Escape from Tarkov is a tactical first-person shooter set in the fictional Norvinsk region of Russia, around a transition zone between Russia and Europe that serves as a gateway for trade and deals. However, the temptation has proven too much for villainous organisations looking to cash in any way they can and the area has erupted into a tense standoff between Russian forces, UN Peacekeepers and two independent PMCs (Private Military Companies).
These are: United Security (known as USEC) and BEAR. USEC was hired by the corrupt organisation Terra which was responsible for much of the turmoil, while BEAR are their opposition, hired by the Russian authorities to investigate Terra and their nefarious doings.
About the Game
The premise is very simple: entering the game has your character spawning in the forest or somewhere similar, on the edge of the map. Your job is to shoot, play and explore your way across the map until you reach your extraction point, usually way over on the other side of the city, and with plenty of excitement in between you and there!
At first, you are only armed with an axe, and you must quickly defeat someone else for their loot (unlikely if they have a gun and you don’t) or get exploring and find a working gun as soon as possible.
There is no heads-up display for this game: if you want to check your inventory, you have to do it manually, for example, counting the bullets left inside your gun. Oddly, this makes it more exciting as you become hyper aware of what you have with you at all times and counting down your shots in the middle of a battle makes you exquisitely aware of every danger lurking just around every corner.
Lots of Lovely Loot: But Choose with Care!
The ground is practically littered with valuable loot, from mobile phones to cigarettes to cash and even weapons, and it’s all there for the players to help themselves. However, be wary about what you pick up: it’s all valuable stuff, but the longer you are picking over the buildings and neighbourhoods, the longer it will take for you to get to your extraction point.
It also gives other players a good chance of stumbling across you and taking you out – which automatically causes you to lose all your hard-gathered items! It is best to load up with as many high value items as you can gather in a minute or two, and then be on your way as fast as possible.
Of course, you can always linger for a while, tempting other players in to gather loot and then taking them out while they head for your bait: this way, you get their loot to add to your own. A couple of high-value skirmishes could garner you more loot than you would have been able to collect in four times the time!
Weapons range from the basic and almost primitive to high-end tactical gear:
Axes – you start with these
Knives – a good way to sneak up on enemies and kill silently, without alerting their comrades
Handguns and Shotguns – low end guns, these will keep you handily ahead of the enemy, unless they have bigger better guns
Rifles – high-powered, scoped weapons that enable players to snipe you from afar. Getting your hands on one of these is a blessing and a curse: you are powerful, but you attract a lot of envious attention