Pocket Tarkov. Lost Light Review

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Lost Light Review

Lost Light has gained fame as a mobile Escape from Tarkov, but this is not entirely true. NetEase, of course, peeped a lot from the hit from Battlestate Games, but the Chinese developers put a completely different hit – PUBG Mobile from Tencent – at the heart of the gameplay. The resulting remix of two well-known projects claims to be the best mobile shooter.

Pocket-Tarkov.
Pocket-Tarkov.

PUBG Mobile is the most popular and profitable battle royale for smartphones. The benchmark among mobile shooters. Not the first year to repeat the success of Tencent, other studios are trying. However, the release of the next “killer” usually turns into a failure. In addition to PUBG, there are several other successful projects on the market, so unprincipled clones attract few people.

NetEase decided to go the other way. The company did not reinvent the royal battle, although the game mechanics spied on Tencent from PUBG Mobile. And they implemented them in the setting and concept of Escape from Tarkov from Battlestate Games. The action of Lost Light takes place in several areas of the post-apocalyptic city. The remnants of humanity are forced to burrow underground, occasionally getting out to the surface in order to collect valuable things necessary for survival in an abandoned city.

Soldiers of PMC “Fireflies” and disparate gangs of marauders are hunting for trophies. However, even within these factions there is no agreement. Once on the surface, Fireflies and Marauders become each other’s prey. Trust in the new world only brothers in arms in a squad of two or four.

Fireflies and Marauders

The player takes on the role of either a PMC fighter or a marauder. Firefly, the PMC fighter is the player’s alter ego. He will have to be groomed and cherished, not to skimp on equipment and weapons, to be fed and watered on time during raids. It is desirable to return alive to the base. Death means the loss of not only the goods collected during the race, but also weapons and armor.

Fireflies-and-Marauders
Fireflies-and-Marauders

Rating games for the Fireflies are emotional. Unlike other shooters, in such raids the player manifests fear. Failure in battle means the loss of game items and this increases the intensity of emotions. You go on raids with the best weapons, armor and ammunition – otherwise you won’t survive when you meet the enemy. With voice chat enabled, in the event of a victory over another player, it is easy to learn a lot of new and not very pleasant things about yourself. And having fallen into an ambush of the enemy, out of resentment, you wish him and not like that.

In the game, you can help the defeated enemy and team up with him. If this happens often in an ordinary game, then there is no place for mercy in rating matches. In the latter mode, to request an evacuation, you need to score the required number of battle points. At high ranks, they have to be collected from the bodies of defeated enemies – there is no longer enough time to collect points from loot boxes.

Playing as a Marauder is more fun, but not as emotional. Marauders are simple guys, they have nothing to lose. For each race you will be given a new character with some kind of ammunition. Marauders equipped with anything and everything enter the raid even without a backpack – you will have to get it, as well as a decent weapon. The main prey will be the firefly, which, bending under the weight of the loot, hurries to the evacuation point. It is difficult to eliminate such a fighter, but, having won the fight, you get a worthy reward and the pleasure of defeating a strong opponent.

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Fireflies-and-Marauders
Fireflies-and-Marauders

Losing a Marauder in a raid isn’t as painful as losing a Firefly. There is no need to save the rating, the money account will not be affected in case of failure, and each evacuation will bring money. However, treating marauders as consumables will not work – four unsuccessful raids and you have to take a break in the game as a marauder. So, grinding resources with impunity will not work.

The game also has cross-play between smartphones and PCs, but a recent update allowed it to be disabled. Prior to this, mobile gamers were forced to try and fight on par with PC gamers. Aiming assistants work on the mobile side, but all the same, control on a smartphone is inferior in convenience to traditional WASD and a mouse.

Loot, money and trunks

The trash collected during the raids is used to equip the shelter and upgrade weapons. Resources are being invested in expanding the warehouse and arsenal, medical equipment, and machine tools. Craft is also available to the player. Extra items are sold on the black market to other players or sold to a fence. But it is inconvenient to do this on a smartphone due to the peculiarities of the interface. On PC, poking around in your own warehouse and putting items up for sale is easier. Fortunately, Lost Light has cross-progress.

Loot-money-and-trunks
Loot-money-and-trunks

NetEase projects, as a rule, have a monetization system aimed at extracting money from the players’ pocket as much as possible. The principles of “pay-to-play” and “pay-to-win” in the company’s games are implemented with enviable constancy. However, Lost Light stands out. This does not mean that the monetization of the project is harmless, but it is possible to play without a donation.

Two types of subscriptions, costing a dozen dollars a month, make life easier for players: rewards from raids bring more money, which means you have to grind less, and a reduced commission on sales also works for this. So it makes sense for enthusiastic players to spend money. In addition, the paid Battle Pass showers you with rewards for each level (unlike the free one). A fashionable camouflage suit will have to be obtained from loot boxes.

However, NetEase wouldn’t be itself if the pay-to-win element didn’t make it into the game. The death of a fighter in Lost Light is not final. The game gives a chance to return to the raid and after it. Ordinary players appear without armor and without weapons with one pistol. If you manage to get hold of weapons and armor, then you can either get even with the offender, or try to minimize losses.

Loot, money and trunks
Loot, money and trunks

Wealthy players can use “Avril’s Intimidation” – a special item, the use of which will give more chances. After returning, the equipment will be better, and it will be easier to track down the offender. Avril’s Intimidation is sold on the black market for in-game currency, but the item itself is expensive, and its use is even more expensive. An ordinary player will have to make some efforts to accumulate such an amount. So a tight wallet for those who are unable to put up with losses and do not want to grind will not be superfluous. However, the wallet will not add skill and skill.

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The race for loot and the desire to minimize losses is leveled by a regular wipe (reset) of the server, during which players lose what they have acquired over the period since the last wipe. You can take a little with you into a new life and donat does not help much in this. This reset is built into the lore of the game and aims to keep things interesting by allowing you to start over. In addition, the wipe is accompanied by a major update. Not all players will like this approach. But on the other hand, it adds spice to the game.

Technical condition

At the time of the global release, players complained about the poor technical condition of the game. They are still complaining. Alas, we cannot confirm the buggyness of Lost Light. In the 70 hours that were played on the smartphone, only in one raid there were errors with loading textures, and during two or three matches there were complaints about the connection with the server.

Technical-condition
Technical-condition

In general, Lost Light feels good on smartphones. You can find fault with the inexpressive appearance, mediocre sound design. But in raids, this is the last thing you pay attention to. Eyes run in search of the enemy, and do not look at the local beauty. As for the sound, the implemented visualization of the position of the source on the screen helps. So an experienced gamer will be able to play even with the speaker turned off or without headphones.

Diagnosis

Many will rightly reproach Lost Light for being secondary. Fans of Escape from Tarkov will scold the project for copying, simplifying and casual. Fans of PUBG Mobile, on the other hand, will find the threshold to enter the game too high, despite the familiar game mechanics. Someone will not like the inexpressive appearance and soft colors.

It is not often necessary to praise a project from NetEase. The Chinese company knows how to make mobile games, but they know how to squeeze money out of them even better. A recent example of NetEase’s Diablo Immortal is proof. However, Lost Light is not only something to praise, but there is something to set as an example to others.

But this year on smartphones, Lost Light is the best. For the first time in several years, a major publisher has given players not another faceless battle royale, but an excellent third-person shooter that gives genuine emotions. Not always positive, but sincere.

Pro

  • Well-tuned mobile shooter game mechanics
  • Two game modes
  • The concept of Escape from Tarkov with reasonable simplifications
  • Sincere emotions from the gameplay

Contra

  • Inexpressive look and sound
  • Paid subscription gives an advantage in the extraction of resources
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