“Accessible, but not dumbed down”: hands-on with the ARMA 3 beta

ArmA 3

By on June 12, 2013 at 7:50 pm

Bohemia Interactive missed opportunities to make ARMA more accessible for players in the past, and the franchise’s third iteration is a chance to amend that trend, the company’s creative director told games.on.net today.

In a hands-on demo on the E3 show floor, creative director Jay Crowe said the company wants to make the game much more accessible, but denies the game has been dumbed-down at all.

“There’s definitely no desire to dumb it down because…we need to be unique. The game has the squad commands, the complexity, and sense of player’s autonomy.”

“These are things that make it stand out from things like Call of Duty and Battlefield, the studios which do linear games much better than we would do, or would ever want to do.”

“I think the evidence with the alpha is that we have shown a continuation of things being hard.”

The alpha version of the game has been available for months, but the beta at E3 introduces more elements to the game, including vehicles and abilities like artillery strikes. Players can now coordinate these, using a menu system which is much more simplified and easier to understand for the newer player.

We played a tutorial on the floor, the “Fire Drills” mode, which puts new players through the ropes. (Players will be able to make their own tutorial-type Fire Drill sessions as well when the game is live).

Immediately, the game feels much more accessible than previous iterations of the franchise. The menu system is greatly simplified, with no dark greys and browns, or small text to make things harder to find.

Crowe says elements such as this, and new gameplay options such as adjustable stances, and not things that “dumb the game down”. Instead, he says, they simply add complexity.

“Being able to control your player more? That’s not dumbing down. That’s making things more useful.”

“We don’t want to hide information away [in menus]. We want to make it more accessible,” he says. “Being able to control your player more? That’s not dumbing down. That’s making things more useful.”

Players move the same, there is no major difference in how the combat is set up. But they will notice sleeker animations, with less clunky and awkward shifts between weapons or items. “We want to make the game more fluid,” Crowe says.

Crowe even says the franchise missed some opportunities during the second game to make those changes and open the game up to more players. However, he says a “lot has changed” in development since then and the company has to respond appropriately. “The beta is really the product of all of those changes coming out and being in the public,” he says.

This is a good-looking game, with the graphical updates giving ARMA a healthy sense of place and realism. But more than this, it feels just that tiny but more accessible without losing any of its edge. Elements like the new menus and the less cluttered inventory system are testimonies to this.

This is still ARMA at its core. For those fans of complicated and complex military shooters, the franchise remains at the top of its game.

Tags: ,
11 comments (Leave your own)

‘Players move the same, there is no major difference in how the combat is set up. But they will notice sleeker animations, with less clunky and awkward shifts between weapons or items. “We want to make the game more fluid,” Crowe says.’

Except that takes it away from the clunkiness of real life to the arcade territory of Battlefield, Modern Warfare, and Medal of Honor games with ridiculously smooth snap firing.

 

rapid101:
‘Players move the same, there is no major difference in how the combat is set up. But they will notice sleeker animations, with less clunky and awkward shifts between weapons or items. “We want to make the game more fluid,” Crowe says.’

Except that takes it away from the clunkiness of real life to the arcade territory of Battlefield, Modern Warfare, and Medal of Honor games with ridiculously smooth snap firing.

I have been playing a lot and that is simply not true. The only time you can “snap fire” is when you are specifically moving with that intention (combat pace) and still it is very inaccurate fire compared to looking down the sights. If you aren’t in combat pace which is a lot slower movement you can’t fire without stopping or going into combat pace (which it does automatically when you try to fire from a run, so it goes from run -> combat pace and then you have to press fire again to shoot).

Some of these changes came in the last update though, you used to be able to fire a any time.

 

The clunkiness of real life doesn’t involve negative mouse acceleration. It’s nice to be able to aim slowly, aim quickly, and feel a difference. Stance adjust is a godsend too. All in all I’m looking forward to the beta.

 

specimen: The clunkiness of real life doesn’t involve negative mouse acceleration. It’s nice to be able to aim slowly, aim quickly, and feel a difference. Stance adjust is a godsend too. All in all I’m looking forward to the beta.

This^

Real life doesn’t involve terrible laggy animations either, A3 is a dramatic improvement over the previous games and anyone who whinges about “dumbing down” so far is just angry their secret club is being invaded.

Peeps who have a problem with it are free to keep playing A2 or find another badly polished game to play instead.

 

I do beleive this is a more easy experience compared to Arma 2 at this stage but I cannot make a final judgement until the final release. Also I had been playing the ACE mod for years which by design made Arma 2 more realistic and fleshed out. Arma 3 is still lacking the content for me to get into it yet.

 

Have spent the last 6 weeks in the Alpha and the game is much more acessable, with all the complexity and realism of its predecessor.. Its by far a much better game and i cannot wait for the beta and more content. With the new map coming and more vehicles in than the current group we will be able to make much more complex and engaging missions.

 

Well I know I certainly can’t snap fire in ArmA 3 like I can in CoD Black Ops 1/2 or BF3. The smoother animation fixes issues with weapon handling and the bigger issues with CQC being total crap in the ArmA series through a lack of movement control.

Sorry rapid101 your argument is false again. Life isn’t clunky, only those without finesse in their own movement think it is.

 

Having played the Arma III Alpha for a while now the movement system is simply a massive improvement, you aren’t really snapping to targets like a standard FPS. There are many varied movement modes and combat modes which, lo and behold! enable you to have a better platform to fire from as opposed to the standard FPS run at top speed and shoot like a sniper experience.

The whole CQC experience is a hell of a lot better, fighting in towns/built up areas is now engaging for the right reasons as opposed to the previous combat experience.

Arma III retains it’s realistic chops without compromise so far. Better animations, movement and radio chatter are all very good things for this game and fix most of the general larger complaints about previous games in the series.

Considering it is an Alpha experience about to head into Beta, well it is playing well so far, it lacks the masses of content but testing is about getting the core right so that they can build on it – ie more missions etc..

 

RSOblivion,

Got to agree there. If navigating the interior of my home was as clunky and painful as it is in ArmA 2 I think I would be living out in a field beneath a tree by now. Harder does not equal more realistic.

 

I still think accessible is a dirty word. What kind of person buys, tries, and then hates on a game they don’t take the time to learn the controls for? Granted, ARMA 2 is clunky in some areas, but it’s also not a fast paced game.

And besides that, I find the running and walking animations in A3A to be far WORSE than A2/OA. For one, when you walk forwards and left/right, your character does not turn his body, he just starts shifting to that side, whereas in A2/OA your character turns his body and keeps his head in the same position. The only time your character would move like that in A2 is when walking (holding shift)

But seeing as this is BIS we are talking about, I may just go and make a video and ticket on it.

That’s why I love about people like BIS and CDPR – they actually listen and take feedback from players (not consumers, that is also a dirty word, it implies “buy – consume – discard” mentality).

Note: I bought A3 support edition and will have my name in the credits, so you definitely CANNOT say I’m just whining… I truly enjoy the series and wish to see it grow, but not my making any compromises to the series and more importantly the LEGACY that they have already created.

 

RSOblivion,

Actually no, you’re projecting, because A3 has absolutely ZERO inertial simulation for weapon handling at all period.

You see there’s this condition called “Dunning Kruger”, in which people inaccurately overestimate their personal ability. This is a classic case.

The simple fact of the matter is quick movements even without carrying something with any weight and length to it will result in a certain level of inaccuracy or over-compensation.

The aiming and weapon handling in this game plays like counterstrike, no human being could move as quickly, rigidly and accurately moving at the speeds you’re capable of in this game.

Dumbed down it has been, you see unfortunately there are a lot of people who lack a lot of finesse and brainpower that forces you to accept and work with the fact that you can’t make fast, broad arcing turns and maintain overall accuracy.

These people have feeble minds that get frustrated when their “Dunning Kruger” meets the imposed limitations in the game.

Essentially, it has allowed lower tier players to forego the frustration of adjusting to physical limitations and execute a sound tactical plan to mitigate risk.

BI is doing this for the money, and fucking shame on them.

 
Leave a comment

You can use the following bbCode
[i], [b], [img], [quote], [url href="http://www.google.com/"]Google[/url]

Leave a Reply

PC Gaming Calendar 2014

Follow Games.on.net

YouTube

Steam Group

Upcoming Games

Community Soapbox

Recent Features
EA Access

EA Access isn’t perfect, but get used to it: This is just the beginning

Other major publishers will be watching with interest as EA offers the first subscription service.

Destiny

Destiny continues to impress in beta: Our thoughts as Bungie’s new juggernaut rolls on

It's clear that Bungie are putting their best foot forward with Destiny, but as James discovers, playing on your own can be strangely empty.

Screencheat

Five Australian Indie Games We’d Hand Arbitrary Awards To: AVCon 2014

From a split-screen shooter where everyone is invisible to an abandoned space station, Australian indies are killing it at this year's AVCon.

Streaming Radio
Radio Streams are restricted to iiNet group customers.

GreenManGaming MREC

Facebook Like Box