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    Arma 3 is the world’s foremost military simulation sandbox game and a venerable PC exclusive. First released over five years ago, it still has a significant and loyal player base and a high recommendation rating on SteamArma 3 Contact is a new spin-off expansion first announced back in March and the second overall major expansion to the base game following Arma 3 Apex from 2016. The expansion is now available for purchase on Steam, offering players a new experience in the world of Arma 3. Basically, as the title implies, it’s about a “first contact” with extraterrestrial intelligence.

    Arma 3 Contact is a military science fiction single-player campaign. You’ll play as a NATO drone operator deployed to a fictional country called Livonia on a reconnaissance mission to investigate an extraterrestrial presence. This takes place right after the discovery of an unknown subsurface object and the arrival of a huge alien vessel. Your priority is to learn more about this alien intelligence and find out why they came to Earth. Then armed conflict will occur, because this is Arma 3 after all.

    Reconnaissance gameplay and sandbox

    However, you can also expect some gameplay that doesn’t involve the usual tactical shooting simulation Arma 3 is best known for. More specifically, the First Contact campaign involves studying the strange alien anomalies by operating a mini UGV (Unmanned Ground Vehicle) that features an onboard sampling laser and biopsy probe. This makes for some interesting and immersive electronic warfare and should be used to gather intel, but also to transmit misinformation.

    Arma 3 Contact also features many additions to the Arma 3 platform, as you can see in the sandbox trailer below. The biggest addition is a new terrain of 163 square kilometers, covering a militarized and partly abandoned region in Livonia. It’s a summer environment that features many forests, towns, railroads, a lot of farmland, and several special landmarks. You’ll be able to explore an old munitions factory, an abandoned radar station, and several World War II bunkers.

    Arma 3 Contact by the numbers

    Apart from the spacious terrain, you’ll also gain access to two new factions, the Livonian Defense Force and the Russian Spetsnaz, which are each equipped with their own gear. There are also five new weapons: Promet Assault Rifle, RPK-12 Light Machine Gun, AKU-12 Carbine, Mk14 Classic Hunting Rifle, and Kozlice Shotgun. The previously mentioned UGV, ED-1 Mini, is one of two new vehicles, with the other called simply the Tractor.

    There’s also plenty of new gear such as CBRN clothing, masks, and backpacks, and even a tinfoil hat (which is just for the memes). Although Contact is mainly single-player, it also includes new multiplayer scenarios for Zeus Game Master and Combat Patrol modes. There are also some Warlords scenarios for the new Livonia terrain. It seems like a substantial expansion, and you can find more information about it on the official website. If you’re a physical edition collector, you might also be interested in the Arma 3 Contact Collector’s Edition from the official retailer.

    Are you interested in Contact? Does it seem like a cool expansion, or does it clash with the realism of Arma as a series? Drop your comments below!

    Richard Costa
    Hack for hire, indentured egghead, maverick thoughtcriminal. Mainly interested in Western RPGs, first-person immersion, turn-based tactics, point-and-clickers, and card jousting. I backed the System Shock remake and Underworld Ascendant on Kickstarter, and I really regret the latter but hope the former will turn out okay.

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