So, I, like many people, picked up Arma 3 this weekend during Bohemia Interactive’s 15th anniversary. Nothing like picking up a game at 40% off. I mainly picked it up because I am waiting for Arma 3 Epoch to come out. I personally don’t think buying games for $60 is worth it. But, like I’ve said before, I’m cheap. So without further adieu here is the Arma 3 review.
Graphics & Audio
First things first. This graphics on this game, are beastly. Amazing, but beastly. With my new computer I just bought, with all video settings maxed out, during epic battles I still drop from 60 fps (I set that to max fps) to around 25-30 fps. I don’t know if this is some setting that I have missed or what. I figure that if I spend $1600 on a brand new computer, it should be able to handle the graphics. But, like I said, the graphics are amazing. There are bugs in the graphics that I have noticed which bother me a lot. When in single player, when the AI tells you to target something and it gets a red box around your target, the box doesn’t follow your target. So if you are tracking your target via that box, following it moving left, the AI could be going right, and you wouldn’t know. Just a little pet peeve of mine I guess. Annoying. Other than that, very smooth textures and great atmospheric surroundings make you feel immersed into the game. Everything is moving around you, and it seems like the horizon goes on forever. It’s huge. Coupled with the audio that goes with it, just makes it feel that much more of a complete game. I noticed though that the music that goes with single player, makes it so you know that an event is coming up. I know most games do this, but this is VERY noticeable. Also, I’ve noticed that your character will call out random or delayed support calls when you aren’t doing anything. If you watch the video at the end of this review, you can see it happen. The one downfall to the audio is that some sound effects sound really bad. Helicopters to me sound bad. They don’t “Thump” they “whizz”.
Arma 3 controls are essentially the same as Arma 2. The kept with the scroll menu action (personally I think this is inferior to other action menus but you got to have your own niche) but some what modified it to use keyboard with the scroll menu. Instead of everything being on your mouse (select with primary mouse button) they moved it to be your space bar. My guess is they did this to prevent accidental shooting when selecting things. For people like me who have been playing Arma 2 for so long, I still use primary shoot to select, and still shoot accidentally. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Of course all keybindings can be changed. So set them up as you like.
Along withe the controls goes the interface. I find the inventory interface very clunky. The cloths you wear hold items. But it doesn’t tell you how many items you can hold, other than there is a progress bar on how full you are. I don’t like it. I’m a numbers type of guy. That long grey bar at the bottom of the inventory is your total weight. Then, on each article of clothing, there is a vertical bar showing how full you are. Like I said, not a fan. Go back to the numbers like Arma 2. I don’t know if my install is messed up or what, but on a lot of weapons, the scopes don’t render properly in the interface menu. Do I have to repeat again that I don’t like it?
Single player – Single player Arma 3 is painful. I find that the AI on your side are specifically scripted to do one type of thing, and don’t adapt to the current situation. Let’s say mission is to run from point A to point B and there are hostiles in between. If you run ahead and pull the hostiles to the side of the path, your AI teammates will just continue on the path and even though they should see them, because they are not in the set path, they will run by until the AI shoot and kill them. So what I have learned to do in single player is to just follow behind your group. Always. It’s very slow and tedious, and makes me not want to play. I have closed the game out a few times because of this. Vehicle driving is much like Arma 2. Kinda weird. Don’t really know how to explain it other than it’s like Arma 2. It doesn’t compare to any other game. It’s just Arma. The only other thing I will say on driving is there NEEDS to be an e-brake.
Multi-player – I think this is why this game was made. The multi-player aspect of this game is what makes this game. I mean, isn’t everything better with more people? The glitches and bugs that I say in single player are sort of still there, but now you replace stupid AI with stupid teammates. But you can yell at your teammates now where AI are well….AI. I find playing in multi-player vs single player, single player is much much harder to do at the same skill level. Simply because the AI are so one tracked minded.
Within both single player and multi-player, I have found that, you cannot shoot thought trees and bushes. The AI simply don’t die. I don’t know why. I spammed 2 clips into a AI that was on the other side of a small tree, and nothing. Hopefully this gets fixed in future patches. This is very no bueno.
Here is a short video of my playing a single player mission. Just a quick attack sequence, nothing fancy. I don’t want to give the game away for you. And yes, I suck.
Overall Arma 3 is a pretty looking game that has decent missions that lack polishing. Is it worth $60 at full price. No. Definitely not. Was it worth the $38.99 I paid for it when it was on sale? Even that is questionable. I think this game is worth $29.99 max. Hopefully, when Arma 3 Epoch comes out, and other mods like Arma 3 wasteland get more developed, it will be worth it.
Would I recommend you to buy it? If you liked Arma 2, then yes. But wait for it to go on sale.