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Early Access'd: Arma 3 –

With Arma 2 being thrust into the limelight last year with great help from Dean Hall’s “Day Z” mod, Bohemia has perfect timing putting itsnext big title in the series out, aptly named Arma 3. Arma 3 continues on the crazy train of military authenticity that started with Operation Flashpoint more than 12 years ago by doing away with the difficult-to-work-with UI as well as making the actual combat itself more engaging and less of a floaty mess. Arma 3 is currently in its alpha testing phase and is regularly receiving large updates, from new weapons to features like dynamic fog and better visuals.

Arma 3 will be entering the beta phase of testing in about a week. (June 25th, 2013) bringing what I imagine to be a bunch more content and good times to be had by all. Probably not right away, though. The final game is promised to have all sorts of goodies in it, like this:

  • Altis (270 km2) & Stratis (20 km2)
  • 5 Factions
  • 40+ Weapons
  • 20+ Vehicles
  • Multiple Weapon Attachments
  • Customizable Gear
  • Singleplayer Campaign
  • Multiplayer
  • Multiple Scenarios & Challenges
  • Scenario Editor
  • Modding

Currently you can only play on Stratis. That, and there’s probably only about 12 weapons and 8 vehicles. Multiplayer is functional and the community is already hard at work making its own crazy-ass game modes and mods. The single-player aspect is mostly just a few quick scenarios unless you’re an editor junkie like myself and can make content for your own enjoyment. Well, I try to make missions, anyway; I usually just give up and play with helicopters. The editor is a lot more simple to work with this time around, but you can even turn on the old Arma 2 editor UI if you’re having problems adjusting.

Truly the most impressive part about Arma 3 is how it still keeps that tense atmosphere around the gunfights, yet corrects all the dodgy feels of Arma 2′s UI and handling to make you feel like you’re actually in control of the situation. Finally you’re battling the enemy and not the controls without feeling like you’re playing Black Ops or something.

There isn’t an incredible amount of stuff to say about Arma 3. If you liked Arma 2, you’ll love Arma 3. It’s lacking on the content right now, but buying early guarantees a lower price and they’ll give you the beta and final release as a thank you for your support. Arma 3 currently costs about $33, €25, or £20 for the alpha, with the price increasing for the beta and even more for the final release. So buying sooner is better than later and certainly encouraged.

Buying the Digital Deluxe or Supporter editions of Arma 3 will also drop a ton of cool extras on you. There’s way too much to go over in detail here, so I’ll just throw a link all up in your grill: https://www.arma3.com/buy

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