A PC Game by Bohemia Interactive
This article is for my young Warriors who I am honored to lead at Life Church (life.church) Switch. You are awesome guys. They are: Tyler, Robert, Dustin, Ben, Hunter, Andrew and Matthew.
I have been playing PC games for the last 35 years. During those years I would stop playing due to my law enforcement job and many off-duty jobs or just not having the money to buy a computer. My son Jason was the reason I started playing various types of games. He was not into sports and was limited due to Asthma and severe allergies. Because of his energy limitations we found something we could do together as father and son. We found out we both liked to play games at the Arcades. I was one of those pinball wizards when I was young and now I found out I liked arcade video games but more than this, I liked being with and enjoying my Son’s company.
One day I was at a Target store in Oklahoma City and saw this very interesting game system. We had bought our Son an Atari 5200 which was fun but the controllers wore out very fast. The new system was called Nintendo and because we were bonding well at playing video games, I popped for the first Nintendo bought in Oklahoma City. We played the Nintendo hard and long shooting ducks, using the robot and helping Mario maneuver around all the mushrooms.
As one does evolve, I bought an IBM PC Junior. This PC was the first to have a color monitor for a home PC. The game we played on the 5.25 inch floppy disks….and yes they flopped….was Kings Quest. And for you history buffs, we also played Zyll which is a game consisting of text only. The Son and I shared one half of the keyboard and maneuvered our characters based on what the text said we were seeing. We used graft paper to map out the entire castle and the grounds surrounding.
Jumping forward 15 years, I was serving in Kosovo as a UN Police Officer. Because I seldom drink and do not run around on the wife, I started playing Counter Strike on the office computers. This was 2002. From Counter Strike till this day I have had many a good times playing with my online friends.
I have played ARMA 2, ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead and the Beta version of Operation Arrowhead. I was not too impressed. Now comes ARMA 3 which is touted to be as close as it can get to real combat. Since I experienced real combat in Iraq as an International Police Adviser, I figured I would give it a go.
First off I will suggest anyone wanting to play this game, watch some YouTube videos of an experienced player playing this game. Get some idea of the difficulty and complexity before paying out the $35 for the basic…game. You can expect to pay out another $70 for all of the extra Helicopter usage, Marksman, Apex, and Karts. So if you go in with guns a blazing, it will cost you around $105 USD. To me, $105 is a lot of Beef-jerky for a full playable game. Free to play and ARMA 3 have something in common.
As I played ARMA 3 in Solo regular mode, I quickly realized two constant things. One your squad of “AI-Bots” (Artificial Intelligence Non-Human Interactive player) cannot be counted on to back you up if you get into a shooting scrape. They set out there on their butts with your squad leader yelling profanity and carpet-bombing you with the “F-Bomb”. So if you are adverse to foul language…this is not your game. The second thing I quickly found out is the enemy in ARMA 3 is two dimensional unlike a real enemy in real combat is three dimensional. A real unsuspecting enemy is moving constantly with head and hand jesters. As you slip through their area, you see these slight movements. Like real bad-guys they give themselves away.
So as you go through the APEX, if you buy this extra, you are commanded by the Leader to go forward as a point man. An as point man you are frequently stopping and visually scanning around. You are not going to see the bad-guys unless they are in the open within 50 meters…100 meters max. What you don’t see is the bad-guy on the edge of the woods who shoots you down with a short burst of 7.62 AK rounds. Be prepared to die and die many times.
You will have three tries to complete an extensive mission. Be prepared to fail the mission many times. The good news is, as you sweep an area and do see the bad-guys first, you can kill them and they stay dead for this game. So you go on for another 100 meters and get mowed down by a dirt-bad from some unknown location. When you continue on your second life, the bad-guys you pop are not there. So if you clear an area of ALL targets and have to travel back through, they will not be there to take shots at you. When you are wounded and do not die instantly, you have one first aid kit to heal.
ARMA 3 does have a map which shows your location, the location of your next objective and after being shot at, the locations of who is shooting at you. Now, about 70% of the time, the Map location of the bad-guys is correct. But I have crawled and crawled to sneak up on a dirt-bag terrorist and….he is not there. The map shows he is there but he is clearly not. So do not depend on the map for locations of moveable objects like targets and vehicles.
Plan on spending hours to complete a mission. As you think you are going to finish a mission, a bad-guy from 200 meters pops you with a short burst. If you luck out and drop to the ground and look in the direction of where you think the shots are coming from….think….you will very likely not see them. So you do the next best thing. You spray and pray you hit them. One shot to the body will likely not put them down so multiple shots to the body are needed.
You will come upon special bad-guys. They are either Iranian or Chinese Special Forces with advanced weapons. Shots to the head will not kill them as they have a serious armor-up helmet. I would shoot them at 20 meters and watch their head jerk from the impact. Cool effect. But they would respond instantly and kill you dead. So I would shoot them multiple times in the sides and if a front view is given, I would shot them below their vest in the pelvis area. This is real life shooting as a pelvis shot with 5.56mm will break the bones causing the target to fall to the ground where you shoot them again till they stop moving.
The graphics in this game are good. Not Dying Light good but good. The sound effects are excellent. When shots are fired you hear the round break the sound barrier which make a snapping sound. This will confuse some who have not been shot at by a supersonic round.
As you creep through the jungles and wooded areas, you will see what looks to be a head popping up on the other side of a ridge. So you crawl up closer and discover this head was a plant or leaf. This is real to life. You will hear birds calling, rain drops falling as well as limbs, leaves and stuff falling. There are lots of noises in the jungles and this game does well with its representation. The noise of the rain effects the AI-Bots as well as you. Depending on the mission, you will come upon buildings and towns. Not all, in fact most buildings cannot be entered. When you do go inside they are mostly empty…..not all but 95% are. Note: being in a building will not protect you unless it is a concrete or brick building. Rounds will go right through.
I watched my Grandson Kaleb play the multiplayer side of ARMA 3. As he plays video games many more hours than I do, he manages better than I do as far as figuring things out. However, he runs around and does not use his cover as well as he could which leads to being killed more. Players with the Marksman add-on nailed him at will.
When you come upon a chopper and have the Helicopter add-on, you can jump in the pilot seat and take off. Problem is you better be prepared to crash till you learn how to fly the dang thing. Vehicles are the same. If you are hauling across a field and hit a tree, you will damage the vehicle to where you can’t use it. If you have a real person as a team member and they have the ability to repair equipment, then you are in luck. Driving around in vehicles with human players shooting at you is safer than driving around with AI-Bots shooting ate you. The AI-Bots lack the human traits of adrenaline and being shot at and trying to shoot at a moving target.
Final Thoughts of ARMA 3
In all I can say, ARMA 3 is much more complicated than Counter Strike or any version of thereof. I don’t believe ARMA 3 is much like real combat but it is as good as any first-shooter combat game I have played. It is challenging, frustrating and time consuming. For you warriors out there who would like to experience combat in the safety of your man-cave and have the funds, I recommend you buy ARMA 3.