You don’t see me reviewing many first-person shooters. There’s a reason for this. As much as I like this action-heavy genre it’s not one that I jump into readily. I’m not a massive fan of PVP scenarios and team play is a little bit pointless for me because as I rule I don’t like people. When I saw Marauders had entered Early Access I was a little unsure as to whether I wanted to get involved. The thing is, this isn’t really about me, is it? We do this sort of thing for you lovely lot out there, so with this being said let’s take a closer look.
So, Marauders is allegedly like a few other games on the market. I say this because I’m going off what I’ve been told. Let’s remember that this isn’t my genre, so I haven’t played the other games this is supposedly akin to. With this being said I won’t be drawing comparisons. This sort of thing might not be new for you but is for me and I’m not going to judge based on the opinions of other people based on games I haven’t played. In short, if you think there is another title doing what this one does better, that’s wonderful but not something we’ll be approaching here.
In Marauders, you are one of the titular crew of space pirates. You’ve been displaced thanks to three warring factions and you’ve had to turn to piracy as a matter of survival. This being said, you’re going to be piloting yourself into various installations in an attempt to loot them of anything worth having. If anyone happens to be stupid enough to get in the way they’re not going to be alive long enough to really complain because they’ll be met with a hail of bullets.
I didn’t screenshot this for a laugh. I strongly recommend viewing the really helpful guide before diving in.
The objective is, therefore, to jump in, steal and kill until you start running out of oxygen and then get out with your hard-earned loot. Dying in the pursuit of all of this is not a good idea. If you lose your life on a raid you won’t just lose all the stuff you’ve stolen but also the gear you went in with, right down to your armor and weapons. As this sort of thing isn’t free you’ll really want to survive if you can.
First off, Marauders is a very pretty game. This is a very gritty-looking world. Think world war 2 in space and we’re sort of getting to where this game wants to be. I always know when a game looks gorgeous because my computer starts having a panic attack and I nearly have a fit from the motion blur and seizure-inducing effects. This was one of those games. I’m glad I didn’t get thrown straight into the thick of it the first time around because it felt like I was moving in mud. I had to turn virtually everything graphically to its lowest setting to even stand a chance at playing normally. Now, I know this is completely my computer and not the game but it’s still a point of note that those of you with older PCs might want to check the old requirements list first.
Team play is a smart idea if you can buddy up.
The levels in Marauders feel massive and this is a good thing in that there’s lots of exploring to be done. The only issue I found here is that in the games I played these arenas weren’t very heavily populated. There are plenty of places to hide and when there aren’t a lot of raiders on the map at once this makes it really easy to get jumped and killed.
With the one-shot deaths in this game, you really need to be on your toes if you’re going to come out alive. It’s better when there are a few more players in the mix because you can hear the sounds of battle and plan accordingly. When there are only a few of you it’s a lot easier not to see death coming. The upside to this is that it all adds tension. You’re trying to loot boxes while looking over your shoulder at all times because you aren’t sure whether you’ve been spotted or are being followed.
The levels are gorgeous as they are grimy.
It’ll probably be added later but Marauders is crying out for some sort of AI-only mode. This is a game where you really need to get to grips with what you’re doing quickly because the risk-to-reward ratio is going to be so high. I understand that the argument could be made that this would give players an unfair advantage as they could just farm bots. This is entirely fair so I’d say that you’d only allow its use for the first few player levels so they couldn’t get loot that was too powerful and then switch it off.
The other way of doing it is to make a total practice mode where you don’t get to keep the loot. There’s something really soul-destroying about losing a lot because you haven’t become accustomed to things and even more so in a game like this. If you can’t come back with loot you can’t progress. If you can’t progress, there isn’t a lot of point to playing and that’s just asking for frustration. It’s easy to say “get good,” but to “get good” you have to want to keep going back.
There’s a lot to this game to like. You aren’t just dropped into random maps, you’ll have to dock your ship in the hanger bays of the installation you’re planning on looting. This means that space combat is very much a thing. You can also board and steal the ships belonging to other players if you happen to have gotten away in an escape pod. This is really clever but I can see it being heart-rendingly annoying at the same time. This is the crux and soul of the game. It’s very easy to lose everything you’ve worked so hard for. Your gear, your ship, your life. It’s all in the hands of other players that very much want to take any and all of the above from you.
There are a few mitigating things that make the pain a little more bearable. You can buy fresh gear from merchants in-between raids so unless you absolutely stink at the game you should never be in a position where you can’t play. You can also craft new items from materials you find on your travels. This is great because you’ll get a real feeling of progression and we all love things to unlock as we go. Lastly, the contract system in the game that has you completing various objectives is a great addition that stops Marauders from being just another mindless shooter.
Loot is the aim of the game.
If you’re a player that loves shooters and likes the idea of every game being a massive gamble Marauders is the game for you. Those of us that love the idea but aren’t the best at first-person shooting games, (like me,) will need a lot of practice to really stand a chance in the very unforgiving matches that are coming. I think it goes without saying that if you’ve played other games of this style you’ll likely fall into step pretty quickly with the action so this will be a fabulous addition to your library. If you’re easily frustrated and need to feel like you’re consistently progressing you’re likely to throw your monitor through a closed window before really getting to grips here, so I’d say avoiding this game for the sake of your blood pressure is probably wise.
Hailing from Southport England, Alex started his gaming career in the late 80s on a Commodore 64. Since that time he's either owned or played on virtually every console released. Alex happens to... Read more...