Military simulation Arma 3 has now entered its public beta stage, with Bohemia Interactive offering three different bundles for sale to those who want an early start on the next iteration of the series.
Known for a focus on realism, Arma 2 was well received even before zombie-themed conversion DayZ exploded in popularity
. Despite delays in its production, including a somewhat hairy period in which developers were arrested on suspicion of spying
when they allegedly took pictures of Greek military bases, the game is now proceeding well. Accordingly, its alpha status has now been upgraded to beta, with those who already had alpha access receiving a free bump.
In deference to the growing trend towards funding incomplete titles, partly due to the incredible success of Mojang's Minecraft and partly due to the growth of crowd-funding services like Kickstarter, the company behind the game isn't offering the beta for free, though. For the pleasure of helping Bohemia Interactive find and iron out the game's bugs, players will be asked to shell out cash for one of three bundles - although they will, naturally, be upgraded to the full game upon release.
The two bundles, available through Steam, are the Arma 3 Beta at £29.99, which provides bare-bones access to the game on Valve's digital distribution platform plus a copy of the full game upon release, and the Digital Deluxe Edition at £39.99, which adds maps for the game's levels, a tactical guide, the official soundtrack, and a copy of the original Arma: Cold War Assault among other extras - all but the latter of which will only be provided when the game is finished and formally released.
Those who go direct to Bohemia for their purchase are given a third option: the £59.99 Supporter Edition. As well as access to the beta and a copy of the full game plus all the content of the Digital Deluxe Edition, buyers will get a Steam Gift of the Arma X: Anniversary Edition bundle, which includes all Arma titles to date with extras, soundtracks and artwork packages, a unique badge for the Bohemia Interactive forums, and free access to all future downloadable content packs for Arma 3.
The first two bundles can be picked up from the game's Steam page
, while the latter is exclusively available on the Bohemia Interactive Store