Updated: February 7, 2022
Willkommen! It's time for you to return to the Cold War. These are the first two sentences from the Global Mobilization DLC for ArmA 3, the latest in a series of major third-party DLCs available for this fine first person shooter. Oh, sounds interesting. Just a few weeks ago, I talked about Prairie Fire, a Vietnam-era bundle, and also went slightly philosophical on the whole concept of DLC vs Expansion Pack, the value in these extras, and such. TL;DR: Looking good, why not. And so, today, we'll just focus on the game.
Regardless of when or where you were born, and whether you actually experienced the whole GDR/DDR thingie, you can still enjoy the tension of the Cold War, fighting as either a West or East German faction on the brand new, big Weferlinger map, a fictitious yet modeled-after-real-world terrain added in this DLC. In a take somewhat similar to how Operation Flashpoint did it, you can blend nostalgia, old tech (not as old as the 60s but still) and the uncompromising realism of ArmA 3 for a fresh dose of milsim zeitgeist. Or something.
99 red platoons
Like Prairie Fire, Global Mobilization brings a lot to the table. The list is long - two major and two minor factions (Denmark and Poland are also included), more than a dozen new tracked and wheeled vehicles, including an SRBM, new uniforms, and new weather! When it gets cold, it doesn't just rain, it can snow, too! True, we've already seen this in Chernarus Winter, but it's still nice to see this as an integral, official part of the game.
Weferlinger feels quite all right. It's a nice, colorful map, a combo of Chernarus and Livonia. You get a whole load of the 80s stuff in there, including the distinct German Polizei color code (on an old Beetle of course), garish wallpapers inside homes, which you can see on ruined building in the war zone, and the total lack of armor under your uniform. Dying on this map is so much easier and faster than stock ArmA.
My buddies and I tried some of the multiplayer missions. The selection is quite decent. And much like Prairie Fire, the scenarios are too hard if you don't have a large posse of humans to help you. We tried intercepting an East German armored convoy on the autobahn (what else), and this was tough. Even with mines and charges and some line-of-sight ATGM, it still takes a lot of effort stopping BTR-60, ZSU-23-4, and T-55s, three of each, no less, mind.
Then, we also went for some urban warfare, this time playing on the East side (East side, West side). It's quite disorienting when your enemy speaks the exact same language, and the uniform differences are tiny. Harrowing, but almost not in a good way, as you'd expect from a first-person shooter. Still, the lovely, unique scenery, the 80s German clouded-skies punk-rock feel is everywhere, and you have to appreciate the gritty realism before the era of high-tech weaponry. In this regard, Global Mobilization does really well, as it almost fully recaptures the spirit of Operation Flashpoint.
However, Global Mobilization wouldn't be Global Mobilization without some wunderbar Easter Eggs ...
Potatoes, Fashion Police, and moar
One of the DM missions in the game is, believe it or not, Fashion Police (sounds waaaay better in German). You spawn at an industrial compound, and you need to hunt and kill anyone wearing a specific item of clothing - a hat, a helmet, a vest, anything. How very Berlinesque. Silly but fun.
But there's more. You get a 26.5cm (you read it right) caliber starter pistol the size of a small cow, which you can use to lob slow-flying explosive potatoes at your enemies. Grab the gun, ram a potato down its big tube, then aim high, and fire. A huge spud will fly out, wobbling and hissing loudly, and then land, after much fanfare, perhaps 20-30 meters away from you, at the most. Not very effective, and the loading procedure is hectic and stressful, but it makes for some extra cool goofing, of which you can never have enough.
Did someone say nukelar?
Probably. The thing is, you get a whole bunch of new weapons. There's also the addition of the Luna ballistic missile. You can't really control it, or fire it, but you can add it as a module, which means you can program a fire support event in a mission (big craters included). Now, not only do you get the regular HE version of this missile (which can cause a pretty decent mayhem in a radius of about 100 meters, twice the MLRS range), there's also a nuke version!
A friend of mine and I did some serious goofing on the Altis sandbox, and we of course tried all the new and crazy and exciting weapons that come as part of the DLC. We also dropped a bunch of nukes on the map, to see the effect.
First, we tried one just 500 meters from the base, over the water. The end result was a complete and total obliteration of the airbase, stripped clean. Then, we tried to witness an overland drop from a helicopter, hovering at a safe distance from the epicenter. You get the brilliant blast, then the shockwave. It's really quite impressive and mad and fun. No radiation, though - not in the sense that you'd feel anything during the mission. Then, we tried a different approach - we got ourselves a tank, and then detonated a couple more nukes, closer and closer, to see what effect this would have on our heavily armored vehicle. With the nuke going off about 400-500 meters from us, the damage was quick and fatal. Winning. Now, now, this isn't Weferlinger per se, but the goodies that you get along, so it still counts, no.
Global Mobilization is a very nifty DLC. I like. Perhaps it's the age and culture thing, but the Cold War theme resonates rather well with me, often more than most other themes, and I'm guessing, this is also true for a lot of other players AND the Bohemia developers themselves, considering that the bulk of all of the different campaigns has been around the classic West vs East clash. Beyond that, Global Mobilization brings a lot of goodies to the table.
The Weferlinger map is nice and colorful. You get snow, you get unique architecture, you get tons of new weapons. The atmosphere is just right, and I've not encountered any major bugs or problems with the multiplayer missions. I can't speak about the campaign, though, because I've not tried it - I'm not really playing in-game campaigns anymore. But overall, I find this DLC quite likable. It's one of my favorites extras in the ArmA world, and I'm looking forward to finding some friends so I can actually master the CO-OP missions proper-like. Recommended.