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America’s Army 3 is the latest edition in this great series and it is completely free courtesy of the U.S. Army. I used to joke with friends that if you do well in this game, a recruiter will come out to your house because this game is so realistic. If you like military games, you should definitely check this one out. After all, it’s completely free to download and play. It was released in June 2009.
The idea behind this game came from Colonel Casey Wardynski who wanted to use computer gaming to help recruitment. The goal was to create a challenging and realistic military simulator in order to give potential recruits an idea of what they can expect, as well as let current military members test their skills in a virtual world. The game was developed and paid for by the U.S. Government (your tax dollars at work) and freely distributed online.
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Graphics and Sound
This game was built using the excellent Unreal Engine 3.0, which is the same first person shooter engine used in games like Bioshock and Gears of War. I have always been very fond of the Unreal engine because of how smoothly it performs and the system requirements were never that high. Needless to say, this game looks great and is very realistic in the way characters are modeled, the look and performance of the weapons , and the environments in general. You won’t believe how great this game looks considering it is free.
In addition to the graphics, the sound is also very well done. I liked how during all the basic training exercises you had a drill instructor there to narrate everything. The voice acting is very solid and realistic, and it adds to the overall atmosphere, making you feel like you really are in training with the U.S. Army. The sound effects with the guns during online play are also very nicely done. There is nothing cheap about this free game.
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The first part of the game is a lengthy training session where you go through an obstacle course and weapons testing. This part is actually kind of fun because it is the set up, just like what you might see in a movie, and it’s not as easy as you may expect. The other part of the game involves online multiplayer action where you work to complete various missions with other soldiers. The online play is what really made this game popular because it is so well done.
The gameplay is very realistic because great efforts were made to have this game simulate real combat tactics. If you like games where you run around wildly blazing your guns, then you will probably find this one very difficult. As far as first person shooters go, this type game is best suited for the Ghost Recon crowd. It takes a combination of patience, strategy, and teamwork to get through the missions, and that’s what makes it genuinely fun.
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Where to Download
The best place to get America’s Army 3 is from STEAM because it will then automatically update itself, and STEAM accounts are also free. For more information, visit SteamPowered.com and search for America’s Army 3. It’s a pretty big download that ends up using more than 4 gigabytes of disk space, so you will have to wait a while for it complete.
For more information on America’s Army 3, check out the website at www.AmericasArmy.com.
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Windows XP or Vista
Internet access or LAN
3.0 GHz CPU or equivalent
1 GB+ RAM
512 MB+ 3D graphics card supporting transform and lighting
5 GB+ of free hard drive space