Are you getting tired of shooter based, survival MMO games yet? If their current popularity is anything to go on, probably not. I’m beginning to think I’m the only one who is. As it happens, Battlestate Games disagrees with me and is betting on the success of this genre and hoping to rope some STALKER fans in as well.
Escape From Tarkov is set in a fictional region called Norvinsk, and the city of Tarkov within it, that is located somewhere between Europe and Russia. Whomever controls this region—it’s not clear yet, but a hunch says Russia—has declared this region to be a “Special Economic Zone,” welcoming all sorts of businesses, shady corporations included. Somehow, this strange economic situation led to a political showdown which in turn morphed into open warfare between the UN, Ministry of Internal Affairs Troops (Russian?) and two mercenary groups. The storyline thus far seems poorly constructed, not fully thought out and is confusing at best. Players get to choose from either of the two mercenary groups and will go about trying to leave the city of Tarkov. For some reason.
Battlestate really wants to this game to feel realistic. They are going for true-to-life ballistics and physics, as evidenced by the pre-alpha footage embedded above. Players will also get to deal with all the less glamorous parts of shooting like jamming, overheating and other weapon malfunctions. As in life, maintaining your weapon is necessary to ensure it functions properly.
If this puts you off, Escape From Tarkov makes up for it by claiming to have “the most advanced weapon modding system ever.” At least in the pre-alpha footage, the customization does appear to be pretty slick, but “the most advanced” is a bit audacious. Time will tell.
Taking care of your weapons and equipment is one thing, but taking care of the human that operates them is equally important. Finding and scavenging food, water and other essentials are a part of the daily grind in Tarkov city and without them, you’ll die.
Speaking of death, this is a hardcore MMO, so you can kiss that sweet loot goodbye if you get flattened during a raid with friends. To up the stakes even further, friends and strangers alike are fair game at any time, and likewise. “Keep your guard up” will be words to live by.
From what I’ve seen so far, and admittedly it’s not much (it is pre-alpha still), Escape From Tarkov feels desperately in need of some work. Hell, even Battlestate’s website is under construction at the moment. And yet, I can’t help but feel a sense of promise in this upcoming title. Visually, it looks impressive and is reminiscent of STALKER. The combat has a real and visceral, yet engaging look to it. Perhaps the biggest concern are the prices listed for preorders—up to $140.00! Micro transactions, here we come! No official release date has been announced yet, but there will be a closed beta in 2016. Sign up for it here.