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ARMA III (B2P)
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19.12.2017

Arma III Part 6 Game

While it smoulders rather than sparks, Survive concludes strongly and the momentum is carried over into Adapt, definitely the best of the three chapters. This introduces Altis, a masterwork of environmental design. I could write another 1000 words on its remarkable sights and sounds: its misty dawns, crimson dusks and streetlight-speckled nights. But what's most important is how the detail that's gone into mapping the landscape's undulations - the lumps and bumps, hills and valleys - plays into the game's combat. A little rise in the ground might be the difference between life and death as you throw yourself down in evasion of the fiendishly accurate enemy AI. When they stop to reload, you'll rush to locate a better vantage point, order your men to "find cover" (an extremely handy new command) and plant half a dozen bullets in your opponent's surprisingly tough body.

Tactics are vital in Arma 3, but it's terrain that really makes the difference between success and failure. It's crucial to learn this before Adapt begins, because the difficulty suddenly ramps up. The first mission sees you alone, unarmed and with a city full of enemy soldiers between you and any kind of safety. At this point, setting saves to unlimited using Arma's highly customisable difficulty levels becomes a necessity. Fittingly, after Survive, you will die many, many times. That said, it's important to note that combat is more satisfying than before thanks to improved animations, smoother weapon handling and better optics - meaning the challenge stems from your opponents rather than clumsy controls and slow-to-aim weapons. Adapt also changes the way you play. It gives you a squad to control, which is a mixed blessing. AI units tend to be much more perceptive of enemy locations than you are and are especially useful when facing down tanks and APCs, but they also require a fair amount of babysitting to keep them alive, and the lack of changes to Arma's squad commands means this can be a chore. Especially problematic is AI ammo management; your teammates go through bullets like a swarm of locusts through a corn crop, and resupplying them in the field is a nightmare in Arma 3's clumsy interface.

The first part, Survive, is geared towards introducing players to Arma. It takes place entirely on the smaller of Arma 3's two islands, Stratis, and sees Kerry banding up with a group of NATO survivors after the local Altian Armed Forces, backed by NATO's eastern equivalent CSAT, rise up against the local US garrison. For the most part, missions are small-scale skirmishes that keep you firmly in the "follower" category while teaching you the basics of minimising your daily lead intake. Rescuing a downed helicopter crew instructs you on establishing a defensive position, while a midnight liaison with local militia explains how to flank and clear buildings.

It's hardly the campaign's most spectacular stage. Story-wise, it's let down by voice acting that ranges from passable to cringeworthy and a script that understands military radio chatter but not how human beings interact with one another. Even here, though, Bohemia's approach to maximising the assets it has built is apparent. Missions are nearly always multi-staged, with objectives being added and changed as events rarely go according to plan.

Arma III Part 6 Game 0.0 0
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