Operation Flashpoint creator Bohemia Interactive has announced a third Arma game for release exclusively on PC next summer.
Arma 3 drops the silly capitalisation of the second A and packs an "open-ended" story that follows a last-ditch NATO mission to a Mediterranean island. The operation turns sour and Captain Scott Miller finds himself washed up a hostile island, albeit with a well equipped squad - judging by the screenshots below (well spotted Clive Dunn). He'll need to survive, adapt, win - they're the Arma 3 buzzwords.
Controllable vehicles return - ships, aircraft, landlubbers - and there are co-operative and competitive multiplayer scenarios for you and your friends/enemies. Dedicated servers are supported and these run on Linux as well as Windows.
A soldier's uniform, weapons kit and load-out can be customised.
Arma 3 also packs an "easy-to-use" mission editor.
That's all powered by a super-duper new engine. "The increased potential of the engine should allow Arma 3 to become our best-looking, most detailed and innovative military simulation game to date," commented Bohemia's Marek Spanel.
Ivan Buchta, creative director, added: ''Our ambition is not only to deliver the next generation of Arma with the improved engine, but also to fully exploit the potential of our new technology in the gameplay. You can look forward to the unique experience of blending sandbox-style combat with a rich story.''
The Arma series snubs the pantomime theatrics of Call of Duty for real war.
ArmA: Armed Assault (Arma 1, 2007) scored 8/10 on Eurogamer: "It's an essential purchase for anyone interested in war simulation or tired of the contrived drama that fills mainstream military shooters," wrote reviewer Oliver Clare.
ArmA II (2009) also scored 8/10: "There's a thousand more things I could say to justify my hearty recommendation of this incomparably rich war sim," wrote reviewer Tim Stone. "Ultimately though all you really need to bear in mind is the words of that RCEFOFTT:
"'Awesome moments. This is real war. Give the AI a medal! The campaign - absolutely incredible! So atmospheric. Landscape almost real. I killed a rabbit! Thank you so much BIS. Heaps of bugs. Buy this game.'"