The ArmA engine is not the most flexible thing in the world, but it is very opened ended, and it’s sandbox editor lends itself to modding. To coin a phrase that will make the folks at Webster sigh and the folks at Budweiser sue for copyright infringement, it has “modability”.
This modability has transferred over to the next title in the series, ArmA 3. ArmA 3 is currently in alpha state, and so has a very limited selection of units, vehicles, weapons and items as well as a hell of a lot of bugs, but already people are delving into the engine and making their own gametypes.
One such gametype that was very popular in ArmA 2 was something called Wasteland. There are three teams, Blufor, Opfor and Independent, who are all trying to kill each other. The spawning options allow them to pick a random location, or to spawn in a town or close to teammates. Vehicles are scattered around the landscape which contain weapons with which to fight this mindless, destructive conflict against your fellow human beings. You have money which can be used to buy guns at designated locations and general supplies, including food and water which you must consume to survive. Money can also be spent on objects such as barriers or sandbags that can be used to construct a strong point, base, or firing position. Since the game is still in alpha, not all of the features that were in ArmA 2 Wasteland have carried over yet.
In the ArmA 2 scene, Wasteland takes a backseat to DayZ, which still monopolizes a huge portion of the player base, but on the ArmA 3 Alpha which does not support DayZ and probably never will, Wasteland has had something of a second renaissance. Admitedly, it’s a buggy renaissance, but when you’re a community constructed addon to a game still in development, you take what you can get.
The gameplay of this greatly benefits from the new cover mechanics that Bohemia Interactive have implemented, where instead of the typical stand/crouch/prone, you have stand, high crouch, low crouch, seated shooter, and then prone. This might sound like a trivial addition, but when you are trying to square up and peek around a corner, or scrunch yourself at just the right angle to return fire over a ledge, it makes a world of difference, and this translates over into Wasteland, where the gun battles are faster and more frantic, closer to an FPS than the clunkiness which people have come to expect from vanilla ArmA.
In conclusion, Wasteland is the place to be in ArmA 3 right now if you’re looking for multiplayer action. The standard matches still leave something to be desired, and there is hardly anything to do in the sandbox yet, so until Bohemia Interactive releases their next major iteration, Wasteland is where it’s at.