Arma 3 Technical Preview



Company: Bohemia Interactive
Author: Sean Ridgeley
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: March 26th, 2013

P2 - Options, performance, UI, conclusion

Options

Aside from basic graphics options like Resolution and Vsync, Arma 3 offers further options for Antialiasing (including 'budget' techniques FXAA and SMAA), High Definition Rendering, Dynamic Lights, Texture Quality, Shadow Quality, Terrain Quality, and much more. Suffice it to say, you won't find yourself left wanting.

Keys are greatly customizable and seem to cover every possible aspect of gameplay, from leaning to auto-hovering in helicopters to hotkeys, and a heck of a lot more; controls feel reasonably well-tuned by default.

Performance

Arma 3 lives up to its predecessors with its demanding performance. Even on high-end hardware, High and Ultra settings prove a great strain, resulting in about 40-50 frames per second (fps) on average, with significant stuttering; dropping down to the Standard preset (equivalent to Medium) achieves the desired 60 minimum fps and smooth gameplay.

Terrain Quality seems to be the most apparently demanding setting High might be acceptable for high-end single GPU users, where Ultra should be off-limits to anyone but Crossfire and SLI users, unless you believe in maximum visual quality at all costs.

User interface

The inventory UI is a major source of criticism in past Arma games, and while I can't compare this iteration personally, I can say it's not modern by any means, looking and feeling more like something out of a 90s shooter than any well-optimized recent PC shooter. That said, it functions about as well as anything other aspect of the game's interface, so if you can handle those, this shouldn't be much of an obstacle.

Conclusion

Bohemia Interactive's latest is shaping up well so far, sporting strong visual fidelity, good performance, and hardcore gameplay designed to satisfy veterans and enthusiasts.

Already a major patch has been released, improving performance, visuals, and tweaking various gameplay components knowing the studio's history, there will be plenty more where that came from.

Arma 3 is available now in alpha form on Steam for $32.99.