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Hot Mods 30/01: ArmA

30 Jan 2009  by   Paul Younger
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Despite a decent critical reaction to the realistic armed conflict gameplay, Armed Assault hasn’t done much to endear itself to dedicated players. Much of its woes are tied to the difficult birth it suffered when the developer, Bohemia Interactive, severed all ties with Codemasters and the Operation Flashpoint brand was no longer accessible.

Many gamers consider Armed Assault to be the spiritual successor to Operation Flashpoint, but support for this game has been stilted at best, since the developer apparently struggled to meet the weight of after-sales support that a modern game demands – concentrating instead on a range of expansions. It fell to the modding community to fix, improve and modify Armed Assault and allow it to live up to its potential.

This game is the perfect example of why PC gamers turn to the mod world with their games – often checking they’re supported by the community before even buying the source game. Out of the box, Armed Assault is okay – an hour or two on the web, and Armed Assault becomes awesome.Arma Addon Synchronizerhttp://www.yomatools.be/As you get more and more comfortable with modding your games, one add-on you’ll begin to look for before altering any of your sources will be some kind of organisational device.

Since mod developers really like these too, there’s a good chance that your game, like Armed Assault for instance, will have a utility to help you keep your mods organised. The good news for Armed Assault is that the popular Yoma Tools is now being used to keep the game’s mods in order.

Why’d this good news? Well, Yoma Tools not only sorts and displays your mods in a convinent manner, it keeps them updated. Starting ArmA with this utility provides a simple, single click interface to tell the game which of your many mods you want to run. It also makes talking to servers (and even setting them up) much simpler, and removes a great deal of the irksome, jargon-packed process that prohibits so many multiplayer mods from running smoothly.

Yoma Tools crops up for a variety of different source games, as its simple functionality is very appealing to developers and is regularly tweaked for any number of source games. If you’re looking to get your copy of ArmA up to speed, start with ArmA Addon Synchronizer.ACE Modhttp://www.acemod.netWe’ve already discussed Armed Assault’s relationship to Operation Flashpoint, and it seems the mod community is also progressing from the original Codemasters game to the all new Atari one – the source game can change hands all it likes, but the developers remain constant!

Well, one of the most popular mods for Operation Flashpoint was the Wargames League, but with the evolution of the source game came a revamped version of the mod – built specifically for Armed Assault and rebranded as Advanced Combat Environment (ACE).

The purpose of this total conversion of ArmA is to provide gamers with an ultra realistic armed combat simulation. A host of real world weapons, vehicles, equipment and tactics have been forged to help recreate an accurate representation of the modern battlefield, and leans heavily on requiring participants to utilise established military tactics in their approach to ACE.

That said, the mod team still insist that their conversion must remain fun. Realism is great for capturing the imagination, but a game still demands high entertainment value if we’re to unlock the real depth of a mod’s architecture. And to help ACE continue to evolve, a whole community has sprung up around it of both players and fellow modders – many of whom have made contributions from as small as a hand gun to expansive maps. {PAGE TITLE=Page 2}Battlestar Galactica
http://www.flashpoint1985.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard311/ikonboard.cgi?&act=ST&f=70&t=76965As much as we love a bit of extra realism in our strategic combat games, sometimes it’s nice to kick back with a bit of sci-fi influence, and these Battlestar Galactica add-ons for ArmA are ideal.Although they don’t particularly tamper with the aerial combat mechanics, the addition of Vipers, a stunning recreation of Galactica herself and a Cylon Baseship are absolutely spot on for a bit of extra manoeuvrable flying and a truly behemoth, armoured aerial juggernaut to pit your skills against.

31st Normandy Modhttp://www.armaholic.com/page.php?id=4160So you’ve examined the present, explored the future – now it’s time to visit the past, with this excellent community driven World War II mod, which aims to recreate the allied Normandy landings.

This is a mod that’s constantly grow as, just like ACE mod, it’s being constantly added to in large ways and small by fans of the modification itself. There are currently regiments from both the US 2nd Infantry Division and the now famous (thanks in part due to Call of Duty) 101st Airborne Division, as well as a dazzling array of weaponry and vehicles accurate to that particular time period.

As the mod grows, it’s more than just new models that are being implemented, however. Troop tactics are becoming more and more intricate, with a new feature recently implemented that allows troops to use abandoned villas and buildings as cover and field bases.Stargate: Challenged Empireshttp://www.stargateassault.net/forum/index.php?topic=1894.0To say it’s become such a sprawling franchise, and the original film’s nearing  its 15th birthday, there’s a surprising lack of Stargate games. At least, there’s a lack of commercial Stargate games – the mod community has been recreating the wormhole jumping antics and ancient mythologies brought to modern life for quite some time.

Not least of all the mods on the Stargate clock is this total conversion for Armed Assault. Since the TV series’ took over the Stargate canon, it’s become necessary for any mod to include a variety of different combat aspects – such as advanced technology, aerial and space-based conflicts and army sized strategic battlefield management. So you can see why ArmA has been chosen for this project, as it allows for the scope of military imagination to bring the gates to life.

“We were the first Stargate mod to introduce a true manual dialling DHD, over four years back, and still hold the crown for having the complex and HQ Stargate system,” the team explains.

“Stargate: Challenged Empires is the continuation of work we started in Operation Flashpoint. It will introduce players to a truly unique gaming experience, its multiplayer mode will place the player in the middle of a hugely interactive universe; giving them the ability to explore and colonise. Primary an FPS, the game will also allow the construction of off world bases, outposts and resource camps through a Command & Conquer-style interface. But if grunt work isn’t your thing then you can take to the stars – defending your planets or attacking your enemies with your naval might.”

Excited? You’re not alone, Daniel Jackson.Check out the new trailer for ArmA II, in our TV section.

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