European cover
Developer(s) Bohemia Interactive Studio
Publisher(s) 505 Games (Europe)
Got Game Entertainment (North America)
Designer(s) Ivan Buchta
Engine Real Virtuality 3
Version 1.10 (June 23, 2011) [1]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Tactical shooter, Military Simulation, Open world
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer
Media/distribution DVD
System requirements

See Engine

ARMA 2 (often incorrectly referred to as Armed Assault 2[8]) is a tactical shooter video game for the PC developed by Bohemia Interactive Studio. It is considered the spiritual successor in the Operation Flashpoint-series following its predecessor, ArmA: Armed Assault (ArmA: Combat Operations in North America). ARMA 2 was released in June and July 2009. An expansion pack titled ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead was released in 2010.[9] In June 2011 a free to play version of the game was released, featuring multiplayer and limited singleplayer modes.[10]



ARMA 2 is a tactical shooter with significant vehicle and aircraft elements. The player is able to command AI squad members which adds a real-time strategy element to the game. This is further enhanced by introduction of the high command system, which allows the player to command multiple squads using the map. ARMA 2 is set primarily in the fictional Eastern European nation of Chernarus, (meaning "Black Russia"). The Chernarus landscape is based heavily on the Czech Republic, the home country of the developer.


Bohemia Interactive revealed during E3 that the game will have a "roleplaying feel to it"; with in-game events affecting the character as well as the entire campaign. An example would be terrorizing noncombatants and losing their trust, thus encouraging them to give away valuable information to enemy forces. The entire campaign can be played either offline (singleplayer) or online (cooperative play for up to four players). Harvest Red is set in autumn 2009 in a fictional post-Soviet country called Chernarus (Black Russia). The country is in a state of political unrest, with a western backed democratic government trying to hold onto power from pro-communist rebels, among the most powerful of the rebels, is the group calling themselves the Red Star Movement. Referred to by the locals as the "Chedakis". The Chedakis are led by Gregori "Akula" (Shark) Lopotev. After many months of civil war, the communist rebels fail to overthrow the current government and to set up the Socialist Republic of Chernarus. The Chernarussian government asks the west for help and the United States sends the U.S. Marine Corps via an Expeditionary Strike Group off the coast of Chernarus hoping that the Marine presence would deter the Rebels.

However, the rebels are undeterred, and in 2009, the Chedakis launch a coup against the Chernarussian government, taking control of Northeastern Chernarus, and forcing the remaining Chernarussian military to retreat to the town of Zelenogorsk.

On September 21, 2009, as part of the coup, the Chedakis assault Strelka Village on the island of Utes. Overwhelmed, the Chernarussian Defense Force in the area who had set up an outpost at a bombed out church in the village attempted to fight off the attack. Unfortunately, the attack was too great and the outpost fell. As a result, the U.S. Marines were deployed to Utes to help recapture the island. A few days later, on board the USS Khe Sanh (LHD-9), the Marines prepare to deployed to Chernarus as part of Operation Harvest Red to quell the civil war and re-establish Chernarussian control. Under official documents, the troops are deployed as a peacekeeping force. Unofficially, they are to quell the Red Star Movement, and capture "Akula".


In preparation for Operation Harvest Red, U.S. Marine Corps' Force Recon are deployed into Chenarus behind enemy lines to weaken the defenses for the main force. Among the marines is Sergeant Matthew Cooper, from a 5 member elite Marine reconnaissance team; Razor Team (led by Master Sergeant Miles).[11] Razor's mission was to conduct a raid on the town of Pusta to disrupt enemy communications in preparation for the main assault force.[12] During the raid, it was revealed that the Red Star Movement have been conducting acts of genocide and war crimes in Chernarus.

The secondary task of Razor Team is to unite government Chernarussian Defence Forces (CDF) and the National Party (NAPA) forces, led by the man named Prizrak who are hostile to each other at the beginning but their cooperation will help to restore the peace to Chernarus.

During the campaign there is a terrorist bombing of the Red Square in Moscow. Chedakis blame this attack on NAPA which brings a Russian contingent in. Later it is revealed that this false flag attack was commited by Chedakis to portrait NAPA as the terrorists. Razor Team is now also tasked with providing the evidence which will show Chedaki involvement in this bombing.

Dependent on whether Razor Team eliminated Prizrak who is opposing the alliance between CDF and NAPA and arrest Lopotev, the campaign is said to have five different endings ranging from victory to elimination of Razor Team by victorious Chedakis.


The game takes place in autumn 2009 in the eastern part of a fictional post-Soviet state called Chernarus, particularly the region of South Zagoria and the remote island of Útes.

The area of approximately 225 km2 is based on actual satellite photos of České Středohoří. All necessary data is loaded silently in the background, therefore the player is at no time interrupted by any loading screens while traveling through the terrain, though there are loading screens between episodes.



ARMA 2 (plus its Arrowhead expansion) features nine distinct armed factions, all with their own vehicles and weapons. Caught in the middle are the Chernarussian and Takistani civilians.


ARMA 2 features around 80 realistically represented weapons with many variants from including assault rifles, machine guns, and missile launchers. There are around 130 vehicle variants, and any vehicle that exists in-game can be controlled by the player, including everything from civilian cars, tractors and bicycles. Similarly, all aircraft encountered in the game can be flown by the player. All have limited fuel and realistic weapon loadouts.


All weapons have realistically simulated ballistics. Rounds travel in parabolic trajectories and show effects of bullet drop dependent on their caliber. Muzzle velocities are modeled, and rounds lose velocity and knockdown power over time traveled. The ranges at which weapons are zeroed are fixed in the base game, although the Arrowhead expansion allows this to be modified. Sniper rifles can use stadiametric rangefinding to adjust for long-range shots. US rifles use mil-dot scopes while Russian rifles use Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC) scopes such as the PSO-1. In additions, bullets will ricochet from surfaces depending on angle of impact. Penetration is also modeled, with rounds that pass through materials suffering from altered velocity and direction.

Mission Editor

ARMA 2 includes a feature rich mission editor which makes it possible to create user made single player missions or campaigns and multi player missions. Mission editor includes a wizard which makes the creation of basic missions extremely simple. More complex missions can be enhanced with scripting commands. The syntax and interface has been kept largely consistent with ArmA, meaning that missions are easily ported across and that there is a wealth of documentation available for new users.


ARMA 2, like its predecessors, has an extensive support for modding the game. The developers have released a complete suite of tools to modify and create new content for ARMA 2.[13] The Real Virtuality Engine includes a built-in scripting language to do tasks such as control AI characters, create triggers and waypoints, and add post-processing effects.


System requirements
Minimum Recommended
Microsoft Windows
Operating system Windows XP or Windows Vista
CPU Dual Core (Intel Pentium D 3.0 GHz, Intel Core 2.0 GHz, AMD Athlon 3200+ or faster) Quad Core CPU or Dual Core CPU (Intel Core 2.8 GHz, AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400 + or faster)
Memory 1 GB RAM 2 GB RAM
Hard drive space 10 GB
Graphics hardware Nvidia Geforce 7800, ATI Radeon 1800 or faster (with Shader Model 3 and 256 MB VRAM) Nvidia Geforce 8800GT, ATI Radeon 4850 or faster (with Shader Model 3 and 512 MB VRAM)
Network Internet or LAN connection required for multiplayer


ARMA 2 uses the third-generation Real Virtuality game engine, which has been in development for over 10 years and of which previous versions are used in training simulators by militaries around the world. This engine has full DirectX 9 support (Shader Model 3).

It features realistic day-night cycles, changing weather, fog and visibility, and a view distance of up to 10 kilometres. Every weapon in the game fires projectiles with real trajectories, drop off, and penetration characteristics. As such, no weapon system in the game is a "guaranteed" hit - only after the engine has simulated the event can it be determined if a given shot or missile has hit the target.[citation needed]

The number of agents supported by the engine is limited mainly by computer performance.[14] This allows a wide range of scenarios to be played, from small unit actions up to large-scale battles. Almost all events in the game are dynamically defined, including most unit speech and AI choices about how to evaluate and respond to specific situations in the game world: scenarios rarely unfold the same way twice - although a side with an overwhelming advantage will tend to win consistently.

The player can choose to turn their head independently from their weapon / body, unlike in most shooters where the view is locked to the weapon. This allows players to look left and right while running forwards to maintain awareness of the battlefield or to look around while in a confined space without having to lower their weapon.

In order to make immersive missions faster to develop and less predictable, ARMA 2 features an optional "ambient battle" feature in which the world around the player can automatically be populated by friendly and hostile units who will engage in combat.

Game updates

Shortly after the game's German release a 1.01 patch appeared, with the objective of improving AI.

Another patch, v1.02, was released on 20 June fixing more AI pathing issues and various singleplayer campaign problems. Then, another updated patch v1.02.58134 was released on 26 June. Patch v1.03 was released on 4 August, albeit without an option for stand-alone server hosts. Patch 1.04 was released on 15 September. On 22 December, patch 1.05 was released, which includes a new mini-campaign, Eagle Wing, and a new vehicle, the AH-64 Apache. Patch v1.07 was debuted on 28 June 2010. Changes of note include improved performance within larger cities, enhanced AI driving skills, a raise of the file cache size to 4 GB RAM or more to take advantage of 64-bit operating systems, and improving the game engine's use of processors with 4 or more cores.

On August 19 Marek Španěl from Bohemia Interactive announced that the latest beta patches are available to everyone from the official ARMA 2 website.

Demo version

The demo version of ARMA 2 was released on Bohemia Interactive forums June 25, 2009 and shortly thereafter on Steam.

In the demo version, the player is given the possibility to play two single player missions as well as six of the eight training missions. There is limited access to the mission editor. There is also access to a benchmark and limited online multiplayer.

Free version

In June 2011 Bohemia Interactive released a free to play version of ARMA 2, featuring full multiplayer compatibility with the retail version of ARMA 2.[15] However the singleplayer campaign has been omitted and players will not be able to use HD textures, mods or play with Operation Arrowhead or DLC content. Essentially it serves as a "Lite" version of the game.

Copy protection

ArmA 2 uses different copy protections depending on publisher as well as a inhouse-coded copy protection solution against tampering known as FADE. If the software detects that it was pirated, the FADE-system degrades features of the game, rendering it unplayable. Downloaded version on STEAM is not limited by number of installs yet other download services may utilize some limits. As of version 1.05 the publishers copy protection have been removed from ArmA 2 although FADE is still included.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 77% (38 reviews)[16]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 8/10[17]
PC Gamer UK 83%[16]
PC Zone 70%[16]

ARMA 2 has been praised for its realism, graphics, and the sheer scale of the game. However, as with the original Armed Assault, the game has received criticism for the number of bugs it contained on release[17] and the quality of the AI.[18] A reviewer at ultimately felt that though at times it "doesn't work", the game is "a genuinely excellent game of the same pedigree of Operation Flashpoint and has done a lot of [sic] regain my faith in BIS".[19] Another reviewer noted that the game managed to show the "job of a real soldier today: contact with the population", something that is lacking in other similar games [20] The developers have since released several patches addressing common bugs.

Expansion packs

ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead

On 22 April 2010, Bohemia Interactive confirmed that the expansion pack titled Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead would be released worldwide on 29 June 2010.[21] According to the site, players will be able to play as members of the United States Army in a fictional region of west-Asia named Takistan,[22] where the terrain is based on Afghanistan. Operation Arrowhead will include three new maps, a variety of new units, vehicles and equipment, as well as the eponymous campaign. Among the new units are a new array of US army personnel and vehicles, Czech forces and German KSK units. UN peacekeepers are also present as an independent faction.

The expansion is a standalone, meaning it can be run without the content in the original ARMA 2, but players who purchased ARMA 2 will also be able to integrate that content into Operation Arrowhead. The developers plan on releasing some of the core changes introduced in Operation Arrowhead (such as performance optimizations) as patches, allowing regular ARMA 2 players to access to any engine improvements introduced in the expansion. New content, however, will remain exclusive to Operation Arrowhead.

Bohemia Interactive has so far released two downloadable content packs for Operation Arrowhead. The first DLC called British Armed Forces adds units from the British Army, and a new mini-campaign, where players assume the role of a company from The Parachute Regiment operating in Takistan.[23][24] The second DLC called Private Military Company includes a new campaign, environment, vehicles and weapons.[25]


Name Release date Type Source Notes
ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead 29 June 2010[26] Standalone Expansion pack DVD
ARMA 2: Combined Operations 29 June 2010[27] Standalone Expansion pack DVD
ARMA 2 + ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead
ARMA 2: British Armed Forces 26 August 2010[28] Expansion pack Download Units of the British Armed Forces
ARMA 2: Private Military 30 November 2010[29] Expansion pack Download Units of private military companies
ARMA 2: Reinforcements 1 April 2011[30] Standalone Expansion pack DVD
Addons British Armed Forces + Private Military Company


On May 19th, 2011 the developers at Bohemia Interactive officially announced that ARMA 3 is in development.[31] The game is said to offer radical engine improvements and a unique sandbox-style military gameplay. The campaign is said to follow a small group of special forces and researchers that are sent to a Mediterranean island of Lemnos deep behind enemy lines. The game is set to ship for Windows PC in summer of 2012.

ITV Documentary Error

British TV network ITV broadcast footage taken from the game in a documentary aired on 26th September 2011 entitled "Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA", mistaking it for footage taken of an IRA attack in 1988. The broadcaster apologised, blaming human error.[32]

A spokesperson for ITV commented on the error and said:

"The events featured in Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA were genuine but it would appear that during the editing process the correct clip of the 1988 incident was not selected and other footage was mistakenly included in the film by producers. This was an unfortunate case of human error for which we apologise."[33]

See also


  1. ^ "ArmA II patch 1.10". Retrieved June 26, 2011. 
  2. ^ "". Press release. 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  3. ^ a b "ArmA II". 505 Games. 
  4. ^ "Arma 2 on Steam". Steam. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  5. ^ "ARMA II in North America!". MCV. 2009-06-22. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  6. ^ a b Fahey, Mike (2009-06-23). "Got Game Bringing ArmA II Boxed Copies To North America". Kotaku. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  7. ^ " - Official ESRB list". ESRB. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  8. ^ Španěl, Marek (2009-04-29). "ARMA 2 - The Name Tale". Bohemia Interactive Studio. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ ArmA 2 Gameplay; The Team
  12. ^ ArmA II Game Guide Campaign; Mission 2 Into the Storm
  13. ^ "ARMA II Editing Tools Released". Bohemia Interactive. 2009-08-14. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  14. ^ Heavily overclocked system displaying 1500 agents in battle.
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b c "ARMA 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  17. ^ a b Stone, Tim (2009-06-17). "ARMA 2 Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  18. ^ Shannon, Daniel (2009-07-20). "ARMA II Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-08-07. "Buggy campaign is almost unbeatable; AI drivers should have their licenses revoked" 
  19. ^ Wild, Greg (2009-06-10). "ArmA II – The Verdict". The Reticule. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  20. ^ Mandement, Laurent (2009-08-06). "Test d'ArmA II sur PC". Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  21. ^ Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead arrives in June!
  22. ^ ARMA 2; Operation Arrowhead Official Website
  23. ^ ARMA2: British Armed Forces Features
  24. ^ Naylor, Sam. "ARMA 2 DLC “British Armed Forces” Released Today". Retrieved 3 September 2010. 
  25. ^ Arma 2: Private Military Company Features
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ "ArmA 3 announced". New Game Network. 2011-05-19. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
  32. ^
  33. ^ Crecente, Brian (2011-09-27). "Idiot Documentarians Reveal "Secret IRA Terrorism Footage". It’s a Video Game from 2009.[Update 2"]. Kotaku. 

External links

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