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Counter-Strike 2 and Tarkov have a new FPS rival you can play today

Blending the FPS purity of Counter-Strike 2 with the tactical tension of Tarkov, PCGamesN speaks to the dev behind a new playable shooter.

Exfil Steam FPS game: A soldier with a rifle in Steam FPS game Exfil

It’s a tough challenge, turning dense, complex, and believable military tactics into an FPS game that’s both accessible and enjoyable. Though stalwarts of the genre, the likes of Operation Flashpoint and Arma can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially to newcomers. There’s a tense, cerebral multiplayer experience to be had there, but you might find yourself getting so lost in the menus, you neglect to notice the enemy squad sneaking up on your six – and then it’s round over. With the intuitive shooter principles of Counter-Strike 2, and the squad-based, slow-and-low atmosphere of extraction games like Escape From Tarkov (though not the looting and pouch mechanics) a new FPS is available to try now on Steam. It’s tactical, it’s precise – but it also wants to be flexible. PCGamesN speaks exclusively to one of its creators.

Exfil has an incredibly simple set up. Four teams drop into a single map. Hidden somewhere is a hunk of intel which needs to be recovered and extracted. First team to snatch it and successfully extract – or eliminate all of their opponents – wins the game. Structurally, this is an FPS game in the vein of Hunt Showdown. Developer Misultin Studios suggests that other modes, including more focused PvP, co-op, or full PvE could arrive in future. For now, however, the team – which includes designer Chris Greig – has other priorities.

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“There is an entire market of milsim gamers out there who aren’t interested in run-and-gun twitch experiences, but also only have one or two hours a day to play a few rounds with their online friends,” Greig tells PCGamesN. “We all come from Arma and Squad centric backgrounds and we can see where those games ask too much as well. Our goal is to become a home for those lost souls stuck in the middle. This is the game we want to play.”

In its first playtest, which begins today, Saturday March 9, Exfil includes three maps, integrated VOIP, a full inventory system, and the four-team extraction-based game mode. Weather, time of day, and other factors also contribute to Exfil’s idea of a realistic shooter.

“For us realism is about realism of experience,” Greig continues. “It’s about not getting too comfortable in a game. Knowing that conditions can change. We feel like other games are often purposefully on rails by design in this genre. The bad guy is always in the same spot so you can build mastery. But we don’t feel like that is realism.

“We are a very small team that can afford to live in our niche. We aren’t beholden to a publisher or external stakeholders. This allows us more than anything to take risks. We can take the arcade elements away from other games and slow things down. We don’t have to lean on grind mechanics, so weapons and equipment can be oriented around telling the story of the four factions rather than maximizing profits.”

Exfil Steam FPS game: A soldier in new Steam FPS game Exfil

Exfil will launch into Steam Early Access, and Misultin is keen to communicate and work with the game’s burgeoning community. Hoping to fill a niche between the pick-up-and-and-play online FPS and the more grounded, intricate tactical shooter, the developer wants to be open and available with its prospective player base.

“Anyone who comes to our Discord quickly learns we are in there every day, all day, and we treat it like our home where everyone is welcome over for dinner,” Greig says. “Community is paramount, especially for a niche game. We want people to know us personally and feel like they can call us up with suggestions. It takes a village to raise a videogame.”

If you want to try Exfil for yourself, or wishlist it ahead of its early access launch, just head right here.

Alternatively, you might want to try some of the best multiplayer games, or perhaps the best co-op games available on PC right now.

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