Arma 3 goes into alpha March 5, open to players who pre-order

Tactical shooter Arma 3 will go into open alpha on Tuesday, March 5, Bohemia Interactive announced today.

Players interested in participating can pre-order Arma 3 for $32.99 or its Digital Deluxe Edition for $49.99 through Steam. The Deluxe Edition includes a number of extra goods that will be available once the full game launches, including a digital copy of the game's soundtrack, maps, a tactical guide, and a Steam copy of Arma: Cold War Assault, published in 2001 as Operation Flashpoint. Purchasing either version also grants access to the Arma 3 beta, and prices for both editions will increase once the game launches on Steam.

Bohemia is also offering an Arma 3 Supporter Edition for $91.99, available at the Bohemia online store, which includes all of the above extras plus a Steam version of Arma X, access to all future downloadable content, a special forums medal and the buyer's name included in the game's credits.

The developer will also offer a free version of the alpha available without pre-ordering the game, Arma 3 Alpha Lite. Alpha Lite, available on March 14, will be invite-only; players who pre-ordered Arma 3 will be able to invite others into the alpha, and Bohemia will randomly distribute codes through social media and certain online outlets. Alpha Lite will be discontinued on June 15 and does not grant access to the beta or final game.

The alpha will feature some sandbox-style playable content and will be updated regularly in the weeks leading up to the game's beta launch. Alpha players can participate in four "showcase missions" as well as two multiplayer scenarios, and will have access to a limited number of weapons and vehicles. Testers can also tinker with Arma 3's scenario editor and mod support. Players should note that Alpha Lite will not include the multiplayer scenarios or mod support.

Bohemia also announced the beta will begin in the second quarter of 2013, while the final version of Arma 3 is on target for a Q3 launch. The developer recently announced the game would be available on Windows PC only as a Steam exclusive.

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