Bohemia demonstrates ArmA 3 underwater, vehicular and night time action

Is there a more detailed army sim out there?

How realistic do you like your war games? Because sandbox military sim ArmA 3, on PC, gets more lifelike by the day.

Below are three new videos from developer Bohemia, each showcasing the game's improvements. One takes us inside a vehicle, one takes us under the sea and another takes us out past our bedtime into the night.

The vehicle is a Strider. And the cockpit view shows us Bohemia's penchant for detailed interiors. That, the video tells us, is"evidence of our general goal to raise the bar of visual fidelity consistently across all of our assets".

The Strider sounds particularly impressive when the engine's running but the vehicle is stationary. That chug, chug, chugging demonstrates "attention to detail", reckons Bohemia, and "the progress we're making with our sounds".

The scenery is an overcast British hillside, which flaunts the dynamic weather system and more handsome clouds.

The bumpy terrain of the dirt path also gives the new PhysX driving model some action. This should make driving "a little more natural and challenging".

But the best bit is the "ambient wildlife". The Strider swerves around a suicidal goat, and apparently there are chickens, rabbits, dogs, birds and even sea turtles.

In ArmA 3 you can dive down into the sea and even fight other people down there, maybe even mermaids - adding a whole new layer of tactical depth!

"It's the big military sandbox, it's the freedom to - pretty much - use it however you like, and the potential to generate your own unscripted gameplay experiences."

Bohemia, developer, ArmA 3

It's a "logical extension" to what ArmA 3 is about, the video tells us. "It's the big military sandbox, it's the freedom to - pretty much - use it however you like, and the potential to generate your own unscripted gameplay experiences."

The demo follows an SDV (SEAL Delivery Vehicle/Swimmer Delivery Vehicle) - a small, manned submersible. Its periscope can pop above the water to mark targets for air strikes, or the SDV can burp out troops behind enemy lines.

We stumble on some enemies. The scuba-diver disembarks with his special underwater gun - you can't use any old firearm in Davy Jones' locker - and sets about murder.

There are still some kinks to be ironed out of this new environment, like "strangle the birds I can hear chirping underwater" and tweak the wave volume. The gun-shots and sounds muffle nicely under the sea.

ArmA 3 is very dark. Watch this video big-screen, if possible. Making it this way means muzzle flashes from ammunition exploding out of guns, which have been revamped, do more than make a pretty picture - it influences gameplay. If you let off automatic fire in the dead of night, you'll stick out like a sore thumb.

ArmA 3 even factors into account the light from the moon, and we're shown the difference a big bright full moon can make.

Weapons have customisable attachments, like flashlights and infrared pointers, and fatigues can been kitted out as well. We see a player mark, with an IR pointer, an enemy. You'll only be able to see the mark if you're wearing night vision goggles. Ooh, tactical.

Lighting brings "a real sense of atmosphere and gameplay, working quite organically together, to, hopefully, generate some fantastic experiences", Bohemia commented.

Helicopter, Infantry and Supports video showcases are "coming soon".

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About the author

Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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