsh reprimandations)
The gameplay is very fun for me, but it won’t be for everyone. The exciting buildup and prepration between battles could be interpreted as long waits. 1 bullet in the wrong place could end you 30 minutes into a mission, which some people may find very frustrating, and you need a pretty good PC to enjoy it to its full potential. I give this a 9/10 because what it tries to do, it does very well, even if what it tries to do is not everyone’s cup of tea. If this seems interesting, I encourage you to check out their pretty site, and if you’re not sure, to use the Universial Try Before You Buy Machine(TM) 😉