ARC Raiders is a free-to-play game that is under development by the former Chief Game Designer from the studios of Electonic Arts. This new title echoes the Saturday morning cartoons of the 80’s like; SilverHawks, Battle of the Planets, and even G.I.JOE in some cases. This new title centers on a special military squad called Raiders that are tasked with defending their planet from a bio-mechanical alien force called ARC. With every subsequent season, ARC will drop from orbit and attack the human resistance with more fierce resilience and tactics. These enemies are intellectually, technologically, strategically, and physically superior to the human race. The Raiders are generally a rag-tag group of heroes who are scrambling to overcome impossible odds. This is the basic outline for this game. A group of underdogs desperately trying to survive and remain triumphant.
The core of this new title is teamwork. Going Rambo and trying to save the day isn’t going to work here. Working together and improvising is the only way to smite the ARC and save the remnants of humanity. Players will need to scavenge for resources and find creative ways to engage with these foes. Firearms are just the beginning. Gamers will need to use everything to their advantage to win the war. This includes manipulating the environment and utilizing physics to crush the opposition. Creativity is largely encouraged here. Become a true-blue action hero and find imaginative ways to go into battle.
Everything You Got
Based on what was showcased in the trailer, ARC Raiders will fully be in a third-person perspective. The developers over at Embark Studios are clearly inspired by many different IPs throughout the ’80s and ’90s. The colorful trailer reflects that and it’s a good look into what this dystopian world will be like. Everything seems to be beautifully rendered, complete with white-knuckled action and screen-shaking explosions. Everything from launch pads, rocket launchers, and fully customizable avatars seem to be on point. The ARC apparently comes in all sizes. Scouting aerial droids, behemoth war machines, and airborne bombing vessels all made their debut in the trailer. This game is being powered by the Unreal Engine and it is easy to tell that developers from DICE have been working on this game for some time.
The look and feel of ARC Raiders have very much that polished, yet gritty aesthetic of the Battlefield games. Embark Studios started off with a mere 50 people to their development team, which has grown considerably then. Given that the trailer was first shown at the 2021 Game Awards, details are scarce at the moment. From what was garnered from the footage, it seems like this could be an open-world game that’s ripe for exploration. There appear to be base camps to rendevous with other players and perhaps even barter and trade. This is strictly going to be a PvE co-op shooter which may, or may not, have a single-player campaign attached. Footage from the trailer hints that maybe there will be a story element to this game to help give it a sense of mythos. The ARC will respond to the tactics of the players organically by A.I.-controlled animations and rogue-like gameplay. Using cheap gameplay tactics and spamming the way to victory will be met with a major backhand to the face. This game will force players to use a surprising amount of brainpower to overcome this threat.
Heart of Humanity
If ARC Raiders isn’t going to be open-world, per se, then at the very least the maps are going to be immense in size. What was shown were sprawling deserts, vast forests, dilapidated cities, and gnarled forts. The battlefields are going to be flooded with fellow Raiders and ARC minions, alike. The battles are going to be dizzying and there is nothing less to expect from the former developers of DICE. Considering that players will be tasked to scour the environment and make things up on the fly, then it is a high probability that this game could have a crafting system. Tinkering and upgrading everything in a Raider’s inventory could be the key to winning future battles. This is just speculation, of course. However, based on what was stipulated for this new PvE experience, crafting is certainly probable.
Loadouts will most likely be a factor in the gameplay, as well. Given that customization and improvisation are the main focus in ARC Raiders, then perhaps gamers will be free to create their very own class. Charging the fields with guns blazing will only work for a while. However, players will need to mix things up and to in stealthily, set up traps, plan ambushes and even get up close and personal. The environments seem to be designed for a myriad of different combat encounters. The woods will offer more intimate guerilla tactics while the open dunes will most likely encourage all-out gunfire. Naturally, communication with fellow Raiders will be the backbone with every ARC encounter. There will be most likely a mix of A.I.-controlled bots along with other players while playing rounds. So far, the combat seems to be mostly on foot. It is not known whether or not the Raiders will have access to vehicles. It seems like a fair bet that there will be. If there are, then it will certainly spice up the battles. Especially with those open fields to traverse through.
Even though there is still a lot to learn about this new title, the trailer from the game awards perked up a lot of ears. It definitely an ambitious project and considering that it is going to be free-to-play is almost hard to believe. Hopefully, this game will garner a passionate community to keep it going for some time. Even though there are other PvE games out there that are enjoyable, ARC Raiders is brimming with potential. It is scheduled to be released sometime next year for the PC and next-gen consoles. With that said, it is going to be interesting what else Embark Studios has up its sleeves.