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Arma 3 Beta

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PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Changing Arma 3′s helicopters is Bohemia’s first step toward a deeper simulation">Arma 3 Helicopter DLC







Arma 3 is good at many things. Bohemia Interactive s military sim is a huge, open-world playground where action dramas unfold, but its greatest strengths show when it dwarfs you with scale. Being a lone sniper in three miles of sprawling mountain wilderness or driving with a vanguard of advancing tanks will strike awe into the heart of the most jaded gamer. Whatever it s doing, Arma paints these experiences in broad strokes you can t find anywhere else in gaming.



On the other hand, Take On Helicopters, Bohemia s 2011 helicopter simulator, was great at a single, specific thing: modeling helicopter flight physics. Beyond the high-definition cockpit, its world was a blocky and lifeless version of Seattle. Seattle wasn t the point, though: the inside of that cockpit was the point. All the love in that game went straight into those dials.



It s kind of wonderful, then, that Arma s next update will be a free DLC focused on bringing the high-definition flight controls of Take On Helicopters to Arma s vast, rolling landscape. It s a long overdue chocolate-and-peanut-butter proposal, one that will change the way pilots interact with their vehicles. Plus, ground troops will get new ways to fight alongside their airborne taxis. To nail down the details, I tried to relearn my helicopter piloting chops with the new, more advanced flight model in Arma 3. Here s what happened.



Ah, jeez. You ok, guys? Guys? You'll be ok.



The Rookie



Let s get this out of the way first: the new flight mechanics have a steep learning curve. Anyone who takes passengers on board with the advanced flight model engaged had better have done their homework, or they ll end up with a dozen corpses and a lot of angry friends. The new model replicates wind, weight, momentum, acceleration, and G-forces. Arma s standard helicopter controls could hardly be accused of being arcadey, but now the helicopters feel like they re punching the air to keep you from falling.



Engaging the advanced flight model, which can be turned on or off at any time through the settings menu, adds five dial readouts to the pilot s HUD. They are, from left to right, speed, altitude, horizon, vertical speed, and wind direction. Alarm lights for torque and engine RPMs are there to flash yellow and red as you gracefully spiral through the sky toward an imminent, fiery death. Though overwhelming at first, with practice these inputs create an interactive map of every force acting on your vehicle.



With our approach to DLC, we had an opportunity to focus in upon a particular aspect of the sandbox and find ways to bring about more gameplay, Bohemia creative director Jay Crowe told me when I asked him about why these options were being introduced to the Arma 3 ecosystem. Of course, for the helicopter enthusiasts out there, the advanced offers a more authentic experience than our 'basic' stock one more precise control and a greater variety of simulation inputs which has been talked about on our forums and feedback tracker for some time.



No matter how fancy the physics get, sometimes you still feel like a giant taxi.



In Take On Helicopters, slamming too hard on the accelerator would cause undue stress on the engine and lead to a bumpy, choppy ride as the machine deteriorated. Failing to heed engine light warnings would cause the troubled components to groan, complain, and then fall right off. Though the advanced flight model replicates these warning lights, the parts can t fall off. To test this I flew like a demon, throttle wide open and collective swinging around, and never had a rotor come spinning off. Small mercies, I guess.



Just because the parts won t be falling off, though, doesn t mean you can fly recklessly. The new flight model includes a more realistic take on stalling and losing lift, so making a hard turn at high speeds will always end in a ball of fire.



elicopters are a big part of everyone's experience on the combined-arms battlefield, not just pilots, Crowe said. Expanding gameplay for a variety of players is definitely a big goal. Crowe also hopes that the advanced model will give dedicated pilots a deeper way to dive into the simulation. We hope flying helicopters will become more fun to master for our players, he says. Strangely, Crowe thinks that the new advanced model might actually be easier for pilots to grok. n some ways and as long as you have assists like Auto-Trim switched on handling the helicopter becomes less difficult and more logical/intuitive. It moves a bit more like you'd expect in real life, so we hope it might open things up to a few new pilots, too.



It s on this final point that I just don t agree. For all my hours in Arma s helicopters, though, I still fly like a baby polar bear learning to walk. For a second opinion, I sought out another authority on flying in Arma.



It's dials within dials. It's dials all the way down.



The Veteran



Dslyecxi, aka Andrew Gluck, is one of the biggest names in the online Arma community. The group he founded, Shack Tactical, is known as one of the best-organized gaming groups in Arma which is saying something for a community that prides itself on military simulation. He narrated a series of tutorial videos for Arma 3, but he first came to my attention when I was new to the game and trying desperately to suck less at flying helicopters.



Frankly: the guy s a wizard. After he made a video on his first impressions with the new flight model, I tracked him down to get his feelings. Right now, he says, they re pretty mixed.



As an advanced flight model, I think it needs some tweaking and some additional functionality for it to really live up to the expectations one has when hearing advanced flight model. Once you dip into the more intricate aspects of helo flight, there are a lot of aspects that all mix together to represent what it takes to control a helicopter. He also doesn t agree that the flight model will be a good way for new pilots to earn their wings.







What he was hoping for and honestly, what I thought I was getting my hands on Dslyecxi pointed out all the things that were missing is a true simulation experience. Notable details are missing from the Arma 3 flight model, including localized rotor damage and the horrifyingly named vortex ring state. VRS is a sickening quirk of physics where a helicopter descends into its own downwash, causing a loss of lift. (For context, one of the helicopters on the Osama bin Laden raid crashed due to VRS.) Pilots in Arma, though, can t enter VRS, and it alters the ways in which helicopters can safely fly.



With these omissions, the new advanced flight model isn t realistic enough to be considered a sim, but the new bells and whistles make it too finicky to be accessible to new players. For this reason, Dslyecxi says, he won t be enabling the advanced flight model in ShackTac s main game sessions. One of the best parts of Arma's native flight model is the accessibility of it it gets the basic themes of helicopter flight correct, but anyone can have a decent chance to fly with it even with just a mouse and keyboard. It's easy to pick up, but difficult to master.



Dslyecxi isn t entirely down on the DLC, though. For one thing, the new flight physics are completely optional, and adding in more native systems for players (and modders) to tinker with is always a good thing. For another, everyone at Bohemia has been open about the update being a work in progress. Just in the past week, changes have been made to improve control responsiveness.



Helicopters in Arma will eventually be able to carry sling loads, which will allow heavy choppers to, say, deliver tanks and jeeps to the battlefield rather than simply ferry infantry back and forth. Even better for the infantry troops relying on helicopters for battlefield transport, troops will soon be able to shoot their personal weapons from the passenger seats or running boards. Anyone who has ever dropped into a hot LZ will recognize how important this would be for virtual soldiers.



Bohemia isn t talking about a release date for the Helicopters DLC yet, but they do hope to get both sling loading and firing from vehicles into beta testing during the next month. Taken together with the recent updates that added a training mode, a single-player campaign, and a player-directed Zeus multiplayer mode, Bohemia is continuing to add content and depth to satisfy their niche audience of simulator die-hards. And when you re dealing with die-hards like Dslyecxi (who says he has about $1,000 worth of flight sticks, rudder pedals, and headset gear on his desk for flight sims), the best solution is always going to be: more. More content, more depth, more variables to tweak and play with.



Ultimately it comes down to what any given person is looking for in the experience, Dslyecxi says, and whether having a more complex flight model helps or hinders that. Some people will benefit from it and enjoy it, others will find it to get in the way or unnecessarily complicate things.



Note: I took all of the screenshots for this article while flying in Wibbler's Helicopter Training scenario. If you need practice landing in hot LZs, in the advanced flight model or not, I recommend you download it.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The PC Gamer Show episode 3: Videoball, GTA 4 no-friction and more on LPC Jr., Arma 3 Zeus mode">pcgamershow3-teaser







It's The PC Gamer Show! In episode three we're introducing the new Large Pixel Collider Jr. with an afternoon of special living room gaming challenges. Can Counter-Strike maven Evan Lahti win when he's forced to play with an Xbox controller? Who will survive the frictionless mayhem of GTA 4's Carmageddon mod? Plus, we play upcoming electronic sport Videoball, and PC Gamer UK walks us through ARMA 3's awesome Zeus mode.



In this episode...



Act I: As if Octodad: Dadliest Catch wasn't already wacky enough, Evan and Tyler race against Wes and global EIC Tim Clark in a competition to become the best co-op octo-pair.

Act II: The gang goes two-on-two again in Videoball, Action Button Entertainment's upcoming minimalist electronic sport.

Act III: Evan tests out his Counter-Strike skills by playing on the LPC Jr...with a controller. Meanwhile, Tyler plays with a keyboard and mouse, as any sane man would.

Act IV: Our program heads over to the United Kingdom, where the other half of the PC Gamer team play Arma 3's Zeus mode. Vengeful god Andy Kelly controls the battlefield from above to torment his teammates.

Act V: It's carmageddon in GTA4's famous no friction mod. We race through the chaos to see who can survive the longest in a whirlwind of flying cars.



The PC Gamer Show is a new and evolving project for us, and we want your feedback to help make it better. What kind of segments do you want to see? What games should we play and talk about? Who should we have on as guests? What's coming up next?



Shout at us in the comments below, or shoot us an email directly at letters@pcgamer.com. We're listening. And we'll see you in two weeks.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to This Arma 2 firefight video has a teeth-gritting, cinematic ending">arma-2-firefight-video







What does it take to rattle 80-some veteran players of Earth s most hardcore military sim? ShackTac bossman Dslyecxi pointed me to this insane firefight and extraction attempt in one of his recent videos. Short on ammo, shorter on men, and their backs literally against a wall that may or may not be indestructible, Dslyecxi leads the survivors of a trapped infantry unit as they improvise an escape plan.







Dslyecxi contextualizes the chaos: "At the 33:40 mark, we're all critically low on ammo. As a fireteam leader, I've given everything I had left to other members of my fireteam, and I'm running around trying to see what we're going to do next. There are enemies swarming all over the exterior of the compound and we have reason to believe that they've started to breach into it in some areas as well. It's very much a fog-of-war period at that point. There are reports that the convoy has arrived, and while I saw a few of our vehicles earlier, I heard quite a few explosions and wasn't sure if they were still alive. I'm just waiting for orders and seeing where I can help out in the meantime. We get those orders a few minutes later, which starts the chain of events leading to the crazy finale."



We ve highlighted a few more of Dslyecxi and other Arma players variously heroic and hilarious moments in the past: watch them here. Dslyecxi also has a Patreon page where you can support his continued creation of combat and tutorial videos.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The 15 best Arma 3 player-created solo missions">0_main







The Arma series is famous for its massive multiplayer battles, but there s still fun to be had on the war-torn islands of Stratis and Altis by yourself. These missions can all be played solo, with a focus on small squads, infantry, or infiltration. They ve all been created by Arma 3 players using the game s powerful built-in editing tools, and some are as impressive as anything in Bohemia s own campaign.



To play the missions, subscribe to them in the Steam Workshop, then go to Play in the Arma 3 main menu, then Scenarios. It's worth noting that updates to Arma 3 which are pretty frequent can cause bugs in user-made missions, which their creators should (hopefully) iron out promptly. Some listed here can be also be played in co-op if you have a friend who owns the game. Enjoy.





Bad Holiday

Created by Benny and Lentilburger

Type Infantry, squad, air

DOWNLOAD

A holidaymaker finds himself in the midst of a violent city siege. Scavenge weapons, repel the invaders, and call in the military. A creative premise and an enjoyable, varied mission.





Hostile Water

Created by Mr_Tactical

Type Infantry, squad, water

DOWNLOAD

Recover a classified device from a stricken British submarine. To find the vessel you ll need to secure enemy intel to discover its location. A large mission with multiple objectives.





Resist: Road s End

Created by Kydoimos

Type Infantry, story

DOWNLOAD

The first chapter of Resist, a user campaign that runs parallel to Survive. Features voice acting, cutscenes, and production values on par with Bohemia s own missions.





Operation Scar

Created by HallyG

Type Infantry, stealth, assassination

DOWNLOAD

A night mission in which you play as a special forces operative sneaking behind enemy lines to assassinate an officer. Short, but atmospheric and nicely balanced.





Revenge!

Created by Binkowski

Type Infantry, assault, urban

DOWNLOAD

A remake of a classic mission from Bohemia s first game, Operation Flashpoint. Command a large CSAT squad and take two settlements back from a group of terrorists.





Clandestine Sunrise

Created by Navarre

Type Infantry, air, vehicles

DOWNLOAD

Lead a small recon squad to covertly destroy enemy assets. Decent voice acting, unlimited saves, and excellent tactical deployment of Creedence Clearwater Revival.





Sniper Alley

Created by PFC Veld

Type Infantry, sniping

DOWNLOAD

A non-linear mission that sees you, a ghillie-suited sniper, hunting randomly-placed enemy snipers across a large valley area in west Altis. Another short one, but brilliantly tense.





Operation Hog Cove

Created by Nichevo

Type Infantry, water, assault

DOWNLOAD

A brutal, fast-paced mission that sees you and several AI-controlled squads landing on a beach and attacking an enemy force, whose numbers and placement are different every time.





Hard to Peel

Created by Gibbon

Type Infantry, air, urban

DOWNLOAD

An assault on an enemy airfield, followed by an action-packed push into an occupied city. Some great urban firefights and a custom soundtrack you ll either love or hate.





On the Other Side

Created by Bauerhousebourne

Type Infantry, stealth, story

DOWNLOAD

One of the most popular user missions on the Steam Workshop to date, and deservedly so. Cinematic, polished, well-paced, and offers plenty of scope for creative play.





Explore Altis

Created by OlejnaS

Type Exploration, non-combat

DOWNLOAD

And now for something completely different. This mod highlights points of interest across Altis and lets you teleport to them instantly. A great way to explore the island without being shot at.





Operation Greenstorm

Created by eCHo

Type Infantry, urban

DOWNLOAD

Lead a small squad and attack Altis old capital city under cover of night and thick fog. Some incredible views at the beginning, although it s quite a hike to the first objective.





Trident

Created by Ubiquitous

Type Infantry, stealth, sniping

DOWNLOAD

This slick mission offers you three different insertion points. You can sneak in using stealth, charge in with brute force, or snipe from afar. Nice briefing sequence too.





Virtual CQC Firefight

Created by Balr0g

Type Infantry, training, VR

DOWNLOAD

Arma s recent Bootcamp update added Metal Gear Solid-style VR training missions to the game. This close-quarters battle is a good way to hone your infantry skills.





Enemy Supply

Created by Kapten K

Type Infantry, stealth

DOWNLOAD

Land behind enemy lines, use stealth to avoid patrols, and destroy enemy assets. A simple, well-scripted mission that can be approached in a number of different ways.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Arma 3′s Bootcamp update now live, promises to train you in the art of war">Arma 3







For those not familiar with its particular brand of simulation, Arma 3 can be a daunting thing to approach. Don't let our recent, barely competent shenanigans fool you; there's a deep vein of realism at the heart of Bohemia's shooter and, with it, a level of complexity that can be difficult to parse. Hope comes in the form of the just released Bootcamp update. More than just a tutorial, it's designed to teach you the underlying principles powering the game. And all without R. Lee Ermey screaming in your face.







The trailer's description explains what to expect:



"Arma 3 Bootcamp challenges you to learn about the basic game mechanics of Arma 3. Extend your training via the singleplayer mini-campaign or multiplayer bootcamp scenario, practice combat procedures in a Virtual Reality training environment, and browse through Arma 3's extensive weapons and gear library with the Virtual Arsenal viewer."



Taking the form of a series of VR training modules, and a 'campaign' mode that acts as both tutorial and a prequel to the campaign proper, the update introduces and explains a bunch of concepts including stuff like material penetration or placeable deployment. I'm yet to investigate the full thing, but hopefully "flying helicopters without killing your entire squad" will also be covered.



You'll find the Bootcamp in Arma 3 right now, under the expanded 'Learn' menu.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Now Playing Live: PC Gamer play ArmA 3: Zeus, today at 2:30pm BST">Zeus







This afternoon, PC Gamer will be at the mercy of a vengeful, Scottish god. We'll be playing Zeus, ArmA III's on-the-fly adventure mode, where we'll be subjected to the trials and tribulations of our own Andy Kelly. The action kicks off at 2.30pm BST check here for local times and will run until we've experienced the full scope of Andy's twisted design.



Zeus is ArmA III's free multiplayer DLC: a mode in which a player can act as an RPG style GM. Andy will be able to create objectives, spawn enemies, place vehicles, build bases and, on occasion, call down massive lightning strikes all in real time.



You'll be able catch the main stream, from the PCG team's perspective, over at the PC Gamer Twitch channel. If you'd prefer to follow the dark machinations of our overlord, Andy will be streaming the Zeus perspective at his own Twitch channel.



Here's a full run-down of the people and streams involved:





Tom Senior

Andy Kelly

Samuel Roberts

Chris Thursten

Phil Savage

Ben Griffin





Thanks to special interweb magic, you can watch streams simultaneously. This page will let you see the action from Andy's godly perspective and the ground-soldier at the same time.



Alternatively, just watch the embed below. See you at 2.30pm!



PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Mod of the Week: Pilot Civilian Air Rescue, for ArmA 3">aaheader







ArmA 3 is a challenging game to learn, especially so when it comes to piloting choppers. Enter the Pilot Civilian Air Rescue mod, which features a number of single-player Mohawk chopper missions, from insertion (transporting doctors to a combat zone), extraction (retrieving injured NPCs and delivering them to a hospital), and even search and rescue, in which you look for lost hikers or downed pilots and ferry them back to safety. It's a great way to hone your chopper flying skills offline while getting a warm and fuzzy feeling from helping NPCs in need.



I've been slowly edging my way into the daunting ArmA 3, but I'm still a bit too bashful to play online for fear of getting yelled at by (understandably) impatient human players. I'm doubly self-conscious about my piloting skills, and trying to fly while being shot at (or screamed at) doesn't really help with my concentration. So, I'm really enjoying this mod's rescue missions, which allow me to practice piloting with only the AI looking over my shoulder, and also lets me learn the map due to the randomized placement of rescues.



Are you knelt in prayer? Well, you should be. Now get in.



The mod starts you at your base, where you can get into flight gear and receive your first mission. There are options to choose from in terms of weather, forecast, and time of day, as well as the level of hostility you want to face when flying into enemy territory. I began by setting hostiles and antiaircraft fire to zero, but if you're more experienced, obviously, you'll probably want to ratchet it up to make your missions more challenging and exciting. If your mission involves delivering passengers, they'll be waiting for you in a polite crouch near your Mohawk.



Come with me if you want to live. Briefly.



My first mission was a search and rescue: some hikers had become lost and needed to be located and transported back. I did a great job of locating them, but there was a bit of an issue while landing, and that issue was a small collision that led to a large explosion. Whoops! My next mission was to pick up a team of doctors in the field, and return them to base. I landed a bit better -- nothing exploded -- but still managed to destroy my chopper's engine so they didn't bother getting in. Well, third time's the charm, right?



Third time is not the charm.



Actually, no, I somehow managed to flip my chopper over during takeoff, crashing it while still in sight of my back-up chopper. After that, though, things started going a bit better. I was tasked with flying out to retrieve an NPC who had sustained a gunshot wound as the result of some conflict in Altis. I managed to fly out and locate the fellow, who was being guarded by friendly troops.



I think he's trying to choose between bleeding to death and taking a chance in my chopper.



A shaky -- but safe! -- landing later, he scuttled his way to my Mohawk and we took off, bound for the hospital. Landing on the hospital roof, for a noob pilot like me, was harrowing, but I was quite pleased to pull it off after only three hours of white-knuckled hovering. I was then a bit disappointed when the NPC crab-walked out of my helicopter and threw himself off the side of the roof. I know my flying isn't great, but sheez. No need to be so dramatic about it.



I guess healthcare on Altis is just a little too pricey?



I checked the mod's discussion page and I guess that's just what the AI does when you complete a hospital delivery. You've passed the mission, so the AI just takes the shortest trip back to the ground. Oh, well, at least it's amusing. After carefully parking my chopper downstairs I visited the jumper's body and took his watch. I'm a hero like that.



I said I carefully parked the chopper. I didn't say I properly parked the chopper.



It you do crash, no worries! A rescue op will launch and another chopper will be dispatched to pick you up and fly you back to base. There's also a service center for your chopper if you get a little dinged up. The mod also allows for random weather settings if you want to leave your conditions up to chance, and even lets you turn on random mechanical failures if you're the type of player who likes big surprises at altitude.



Thanks for coming to get me, guys. I had another oopsie.



I think the ability to set your own conditions makes this a fun mod for both beginners and pros. Like I said, I'm still pretty green, but after completing a bunch of missions and getting a bit better at flying, I turned everything on -- bad weather, hostile response to incursions, mechanical failures -- and had a blast. Searching for some downed pilots in a thunderstorm while the enemy is closing in on me is a real thrill. Not so thrilling for the downed pilots: they didn't make it back. Though, if they had, they'd probably just have jumped off the hospital roof.



See! I'm not the only one who crashes choppers.



Installation: Subscribe to the mod in the Steam workshop here. Launch the game, select Play from the menu, then go to Scenarios, and the mod will be listed there.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Arma 3 karting DLC has raised a lot of money for the Czech Red Cross">armakarts





You thought it was funny that Arma 3 now has kart racing, didn t you? Well pull yourself together, because the April Fools gag is now an actual feature, and it's managed to raise a million Czech koruna for the country s Red Cross. That s nearly US$50 grand.

Everyone wins, because it means Bohemia Interactive has road tested its unique approach to DLC, which provides access to all new content free-of-charge with a few reasonable restrictions that you can pay remove. The model is designed to avoid splitting the playerbase between the DLC have and have-nots, and it seems to have worked out well.



"Alongside helping us to evaluate Arma 3's new approach to DLC, with the backing of our community, Arma 3 Karts has managed to raise money for a great cause, Arma 3 creative director Jay Crowe said. A big thanks to our players, both for their support and their valuable feedback, which we'll use to refine our implementation. Overall, we're positive about the preliminary results and responses, which seems to benefit Arma 3 players and help sustain Arma 3 development."



Arma 3 Karts is still on sale for EU$1.49 / US$1.99 / 1.19, but can also be purchased in a bundle alongside the forthcoming Helicopters and Marksmen DLC.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Arma 3 ‘Bootcamp’ update will explain the game’s complexities to new players">arma3_screenshot_07





As promised in May, Bohemia Interactive will release a substantial Arma 3 update imminently. The Bootcamp update will introduce a range of modes and features designed to ease new players into the notoriously complicated military sim, and to prove that Arma is far from impenetrable . These include a Bootcamp campaign, a special Bootcamp multiplayer mode, Virtual Training and a Virtual Arsenal.

The Bootcamp campaign is the most significant addition, and is the factor most likely to sway nervous Arma 3 newcomers. According to creative director Jay Crowe writing on the Arma 3 website, the mode will introduce the basic principles of infantry combat - actions, navigation, and weapon handling. The mode will feature gameplay which informs, supports and challenges players to complete real objectives.

Meanwhile, the Bootcamp multiplayer mode will team new players up with veteran Instructors . Instructors, taking on the role of a Zeus game master, teach Recruits with a set of predefined objectives. Recruits are led and supported by their Instructor as they fulfil the tasks given to them on-the-fly.



These will be supplemented by a Virtual Arsenal, which allows new players to explore the full extent of the game s customisation, and a special Virtual Training arena. The latter is an austere grey environment where the player is free to learn the game s mechanics without being shot at. Three principles are central to its premise, Crowe writes. Simple tasks, instant restart, and progressive difficulty. At any point, recruits can reset , clearing and respawning the topic content.



Aside from welcoming new players, the Bootcamp Update will also bring good news to the modding community. "Essentially, Workshop support for addons involves handling the discovery, installation and maintenance of all kinds of community content vehicles, mechanics, total conversions, etc. akin to the way custom scenarios are currently accessed via Steam.



"We're also set to publish the first iteration of our Game Launcher. Alongside useful basic functionality - such as command-line parameters - this separate executable helps to organise, maintain and load mods."



No specific release date for the Bootcamp Update was confirmed. The military sim has managed to sell over a million copies since its launch last year, which is pretty impressive. Oh, and if you prefer karting to warfare, Arma 3 has you covered.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The best Steam Summer Sale deals: Day 5">steam sale day five







The Steam Summer Sale is off to a good start this week. After good deals on The Wolf Among Us, Tomb Raider, and Skyrim over the weekend, a few more of our favorite PC games go on sale today.



Don t forget to check out GOG s summer deals, too.

Reminder: if a game isn't a daily deal or a flash sale, it could pop up later in the sale for an even lower price. If you want to be safe, wait until June 30 to pick up a sale-long deal.



5 - Surgeon Simulator 2013

75% off: $2.49 / 1.74 - Steam store page

To enjoy Surgeon Simulator, you have to like that the impossibly finicky controls and unpredictable physics game-breaking flaws anywhere else are by design, and that you ll occasionally stab your patient in the eye with a scalpel when you meant to pick up a saw. The jokes that endear us to Surgeon Simulator that QWOP-like surgery is hard, that throwing a heart into an open chest cavity qualifies as a transplant are used up pretty quickly, but there is some joy to mastering all the operations, especially when taking turns and laughing at the failures of your friends.

4 - Risk of Rain

75% off: $2.49 / 1.74 Steam store page Flash sale: Buy it before 8 p.m. EST

Where most roguelikes are slow and methodical, Risk of Rain is fast and frenetic. A constantly ticking clock increases the game difficulty every few minutes, until dozens of weak enemies turn into massive piles of bosses. Risk of Rain is a tough game, but it also strikes a great balance between skill and luck there are 9 playable characters, each with unique attacks and special abilities, and there are dozens of power-ups to memorize. Hunting for that perfect combination for a successful run is what a good roguelike is all about. Bonus: Risk of Rain's devs recently updated their blog to announce that they're moving the game to a new engine, which will fix some of the game's technical issues.

3 - Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition

75% off: $4.99 / 4.99 - Steam store page

Dark Souls often gets discounted to $5, but if you haven't picked it up already, you're missing out on one of the best action RPGs of the past five years. It's brutally difficult but rewards the determined with a deeply interconnected world to explore, precise combat to master, and so, so many secrets to find. Dark Souls almost never tells you where to go or what to do, which is so uncommon these days that it's initially daunting. Dig in, and you'll realize how refreshing it is to discover and defeat everything yourself. Just remember to install DSfix, the mod that fixes Dark Souls' terrible locked resolution and other issues.

2 - Arma 3

50% off: $29.99 / 17.99 - Steam store page

The sandboxy war simulator has never dropped below $35, so this is the cheapest Arma 3 has ever been. Bohemia has done some good work augmenting Arma 3 with the free Zeus DLC recently, and over 7,700 mods and custom mission content await in Steam Workshop. Make sure you re close to the recommended spec, but this is absolutely one of the highest-fidelity, open-ended, moddable, and malleable PC games you can own.

1 - Hitman Collection

80% off: $8.99 / 5.99 - Steam store page Flash sale: Buy it before 8 p.m. EST

Hitman: Absolution wasn't exactly our thing, but this collection includes the game that made us disappointed in IO Interactive's latest stab at the series: Blood Money. Blood Money, released in 2007, is where it all came together: the elaborate maps, complex AI, arsenal of deadly weapons, and the incredible varied ways all those pieces can come together. Take Tom Francis' word for it: "Hitman is a murder simulator, and that might be a terrible thing. I don t know. But if you re going to make one, make it as beautiful as Blood Money. Make it a dark and complex work of interactive art, a working model of the mathematics of lies. Six years later, people like me will still be too enthralled with playing it to care." Unfortunately this collection omits 2004's Hitman: Contracts (it's also on sale separately for $1.99 / 0.99) but it does include the first two games, which are a fun nostalgia trip that show how far the series has evolved.



Other great deals today

Remember that games not categorized as Daily Deals or Flash Sales may be reduced further later in the sale.



Castle Crashers (90% off) $1.49 / 0.99

Dungeon Defenders (75% off) $3.74 / 2.49

Saints Row 4 (75% off) $9.99 / 7.49

Rogue Legacy (75% off) $3.74 /

FTL: Advanced Edition (60% off) $3.99 / 2.79
...

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