A new generation of Arma has finally kicked off with the launch of Arma Reforger, the early access phase on the road to Arma 4. Unlike a mainline Arma game, however, Reforger is strictly a multiplayer game, and you’ll need to get up to speed on how things work if you’re going to lead your team to victory on the war-torn hills and valleys of Everon.
Everon will be familiar to long-term Arma players, since it served as the setting for ArmA: Cold War Assault, originally known as Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis. It’s a fictional island in the North Sea, about 151 square kilometres in size, and you’ll need to get familiar with all of it – Reforger’s main multiplayer mode, Conflict, encompasses the entire map.
In Reforger’s Conflict mode, two teams (US and Soviet) compete for control of Everon. The ultimate objective is to capture and recalibrate the radio located in the opposing team’s headquarters building, but you can’t simply rush across the map and start tuning dials.
Arma Reforger multiplayer: Conflict
Instead, in Conflict mode, you’ll have to help your team expand its communications network from your base to cover as much of the island as possible. You can do this by capturing key locations around Everon, such as airfields, checkpoints, and forward operating bases (FOBs).
Each team’s home base periodically receives shipments of supplies, which can then be trucked to outlying control points to upgrade their defences. Since this is Arma, you’ll have to do that manually by requesting a supply truck from your headquarters’ motor pool, picking up the supplies, and driving them out to your FOBs. There, you’ll be able to unload the trucks into a local supply pool, which can then be used to build firing positions, bunkers, and even additional motor pools.
While Reforger doesn’t include any of the advanced vehicles we’ve become used to in Arma 3, it does offer a few options. There are Humvees and Jeeps for moving small groups of troops around, supply trucks, and mobile command centres. These are crucial in Conflict, because they have onboard radios that add to your faction’s communications network’s coverage area, allowing you another way to expand your reach and potentially capture previously inaccessible locations.
Throughout each game of Conflict, you can pull up a list of potential objectives and select one to help with. By completing objectives and killing enemies, you can move up through the ranks and gain access to new equipment loadouts and requisition options.
Arma Reforger multiplayer: Capture and Hold
Capture and Hold, which is available for download in Arma Reforger’s Workbench tab, is a much more straightforward affair on a smaller scale than Conflict. In Capture and Hold, two teams fight for control of a designated site, and you can select the setting from a list of locations on Everon.
Starting out, you can select from loadouts for rifleman, grenadier, or machine gunner. Next, you’ll pick out a spawn point on the paper map of the area. Once you’ve spawned, orders are pretty simple: clear out and secure the target area.
The team that controls the area earns points every few seconds, and the first team to hit the score limit wins.
Arma Reforger multiplayer: Game Master
Reforger also offers a mode called Game Master, and while it’s listed like a companion to Conflict, it’s really just a live sandbox for experimenting with the new Enfusion engine and putting together new custom scenarios on the fly.
As with Arma 3’s Zeus mode, you can fly around Everon and pop down soldiers, vehicles, equipment, and structures, and link them up with objectives.
At launch, that’s all there is to know about Arma Reforger, but Bohemia Interactive has been eager to stress that it’s as much a platform as a game. Now that it’s out in the wild, expect the Workbench to quickly fill up with mods, and Bohemia says there will be regular content updates during its time in Early Access as well.