When you think of shooters, you probably think of games like ‘Call of Duty’, ‘Battlefield’ and ‘Rainbow Six Siege’. They all tend to follow a similar template of a shooter and add little twists to make it their own. Battlestate Games’ early access shooter ‘Escape from Tarkov’ takes this template and completely throws it out the window. This hardcore MMO shooter is a fantastic example of what this untapped genre could be.
EFT was released as a closed-alpha version back in 2016, 4 years later and we’re now in beta, with no confirmed date for the full release. However, slow and steady seems to be working for Battlestate games. Apart from the rare server issue, the game runs smoothly, they’ve done an outstanding job with production so far. Battlestate seems to have found that perfect balance between working on optimization and working on in-game content, which many developers struggle to find during the Early Access stage.
The basics of the game:
The game itself is instance-based. You load into an area, dotted with players, either as a ‘PMC’ the character you made and who has access to your stash, or a ‘Scav’ with randomized gear, who doesn’t aggro the NPCs. When you’re in the match, your objective is to find higher tier loot to take into matches, or you can sell it to the traders for money and reputation. Once you’ve acquired enough loot, you must head to one of the many extraction points scattered around the map, avoiding/fighting rival players and enemy NPCs along the way. Each faction has its extraction points, and only a few random ones of that group are available to you each match. Some of these extraction points require you to have found and brought a specific key, some even require money to pay your way out.
Combat and weaponry:
The combat is very hardcore; if you don’t have any armour on you can die in 1-3 shots, making armour crucial. Limbs can be damaged and crippled and if your legs are crippled then you’re restricted to a slow walking pace. Weapons have a high level of customization, you can equip them with things such as sights, larger magazines, railguards, etc. The array of available weapons ranges from small handguns to large bolt action sniper rifles, meaning you have a myriad of weaponry to take into combat with you.
There is a hideout feature in-game which when upgraded, provides you with actual bonuses including increased health recovery and access to crafting stations. To upgrade the different sections, you need to find objects in matches such as wires, lightbulbs and even…toilet paper?
The incredible realism of ‘Escape From Tarkov’ is what attracts so many players. With many people stating it has a similar feel to games such as DayZ or Arma, with the way combat and looting works. A recent Twitch event brought many streamers to the game as an excellent marketing strategy. Even though the event has now been ended for over a week a large majority of those streamers are still investing a lot of time in the game due to how fun it can be and how rewarding it feels when you successfully extract from a good operation.
There are 4 editions of the game currently available for pre-order. The prices range from £30 to £90, and different tiers give you different amounts of in-game gear and rewards. I pre-ordered the ‘Left Behind’ Edition of the game back in 2016, so I’ve been playing since it was first possible, then upgraded to the top ‘Edge of Darkness’ edition this year, simply because of my love for the game and the fact that the ‘Edge of Darkness’ edition will stop being available when the Early Access stage ends. Despite ‘Escape From Tarkov’ being 4 years old, and not even fully released, it’s no wonder that this game has become one of my favourite shooters of all time.
To pre-order Escape From Tarkov and get into the Early Access action, go to https://www.escapefromtarkov.com/preorder-page