The Free2Play shooter Hired Ops takes place in the same universe as Escape From Tarkov, but can that be a good thing, or should you stay away from it? We tested the shooter for 8 hours, here is our opinion.
What is it about: A few days ago the Free2Play shooter Hired Ops left Steam’s Early Access and has been playable for free ever since. Since Hired Ops is set in the same universe as Escape From Tarkov, we wondered if the shooter is good or bad. Here comes the surprising answer.
Escape From Tarkov as a Free2Play shooter: This is Hired Ops
The background: Many do not even know this, but Escape From Tarkov shares its “Russia 2028” universe with many others. There is the web series “Raid”, which explains Tarkov’s background, but also other games.
First and foremost, of course, Contract Wars, from the remains of which Battlestate Games formed Escape From Tarkov. A sister company of BSG has developed another IP for the universe in recent years: Hired Ops. But can a Free2Play shooter even be good in this context? We’ll handle that.
Similarities with Tarkov: Let’s start with the obvious, the parallels between Tarkov and Hired Ops. Despite the same universe, there is surprisingly little in common here.
What immediately catches the eye is the look and design of the shooter. The same graphic assets are used in Hired Ops that BSG also uses in the tactical shooter Escape From Tarkov.
In addition, the game uses a Tarkov-like, albeit slimmed-down, medical system within the entertaining matches. However, this is not without errors, because your leg often breaks even if you are hit in the head or chest. It almost seems to be drawn which region will be wounded. And voilà, that was all. From here on, Hired Ops goes its own way.
Hired Ops has problems, but is a solid shooter nonetheless
These are the key features: From here on we have to treat Hired Ops like a separate game and not like an offshoot of Tarkov. As clumsy as that may sound, it is, after all, an independent project with a decoupled development studio.
The core content of Hired Ops includes:
- Simple missions
- Fast matches with respawn
- Customizable weapons and appearance
- HP system instead of regeneration
- More agile movements
- No perseverance
- Small cards
By the way, during the early access phase, the testers found the Free2Play shooter to be very good. This attitude may also be clouded by the fact that testers often had to play with acquaintances or friends. Too often, the EA version didn’t sell.
And that can also be seen in the current number of players. With around 1,700 players at the same time, they are not particularly bad, but in the long run, it is not a healthy number of players. Nevertheless, these Hired Ops find a solid shooter for fans of old Call Of Duty or Battlefield offshoots.
The developers want to differentiate themselves from precisely this competition with the help of the missions. You choose these before any round and then try to fulfill them. The assignments are quite simple. Sometimes you have to kill 10 opponents with headshots, sometimes you rarely die – standard food, but still fun!
Does the game lose here? At this point, the facade seems to be crumbling. Hired Ops doesn’t really try to hide behind the name Escape From Tarkov. That is exactly a good decision because as you can see, the two of them don’t have much in common.
For example, customizing your weapons or your own appearance. Incidentally, this is also supported with real money. It didn’t feel like it made a huge difference in our 8-hour gaming session whether we invest money or not.
The already shallow gun play is hardly or not at all influenced by attachments. The guns don’t feel particularly powerful, but they let you feel real recoil. Hold on and then adventure continuous fire is not the case with every weapon.
But if you can shoot once without fighting with lags, which occur frequently, that is no less satisfying than kicking an opponent in the said CoD or Battlefield over the Volga.
Our conclusion on Hired Ops – is it good?
Strongly dependent on you: Whether you enjoy Hired Ops or not depends on the one hand on your expectations of a Free2Play shooter and on the other hand on what the developers are planning to do with the game.
At this point in time, the gameplay may seem solid, but it is not motivating or incentive to stay longer than a match or two. We not only recommend fixing the bugs, lags, and desync but above all rethinking the gun play and movement.
Don’t Hired Ops address precisely those players who don’t want to play a run-of-the-mill shooter? Shouldn’t it reference the strengths of the original, especially in the Tarkov universe? We believe so!
It’s … Okay: If Hired Ops cost money, we would probably advise against buying them. However, since the shooter is freely available to everyone, we say: give it a try. If you are looking for entertaining fun, Hired Ops could actually be worth a look for you. In any case, we got our non-existent costs.