Arma III has arrived, and it's safe to say military simulation enthusiasts will be thrilled.
Far removed from the traditional FPS like Call of Duty and Battlefield 4, Arma III is primarily a simulation that tries to come as close to reality as possible. It's not about sniping in every direction or jumping and screaming like Rambo. Coordination with your allies and patience in engagements are guarantees of victory in this installment of Arma, which is best appreciated in the rigorous and intense multiplayer matches.
An advanced simulation that lacks content
Arma III is in the business of rigorous and accurate simulation, and fans know what to expect. But contrary to the usual tendencies of the series, this version comes with content that may seem inadequate: the number of weapons and vehicles available (at this time) is well below our expectations.
Bohemia Interactive wanted to release a complete game rather than a game filled with bugs. It's a commendable intention, but the result is that Arma III is lacking in many features. One big missing feature is that there is no single campaign mode at the moment, only tutorial and multiplayer modes (although the single campaign is expected to be released soon, as a free DLC for all those who have purchased the game).
Arma III, however, has the great advantage of being fully open to modding, and fan-created content is already flooding the servers of the game. It's a guarantee of quality in the long term, even if it's unfortunate that fans are having to address the shortcomings of the publisher.
Nice finishing touches but accessibility still shaky
Usually criticized for its lack of finishing, Czech developer Bohemia Interactive has once again decided to fine-tune Arma III ahead of release. Although such finishing touches unfortunately mean that much of Arma III's content is not yet available, we applaud the effort: the game is playable without major bugs and even the multiplayer games usually play without a hitch.
The other major flaw of the series, the lack of accessibility, is unfortunately still relevant. With no single player campaign, players find themselves thrown into the multiplayer mode almost immediately, and the first few hours of play can be pretty painful. The controls are still somewhat instinctive, and practice is needed to tame the gameplay of Arma III (especially when it comes to driving or using the inventory).
An incredible graphics engine
From the first moment that Arma III was launched, the quality of the game engine is obvious. We feel like we're in front of PC game because the graphics haven't been sub-optimized for less powerful consoles. The textures are detailed and the viewing distance is simply amazing, unheard of for a game of this ilk. All graphics are highly customizable in the options.
Arma III's beautiful graphics, however, come at a price, and for the game to flow at all times, you'll need a powerful machine to enjoy it. It's worth noting that Bohemia Interactive hasn't given the same attention to detail when it comes to the animations (which are so important for full immersion in such a simulator) and have opted instead for cheap alternatives, so you might get a nasty surprise more than once when driving vehicles.
As for the the sound, it's very elaborate, with dire consequences for realism when it comes to weapons or movements of the characters.
Our verdict: die-hard fans should download straight away, others can wait
Arma III is excellent in itself and its graphics are dazzling, but we are faced with a game that just doesn't seem finished yet. Fans of the series should (and will) jump on the excellent multiplayer mode without a second's hesitation, but those who want to embark on Arma III for the first time would be well advised to wait for the updates to arrive so that they can enjoy more content and the single player campaign.