Czech game developer Bohemia Interactive Studios' Spiritual Successor
to their successful and legendary Operation Flashpoint
series. Unlike the original, these installments take place in Present Day
and Next Sunday A.D.
time frames, not the Cold War
. The basic premise and game design philosophy of making a well-researched, true-to-life and unrelentingly realistic simulation of everyday military life is still there though. As is the practice of using various fairly funny
(and Reference Overdosed
) Ruritanias as the setting
for the games' campaigns and missions.
The story behind the conception of ARMA
was one of a painful birth: After finishing their work on Operation Flashpoint
, the developer Bohemia Interactive Studio and publisher Codemasters had a major falling out and split ways. BIS took the rights to the Real Virtuality engine, Codemasters got the rights to the name. BIS has since released three sequels based on this engine, ARMA: Armed Assault
in North America), ARMA II
, and ARMA III
, while Codemasters developed its own "official" sequel, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
. Essentially, the BIS sequels closely resemble the original, except they have much better graphics and improved gameplay, while Dragon Rising feels
, different from the original Flashpoint
, and a lot of old veterans seem to think that it suffers from New and Improved
The second game of the series and its expansion, Operation Arrowhead
, had a surge of popularity thanks to the DayZ
mod, which requires both.
Works within this series:
- ARMA: Armed Assault / Combat Operations (2007): Spiritual Successor and de-facto sequel to Operation Flashpoint, developed by BIS (the original developers of Operation Flashpoint), using an updated engine called Real Virtuality 2 (RV2). Arm A: Cold War Assault takes place on the fictional island of Sahrani, divided between two nations: the Democratic Republic of Sahrani in the north, and an oil rich (and US backed) Kingdom of South Sahrani. The US forces have been training the South Sahrani military and are just starting to leave (in a trend of the series in which a predominantly US force prepares to leave a destabilized country only to get caught in the fighting; see ArmA III). You see where this is going. With most of the US military gone, the North invades the South and a few remaining US soldiers get caught in the middle of it, and they then aid the South in defeating the North.
- Queen's Gambit: A modest expansion pack, containing a small new island and a new campaign.
- Virtual Battlespace 2 (2007): Bohemia Interactive Simulations' Real Virtuality engine, and the Armed Assault game based on it, were so successful and lauded as so realistic that this warranted an update to the game engine (VBS2 used RV2), also sold to the same real military organizations as VBS; in 2012 VBS2 2.0 was released, based on the RV3 engine used by ARMA 2.
- ARMA II (2009): The successor to Armed Assault, based on the Real Virtuality 3 engine. It takes place in South Zagoria, a province of a destabilizing Ruritania called Chernarus. The current, US-aligned government is desperately fighting a war against communist rebels called the ChDKZ. Of course, the USA intervenes to save the failing government forces and launches attacks on the ChDKZ. After a bombing in Moscow -which the rebels blame on a group of anti-ChDKZ guerrillas called the National Party- the Kremlin steps up and tells the US to leave. Not wanting to risk all out war, they do so, and the Russians, under the flag of the UN, deploy into the region, but in a reoccurring trope, the player's squad Razor Team is left behind in the confusion, and is now stuck trying to prove the Red Square bombing was actually a false flag op. by the rebels.
- Operation Arrowhead (release date June 29, 2010): A standalone expansion pack set in a new country, with new locations and a new campaign; it can be installed into the ARMA 2 directory (or run with ARMA 2 through Steam) to allow for a "Combined Operations" install where both games' content are accessible through the OA client. It is set in Takistan, and the plot is a blatant expy of the The War on Terror. Basically, the dictator of Takistan is said to have nuclear weapons, so the US invades and occupies it.
- British Armed Forces (release date August 29, 2010): DLC expansion pack and sequel to Operation Arrowhead, with British Armed Forces playable.
- Private Military Company (release date November 30, 2010): DLC expansion pack and sequel to British Armed Forces, with a deeper storyline and a moral choice.
- Army of the Czech Republic (release date August 1, 2012): A DLC expansion pack for a Combined Operations install (that is, both ARMA 2 and Operation Arrowhead must be installed) that adds Czech military small arms and vehicles, two new 'maps' ("terrains"), a new fifteen-mission single-player campaign, new premade scenarios and more Editor scenario templates.
- VBS Worlds (2011): This iteration of the VBS engine was developed by BIS in partnership with Caspian Learning and is oriented towards civilian education: water purification unit maintenance, cultural sensitivity training, etc.
- ARMA: Cold War Assault (2011): A free Remake (or refurbishing if you will) mega patch for the original Operation Flashpoint, released in celebration of the game's 10th anniversary by the developers. Because of the whole legal debacle with Codemasters, applying this patch to an installed copy of OFP will rename the game to ARMA : Cold War Assault. NOTE : Please don't confuse the original Operation Flashpoint with the ARMA series proper - it's only a predecessor and set in the same universe, but otherwise completely separate. The new title is there only because BIS can't release the patch under the original name of the game, since it's now owned by Codemasters. The synopsis is that there are some islands, one of which is run by the Soviets, one by the US, and the last is independent. Guba, the commander of the Russian forces, wants to remove Gorbachev from power, so he schemes to get the US and the USSR in a war. He uses his forces to invade the independent island, and defeat counterattacking US forces. You have to prevent a World War.
- Take On Helicopters (2011): This RV3-powered game is about piloting helicopters, and takes place within the ARMA-verse ("Armaversum").
- Take On Mars (2013): This game is about customizing and controlling a drone on Mars to do scientific missions and make a profit. Unlike all other publicly-released VBS & RV-engine games so far, Take On Mars is nonviolent and has no physical conflict against other living things.
- ARMA III (2013): Announced for a summer 2012 release (subsequently pushed back to winter 2012 then to 2013, where it was finally released after a long Alpha and Beta) and using the Real Virtuality 4 (RV4) engine, this game extends the ARMA gameplay with underwater operations (scuba diving, etc.), and other features. It features Israeli military equipment (such as the Merkava tank), US Future Warrior equipment, and the military of a resurgent Iran. It takes place on the two Mediterranean islands of Altis and Stratis (based of real life Lemnos). There has just been a bloody civil war followed by, of course, NATO intervention. NATO trains and equips the Altis Armed Forces (AAF) but prepares to leave after the Altisian government starts getting backing by CSAT (a coalition of Eastern countries led by a resurgent Iran) and their mandate comes to an end. But as NATO starts leaving their bases on the island of Stratis, things go awry as the AAF suddenly attacks the NATO forces. It is then a desperate struggle to hold back the AAF and get in contact with the rest of NATO with only a small, battered force. It is later revealed that CSAT is helping to provoke the attacks.
- Arma Tactics (2013): A spinoff developed in the Unity 3D engine. It has nothing in common with the main ARMA series except for visuals and voice acting.
For the Codemasters created follow-up and competitor
, see Operation Flashpoint - Codemasters
Many of the tropes listed on the page of its direct predecessor also apply to this series.
The ARMA series features the following tropes:
"ENEMY MAN. AND, MEN. TO OUR RIGHT! FROST, TARGET THAT! END OF PAGE."