Arena Breakout is a mobile first person extraction shooter published by Level Infinite (part of Tencent Games) and developed by Morefun Studios. We already covered the game some days ago with a first look article after its release on July 14.
Since then, I’ve played for 19 hours, both in duo and solo sessions, completing 49 raids. So far, I’ve reached level 18 and visited the first 3 maps to complete various missions.
Arena Breakout can be played in multiple graphic quality settings and FPS configurations but it still offers a good map appearance on lowest settings compared to other mobile shooters like COD: Mobile or Lost Light.
The audio quality is really crisp and you can hear every move of your enemies, if you turn the volume up. The gun sounds are realistic and it’s easy to differentiate the type of gun someone is using.
In Arena Breakout your goal is to go into a raid and extract with a much loot as possible while taking out enemies. Because the game is a hardcore extraction shooter, meaning that it’s very realistic and you have to plan what gear you’re taking and how much time you want to spend in the raid, what your goal is and if you want to go stealth of full on confrontation mode.
You can either enter a raid as a tactical ops or as a militant in covert ops mode. While in tactival ops, the “normal” mode you can take gear from your storage into the raid. As a militant you get an assigned set of gear and therefore have no risk to loose any of your items. The covert ops mode has a 15 minutes cooldown and offers a risk free looting experience. Sometimes you can even eliminate real player and leave with a fortune of loot.
At the moment there are 4 maps in the game that each offer a different sized and difficulty raid environment. That means that some kind of weapons like snipers are more suited for open maps like Valley or Northridge while SMGs are best used on Farm, the smallest map at the moment. Some maps even offer a “Lockdown Zone” mode that requires you to pay an entry fee and to carry more valuable starting gear but also has better and more supply spots.
Valuable items can be acquired either through looting other players or militants or more commonly through chests and other storage items such as jackets, medical cases or even fridges. Opening one of these will take a certain amount that increases, the bigger the storage gets. After that you also need a certain time to identify what items were found. This most of the time leaves you exposed to enemies and you’ll have to listen very carefully while looting.
At the end of each run you have multiple extraction points marked on the map that can be used to get back into the main menu with all your acquired gear. Some points are always open while others have a chance to them if they’ll let you extract. Others even require you to leave with no backpack or other requirements.
After each raid you’ll have to organize your storage to fit all the new loot. This gets a tedious, especially in the beginning. After some playtime you’ll be able to expand your storage to fit more items. All items take over a certain area of squares inside your storage and can be moved around to your liking. The game also offers an auto organizing features which I highly recommend using as it groups all items into categories, making it easier to search for a specific item.
Progression and Grind
You can learn lots of features from the ingame explanation screens and from the tutorial at the beginning of the game. More advanced game features and play techniques can be learned via youtube videos.
At some point, you’ll unlock the gunsmith feature, which allows you to modify guns to your liking using various parts. You can for instance switch sights, equip a new magazine or even put a longer barrel and place it on your gun for more range. The possibilities are endless but I found myself rather left alone figuring out how to build weapons and would like a more in depth ingame tutorial for that aspect of the game.
The game offers a more or less steady increase in difficulty with different maps offering more and better loot but also stronger geared AI soldiers and better equipped players. On your leveling journey you’ll unlock better quality ammunition and weapons that can be purchased at the different Contacts (quest + merchant npcs) through trading. This sometimes offers a cheaper alternative to the market as some players like to take advantage if an item isn’t broadly available. The market is a communal economy space where players can sell and buy items such as weapons, armor or even miscellaneous items that are required for quests or contact trading.
Contacts also offer the main source of experience points: Missions. These are tasks that need to be completed to earn XP and most of the time even money and gear. Some require you to visit a point on a certain map or to place an item at a designated spot. Others task you to go retrieve certain items from a location or to eliminate an amount of enemies in a certain area. Some of them are challenging but they always somehow manage to make them challenging but not impossible.
There is also a Battle Pass in the game that rewards you with items and which levels up with the same experience points as your normal player level. The only difference is, that you are only able to level up the battle pass 10 ranks each week unless you have purchased the second premium variant for around 15€. The first premium variant of the battle pass costs around 6€ and grants you access to additional items and appearance items.
Another very important point for me are the events which are currently taking place and are announced for the future. These event tasks in combination with missions introduce you to every aspect of the maps and game principles over time.
Frustration and other problems
As I want to provide an honest review that’s true to my experience, I also want to briefly mention the problem with skill differences in the game. There is no skill based matchmaking (SBM), meaning that you don’t always play against other player on your level of experience. Sometimes you are even matched against teams of multiple players. That results in sometimes unfair and even impossible to avoid situations that lead to frustrating moments. Especially when you loose good gear or can’t complete certain quests. Don’t get me wrong: I do understand that players with better gear are more likely to extract but I would love to see SBM at least in the ranked mode.
What often killed my mood during playing this game are the campers that literally occupy a single building for 5 minutes straight, waiting for you to loot your teammates or to extract. In addition to that, people have apparently figured out how to hack in Arena Breakout as we’ve met some players that for instance lock on to your head while your sitting in a bush 150 meters away.
In the future of the game I also hope to see a more balanced and mistake-friendly looting experience. At the moment there is close to no opportunity to get medical supplies that can fix broken bones once you’re inside a raid. Other medical items such as Medkits are also hard to come by so you have to rely on other players carrying them around. Another aspect of this is the frustration you get when opening a enormous weapon case only to find one empty magazine.
On the other hand new weapons and low level armor are pretty easy to come by as you can go into match with only a knife and sneak yourself towards the nearest AI soldier.
Arena Breakout : As of today Arena Breakout offers the best extraction shooter experience for mobile players that we've discovered. The game offers an amazing graphics and content that provides many hours of gameplay. The progression system and gear / gunsmith complexity is at a point where the casual fps player doesn't have to spend much time to get used to. There are a few annoying points but we are confident, that the developers will take of that in the near future. – GLPC: emk