Is Marauders, Worth Playing?
Honest Video Game Reviews received a free copy of this title for review purposes, however our opinions are our own.
Despite arriving late to the extraction genre, Marauders has a lot to offer fans of the genre, and with a larger budget and development team, it could be a serious contender for best in genre.

The Lowdown.

Product Details
Genre: Extraction Shooter
Developer: Team17
Publisher: Small Impact Games
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 3 October 2022
Supported Modes:

Late to the Party.

Let’s clear up one thing before we proceed: Escape from Tarkov has an almost 6-year headstart on Marauders and is solidly engrained in the minds of gamers as being the definitive extraction shooter. There is almost nothing that Marauders can do about it, especially with Call of Duty DMZ solidly securing the second-place slot for itself with millions of active players in just a few months.

However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for Marauders, and despite launching well after Escape from Tarkov has secured near total dominance of the extraction genre, Mauraders’ unique setting and mechanics (space flight) give it a very small window of time and opportunity to become the dominant “Sci-Fi extraction shooter”, before a larger developer with deeper pockets steps in and fills that role.

With a small team, a limited budget, and a late start, Marauders has a lot stacked against it, but Team17 has given me no reason to doubt their judgement (so far).

While Small Impact Games’ first game was a total bust (The Black Death), their persistence in updating a dead game (The Black Death) gives me hope that Marauders, with its significantly larger (albeit still small) community and more positive reception will not only finish its early access journey but continue to receive updates after launch.

is-marauders-worth-playing-in-2023

It’s A Worse Version Of Escape From Tarkov.

Right now, as it stands, in early 2023, when you strip away Marauders’ unique aesthetic, you are left with a less polished, less active and relatively content-sparse Escape from Tarkov clone, and that is ok.

Having played Escape from Tarkov at a similar time in its development, I can attest it was much less polished, far less active and had almost no content whatsoever.

Suppose Marauders can remain in development long enough to become a finished product. In that case, it has a very good chance of mimicking Escape from Tarkov’s rise from a niche title played by small-time streamers and enthusiasts to a title played by some of the biggest Twitch streamers to an audience of millions.

While I cannot deny Escape from Tarkov is a better game right now, that may not always be the case.

is-marauders-worth-playing-in-2023

Dieselpunk Aesthetic.

Dieselpunk is a fantastic aesthetic that will be very familiar to fans of the Wolfenstein franchise, a franchise known for its wide market appeal.

Unlike Cyberpunk, which mainly appeals to fans of science fiction and Steampunk, which mostly appeals to fans of alternative history, Dieselpunk is sci-fi enough to pique the interest of Sci-Fi fans while grounded enough to catch the eye of fans of alternative history and the early 1900s.

I feel strongly there is no better aesthetic for a small developer to choose when competing against a massive and engrained market leader, and I wish Small Impact Games every success in their endeavour.

is-marauders-worth-playing-in-2023

Matchmaking.

Due to its small but dedicated community, matchmaking remains possible at all hours; however, at off-peak times, waiting around 5 minutes to join a lobby with other players is not uncommon.

In addition, except for a single crew in EU central, all active crews (groups) require a password, making it very difficult for new players to find a group of players if they do not already know someone who is actively playing the game or is already part of an active crew.

New Player Friendly.

Marauders is a very difficult game, and new players will die often and lose their starting inventory very quickly unless they follow these steps.

  1. Unequip all items on your character before each mission – When you are new and don’t know the map, you are more likely to die/get lost than successfully extract; save your better equipment until you are better prepared to handle any encounter.
  2. The starter ship is all you will need for a successful raid, and it comes with one pistol, 30 ammo and a pouch vest that provides minimal storage and armour, more than enough to scout any location and defeat NPCs to claim their weapons and gear.
  3. Once you have two looted weapons and some ammo, there is no shame heading back to the exit; the longer you play Marauders, the longer you can remain active in each raid, but there is no shame in extracting early to secure XP, supplies and resources for later runs.

If you follow these three steps, you will soon be wearing the best gear and dominating every raid; in a recent raid, I entered with only the free items from my rustbucket and left with almost 125k worth of items in just 8 minutes by looting NPCs and using their weapons to kill other Marauders (players).

is-marauders-worth-playing-in-2023

Space Exploration.

Upon spawning into a lobby, players are given a selection of locations to explore, from derelict space stations, military bases, and overrun prisons, to badly damaged merchant vessels and crippled cruisers, which offer valuable rewards to any who is brave enough to face off with the heavily armed and armoured PC crew within.

Travelling between locations and using boarding pods to enter npc and enemy player ships is fantastic and helps to sell the fantasy of being a space pirate.

Boarding another player’s ship is one way players on weaker vessels can acquire a better ship, assuming they have the courage and equipment to defeat its current owner.

is-marauders-worth-playing-in-2023

Progression.

New players can unlock additional cosmetic and functional rewards by completing a series of missions for the pirate faction; however, most of these missions are either kill or fetch-and-carry missions, such as killing a certain number of enemies or finding a certain amount of a specific item.

In addition, players can complete missions for the major npc factions, which are often more inventive and involve more strategic goals, such as disabling weapon systems, killing a specific elite NPC, or destroying radar towers.

Completing these missions increases your reputation with a faction, granting access to vendor discounts, new items, crafting schematics and more.

Is Marauders Worth Playing

Marauders FAQ

Marauders is a extraction shooter video game developed by Team17 and published by Small Impact Games, it was released on 3 October 2022 and retails for $29.99.

Platform Availability.

Marauders is available exclusively on PC.

Are The Developers Active?

Small Impact Games has laid out a comprehensive and content-heavy early-access roadmap.

As of January 2024, they have managed to keep to it with relative success when you account for the challenges of running a live service title and the size of their team.

How Many People Play Marauders?

As of June 2024, around 10,000 people play Marauders on a fairly regular basis.

How Active Is The Marauders Playerbase?

Marauders suffers from low activity, meaning that while off-peak matchmaking is possible in populated regions, finding full lobbies in less populated regions is unlikely outside of peak playtimes.

Is There Group Finding/Matchmaking Support?

Marauders offers the following matchmaking options:

  • Solo Matchmaking
  • Group Matchmaking

What Peripherals Are Supported?

The following peripherals are officially supported:

  • PC - Mouse and Keyboard.

Is There Any Mature Content?

Marauders is unrated and contains the following:

  • Violence

Final Verdict.

Marauders is highly addictive, has a unique setting, and contains a relatively high amount of content for the price. Still, I can only recommend it to those intending to play immediately.

While I do not doubt that Small Impact Games has every intention of completing Marauders, they are only a small team and likely do not have the funds to continue development indefinitely without an uptick in sales.

I personally love Marauders, but I will be the first to admit, despite its potential, the developers may not have the time and resources required to make it a true competitor to Escape from Tarkov, and for most players, Escape from Tarkov would be a safer investment.

Is Marauders Worth Playing In 2024?

7
Honest Video Game Reviews has given "Marauders" a rating of 7/10, indicating that it is a good game, that is well worth playing, and while it may have a few shortcomings, the average gamer will enjoy it.

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