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ARC Raiders: From Sci-Fi Looter Shooter to Extraction Shooter

Embark Studios, a new studio founded by former Electronic Arts chief designer Patrick Söderlund, announced ARC Raiders as their first game at The Game Awards 2021. ARC Raiders is a free-to-play, third-person, PvPvE extraction shooter set in a future earth ravaged by a mechanized threat known as ARC.


A change in genres

ARC Raiders wasn’t always an extraction shooter. At its reveal it was advertised as a PvE co-op looter shooter and was slated to release in 2022. If you think about it story wise, it makes sense for ARC Raiders to be an extraction shooter. A post apocalyptic earth where people fight each other for resources, and robots for survival, it makes sense. But the problem that arises here is that ARC Raiders was built from the ground up as a third person looter shooter. Its design does not look like it would allow for a balanced PvP experience.

There is a reason most competitive shooter are first person. Even Embark Studios’ other game The Finals, a strictly PvP game is a first-person shooter. With a third-person perspective it is super easy to peek around corners using the camera without putting yourself in harms way. This abusable mechanic really hinders the balance of a PvP game. 

Alpha Gameplay Leaks

There have been gameplay leaks from a recent alpha test. It appears that the shift from looter shooter to extraction shooter happened recently. In the 20 minutes of gameplay there was barely any action, the reason might be that the map is simply too large for any significant amount of PvP to take place. Most of the gameplay involves running around and gathering resources. The lackluster reception can be seen from the community as well. We were expecting a solid looter shooter with analog aesthetics, but instead it appears we are getting a half-baked extraction shooter.

New Tech


It’s not all doom and gloom for ARC Raiders though. Like its counterpart The Finals, ARC Raiders uses some impressive new tech. We got a glimpse of what Embark have cooking with the new machine learning enhanced AI for the game. In a gameplay showcase they showed how they trained an ARC robot with 8 limbs using machine learning. The enemy AI dynamically adjusted the way it traverses terrain if one or more of its limbs get blown off. This really opens up a lot of doors for more dynamic enemy design and complex encounters. The game truly feels like it was build as a next gen looter shooter experience but is being pushed in a direction it was not made for.

As a fan of extraction shooters I will be waiting with bated breath for the release of ARC Raiders. I hope between the time of the alpha and beta Embark have enough time to iron out the game’s issues and deliver a worthwhile experience at release.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out more content on Poggers Memes. You can check out how Overwatch Genesis could start an extended cinematic universe

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