Date of Review: 03/26/2018
OpenCritic Link: No review here
Link to Store Page: Escape from Tarkov
There is no Steam link as of yet, but it has been reported upon full release a Steam version will be available.
Escape From Tarkov – Review
This is my first actual review and I hope it goes as well in print as it did in my head, now having said that let’s dive in.
The first line on the Tarkov page says this, “Escape from Tarkov is a hardcore and realistic online first-person action RPG/Simulator with MMO features and a story-driven walkthrough.” Yeah that about sums it up… hardcore and realistic. More on that later.
Take a quick look at the video below, it is from early alpha but it will give you a quick idea of what the game is like visually.
So the thing that stands out the most to me is the damage system, a headshot is a headshot is a headshot (unless wearing a very good armored helmet), and getting shot in the leg actually does damage to the leg… while it may not kill you outright you may bleed out over time if not banaged. You will limp, causing you to not be able to run, or even walk fast. Getting shot in the arm… well your target is now a fair bit harder to aquire while trying to aim. The only way to remedy any of this is with pain killers, morphine and a big first aid kit as there is no health regeneration here and even these do not guarantee survival as you have a set amount of time to make to an extraction point or you will lose all you have on you.
One thing to note here that I do not like about the game is the hunger and thirst aspect. Most runs/raids are maximum an hour long, and no matter how hot it has been outside I have never died within that time frame from dehydration or starvation. This to me should be removed from the game as it is the only thing that takes away from the realism for me.
The current maps are very well designed for the runs/raids that they are intended for. Every decision on where you go, or don’t can (and usually does in my case) determine life and death… yes I like to die ok… let’s move on. As it stands there are only some of the areas open for use (it is beta still after all) but each area does give a different setting from eachother making for a fun, hectic and yes sometimes paniced experience. Once the game has been fully released all these areas will be unlocked, and reports say that you play each one in turn, then when they have all been completed they all unlock and all are connected for one large playing area. That is going to be some stressful fun.
Weapons are modest right now, some pistols, a few variants of the AK and the M4 with some sniper rifles thrown in, but every weapon can be modified in so many different ways so that they can be taylored to your specific needs or wants and all it takes is (in game) money and this is fairly easy to come by.
While not currently in game, eventually weapon jams will be implemented as well, depending on the condition of it. You can repair or replace parts as needed to keep things shiny and new or at least working. This applies to all items in game including armor. If it absorbs damage saving your life, you can get it repaired… again for a cost.
In game you will meet both players and AI… and players disguised as AI. Oh you can go disguised as AI as well, and unless you shoot an AI, they will leave you alone, but go in as a regular player… and everybody wants to kill you… everybody. Also there are no team mate indicators in game, so if you are in a group make sure of your target before shooting. I’ve been shot by friendlies, and have shot one or two as well because in the heat of a moving battle, every movement you see could be your end… so talk to eachother, a lot.
More of a ramble than a review, but hey this is why I don’t get paid for game reviews.
The cost of Tarkov compared to other AAA releases is something that amazes me. The standard edition is a mere $44.99 USD and gets you into the game now (closed beta). If you want more storage and starting bonuses you can obviously pay more, the prices going up are $74.99, $99.99 and the most costly package which is limited edition goes for a sum of $139.99. Again these are all US prices, but even factoring in exchange for me to CAD (Canadian) the standard package is only $57 which beat the heck out of any other AAA title recently released at $79+ CAD.
If you are looking for a shooter as I was because I LOVE Arma 3 but wanted something different and PlayerUnknownsBattleground is fun but arcadish, then consider Escape from Tarkov, you will be glad you did. Especially when you convince your friends to get it too, team work takes the whole game to another level and increases your survival rate significantly.