So, whilst pretty much everyone else in GAME was queuing up to get Grand Theft Auto V, I had a copy of ArmA III Deluxe Edition in my hand. It’s not that I didn’t want to get GTA V… I think tech wise it seems like a fantastic game, although from what I’ve heard about the characters and world you live in, I feel there could be a few things that put me off. Anyway – it’s £44.99 in GAME on the 360 and I can’t be bothered to bargain hunt, so I’m going to leave it a bit. If a PC version ever does surface, might go for that instead. I don’t really game on my console much at the moment.
Funny thing was – I already owned ArmA III. I was given an Alpha Key ages ago for coverage purposes and it’s been updating to the latest version as time has passed, so it’s full review code now. I don’t really have much history with the ArmA series in general. Even professionally, I think ArmA II was released before my time (or it was early days and so passed me by), and I never played them in my own time. I’ve reviewed the past two Operation Flashpoint games that Codemasters have put out, but we all know they don’t really count, given the direction Codies took that franchise. Still, I’d always been interested in the idea of ArmA, of an ultra-realistic military shooter, and the dynamics of online play associated with it. Like a lot of my gaming habits though, they’re driven by whether or not I’ve got friends to play them with, and I never did with this. It wasn’t until DayZ came along that I bought ArmA II and Operation Arrowhead to try it out. Because it was the ‘flavour of the month’ at the time, a lot of people I knew were playing it as well, so it was easy to get people to play with. Still never played ArmA ‘proper’ though.
So why buy ArmA III, then? Well, on some level I respect what Bohemia have been doing over the past couple of years, especially with the DayZ project, and so I guess I want to show them they’ve earned my money. Mainly though, I wanted it for the manual and the controls scheme layout that comes with it. ArmA III is such intense game as it is, trying to remember all the controls is a hassle I don’t really need. The engine improvements over the last game means that there’s no better time to jump into this series, especially with DayZ Standalone (Which uses a combination of the ArmA III engine + others) coming sometime next year.
Side Note: There is actually a project that’s ported the original DayZ mod into ArmA III, called ‘Zoombies’. I haven’t check it out yet, but you should. You still need ArmA II + OA installed for it to work, for some reason.
Haven’t played much of ArmA III to date so far… my last playthrough was a weird one… it was basically like the film Jarhead, except I did manage to kill one person, right at the beginning. Highlight was definitely the muppet who crashed the helicopter full of people.
I’ve been spending most of the day fiddling with Photoshop in order to make my ArmA III experience better. With the ‘Deluxe Edition’, you get a paper fold-out map of Atlis & Stratis. I’ve spent the morning scanning it into my computer and tweaking it a bit in Photoshop. Even thought I could always just get the paper version out, having a digital copy is also going to come in handy, as I have an app that’s a great mapping tool for stuff like his. I’m making it available to anyone who’s interested, as from what I can tell there’s no other decent maps of Atlis/Stratis available online at the moment. You can grab it from my personal DropBox here.
It’s also available on GamePlan, if you want to download either the free trial or the premium version of the app (iOS & Android). As you may remember, I dabbled in PR for a while representing this neat gaming app called GamePlan. For a quick refresh, it’s an app that lets you download high quality maps onto the device for planning and orientation, either pre, post or mid-game. It’s an amazing tool for games like DayZ, where you don’t start off with a map, and even when you do find one it can be easier sometimes to glance at a tablet or phone then it is to load up the map. Works quite well for RTS’s as well, if you want to plan how a game is going to go before hand or whatever. Sadly the app never took off (probably my fault), and the designer has moved on to more profitable things now, but it’s still available to purchase and it still works. Premium allows you to host a session that your friends can join, and you can make edits on the maps in real-time. Really cool stuff – it’s what I’m using as my ‘second screen’ experience while I play.
In the mean-time, I’ve discovered this quirky little title called Towns. It was £3.39 on Steam today and seems to be curious mix of Minecraft and Kairosoft’s Dungeon Village. Haven’t quite got the hang of it yet, but then the game isn’t quite finished yet either, I don’t think. Happy Sunday!