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As Tarkov struggles, a realistic new FPS rival launches on Steam

Escape From Tarkov is mired in controversy, but a new, realistic, and tactical FPS game is hitting Steam, and could be a sharp EFT rival.

Gray Zone Warfare Steam early access date: A soldier from Steam FPS game Gray Zone Warfare

Escape From Tarkov is struggling right now, as players pour criticism on creator Battlestate Games and the recent EFT Unheard Edition. But while one realistic, tactical FPS does damage control, another arrives to announce its early-access launch date. With an authentic combat simulation, detailed weapon and ballistic models, a huge map, and a unique variation on damage and health, if Tarkov is testing your patience lately, this new shooter could be the ideal alternative.

Gray Zone Warfare is an ambitious new FPS game and MMO with a serious tactical edge. Including both PvP and PvE modes, players drop into the fictional Democratic Republic of Lamang, which has recently been evacuated and placed under quarantine. Rich and detailed, the Gray Zone Warfare map comprises 42 square kilometers of Pacific-inspired terrain. You play as a fireteam from one of three private military factions dispatched to the area to consolidate control.

At any time, there can be 48 players and 100 NPCs occupying the same map. Each faction has its own base, and you can choose to complete missions and assignments on behalf of various contractors. Naturally, you’re going to come into conflict with one another – opposing players are your biggest problem, but the AI enemies will easily overpower you even in small numbers. This is where Gray Zone Warfare’s tactics-driven gunplay comes in.

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You need to move slowly, work together, and stick to the strategy. Bullets and weapons use realistic models and physics, so going loud means alerting everyone nearby, while a single well-placed shot can mean your death.

You can customize weapons to suit your needs, but the real novelty is Gray Zone Warfare’s health system, where different wounds to different areas of the body have different effects. First, you need to identify where you’ve been hit. Then, you need to apply the appropriate medical items and care. There are no generic, heal-all medkits – different wounds require different treatment.

After a lengthy testing period, Gray Zone Warfare is finally ready to hit Steam in earnest. If you want a change from Escape From Tarkov, or a grounded alternative to the likes of Call of Duty Warzone and The Division, the Gray Zone Warfare early-access release date is set for Tuesday April 30 at 6am PST / 9am EST / 2pm BST / 3pm CEST / 11pm AEST. If you want to try it out on the day, just head right here.

Meanwhile, Escape From Tarkov has rolled back the original plans for its new PvE mode and issued an apology to players. Another tactical and realistic shooter, still in testing, is also coming to Steam in the near future.

Check out the best new MMOs, or maybe the best survival games if you like that brutal realism.

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