Escape from Tarkov is a realistic, hardcore first-person shooter developed and published by Battlestate Games. It has been in a closed beta state since July 2017. It is known for its extremely steep learning curve, unforgivable difficulty and ruthless nature of losing everything in your character’s current inventory on death. However, these are the traits that make the game so well loved by its community. The game focuses on a “raid”, where a certain amount of players load into a map, and then have an exact amount of time to play and extract. If the players die, or fail to extract, they lose all the gear they had on them. If they survive and escape, they keep everything they had on them. There are plenty of maps to choose from, and all of them have functioning day and night cycles.
The gameplay in Tarkov has a focus on realism; movement is heavy and weighted, your gear weighs on your character overtime increases your fatigue level, your character becomes hungry and thirsty, etc. All of the character-based systems in Tarkov are based on realism. A single bullet of any calibre to the head can instantly kill you if you are not wearing a helmet; while even the toughest armor cannot protect you from the highest quality armor piercing rounds. The health system in EFT is also created with realism in mind; if you get shot in the leg, do not expect to be able to run on that leg without heavy painkillers. You can play as either your PMC, which is your main character, or a Scavenger, which puts you into a map with random items that you get to keep if you manage to survive. It gives the player’s an option of playing without using their own items.
Escape from Tarkov is a gun fanatics dreamland; being able to play around with a massive variety of old, Soviet-bloc weaponry as well as newer, more contemporary weapons whilst trying out different modifications for them gives the player their own choice in crafting the perfect gun to suit their playstyle. However, nothing in Tarkov comes free. Everything has a cost, every item that you find can be either bought or sold on the flea market; creating a player run economy where you can sell your precious loot that you found while playing, or purchase gear that could be harder to find. This gives players the incentive to kill each other to find the best and most expensive loot to get those precious roubles, one of the game’s main currencies. The world of Tarkov is not only full of dangerous foes, but also friendly faces. The dealers of Tarkov provide you with gear at reasonable prices, as well as quests that give rewards and improve your standing with them. Doing quests is crucial, as it unlocks gear that is far harder to come by within the world. The player’s reputation with the dealers is also crucial for being able to unlock and upgrade different parts of your hideout; a special room that provides the player with buffs and the ability to craft unique gear.
Overall, Escape from Tarkov is an harrowing experience of realistic firefights and the consequences of having to deal with the wounds left from bullets; something most games usually hand wave off with the usual blood splatter on your screen. Learning to survive in Tarkov takes time, but learning how to conquer others takes time, effort and skill because nobody wants to lose that precious, expensive graphics card or pack of sugar they found.
Publisher: Battlestate Games
Developer: Battlestate Games
Release Date: June 2017 (Start of closed beta)
Genres: First-person shooter
Pictures taken in-game by author