Escape from Tarkov: The Waiting Game
Escape from Tarkov has been around for quite a while. The game has been in beta for nearly three years now. Around January 2020, the title got even more attention with a string of marketing efforts from developer Battlestate Games. Suddenly, EFT surged in popularity, especially in streaming platform Twitch. Many gamers have set their sights on the shooter game, but one question remains unanswered in their collective minds: is Escape from Tarkov worth it?
We are going to discuss:
- Whether or not Escape from Tarkov is worth playing
- Bugs and netcode issues that remain a problem for some players
- Is Escape from Tarkov right for you?
It is no wonder that there is some healthy skepticism over whether or not EFT is worth the time and money one will put in it. It is, after all, a game in beta and it’s only available if you purchase it straight from the developers. But, in an attempt to answer that question, let’s discuss why EFT is something you should or should not play.
Why is Escape from Tarkov Worth it?
When Battlestate Games claimed that the game is a hardcore, realistic massively multiplayer online (MMO) first-person shooter (FPS) game, they were not joking around. And that, perhaps, is the biggest draw for anyone to purchase EFT and give it a whirl.
EFT’s realism makes it distinct from other shooters. It feels immersive and that is simply an experience only a few games can match. There is a certain charm to walking through the Woods and hearing the leaves crunch under your feet or sneaking around one of the warehouses in Customs.
It’s thrilling to stalk a target from a distance and fire a perfect headshot when the timing is right. There are also moments where you feel your heart pumping out of control at the mere sight of another player, filling you with paranoia that a raid may have failed at that point. In some instances, you find yourself getting increasingly confused and realizing a second too late that a different player has closed in and gone for the kill on your character. It is moments like these that make Escape from Tarkov worth it – these moments that are impossible to replicate in other titles.
Gameplay depth is another reason to get into the game. There are quite a lot of things to learn and, once you are past the initial learning curve, it feels great to be knowledgeable of EFT’s intricate systems and mechanics. Various weapons carry different types of ammunition. The damage you deal depends on the ammo type used vis-à-vis the armor class of your target’s equipment. Different maps pose different challenges and exfil requirements as well, such as Labs and Reserve – both of which we have guides about.
Lastly, playing the game now means having a head start for when the full game is released. There are maps to explore and familiarize yourself with, not to mention weapons systems and other mechanics that take some getting used to. The experience may not exactly be the same when the game reaches its ideal state, but at least you get into the game earlier and would no longer have to spend as much time learning the ropes later on.
Are there reasons to hold off?
As good as those things mentioned above may sound, there are reasons that make a compelling case for holding off and thinking EFT is not worth it – at least not yet in its current state and form.
For one, the gameplay can still be buggy. It is common knowledge at this point for anyone following the game that the netcode can be horrible at worst and inconsistent at best. Hit registration can be a problem at times and optimization is far from perfect. Now, you might say “but the game is still in beta” and you know what, you would be right. But, there definitely are people who would prefer playing a much more polished version of the game, something that won’t ruin their immersion. If you’re that kind of person, you should consider holding off.
Server wipes are potentially a turn-off for some players as well. Understandably, there are those who prefer having their progress saved and recorded for good so they can pick it back up anytime. That, however, is not the case with Tarkov. Being a game in beta, they routinely perform server wipes that erase all progress and force all players to start from scratch once more. If that’s not something you are willing to do, the best course of action is to wait until the official release.
Beyond the game itself, devs from Battlestate Games are giving players a reason to hold off as well. They had been in hot water quite a few times in recent memory – and rightfully so. One of the issues that got attention were the casually sexist remarks by one of the devs when asked about adding female characters to the game. There was backlash, of course, and Battlestate had to take back their statement and instead, give a lame excuse about making female avatars being “too much work.”
To read more about Escape From Tarkov head over here.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, too. Battlestate had been accused of abusing the DMCA claim system to shut down YouTube videos that are critical of the game. A member of the dev team also once feigned a suicide attempt live on Twitch, pointing an actual gun to his head and pulling the trigger. Suffice to say, that got the studio’s channel banned. With these behaviors that are erratic at best, it raises questions on whether or not a game from such a studio is worth supporting.
So, is EFT Worth it or Not?
The decision remains yours to make and it could work for you either way. Ultimately, whether or not EFT is worth it depends entirely on what you prioritize. If you are keen on playing a game that challenges you as much as possible, go for it. But, if you prefer a more complete, bug-free experience without the occasional soft resets, you might want to hold off a little. EFT works well both as a game that you spectate and a game that you play, so either choice is perfectly fine.