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#16 Posted at 2008-12-23 10:21        
     

This week k@voven informed the Arma community in the BI forums the German PC-Games magazine has written a preview about Arma 2 in their recent release.
With that preview they also released a small video showing the interview with Maruk.
Flashbang151 informed the community in the BI forums Lester posted a link to this video a few days back in the Mapfact forums.

Download the original .avi version from here 49Mb (right click, save as).
You can view a streaming flash version of the video as well as reading a translation of the German PC games article by clicking "Read more".


Armed Assault 2


No compromises. The military simulation from CZ stays ultra realistic.

Marek Spanel is a very relaxed man. We recognize that quickly when we visit his enterprise somewhere in CZ. This is because he was able to earn glory and much money with the tactic-shooter Operation Flashpoint, which was selled over two million times. And if you consider that only ten people worked on the first game of BI you can imagine, why Marek is always in a good mood.
The inofficial sequel, called Armed Assault for legal reasons, was sold up till now 300.000 times.
Now BI is working with 50 people on their next game, following the consequent way of the predecessors. Armed Assault 2 will be a hard war-simulation, who's first objective is being realistic. That's why we took a closer look at an early version of the game in the office of the developer, asked Marek many questions and even took a video, which can be found on the magazine-dvd.

There shall be no experiments. Marek says straight on that ArmA 2 will be exactly the game fans are waiting for. No less then being the most realistic war-simulator on PC. The setting will be the fictional country of Chenarus, freely translated into Blackrussia. Protests smolder and pro-communist forces try to reintegrate the country into Russia. The conflicts escalets when the "Cheanrus Red Star Movement" conquer vast parts of the country and even the capital Chernogorsk in 2009.
But the reintegrations fails. The premier minister Alexander Baranov is executed, the leaders of the rebellion call out the Social Republic of Chenarus. The remaining democratic fores ask the West for help. Naturaly the Americans don't let themselves be said that twice and send their forces into the country. Together with the army of Chenarus they shall drive the rebells back and free the country.

BI has learned. In ArmA the player only was a tiny little wheel in the war-machine. Sometimes as pilot, sometimes as simple soldier or as BlackOp. The story only was about the missions, not about the person sitting behind the gun. An idenfitication with your character simply failed under these circumstances. Many players didn't like that. So like in the ArmA addon Queens Gambit BI is counting on special characters. In ArmA 2 you play in a 5-man US Marine Corps team. This squad called Razor consists out of individualists, who even have an own biography.
master Sergeant Patrick Miles joined the army with 19. Through outstanding duty in Iraq he was made leader of the Razor team. Other team members are Chad Rodriguez (heavy weapons), Brian O'Hara (medic), Randy Sykes (sniper) and Matt Cooper (grenades).
As soon as this squad enters combat you can switch between the characters as you like. In addition you can controll the behaviour of your men.
A reworkes version of the ArmA command-system will be also found in the second part. The developers still work on a more user-friendly handling. For example you don't have to order assaults via keyboard anymore, but your mouse will automatically recognize if your sending your men into cover or if they have to engage a target. Soldiers now even use cover on their own and spy around corners. This is because of the new micro-AI system. It gives the soldiers the possiblity to behave acurat in special situations, like moving around objects, take cover or give suppressive fire.
"The micro AI is a real break-though for us" says Marek. With the new technic fights shall be a lot more exciting. "A fight with 5 enemys now is a real challenge.
Different to CoD4:Modern Warfare events aren't scripted. AI is reacting to each situation on their own. Sounds good, but lead to some funny situations in the first versions of the prequel, when your own men cleared a whole city without your support or needed patrols didn't make it to their designation. But BI worked hard on this part, promises Marek.

A bit more complicated will be sending whole armys into battle. There will be battles in Armed Assualt 2 with up to 100 men on each side. How many you will command yourself is still uncertain. At the moment you have around 30 soldiers under your command including tanks and gunships. For commanding these masses effectivly a new system called "High Command System" is designated to help you. This works similar to a strategy game, where you select your units from a top-view and send them around on the map. Though this feature wasn't finished in the showed version, you even shall be able to change the direction your units are viewing. But still you will take part in the battle.

The massive enviroment in ArmA 2 includes 230 km^2. This time the developers even took real terrain as archetype. They simply took a part from CZ and changed in into the country Chernarus. Beaches and souther flair as seen in ArmA won't be found anywhere. Instead you have untouched forests, vast plains and big cities, like Chernogorsk.
Many missions are no longer set in open air, but in bombed houses or factories, since the developers want to put close quaters combat more into the foreground. Another new technic will make destructible buildings possible. With the right weapons you will be able to destroy buildings completly. The cool thing: The holes in houses can be used to shoot through. (This system wasn't finished, too in the shown version) How many houses will be destroyable is still uncertain. But we guess that only a small part of a city will have this system.

A label of the serie has always been the very acurate vehicles. More than 50 ground and air vehicles will be included in ArmA 2, like the russion T-90, or the Hind. A view into the cockpit reveals details, players are only used to in flight simulators. Even a small fan is turning.
But that's not everything. Anti-Air measures like the Tunguska tank or the BTR-90 for transporting troops are included as well. In fact you know many of these vehicles from the prequels, but even new things made in into the game, like the MV-22 Osprey, which can be seen on the DVD.
In addion there are civilian vehicles, but not old cars like the brand Lada or tractors. This time you can find modern VW Golfs for example. (A hint for the strong German community?)
Coming to weapons the developers also have amazing knowledge. Ivan Buchta, responsible for the design of the enviroment, turns out as a real expert on this area. With bright eyes he tells us about the real examples of the over 50 weapons you can use, including over a dozen variants of the AK-47. Fights won't be just simulated, but calculated accuratly. Ballistics consists out of factors like deflection or the stuff the material is made of. "If a bullet hits your leg, it has been really fired and it's flying path correctly calculated.

At the end some things about the engine. Such a huge world with millions of objects and dynamic acting AI eats a lot of ressources. This is one point why ArmA 2 isn't shining like Crysis or CoD4. Nether the less, modern Direct-X-10 graphics and multi-core-cpus will be supported. Another thing Marek is pointing out: Why should tanks and choppers glare and have complex effects, when in just doens't simulate reality?
BI stays true to his way of developing games not following the mainstream. On the one hand there is the danger do develope past the main markets, but on the other hand the fans of the realistic fights will thank it the guys from CZ, so Marek Spanel can stay a very relaxed man.


Conclusion:
After the visit in CZ I had to play a round ArmA at first. Thanks to many patches it's much better then at the start. A prove for the work the developers are still putting into their products and how importent a working community is for them. 'cause since ArmA is a born-and-bred simulation, BI is listing properly to the fans and what they like or dislike. The results flow directly into ArmA 2. The properly greatest defect was the AI which stays under observation. Only a test of the final product will show, if the new micro AI works. But on the sector for military games there is no ways past the developers from CZ.

Original article by Robert Horn.
http://www.pcgames.de/ 


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#17 Posted at 2008-12-23 10:21        
     

Flashbang151 informed us Jan Hovora has added a new article to the bistudio developers blog.


Quote Jan Hovora :
Currently, we're finalizing trees and bushes for ARMA2. The biggest problem with vegetation is impact on game performance, so we develop a lot of new techniques on the side of the engine and on the side of LindaStudio as well......

New trees can use a more accurate representation of "polyplanes" (geometry for replacing hires branches) this reduces the overall surface by about 30%, but increases the amount of vertices. We teach the engine to use double-sided faces to reduce this increase of vertices on vegetation models.

The original trees used shaders that use texture, normal map and two maps for diffuse and ambient attenuation, that means four stages. Now we use a special tree shader with texture, normal map and macro map. This macro map has colorization information in the alpha channel as well as in RGB ambient lightmap.......


Armed assault used generated trees based on scripts version 1.5 (OFP elite used 1.0). ARMA2 uses the 4th generation of scripts, that allows us to generate much more realistic branching, more effective geometry representation, root system, correct leaf colorization, solitary branching with real like density, most of the control over trees is now based on real botanical aspects.

4-arma2_vegetation_progress_2.jpg

We developed a new way of making a grass model that is more effective for drawing than in Armed Assault but looks much denser and better visually.....
There is also a nice change in the engine, where we can now particularly colorize vegetation clutters by satellite map, this allows us to produce non-repetitive surface with a more realistic look that naturally fits to the landscape.

The immediate future will see us finalizing all key needed models and "tree" technology for ARMA2. After that, we will work on general polyplanes.
Development of a system for automatic generation of special lods is the first step towards a more general system that will one day allow tree skeleton creation and also a future system for physical interaction with vegetation.


4-arma2_vegetation_progress_3.jpg


Read the entire article at the bistudio.com website.


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#18 Posted at 2008-12-23 10:23        
     

-=UOE.Txalo=- posted a link to tiscali games in the BI forums which shows 8 new Arma 2 video's as well as some more information about the game.
Since its in Czech I cant tell you what you can read on the page but the video's should tell you at least something about Arma 2:


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#19 Posted at 2008-12-23 10:23        
     
4-arma2_veg_progress_5.jpg

Jan Hovora has written a new entry in the Arma 2 developers blog.


Quote Jan Hovora :
All generated vegetation is nearly done, after we totally reworked the scripts for conifer trees for better results. There will just be a final color tuning on the vegetation. You can see some ingame screenshots showing how it looks now......

In our engine the AI try to spot you through the View Geometry, just a small part of your body is enough to be able to recognize and track you. When this view geometry is not masking foliage well, the chance that you will be spotted is high. Another problem is Fire Geometry, there were just trunk not foliage components, so for example, when you were hidden in some bushes and the AI saw you, looked to Fire Geometry to see if it can open fire, this geometry was empty, so they started to shoot. Empty foliage Fire Geometry also allows you to throw grenades or shoot rockets into the vegetation as if to an open space, all these things will now work better and more correctly.....


Read the entire article here.


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#20 Posted at 2008-12-23 10:24        
     

mr.g-c posted a link to a new (at least for me) Arma 2 preview by the German PCaction.de which also came with a couple of new screenshots which you can view below.
My German is a bit rusty so I couldn't translate everything from the article but as far as I can tell there was no new information we didn't know already.

Alexander Frank talks about playing a mission after he drove to the BIS headquaters.
Some details:
    - Large map, 320 square KM
    - Drag a fallen soldier to safety (not sure I got that correct though)
    - Playing as a small 5 men team, able to switch player
    - The immersion of the game is great.
    - Realistic ballistics
    - 50 vehicles the players can use (eg. Mi24 Hind or the T-90)
    - Weapons (AK-47/-74, Saiga-12K-Schrotflinte, Colt 1911)
    - Day/night cycle
    - Diverse scenery (city, forrests etc)
4-arma2_pcaction_1.jpg 4-arma2_pcaction_2.jpg 4-arma2_pcaction_3.jpg 4-arma2_pcaction_4.jpg 4-arma2_pcaction_5.jpg 4-arma2_pcaction_6.jpg

Leave your feedback about Arma 2 in our forums.


Source: PCaction.de


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#21 Posted at 2008-12-23 10:24        
     


****Updated*****

Deadfast made an English translation of this interview and has uploaded it to youtube, you can watch the video with English subtitles below.


bella1 posted a link in the BI forums to a youtube video he found where Marek spanel is interviewed by "level".
Although there is not really much ingame footage for us to watch if you don't understand what is being said it certainly is worth watching, specailly the last part!
If someone could translate what is being said that would be very much appreciated.



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#22 Posted at 2008-12-23 10:25        
     

Crystal informed the community in the BI forums about some new Arma 2 information.

The german publisher of ArmA2 "Peter Games / Morphicon" will present the game at the Games Convention in Leipzig, you can read the German news release on the shooterplanet.de website.


In the German magazine "PC Action" of 6/2008 should be a video of ArmA 2, you can view a teaser on youtube.


On the gamenavigator.ru we can find some new screenshots which you can view below:

4-gamenavigator_7.jpg 4-gamenavigator_6.jpg 4-gamenavigator_1.jpg 4-gamenavigator_9.jpg
View all screenshots by clicking "Read more".

4-gamenavigator_10.jpg 4-gamenavigator_11.jpg 4-gamenavigator_12.jpg 4-gamenavigator_13.jpg 4-gamenavigator_14.jpg 4-gamenavigator_2.jpg 4-gamenavigator_3.jpg 4-gamenavigator_4.jpg 4-gamenavigator_5.jpg 4-gamenavigator_8.jpg 


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#23 Posted at 2008-12-23 10:25        
     
4-arma2_in-game_1.jpg

Blackhawk informed us in our forums the Arma 2 website has been updated with a new (in-game) picture and an announcement the full website will be launched the 1st of September.
If you want to discuss Arma 2 you can do that in our forums.


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#24 Posted at 2008-12-23 10:26        
     

Termi informed the community in the hx3.de forums 505 Games will be the publisher for Arma 2 in Europe. Additionally it was announced that Arma 2 will be released Q1 2009.


Quote :
Milton Keynes - 505 Games is today proud to announce it has signed a publishing agreement with esteemed developer Bohemia Interactive to bring the follow-up to 2007's most realistic PC tactical shooter, ArmA: Armed Assault, to Europe in Q1 2009.

......

"After the success of ArmA: Armed Assault in Europe, we're thrilled to bring PC gamers more action-packed warfare with ArmA II," said Alex Price, Senior Global Brand Manager. "This continues to demonstrate our strong support for the European PC market by publishing top quality titles."

Key features:
    - A whole new chapter in the ArmA franchise with new characters and an in-depth story
    - Unlike most war simulations, ArmA II focuses on team play - including co-operative play, the ability to switch between team members and dramatic moments when you must give first aid to team mates
    - Improved AI for team mates and enemies, now they use cover, hide and work better as a unit
    - Dynamic conversations and events that shape the storyline
    - Incredibly realistic game engine that's been used by the military for combat simulations
    - Comprehensive online multiplayer modes
    - An extremely strong modding community among the ArmA II fans
(Source: nofrag.com)



4-pcgames_arma2_1.jpg 4-pcgames_arma2_2.jpg 4-pcgames_arma2_3.jpg 4-pcgames_arma2_4.jpg
View more screens in our Arma II Gallery.


Source: www.exp.de


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#25 Posted at 2008-12-23 10:27        
     

Maruk has posted some interesting comments in the BI forums regarding the development of Arma 2 as well as some comments to Arma and how they will use the experience.


Quote Maruk :
Maruk here - project lead of Flashpoint since 1998 (which we signed with Codemasters in September 2000 to finally bring you our Operation Flashpoint in June 2001) and now after years, with some more grey hair on my head, project lead of ArmA II.

We were quite silent in recent months and I guess that will not change much anytime soon - busy working on ArmA II to make it as good as we can. We know ArmA was often a rough experience, especially from the beginning but we worked as hard as we could to bring you what it is now: ArmA 1.14. ArmA II development is going well and it is in many aspects a similar experience to that of developing Flashpoint - and that's also the reason why we need a bit more time so ArmA II definitely will not be released this year in any territory. Hopefully, this time will not only help us to create a much better game but also will allow the ArmA community to produce some more great content for ArmA.

It's a very exciting and challenging time for us. Please wish us luck!


Below are some brand new ArmA II screenshots for your reference. The screenshots were screen grabbed on his gold old rig:
    * Core2Duo 6750 2.66 GHz
    * GF8800GT/512
    *2 GB RAM

4-arma2_uh1a_1.png 4-arma2_uh1a_2.png
View more screens in our Arma II Gallery.

Discuss Arma 2 in our forums.


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#26 Posted at 2008-12-23 10:28        
     


***** Update 2 *****
Deadfast made a compilation video showing all the pictures from the GC 2008 Press Kit by Peter Games. You can view it by clicking "Read more".


We have made a web version of the complete Arma 2 Press Kit, you can now read the Press kit in our Articles section.


4-arma2_gc2008_pdf_summary_dr_eyeball.jpg
Picture by dr_eyeball

The guys from armabase.de are again at the Games Convention in Leipzig and they have released the Press Kit for Arma 2 they got their hands on.

Here is a short list of the most important features:
    The campagin :
      - Multiple endings
      - Non-linear freeform gameplay
      - Dynamic conversation with NPC


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#27 Posted at 2008-12-23 10:29        
     

Sgt.Ace informed us the German gaming website gamestar.de has written an article about Arma 2 and with it they have released some new screenshots.

The article is written in German and as far as I can tell it doe not contain any new info which we did not know already but if someone can make a translation of it feel free to post it in the comments or in our forums.

Below you can view the new screenshots, since there are so many you should click "Read more" to view them all.

4-gamestar.de_arma2_1.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_10.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_11.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_12.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_13.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_14.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_15.jpg

4-gamestar.de_arma2_16.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_17.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_18.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_19.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_2.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_20.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_21.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_22.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_23.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_24.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_25.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_26.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_27.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_28.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_29.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_3.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_31.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_32.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_33.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_4.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_5.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_6.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_7.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_8.jpg 4-gamestar.de_arma2_9.jpg
 


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#28 Posted at 2008-12-23 10:29        
     

Raptor informed the community in the BI forums chriz6662 has sent a video which he taped at the Game TV booth at the GC in Leipzig showing Arma 2 to the armed-assault.de website.


You can download the Arma 2 Game TV booth presentation from here (right click, save as).
Or watch a streaming flash version in our video section.




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#29 Posted at 2008-12-23 10:30        
     
**** Update *****


4-armatec_arma2_poster.jpg

ArMaTeC has sent us a high res poster (see thumb above) he made for Arma 2.
The poster is 6.62MB big in a 2256 x 1859 format. You can download the poster from here.

*****


W0lle has visited the Arma 2 stand at the GC in Leipzig and was given the chance to play Arma 2 for a couple of hours and has posted his personal report in our forums.


Quote W0lle :
Alright here's my GC report, at least that what I can remember:

I visited BIS at the GC on Friday. And what I've seen in the more then six hours was anything then I expected. Even though it was an early version, it was running very stable on both PCs except the one or other CTD. Compared to ArmA this is something totally different while familiar at the same time, with different lightning effects depending on the weather situation and time of day. You literally can feel a rain coming in for example. You might say "We have that already" but it's still something different and hard to explain actually. Lightning comes from different sources like street lamps, vehicles or the light of the moon and stars.
A much better AI then what we have now, even though not completely done yet. I've seen fightings going on in the woods and each time I've seen the same scene the behaviour of the AI was different.
Here are some of the things I remember:
    - Even more realistic tides and stars
    - Village signs are in cyrillic
    - Better animations then we have now
    - Improved lightning, no more shining vehicles when sunlight falls on them
    - More fractions on each side: USMC vs. Russia and also two local fractions on each side
    - Very dense road network with a lot of dirt tracks going into the landscape. I played around with it for like an hour, driving and running around in Chernarus. I got lost several times, despite the dense road network
    - No trains, the tracks are just to improve the scenery
    - No rivers or streams but small lakes
    - Most buildings are not be enterable, but almost each one is destroyable. If they get too much damage they collapse like in ArmA
    - Very nice church with incredible details
    - Many, many different vehicles, actually too many to remember but:
      - Crossbike
      - Mountainbike
      - BMP-1
      - BMP-2 and BMP-3
      - T-90
      - Avenger HMMWV
      - Mi-24
      - Kamov
      - PV3S
      - F-35
      - Osprey
      - Ural with ZU-23
      - Tunguska
      - LAV-25
    The editor menus are full of different vehicles and these in different configurations
    - The BMP-3 has 3 gunner positions (2x front MGs, 1x main gun), the Mi-17 has gunners in the side door, rear door and the front.
    - M1 with loader position, without a loader the gunner must switch to loader position and reload, then switch back to fire
    - Both F-35 and Osprey take off vertically, but not sure if the AI can too
    - Aimpoint optics looking much better now
    - Player can interact with all units when he is near them and AI starts to forget about things, example:
    Some russian tanks passed a village before. If you ask someone in the village about tanks in the area after two days, they might say: yes there were 4 tanks going through yesterday. If you ask them 2 weeks after they passed, they might say: Yes there might have been tanks but i can't remember
    - Campaign can be played with up to 4 players. It's not limited to that but because in the campaign there are only 4 members in the force recon team.
    - Womans and many other civilians, old and young ones which fit perfectly into the area
    - Civilians randomly move around in villages. While I was walking around in a village suddenly some russian patrol was there while the area was clear as I started
    - Animals:
      - Dog
      - Rabbit
      - Boar
      - Sheep
      - wild pig and a few more
    - Editor is the same one we know already but has now a debug console where you can do all kind of stuff like pausing the game and fly with the camera around
    - The command interface is slightly different, like order your men in a vehicle is now: Select them -> 9


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#30 Posted at 2008-12-23 10:33        
     

Our colleagues at armabase.de have released the video which they took during their visit to the GC in Leipzig showing the High Commander feature which we will be able to use in Arma 2.

The "High Commander" Mode allows you to command different troops in battle in a much easier and precise way. You can also use it to view the status of single soldiers. All this allows you to coordinate your troops in a massive battle in a much easier way.

In the campaign you will slowly learn how to use the "High Commander" Mode. At first you will only be coordinating a few different units but while the campaign progresses you will be using it to coordinate your troops movement all over the conflict area.
In MP the "High Commander" Mode will also be a very powerful tool.

In the video which you can view below you will see the USMC engage a city in which the rebels have hidden themselves.
Ivan Buchta will explain how this tool functions as well as give some additional information.
At the end of the video you can see a special of Guitar Hero with Elton from Pro 7.
The quality of the video is not really the best but armabase.de has said a downloadable version will be available soon.

Thanks to Ivan Buchta and Jan Prazak of Bohemia Interactive as well as the team from armabase.de for sharing all this new information about Arma 2 with the community.


Download the high quality movie from our Arma 2 video page


Source: armabase.de