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Despite very bad reviews, new tactical FPS has thousands of players

As Escape From Tarkov struggles, a new FPS with a focus on tactics pulls in tens of thousands of players despite critical Steam reviews.

Gray Zone Warfare Steam reviews: A soldier in tactical gear from Steam FPS game Gray Zone Warfare

If you can – if there’s a demo, or you can afford to just take a chance – it’s always worth trying out a new game and making your own opinion. Everyone might be wild for Baldur’s Gate 3 and Helldivers 2, but you might think they’re lousy. On the contrary, a new FPS with a focus on realism and tactics, that’s primed to take on Escape From Tarkov, especially given recent controversies, has very bad Steam reviews, but tens of thousands of players. Maybe it’s just a flash(bang) in the pan, or maybe, despite some early issues, this one is still well worth a try.

Gray Zone Warfare is a new multiplayer FPS game in the same vein as EFT and The Division. Across a gigantic, openly explorable map inspired by the South Pacific, 48 players compete against AI enemies and each other to capture objectives, finish missions, and claim valuable resources and intelligence. Weapons are customizable and deadly. Strategy is vital. Death is swift.

Given the recent fallout over the Escape From Tarkov Unheard Edition and its PvE mode, Gray Zone Warfare has seemingly launched at the most opportune moment possible, right on time to catch some of EFT’s alienated player base. Looking at one set of data, Gray Zone Warfare seems to have achieved that goal. Looking at another, it’s unclear how long its overnight success might last.

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Today, Tuesday April 30, marks the full launch of Gray Zone Warfare 1.0, and in terms of players, things are going great. As of this moment, 46,009 people are playing the shooter simultaneously. That’s a higher concurrent player count right now than some of the strongest multiplayer stalwarts, including Payday 2, DayZ, and Dead By Daylight. It seems like a strong sign of Gray Zone Warfare’s continued success.

On the contrary, of the more than 2,000 user reviews Gray Zone Warfare has received so far, only 38% are positive. Players complain of a variety of performance issues including slow frame rates, crashes, and stuttering.

“Can’t recommend right now,” one player writes. “This game brought my 3080 to its knees at 2k resolution. With the lowest settings and DLSS set to ultra performance, and GPU drivers updated, I was getting 55fps and everything was pixelated.”

“I’d like to support the project but at the moment it is not very playable,” another player writes. “Servers lag totally and the performance is also very, very bad.” As it stands, Gray Zone Warfare has an overall ‘mostly negative’ rating on Steam. The game’s developer, Madfinger, says it is currently working on a hotfix for various issues including corrupted data and missing in-game assets.

Gray Zone Warfare Steam FPS game reviews: Reviews and player count for Steam FPS game Gray Zone Warfare

Gray Zone Warfare launches in the wake of controversy surrounding Escape From Tarkov and its new Unheard Edition. EFT developer Battlestate Games has apologized for the pricing of the new version and made its PvE mode free to all owners of the previous Edge of Darkness Edition.

Check out the comprehensive Gray Zone Warfare system requirements to see if your rig can run the realistic shooter, or maybe try some of the other best multiplayer games on PC instead.

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