Arena Breakout is Tencent‘s latest work in the mobile FPS genre. Developed by a Tencent games studio, MoreFun Studios, Arena Breakout is a free-to-play shooter which emphasizes strategic gameplay. The game drops players into an open world, where they must scavenge for loot and battle with other enemies. Unlike most Battle Royale games, where the aim is to be the last man standing, the goal in Arena Breakout is to reach extraction points with as much loot as possible. Fans of the popular PC game, Escape from Tarkov, will be aware of these mechanics. In this article, we will review Arena Breakout and share our first impressions of the game.
The game promises high-end graphics and an immersive experience for players. It looks like Tencent are adding another competitive environment to their portfolio, similar to that in their other games such as Call of Duty Mobile and PUBG Mobile. Admittedly, there was a sense of Déjà Vu when the news of yet another hardcore mobile shooter first broke out. This genre is packed with all kinds of different themes and ideas already. However, considering the kind of approach Arena Breakout has taken, it seems like this game has potential despite the saturated market.
Arena Breakout showcases the nitty-gritty life on the battlefield
Starting with the Arena Breakout review, one thing which is quite striking about this game is that it stays real and authentic. The game features a series of mechanics that showcase what life is really like on a battlefield. The intricate full-body injury system, detailed recoil effects, and weapon animations are just a few of the ways in which Arena Breakout builds up that immersive soldier experience.
In particular, the injury system is something that deserves its own praise. Damage is dealt with separately to each body part and there are varying effects depending on which part is hit. For example, a fracture to the leg can reduce movement speed and limit jump height, running would make this worse.
Fractures on the arms reduce the speed of picking up and using items, and damage to the stomach impacts thirst and stamina. HP is no longer just a bar on the screen indicating how close you are dead, there are multiple factors to keep in mind, and not paying medical attention to these causes further damage.
As expected from a Tencent game, the graphics are great, and the game runs well too. Of course, the best balance here will depend on the quality of the device. Tencent had promised an immersive experience through Arena Breakout and it looks like we are getting exactly that.
The gameplay mechanics reward strategy and punishes disorganization
It’s rarely a good idea to dive into gunfights head-first in Arena Breakout. This game promotes and subsequently rewards strategic and out-of-the-box thinking. Additionally, Arena Breakout puts focus on teamwork and cooperation to succeed. From dealing with groups of enemies to clearing out rooms, everything is much smoother and satisfying when coordinated with teammates.
Tencent has a solid track record with FPS games so it would be a surprise if they fumbled on the controls. For fans of COD Mobile, PUBG Mobile, and the like, the controls and UI should be very familiar. For a game of competitive potential, it’s important for the controls to be inch-perfect, and Tencent has made sure that is the case.
In terms of ways to play, Arena Breakout currently offers two modes, Tac Ops and Covert Ops. The former is the standard way to play, where players can choose what equipment to take into battle. Alternatively, Covert Ops creates a loadout for the player. The aim of extraction is similar, but NPCs in the game function differently. Additionally, there are 3 maps available, including a farm, a secluded valley, and a war-ridden town.
One slight complaint is at the moment, AI-controlled enemies (bots) dominate the lobby. Perhaps this is due to the game being region-restricted, but hopefully, this balances out moving forward. Battling off against other real players would make gameplay much more engaging and competitive.
The game offers a breath of fresh air in the mobile FPS genre
Managing loot is a key aspect of Arena Breakout. The loot itself includes a large plethora of weapons and attachments, medical pills, armor, etc. However, unlike most other Battle Royale games, all these items hold importance in the game as a whole. All the collected loot gets stashed after safely reaching extraction in a round, and players can choose to either sell for money or take some of that loot back into the next round.
There’s a sense of continuity in the game – there is that ongoing decision of how to manage loot between rounds. Because of that, progress in this game is quite fluid and dynamic, rather than the linear style in most other games. It’s an interesting concept and it is different from what we’re used to. However, with this kind of system, the path of progression can be unclear and so it is important the developers ensure the game is always fresh with content to keep players wanting to come back.
Of course, these looting mechanics are taken from Escape from Tarkov, so we can’t give complete credit to Tencent for this idea. Furthermore, Arena Breakout isn’t the first to serve as a mobile alternative to Escape from Tarkov either – Netease was first with TPS shooters, Badlanders, and Lost Light. It appears Tencent has brought out its own competitor to battle Netease’s monopoly on this style of mobile shooter. Since Arena Breakout features a 1st person perspective, it’s still worth trying for those that have already dipped into Badlanders/Lost Light.
This trend of Escape from Tarkov style shooters on mobile began with Netease and now Tencent has come for a piece too. The mobile shooter market is becoming increasingly saturated, so it’s nice to see a different style come into play. Tencent has gone for a realistic experience with Arena Breakout and has executed the idea quite nicely.
The game runs well, the mechanics are interesting and ultimately it’s a breath of fresh air amongst FPS games on mobile. Whether Tencent takes a competitive spin on this game will be interesting to see. At the moment though, from a review perspective, Arena Breakout is a strategy-heavy shooter with great potential, perfect to play with a group of friends.
What are your opinions on the Arena Breakout game and your review of it? Do let us know in the comments!