ArmA 3: The Battlefield simulator sans EA

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After watching Uri: The Surgical Strike late last month, I had this sudden urge to “prove myself” on the battlefield. Since I’m no soldier, but a slightly overweight gamer, I couldn’t just jump onto the field with a rifle in hand. Full respect to the army, but I had to go virtual. I started playing a lot of realism-focused FPS games, but they didn’t cut it. Insurgency felt dated, and the fact that there was no bullet-drop was a turn-off. The sequel, Insurgency Sandstorm, felt a tad arcade-y. Next stop, ArmA 2. While an AMAZING game, the graphics feel dated (obviously, it’s a game from the last decade) and the optimisation was a bit off. It barely managed a consistent 60fps on a GTX 1060 at 900p, High settings. I was looking for something better and came across its sequel, ArmA 3. After picking up the Apex edition in the Steam Lunar New Year sale for ₹1409 (₹1529 with a ₹120 discount. YAY steam), I was dying to play it. And oh boy it delivers.

 For a game from 2013, the graphics are extremely good. The optimisation was spot on, and the game rarely dipped below 90fps at 900p High settings. The environments felt lush and varied, and the character models are high quality as well. The controls are seemingly complicated at first glance, but I got used to it within a couple hours of the campaign. Even with the game being around 6 years old at this point, it’s placed in the list of steam’s most played games. The servers are usually full, and there’s a wide variety of game modes to try out.

What hooked me on, though, was the minimalistic HUD, the gun shooting mechanics and the way injuries and stamina work. While the HUD and mechanics felt similar in a way to Insurgency: Sandstorm, in the sense that reloading discards the rounds in the magazine, ArmA’s HUD also displays the number of rounds in the magazine. Though Sandstorm has bullet-drop, the map sizes aren’t all that huge, and the effect isn’t very noticeable. Sniping in ArmA is extremely satisfying, for the bullet has to travel the distance before hitting the target. Add the fact that there’s no jumping means there won’t be bunny hoppers trying to avoid sniper fire, just like in real life.

 Navigation is another fun challenge in ArmA. There’s no compass on the HUD, and a dedicated key brings it up. This adds a bit of tension, as I can’t immediately call out the bearing of the enemy to my squad mates. Marking a point on the map is another factor, needing a 6-digit coordinate on the grid-based map.

Playing this game, whether it is in single player mode, co-op or multiplayer, makes me want to shout “How’s the Josh” after successfully completing a mission, every single time. It’s a military FPS unlike any other, and it easily stands the test of time. Thanks to the extensive mod support and continuous dev updates, it’s not too late to get the game, especially at 66% off. Get the Apex edition, for it comes with all the DLCs that are practically essential to have a complete experience

About The Author

Abhay is a mechanical engineer who’s been gaming since the early 2000s. He loves to play all kinds of games, but especially loves sandbox games, simulators and strategy games. Maintains Total War Warhammer is the best warhammer experience.

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