Now yes I know that the word ‘Survival’ doesn’t get people very excited these days. However Escape From Tarkov is ticking a lot of good boxes for me at the moment. It’s a very atmospheric and hardcore experience for those who have been craving something like the old days of DayZ. In fact that’s what I would use to describe this game, it’s got elements of The Division and a vibe similar to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Tarkov however brings forwards visuals that those games could only dream of. If you take a look at some of the screenshots in this post you can see what I’m talking about for a survival game.

So while I have mentioned that this game is a FPS, there are actually a lot of MMO components going on here. There are skills that you can master that will effect you in the long run. But what is this damn game and how do I play it? Well young Jimmy let me tell you. In the game you load up a character with gear from your stash, this includes guns, gear, accessories, storage and more. You load up into one of the several maps available and depending on your team you’ll have a range of goals.

First of all you can take in your character that you’ve been building up with gear. The general goal is to escape the area, just like the name of the game tells you. There’s a range of player controlled & A.I ‘Scavs’. Who are your typical sort of bandit class, who are going to hunt you down with everything they’ve got. You have to figure out the map and plan an efficient route to get out. If you die, then you loose all the gear you brought with you, making every decision a lot more risky. There’s a lot of stuff to track with your character, including hunger and diseases.

You can also choose to play as a scav, making you one of the arseholes that hunt me down. You’ll get to load up with some pre defined gear meaning that you are in full hunt mode to ruin people’s day. You will be working with some other players as well as confused robots to scan the map in your own tactical way to kill some people.

One thing I have to give a huge amount of credit for is the attention to detail in this game. This is being made by Battlestate Games, a small development team from Russia who have been working away at this game for well over a year already. Animations are one interesting area that not many people think about generally. In Tarkov, Battlestate have made them living entities, there’s multiple animations for things such as reloading or even switching weapons. They change depending on the amount of experience your character has gained over time. The way you can shoot and position yourself reminds me of Arma 3 in the level of realism you can reach.

As well as the technical details, there’s a very intense modding system when it comes to weapons. If you take a peak at that screenshot above me you can’t possibly comprehend all the options at first glance. That’s what makes this game a really intense experience before you’ve even loaded in.

Before playing this, PUBG was the most intense experience I had, now it looks like a party game compared to this. The first map I played was a very close quarters factory, I got separated from other players pretty quickly, and as a scav I was concerned where everyone was. Every so often I’d hear a few shots and a gap of silence, it wouldn’t be too long until I found a dead body of one of comrades. This went on for an intense 20 minutes as I was eventually shot from behind somewhere with a sudden jolt of energy.

The game is currently in closed beta and a crap ton of fun on your own at night. While it could make you sh*t your pants, it is one of the most interesting game experiences I’ve had in a while. The community around the game also seems to be well respected by the developers and you’ll see them on Facebook sharing video content out to fans, which is always good to see. You can make or break a game depending on that level of community interaction and Battlestate are doing well with that regard.

The plans for the game is to hopefully release sometime next year with possible DLC following at a later point. For now if you want to get into the beta you can pre-order the game on their website. They also do competitions and opportunities to win a trial beta key on their social pages if you want to get involved. This is something that I will be following closely for the future, you’ve got an interesting concept for a game combined with the updates and love from a dev team to keep me interested.

If you’re interested in hearing more about Escape From Tarkov, stick with us here at Respawning, I’m likley to start some gameplay videos on YouTube. As well as us, check out the official game site here, where you can pre-order and get stuck in now!