Bohemia Interactive's ArmA III, a super-realistic modern combat simulation, is out today. I've been playing the retail release for over a week now, so under normal circumstances this is where a formal review of ArmA III would go. But with ArmA III, that just doesn't feel right.
Firstly because the game's not technically finished yet. The singleplayer campaign is missing, and will be made available as a free download later down the line. For series veterans that's not such a big deal, but given it's such a huge piece of content, and is important as a tutorial for newcomers, it's a big deal.
Secondly, and more importantly, I don't think I've played anywhere near enough of the game to even scratch its surface. I mean, I've played the singleplayer scenario missions. I've dabbled in multiplayer. I've wandered around the "showroom" areas, where you can drive every vehicle in the game. I've made my own missions. I've flown choppers, driven tanks, gone scuba diving. I've followed orders, made orders, killed men.
And died. Oh, how I've died. It feels like I've died one million times over. Given how brutal this game is, that's probably not far from the truth.
But ArmA III isn't like other shooters. It's a simulation. A sandbox game. A game-builder. The real meat of ArmA doesn't come from what ships on release day, it's what you're playing 12-24 months later, once people have made more awesome custom missions (though note: there are loads of good ones already available) and settled into how to best tackle the game's ridiculous, trademark large engagements.