Arena Breakout Infinite is more Tarkov-lite than Tarkov-like, and that's OK

Arena Breakout Infinite is more Tarkov-lite than Tarkov-like, and that's OK
Images via Morefun Studios

Written by 

Harry Boulton


4th Jun 2024 16:47

Spawned from (or perhaps, in opposition to) the battle royale craze, extraction shooters have become increasingly popular over the last few years. The premise boils down to the idea that the aim is not to 'win' but to survive, as your solitary fixed goal is simply to escape via one of the extract points.

Of course, there's plenty to do while you're in a game - from completing quests to looting and even fighting other players, but the nature of an extraction shooter comes from the tension of trying to simply make it out alive.

At the heart of the genre is undoubtedly Battlestate Games' Escape from Tarkov, which has remained largely unfazed over the years despite a number of high-profile challengers like The Cycle Frontier, Marauders, and even Call of Duty's short-lived DMZ.

Arena Breakout Infinite is the next title to step up though, and following on from a successful launch on mobile, this could perhaps offer an alternative for new and experienced players alike.

Boiling it down

One of the aspects that immediately stood out about Arena Breakout Infinite was the onboarding process. Anyone familiar with Escape from Tarkov will be astutely familiar with the lack of help and tutorials present within the game, and while this has improved marginally over the years, new players will still remain largely in the dark.

This couldn't be more different in Arena Breakout though, as not only are there numerous text-based tutorials, but an entire introductory section that beds you into the controls and rhythms of the game.

Image of quests in Arena Breakout Infinite
Click to enlarge

Having a map at all is such a big thing, especially when combined with the smaller maps, as you avoid the risk of getting lost and remove some of the frustration that comes from having to switch between your game and a wiki page as a first impression.

What this grew to illuminate for me though was the larger position of Arena Breakout within the market - as a title that doesn't quite occupy an identical space to Tarkov and instead sits as a more accessible option that is easier to pick up and play.

Whether this is a 'good' or 'bad' thing very much depends on your outlook and what you're looking for in a game like this. For me, a key part of Tarkov's appeal is its punishing 'hardcore' nature, which makes the initial experience quite the headache but becomes incredibly rewarding down the line.

However, I understand that there's a significant market out there that wants to play something that tastes like Tarkov but is far easier to stomach. Arena Breakout being free-to-play only sweetens this further, making it a no-brainer to pick up and try, even if you're unsure.

Image of weapon modding in Arena Breakout Infinite
Click to enlarge

In terms of the actual 'feel' of the game, I found it to be generally lighter and faster, which once again makes things easier to control but you compromise on both immersion and impact. There's still a robust workbench and modding system to play around with though, and it retains many of the 'realistic' design choices that make the extraction genre what it is like the need for bullets and the loss of items upon death.

Powered up performance

Something that did positively surprise me though was the performance, as that's been a thorn in my side when it comes to a lot of other extraction shooters. Running an RTX 3060 Ti / 3300x gave me roughly around 80-90 fps on average, and often times it would exceed that depending on the circumstances.

Image of your stash in Arena Breakout Infinite
Click to enlarge

While not entirely unexpected for a game that was formerly on mobile, managing performance isn't easy and it's great to see it run well and still hold its own in the visual department too. There are some parts of the UI and UX that remind you that this was formerly a game made for phones, but they don't interrupt the experience too much and can always be fined-tuned down the line.

Final thoughts

I'm not quite sure that Arena Breakout Infinite is for me, as its keen similarities to Escape from Tarkov make the comparison and inevitable downsides a bit too easy to see. That doesn't mean that the game doesn't have an audience out there though, as I imagine there are hordes of players looking to get into something like Tarkov but without the incredibly steep learning curve.

It's clear that the game is heavily inspired by Battlestate Games' primary title, and often does feel like a boiled-down version of the experience, but I can see both coinciding within a larger space instead of competing. It all just depends on what exactly you're looking for in a game like this.

Previewed on PC. Preview access provided by the publisher.

Harry Boulton
About the author
Harry Boulton
Harry is a Guides Writer at GGRecon, having completed a Masters of Research degree in Film Studies. Previously a freelance writer for PCGamesN, The Loadout, and Red Bull Gaming, he loves playing a wide variety of games from the Souls series to JRPGs, Counter-Strike, and EA FC. When not playing or writing about games and hardware, you're likely to find him watching football or listening to Madonna and Kate Bush.
Monster Hunter Stories 1 & 2 preview: A comfortable fit on PlayStation
5 games we need to see on Nintendo Switch 2, from Zelda to Mario
After studio closures, Xbox may have finally run out of goodwill
Rumoured Game of Thrones MMORPG is 10 years too late
Children of the Sun developer René Rother on developing a vibe & why The Girl is not a hero