Arma Reforger could be said to be a stepping stone to a future “ARMA 4”, and fans of the series should manage their expectations with this in mind. Though billed more as a tech demo than a full-fledged sequel to Arma, the release of Arma Reforger has major implications for the future of the franchise.
The Arma series has roots dating back to 2001 with the groundbreaking military simulation game Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis. The Operation Flashpoint series eventually evolved into the current Arma series, although the formula remains the same. Arma games are high-end military simulators, in which players take on a wide variety of roles and execute them with unprecedented realism.
From basic infantry, tank crews, and helicopter pilots to battlefield commanders and scout snipers, many real-life combat roles are portrayed with unrelenting authenticity. The franchise is hugely popular with military veteran groups and role-players who stick to realistic military radio communications and tactics, but also boasts a massive modding scene that spawned the famous PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, originally a Weapon mod. 3.
Reforger Weapon is the next step in the franchise after nearly a decade of Arma 3 dominance in the mil-sims community. However, despite its $30 price tag, it’s important to note that Arma Reforger is not intended to be a true sequel or full game at this point. With just one map and two modes, it’s a sign of what’s to come for the future of Arma.
With the new Enfusion engine, owned by Bohemia Interactive, Reforger Weapon breathes new life into the island of Everon, which first appeared in 2001’s Operation Flashpoint. Players side with American or Soviet forces in a 1980s Cold War setting. Game Master, which is based on the Zeus system from Arma 3 and incorporates a player-driven D&D-style improvisational story.
One of the biggest additions along with the new Arma Reforger engine is Xbox support. The franchise has been most popular on PC for over 20 years, largely due to the complexity of the controls that require a full keyboard even during basic infantry operations.
Bohemia has clearly been working on streamlining and modernizing the controls, shifting towards a control scheme based on contextual actions. Although the game has been made easier to control, the brutal realism has remained intact and players will continue to use a compass to navigate instead of magical waypoint markers. Fans of the franchise can rest assured that the Arma series’ compatibility with consoles doesn’t necessarily mean the game will be streamlined.