Last night, around 10:30PM EST, I was walking around shoreline in a 04:30 raid. There was a noticeable absence of players near me, so I took a moment to appreciate the atmosphere and 'feel' of the Tarkov countryside by slowing down.
No sprinting to marked room in a hurried loot-frenzy.
No rushing the center of Interchange in an SJ-6-fueled bid for Killa's armor and helmet.
No rushing players down with the hopes of the desync gods shining favorably upon me.
'Just listening to the rhythmic crunch of grass and gravel under my boots. Seeing the color red streak across the sky, like blood in the water, warning Tarkov's creatures of the dark of the impending light. The sound of my pouches and magazines shifting through my XCEL headset when I came to a crouch near a tree, resting my left shoulder against it to steady my suppressed AKM on the head of a starving citizen of Tarkov in exchange for safe passage to the pier. My finger feels the click of a G Pro Wireless, but my brain processes it as the hammer slamming into the firing pin, sending a kiss of BP-labeled-death into the conscience of a person I never knew, rendering them a person I will never know. He slumped down over his knees, then rolled back on his heels against an old blue dumpster, throwing his badly damaged VPO-215 to the ground beside him.
Rustling through his Umka rig and Duffle bag proved fruitless as I snagged a spare RGD from his pockets and stood above what remained of him. His body, leaned up against the dumpster with a crude cave painting of all that his life led up to on the rusted blue paint of a smelly dumpster in a long-since-abandoned construction site behind him, was just pixels on my computer screen, but I felt a weird guilt and hiked up the shoulder strap of my backpack and began walking through the site.
Once, I heard a group of scavs drunkenly singing a little shanty when I passed by the Factory a few days ago. I wonder if that scav back there ever knew the words.'
Escape From Tarkov, to me, isn't a race to Kappa. It isn't even a race to the flea market.
To me, Escape From Tarkov is all about the story that's been right in front of us this entire time. We just have to be willing to accept that we aren't going to be competitive PvPers when we enjoy it, but that's okay.
I have more fun immersing myself in the phenomenal atmosphere of Tarkov than I ever have W-keying around Factory for 50 levels, anyway.
What does this game mean to you? I'd love to hear your stories.