Escape From Tarkov Title / Battlestate Games
In the genre of multiplayer first-person shooters, it is difficult to make a game that differs from the mold. Escape From Tarkov does that and more! This game takes that genre and blends it into massively multiplayer online game elements. This game is still in beta and has a rich level of content and playability even at this incomplete stage of development.
Set in the near-future in a fictional Russian city of Tarkov, you go alone or with friends to explore and loot various maps all while an assortment of players and AI-controlled opposition attempt to thwart you. This city was transformed into a Special Economic Zone, where foreign investment was increased while regulation was relaxed.
In this game you play as either a private military contractor (PMC) or a scavenger (SCAV). The former consists of two different groups, United Security (USEC), a Western-based outfit that is tasked with covering up the illegal activities of the TerraGroup company. The opposing group is Battle Encounter Assault Regiment (BEAR), a Russian Government founded PMC whose mission is to counter the activities of TerraGroup and investigate their crimes. These groups have their own set of special skills that you can unlock and they specialized in the weapons of their respective national weapons manufacturers. The PMCs are the player’s character and are developed through the RPG aspects of the game. Unlike the PMCs, the SCAV faction is not a funded organization and consists of Russians from Tarkov who have developed into hardened warriors in the unstable war-ravaged area. The equipment of these soldiers is randomly generated and change after each mission. Any experience generated is not saved but loot that is carried out of the mission is kept by the player.
Your skills as a PMC are developed as you would expect with an RPG. The more you use a particular weapon, the better your character becomes. Additionally, these skills are also general as in strength, perception, or charisma just to name three. As those skills develop your PMC becomes better in some ways related to those stats.
This basic pattern of gameplay is augmented by a detailed crafting and customization system for weapons. You can modify most parts of your weapons from their muzzles to stocks, and optics to magazines. This is supported by NPC traders who buy and sell equipment and a flea market that allows players to post and buy things from other players. Also, you have missions given by the NPC traders that unlock new weapons and options. Additionally, you have a hideout that can be upgraded to get various perks for your character, crafting options, and money-generating schemes.
With all these stats and information, the gameplay mechanics are equally complex. Each bullet is included with simulated bullet flight with gravity and air friction affecting the trajectory. The impacts of these bullets are then simulated in an in-depth hitbox system with medical simulation. A shot to a limb can and will disable that limb, affecting the player’s activities without applying medical treatment. Bleeding wounds will cause your character to bleed out causing the player to lose their loot and equipment. Various body armors will deflect or absorb this damage. Additionally, the bullets can ricochet and grenades other explosions will have fragmentary aspects that can injure the player.
This game once completed will have 12 maps. At this stage of development, only 7 levels are available. These levels vary from the rural environments of wooded hinterlands to the claustrophobic spaces of an abandoned factory. Each of these levels has its levels of loot and locked areas that require keys to be found to access. Additionally, some of the levels contain their SCAV Bosses who are heavily armed and armored with their entourage of underlings to defend them. To get any loot from a level will require the player to find the active exits of the level and meet the requirement of that exit.
Would I recommend this game? If you are a fan of intense survival games such as DayZ and military simulators such as ARMA, then this game is designed for you in mind. The engaging gameplay will also be fun for a more casual player, but the difficulty curve will be intense and may frustrate a novice first-person player. If you have a group of friends to play with then by all means the purchase is worth it. Each match of this game is very punishing, with the highly skilled player base and a difficult war-hardened AI Bots of the game. In playing this game, I started with some of my SQUAD player group, and we all loved it except for one player. The overly detailed keyboard binds, and lack of market support information for lower level players were their biggest issues.