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Escape from Tarkov: A game of Russian spirit and style

A separate unique feature of Escape from Tarkov is its incredibly Russian, “our” game. From the obvious, of course, the setting: Eastern Europe, native Khrushchevs and village houses against the backdrop of a forest, destroyed industrial zones and post-apocalypse in the spirit of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., beloved by C.I.S. gamers.

It is enjoyable to meet native posters, familiar things in the spirit of Alyonka chocolates, a Soviet pack of soda, and Rogachev condensed milk in a blue-and-white can among the vast market of shooters focused on American aesthetics.

The game is Russian because of the setting and some references and because of its game design. Most projects from the C.I.S. are a mixture of genres, where unsuccessful and overloaded ideas are combined with a truly unique approach.

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Remember “Mor. Utopia”, where the storyline involves a survival simulator, role-playing game, and a little shooter. Or “Space Rangers,” where almost all genres fit, from text quests to the economic simulator and R.T.S. Or “Corsairs” – a simulator of ship battles, RPG with sword fighting and island exploration, as well as a financial strategy.

Escape from Tarkov has the same spirit of “Russian monster Frankenstein” from various genres: MMO, RPG, shooter, open world, survival, economic strategy, and even “Tetris,” in which all the owners of a small cache play with their belongings in an attempt to fit the loot … There is a little bit of almost everything here – except that you cannot frame the units with a frame.

I initially liked Tarkov for a simple reason – Russian developers. For a long time, there was nothing from our large projects. Of course, the first thing that catches your eye is the atmosphere. Loud shots of weapons, screams of the Wilds and P.M.C.s, including obscenities, the seeming massiveness of weapons in the character’s hands, and explosions of grenades. The environment in the locations is also very believable to what you sometimes see on the street. I have played for the fourth year because there is no replacement, no matter how strange it may sound. The uniqueness of Tarkov also makes itself felt. The rest of the “shooters” seem toy and almost cartoonish.

A much more exciting aspect is that this is almost the only game, primarily made to emphasize the Russian-speaking market. Usually, games, even if immigrants developed them from the C.I.S., are sharpened primarily for a Western audience – Russian is instead a secondary language in them, and there may be no other localization languages like Ukrainian. In Escape from Tarkov, Russian is the primary language. For the English-speaking audience, the game has only the translation of texts and the speech of Western P.M.C.s with the Raiders because, by the lore of the game, they speak precisely English.

Everything else is in Russian, whichever language you choose. Screams of the Wild, graffiti on the walls, phrases of bosses, some important lore names and titles. If in Russian the boss’s name is Reshala, then in English, his name is also Reshala – no unique options in the spirit of Dandelion from The Witcher 3 unless the merchants’ names are still adapted (Ragman).

Because of this, the English-language Reddit of the game is endlessly funny to read: for the first time, I saw how Western players suffer in their attempts to translate and understand what our native language is. For example, people explain what screams of the Wilds like “opachki” and “kidayoo grantor” mean.

In all seriousness, English-speaking players believe that the Russians have an advantage in this game – after all, they understand the warning phrases of bots like “throwing a grenade,” while for the rest, it is a set of “evil Russian sounds.”

It also leads to funny embarrassment: the English-speaking audience, in all seriousness, does not understand what the joke of the cold grease “Poxeram” or the drug “Obdolbos” is. Perhaps the pinnacle of comedy is trying to understand what the boss’s nickname “Capercaillie \ Glookhar” means. Many in all seriousness think that his name is Glue Car (a machine with Glue), Glue Hair (hair made of Glue), or Glue (Glue), and they do not understand, and here is the head of the raiders from a military base.

And from this, it is infinitely offensive that indeed “our” game, and not just made by immigrants from the C.I.S., is not loved most of all at home. Of course, this is not the fault of the “evil Russian gamers,” but rather a consequence of P.R. failures and general misunderstandings. So far, for the rest of the planet’s players, Escape from Tarkov is something new and unique in the shooter genre for the C.I.S. It’s just another scam for money.

Because we already had an experience like Survarium, Stalker Online, and other “S.T.A.L.K.E.R. killers” to believe in yet another ambitious mega-MMO shooter that has been in development for many years and is in no hurry to release. As well as the fact that this is a genuinely competent video game and not a pretty lie.

Related: Why Escape from Tarkov is a hardcore vibe and realism game?