Steam Winter Sale - ArmA 3
I took a look at ArmA 3 a full three years ago during a Steam Free Play Weekend offer and was not impressed with what I saw, given the price point at that time (it was going for $59.99 USD and was marked down that weekend to $29.99). I noted an issue with armor crews bailing yet continuing on the assigned waypoint as if they could possibly contribute to the battle.
The game was on sale three years later for $13.59 (regular $39.99) so even though I stated in my review back then that I would wait until it was deeply discounted, I decided to take the plunge and pick it up (I am a huge Operation Flashpoint fan from back in the early 2000’s and have always supported Bohemia Interactive when possible).
This was a mistake. The first issue is that Steam keeps track of all time played, even a Free Play Weekend from over three years ago, so with only a few minutes in the Eden Editor to find some major issues, I have already gone over my two-hour limit for a refund.
And yes, I would have requested a refund.
In the above screen shot I placed a group of BLUFOR tanks with waypoints towards a patrol of OPFOR tanks. We made way to the objective and promptly destroyed the enemy armor, however the AI driver of my tank flipped the vehicle on some rocks which rendered it useless.
All AI crew members bailed and proceeded on with the group waypoint as if they could somehow contribute to any further engagements that might occur.
Now let me be clear here, I know what ArmA is and what ArmA is not. ArmA is a total package military sandbox simulator. ArmA is not a poor man’s Steel Beasts Pro high fidelity armored combat simulation (not even close).
But the AI pathing problems and behavior when a vehicle is damaged beyond use have been plaguing the franchise since Cold War Crisis in 2001. While they may finally have gotten around to aesthetic things such as a holstered sidearm, there apparently are longstanding pathing and combat issues that have yet to be satisfactorily resolved.
Don’t get me wrong, the game looks great and seems to play great on my new rig, however I was hoping for some improvement in some very ancient evils that have crippled the game from being more than what it could be.
Points are also deducted for the “in-app purchase” feel of the interface in several screens, where I feel like I bought a shell of game if not a virtual storefront for them to hock their additional DLC products.
Verdict: Do not purchase unless you are a diehard fan of the series (like I am)