SURVIVE, commands the title of Arma 3’s first single player episode. But crawling on your arms and knees through the brush, listening to the bullets whistle past your ears, it’s not so simple as that As NATO soldier Ben Kerry, we’ll be trapped in a fight for a “Mediterranean flashpoint”. Trapped being a relative term, of course - we’ll have the run of the twin islands of Altis and Stratis.
You can always spot a proper PC shooter - in Arma 3, leaning is lethal:
The campaign was previously delayed beyond Arma 3's release date in September, after Bohemia admitted that missions had been a technical "nightmare" to build as the game changed around them. The first episode comes now as an free automatic update to Steam, however, and introduces the conflict between three militant acronyms - NATO, CSAT, and AAF - that’ll define the course of subsequent single player stories.
The update brings new toys for tinkerers in Arma 3’s editor, too. New weapons, animations, 3D objects and scripted modules abound - and they'll be augmented by new vehicles in future episodes.
There are two more episodes planned - named Adapt and Win, so that you can line all three up on your virtual bookcase to spell out a three-word how-to in Mediterranean warfare. Bohemia haven’t been forthcoming on release dates for those, though.
These days, Arma 3 costs about €44.99 / £39.99 / $59.99, or €49.99 EUR / £42.99 GBP / $64.99 in its Digital Deluxe edition. You can find it on Steam and the Bohemia store. Is single player a deal-maker for you?