Why Escape From Tarkov has the coolest shooting of all shooters?
What makes the battles in the famous combat simulator so realistic, enjoyable and unique.
Escape from Tarkov is a game from the Russian studio Battlestate Games, known to the average gamer for two features: a high entry threshold and incredible attention to detail in terms of firearms. But behind these two points, one more advantage of the game is lost: it is fun, interesting and simply pleasant to shoot from almost any barrel - from a modern machine gun to an old-fashioned PPSh.
In this article, I will try to explain why handling weapons in Escape from Tarkov is more fun than in other video games. Both aesthetically, Escape from Tarkov Roubles and gameplay-wise.
No fantasy - everything is real
The developers of Escape from Tarkov are more fans of gun culture and are familiar with real rifles firsthand. Therefore, the entire arsenal of Tarkov is real samples of weapons from different countries. These are not empty words: for the most reliable transfer of weapons to Escape from Tarkov , real machine guns are scanned in the studio, and to record the sounds of shots, they go to the training ground with them. Moreover, many guns from the game are in the personal collection of members of the Battlestate Games team.
In Escape from Tarkov , there are no "Chinese automata" from Fallout and other conditional renaming, which developers usually resort to in order to avoid copyright problems. As well as there are no fantastic blasters or fictional quasi-machine guns from secret KGB documents. Only what can really be found in real life (if there is a license, of course).
The authors rarely allow themselves fantasies and "meme" equipment only in terms of armor (for example, face protection in the form of a Mandalorian helmet and Halloween masks) and collectible items (garbage going for sale with references to famous streamers Escape from Tarkov ).
Even a rather fantastic version of the new MP-155 shotgun, reminiscent of the gun of the protagonist of DOOM, exists at least in the form of a demonstration prototype.
Moreover, in addition to realism, Escape from Tarkov is interesting in that it allows you to play with rather unpopular types of weapons. From the albeit well-known, but rather rare AS "Val" and its modifications to the Stechkin pistol, the large-caliber bullpup assault rifle ASh-12 and almost all subspecies of the AK-74 and AKM. The famous "Ksenia", or AKS-74U, is perhaps the most pleasant among all those few games where she appeared. Well, there are also enough ancient weapons here: PPSh and the Mosin rifle in three versions are proof of this.
In general, if you are tired of the already chewed-up M-16s, SCARs, Colts and other Western models that are more popular in the media (which, by the way, are also here) - Escape from Tarkov will seem like a breath of fresh air to you.
Customization and "ganporno"
As mentioned earlier, Escape from Tarkov has insane attention to detail when it comes to firearms. Weapon modding as a game mechanic is found in many shooters: Call of Duty, Battlefield, Far Cry. All in all, it's a must-have for almost every shooting game, whether it's an indie game or a big AAA blockbuster. People like to “cut” trunks for themselves.
But it was in Escape from Tarkov that the mechanics reached their peak. You can change almost everything for yourself: the buttstock and lining for it, the barrel, the muzzle brake, the silencer, the adapter for the silencer, all types of sights (front sights, sniper, collimator, auxiliary side sights), a handle, a grenade handle, a receiver, a bolt, a handguard, tactical laser pointer and flashlights and so on. And this is not just an element of the appearance of the weapon: each upgrade affects the characteristics: weight, weapon change speed, vertical and horizontal recoil, ease of use. This or that handle not only changes the style of the weapon for the image you have chosen, but also directly affects its functionality. So if you want to shoot an AKM without a stock, get ready to control the monstrous recoil.
This, however, also has disadvantages. Not all replacement parts seem so necessary, and "meta builds", much more effective than other options, appear regularly every patch, and just as regularly the developers struggle with them. Separately, the pleasure of assembling your favorite machine is spoiled by a rather unintuitive and sometimes completely incomprehensible interface. Until the player comes to terms with him and is not aware of all his tricks, he may not even be aware of some possibilities, such as installing a silencer or a grenade handle. For example, because his character did not learn the necessary adapter, which a player who was not yet familiar with Escape from Tarkov could simply not know about.
For the rest, it’s not for nothing that the Battlestate Games game is called “ganporno”. No other shooter has such meticulous customization of the barrel, which at the same time fully corresponds to reality: upgrades work the same way as their real counterparts, and there is almost nothing fictional among body kits. Only real brands. On one of the podcasts, the head of the studio, Nikita Buyanov, even joked that no matter how their game was used by real militants to learn how to use weapons, they are so sometimes carried away with certainty.
Animation and feel
All of the above is mainly about visual aesthetics. But shooting in games is still in the first place - the gameplay. The Escape from Tarkov weapon is also doing well with this: thanks to the excellent work of the animators from BattleState Games, any barrel, from the Makarov to the RPK-16, feels great.
First, the sound . It is recorded from real weapons (and this is noticeable). The shots are clear, powerful and varied. Each barrel has its own timbre, thanks to which it is possible to determine by ear what the enemy is shooting from. Also, the sensations are affected by the sounds of bullets ricocheting off surfaces and the noise of falling shells - different depending on the surface where they fall.
Secondly, animations . Muzzle flashes, weapon shaking, movement of the moving parts of the weapon (for example, the shutter) - everything is done well and, again, as authentically as possible. It gets crazy: the authors transferred even recognizable design features to Escape from Tarkov , such as the specific muzzle flash of the Vector submachine gun and the uncomfortable front sight of the FAL automatic rifle. This was detailed by the British weapons expert Jonathan Ferguson (Jonathan Ferguson) in a video for GameSpot.
Thirdly, the so-called feedback, or the reaction of enemies to hits. Bloodstains, the fall of the body of the killed enemy due to the impact force of the bullet - all this makes the player understand that he really hit, without annoying damage numbers, cross-shaped hit markers from Call of Duty or decreasing health bars over the head of the enemy.
What makes the fights in Escape from Tarkov enjoyable is that they are very fair to the player and give the right emotional response. Hitting the enemy is a consequence of the implementation of a number of conditions and nuances. A kind of exam, where instead of a passing score - a frag that brings experience and equipment of the slain as a reward.
The bullet does not hit the target instantly - first it must overcome the distance to the target. Depending on the type of cartridge and caliber - with different speed and fall depending on the distance. A bullet of 9x19 mm caliber from some kind of submachine gun at a long distance will lose its penetrating ability and will fly below the target under the influence of gravity already after a hundred or two meters. And a sniper cartridge fired from a good rifle with an elongated barrel will not lose its effectiveness even at an impressive distance. A small caliber, most likely, will be stopped by good armor, and only an all-metal visor will save you from an armor-piercing cartridge of a sniper rifle.
It is of great importance and what kind of cartridge you loaded the weapon. In Escape from Tarkov , it's not the machine gun that kills, but the bullet: the fact that you fired a burst from the RPK-16 machine gun, and not from the small AKS-74U, does not affect your damage in any way. Affects ammunition: sports, regular, armored, expansive, tracer cartridge. Each type has its own characteristics, whether it is penetration or a chance to cause bleeding. From what each weapon, as well as the cartridge for it, are useful in different situations: from submachine guns it is most convenient to give a quick burst on the legs at a short distance, and from machine guns you can fight both at medium and long distances in single fire mode.
If you hold the trigger, barrel shaking and recoil will not allow you to accurately hit the enemy at a long distance. Shotguns are worth a special mention - finally, this is really a gun with a great stopping effect even at long distances, and not a sieve with a huge spread, useful only at 10-20 meters. What to do - the conventions of video games!
However, it would be fair to say that Escape from Tarkov failed to escape these conventions either . For the sake of role-playing elements in the form of pumping and weapon control, this very return is many times exaggerated in comparison with real weapons - so that there is something to pump. Many fans complain about this idea, and, admittedly, in Escape from Tarkov , with its focus on realism, it looks really strange: a trained PMC fighter is unable to hold an AK-74 in his hands, which in reality has quite a small return, even if he uses it not a very athletic person.
With the latest patches, weapons have become uncontrollable in automatic mode - to the point that in the early days of the update, many professional streamers refused to fire weapons with more than single shots. In general, this is already a fairly long-standing conflict between the desire of developers to make friends with weapons with RPG elements and the gaming experience of fans.
It is important to understand where you are shooting. Fire on the legs can delay the enemy with a fracture (if he is not under painkillers), a fracture of the limb will cause pain shock and tremor of the hands. A hit on an unprotected part of the body, meat, will lead to bleeding. Well, a bullet to the head, especially without a good helmet, is a guaranteed kill. For the sake of realism, there is no regeneration in Escape from Tarkov , and medicines heal very slowly. Therefore, if you already hit, you will achieve some result, whether it be a small wound or a fatal hit. Simply put, your action always has some kind of result that makes you emotional.
It is worth noting that all of the above only works when the game itself is running. In the eyes of fans of Escape from Tarkov , the statement about the "fairness" of battles, which brings pleasure, will look ridiculous - because it is spoiled by the technical problems of the game. Connection desynchronization, friezes, frame rate drops, bugs and other situations in the spirit of “Yes, I got it!”. For example, in one of the patches, due to a technical flaw, an AI-controlled boss pierced armor of the best class with his cartridge, although in reality he should not have been able to cope with anything higher than the fourth (the maximum class in the game is sixth).
The feeling of injustice is reinforced by the fact that the cartridges have a random chance to penetrate armor - the characteristics change it in your direction, but do not guarantee damage. It's a matter of chance. Therefore, sometimes your "needlers" in AKM kill with one hit, and in another case they get stuck in the armor plate.
To sum up, shooting in Escape from Tarkov does not always work due to a number of small features and technical imperfections of the game. But when everything goes according to plan, the gunfights in the shooter from Battlestate Games really feel, if not the best gaming experience in the genre, then at least unique. The variety of conditions that you need to keep in mind, the depth of elaboration of mechanics and the level of implementation of certain aspects bring shootings in Escape from Tarkov to such a high level that it becomes uninteresting to play other modern shooters. Somewhere the game does not reward you so much emotionally, somewhere there is not enough adrenaline, and somewhere - too toy and arcade shooting.
Such rather ephemeral and, let's be honest, subjective matters are hard to discuss in text format - here you have to try. But speaking from personal experience, I played dozens of shooters - and it is in Escape from Tarkov that I am most interested in shooting opponents. It doesn’t always work out, but when it comes out, the emotions are very alive even after hundreds of hours. And I really want to see how this whole complex system from Escape from Tarkov will feel in its finished form, without technical problems.