Review: Arma 3

Gameplay

Whether or not you've delved into the world of previous Arma titles, let's just say, it's not Call of Duty. Or anything remotely like it. It requires skill, focus, patience and a ginourmous learning curve. Is it all worth in the end? Definitely! Where other games just stratch the surface, even if they do a great job at it (Battlefield comes to mind), nothing really comes close to the sheer amount of content and detail available in this huge title. Want to scuba dive and disable mines? How about command a huge heli and attack an enemy base? Done. Snipe poor fools from miles away? No problem. What's even crazier is that even with the release of a fair amount of content in Arma 3, the game really gets sweet when you jump into the huge world of Steam Workshop. The user created content there ranges from pathetic to absolutely stunning. So, between the single player showcases, user created content and multiplayer servers a plenty, you will never be bored in this game. That is, if you don't punch kittens learning the systems and dying more than Dark Souls. Seriously though, the patience pays off. Tighter controls, improved animation and improved physics really make this title shine and whether you are an Arma fanatic or a total n00b, you'll find something to do in this gameplay that is tight, tight, tight!

Ohhh what beautiful morning.. oh what.. CONTACT RIGHT 300 YARDS!!

Graphics and Sound

Did you really think that Arma 3 would be anything less than absolutely gorgeous? Well, shame on you because it is stunning. While the default "ULTRA" settings are a little too bloomy and soft for me, after a little bit of tweaking, as you can see from the screenshot above, this is a stunner. With a huge amount of options including MSAA, FXAA and SMAA, you'll be reeling but satisfied with all the settings. Even better, there is a constant FPS meter on the screen while tweaking your graphics settings so you can get a great idea of what FPS you'll be getting in game. Sunlight peeks through clouds, huge explosions rock the screen with ferocity and light shafts bounce across sandy ocean floors. The characters and vehicles also shine with an amazing amount of details. This is a graphical showpiece that will stress even the sweetest systems out there but won't leave lesser ones without options.

The audio portion of the game is equally impressive with tank shells crashing, bullets wizzing and your limp body hitting the ground.. MANY times. Apart from the limited musical score, which is awesome in its own right, this really is the complete package. Props to Bohemia for their accuracy and detail in even gunshot, whiz, bang, thud and thump. If you have a big sound system, crank it and crank it loud. On my pair of noise cancelling headphones and on my 5.1 system, this game rocked the house.

Ernest Borgnine in AIRWUFF.

Fun

Despite being stunning in design, graphics and sound, is the game any fun to play? Well, that all depends. For the Call of Duty crowd, this is not for you unless you want to spread your wings a little bit. For anyone remotely interested in infantry and vehicle combat in a very realistic simulation, you can stay busy for years. This is the pinnacle of tactical military combat and the folks at Bohemia pull it off with an amazing amount of content with more to come, including a full campaign. So, open your mind, sharpen your skills and get that patience tested as you perfect said skills. This game isn't easy to master but every advancement through the game is a huge and rewarding moment. Be sure to check out the captured gameplay below and crank that video quality up!

Final Verdict: 

While shipping with a small amount of actual content, that is not what Arma 3 is all about. The huge influx of Steam Workshop content, multiplayer and editor make this a full package for the most serious of combat simulator nuts. While still a steep learning curve, this is an amazing accomplishment in sandbox gaming.

4/5 Stars -- Digital Hippos Recommended