Developer Bohemia Interactive has, following an extensive leak over the weekend, officially unveiled Arma Reforger, the next step in its long-running first-person military shooter series. Described as the “first milestone on the long road to Arma 4”, Reforger launches into PC and Xbox Series X/S early access today.
Bohemia opened a lengthy livestream earlier today with confirmation that the long-awaited Arma 4 is in development (its predecessor, Arma 3, celebrates its 10th birthday next year), but the remainder of the stream’s focus was very much on Reforger. It’s being called a new standalone “platform” for the series, consisting of several key parts; there’s a new engine, a new open-world sandbox, three gameplay modes, and integrated modding tools, enabling user to create and download mods directly in-game.
Reforger’s sandbox should be immediately familiar to fans of Bohemia’s previous titles, taking the form of the Everon map seen in 2001’s Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis, albeit thoroughly reworked and reimagined using the developer’s latest tech. As that might suggest, it marks a return to the Cold War era for the series, circa 1989, with Bohemia saying its keen to capture the atmosphere of the 80s across its 51 sq km map.
In terms of gameplay, Reforger will feature three multiplayer modes as part of its early access launch. There’s the team-versus-team Conflict mode, Capture & Hold mode, plus a real-time scenario editor Bohemia is calling Game Master.
Crucially, however, the developer is promoting Reforger as much as a “versatile platform” and a chance for the community to experience its new tools as it is a game. “Through an interactive, collaborative approach,” it explains, “we hope to learn valuable lessons and push the franchise further than ever before, showcasing exciting developments on our new Enfusion engine while offering a rewarding and independently playable experience along the way.”
Notably, Reforger also marks the Arma series’ first-ever console release, and Bohemia is keen to point out that while modding creation won’t be possible on Xbox, console players will have full access to any mods the community makes using its Workbench development tools – provided they don’t exceed the Xbox’s memory limitations.
Bohemia Interactive expects Reforger to be in early access for at least a year, and says it’s planning three major updates in that time. These will look to improve the game’s core features, and expand them with the likes of new weapons, vehicles, artillery, and gadgets.
Those eager to go along for Arma: Reforger’s early access ride can purchase the game on Steam and Xbox Game Preview right now, where it costs £24.99/$29.99 USD.