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On the 7th of this month, Bohemia Interactive released the sixth premium DLC package for ArmA 3, titled "Laws of War". Renowned as being the most committed military operation simulator, the reaction from the fanbase was mostly positive at the addition of a humanitarian faction whose goal is to clean up the detritus of war and bring some semblance of a normal life back to war-torn regions. On top of that, with an MSRP of $11.99 USD, Bohemia is donating half of all sales to the International Committee of the Red Cross. With everything said, I had to buy it the moment it came out! Although there was a free update that added all the new content to your harddrive, the DLC vehicles, attire, weapons, and campaign were locked behind a paywall. However, Bohemia did at least provide us with two free showcases, one of which was an exposition of all the new content and a background on the new faction, IDAP (the International Development & Aid Project), and the other was a much more action-oriented seminar where players are run through various simulations to impress the laws of war upon you. Some examples of lessons taught in the seminar included not firing on civilians who haven't engaged you in combat or unarmed enemy medical personnel. There was also a demonstration on how mines and cluster bombs can be more trouble than they're worth, staying hidden in the ground for days, months, or even years at a time until someone, anyone, accidentally disturbs it. Of the new content that was added in the DLC, the campaign will be explained later. Several new civilian, press, and IDAP-themed outfits and clothing articles were added, such as a paramedic jumpsuit, hard hat, dust mask, and safety goggles. Decorative items were also added, such as IDAP tents, water bottles, body bags, etc. The new vehicles include an IDAP van, ambulance, new IDAP skins for the formerly AAF-only Mohawk heavy transport helicopter and CSAT-only Zamak transport truck, and a special utility drone capable of dropping leaflets (which can have custom designs overlayed on them) as well as timed charges for safer disposal of mines and UXOs (UneXploded Ordinance). Speaking of mine-clearing, the mine sweeper that was already in the game was reworked, giving you a new display that shows you the direction of mines and UXOs, allowing you to mark them manually rather than the original mechanic, where the mine sweeper did all of that automatically. However, just because this DLC focused on the civilian and humanitarian aspects of war doesn't mean that the military factions didn't get anything. All organized military factions (so everyone but the FIA) get the APERS Mine Dispenser and the cluster bomb air strike utility. The former item is a portable device that deploys dozens of small Anti-PERSonnel mines in a forward-facing cone after either a 40-second timer or a manual touch-off, allowing players to set up minefields in a fraction of the time that it would have taken them to do so manually. The latter allows for Zeus operators (think Game Masters for organized ArmA 3 custom operations) to call in highly-destructive air strikes, with the very-obvious downside that not all of the cluster munitions will explode. As for the campaign, I'll do my best to explain the nuances of it without spoiling it. For those who don't mind the spoilers, I'll be putting them down at the bottom of the page, but keep in mind that there will be some spoilers for the main ArmA 3 campaign, as well. "Laws of War" takes place in the small town of Oreokastro in the mountainous northwest of Altis before, during, and after the events of the vanilla campaign. For most of the mini-campaign, you take on the role of Nathan MacDade, a former US Army engineer now working as an IDAP mine clearer. As you progress through the town, clearing out mines and UXOs, you encounter "memories", which take on the form of visual anomalies that you can interact with. Interacting with them either transports you into a flashback of what you remember the town was like one year ago, or into the shoes of a member of one of the four warring factions (NATO, FIA, CSAT, or AAF), all of whom were present during the battle in one way or another. The take-away message from this mini-campaign is that there is no such thing as black and white in war. From the opening scene, when you watch, helpless, as a civilian who survived the war and returns to his hometown in search of his brother steps on a mine and dies instantly, to the end, when you're put on the spot and asked to tell a reporter who you think is to blame, you're led to the understanding that war is complex and that when you send young men and women off to kill each other, they don't always make the right choice. No matter how good your intentions are, just because you aren't butchering civilians and laughing while doing it doesn't mean that your actions aren't having adverse effects on the non-combatants whose peace of mind is now shattered. If you're looking for honor and glory, you'll find none of it in war. For those of you who are on the fence about buying "Laws of War", I cannot recommend it enough. While about 60% of it can be classified as a walking simulator, it provides a whole new perspective on war that's rarely seen outside of games such as "This War of Mine". To quote one of Nathan MacDade's most profound lines (as well as the slogan for the game, overall): "This is war."
I've been pondering on the thought for a while but I've been wondering if anyone is interested in creating a My Little Pony Arma 3 group? I adore Arma 3 and I can't seem to find any brony clans. I personally think it would be a fantastic idea. Does anyone have any thoughts?
And here it is ... The Arma Discussion Thread! It has finally come, a thread made specifically for discussing the Arma games! (just to clear things up you can discuss anything Arma related here, not just Arma 3). Now I sort of get the feeling that there aren't very many people around here that play/love the Arma games as much as I do, but who knows? Either way, I figured it would be worth it to create a thread for this series anyways, since it is currently (and has been for at least one year now) my favourite game series, and surely there are others on this site that share my interest in this. (As of 28/01/2014, I have 800+ hours played on Arma 2: OA, as well as 34 hours, and growing, played on Arma 3 ... I sort of just started getting into it) For those who don't know what Arma is ... ~~~~~~~~~~~~ I'm just going to start off by saying how much I love the improved infantry movement/controls in Arma 3, I don't know about anyone else, but for me, it makes infantry combat so much more enjoyable, even with the rather ... 'interesting' damage system (it takes like 3-5 shots for me to kill someone. 3-5 shots!)