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What is ARC Raiders?

The upcoming free-to-play cooperative shooter from Embark Studios
What is ARC Raiders?
Image via Nexon/Embark Studios

I’ve often been of the opinion that if anything could get humanity to put its differences aside and work in our collective interest, it’d be a hostile alien invasion. We did it in Independence Day and we did it Gurren Lagann; when some big alien force shows up thinking they can take our stuff, they’re gonna be met with a whole lotta guns and mildly crazy people. It’s that precise situation that forms both the set dressing and gameplay style of ARC Raiders. On that note, exactly what is ARC Raiders?

First revealed during The Game Awards last week, ARC Raiders places players in the role of the titular Raiders, a human resistance movement fighting back against the ARC, a mysterious race of robotic entities dropping from space. No one knows what exactly the ARC want, but they’re going to tear the whole planet apart to get at it if we let them, and we definitely ain’t letting them. 

What is ARC Raiders?

On the surface, ARC Raiders is your usual PvE affair: a team of human-controlled Raiders fight to wipe out the computer-controlled ARC, which can take on a variety of forms ranging from small flying drones to gargantuan automatons. However, unlike in other PvE games, in ARC Raiders, teamwork is paramount. One Raider on their own can’t do much of anything against a foe as indomitable as the ARC, so they have to work together and focus their efforts and die trying. The battlefields of ARC Raiders are much larger in size than other PvE games, spanning entire deserts and forests, creating a combat experience on a massive new scale. 

While the ARC is mechanical in design, it’s still a thinking creature. It can adapt to simple combat tactics, which means just running at it with your finger on a trigger won’t do anything but get you killed. Instead, ARC Raiders prioritizes guerilla tactics and improvisation. You can plan a few things ahead of time, but chances are good you’ll need to reinvent your plan on the fly. Scavenge the wilderness for weapons, flee and hide among the foliage, use hit and run tactics. Everything is on the table as long as it keeps you and your squad alive and totals the ARC. These are your woods, and the ARC is among wolves.

ARC Raiders from Embark Studios is set for release some time in 2022. When the game releases, it’ll be free-to-play, so keep an eye on the newly-launched Steam page for more details as they come.

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