The best Russian-language games that are popular all over the world

Pride in domestic game development – fact or fiction? In fact, we also have such game projects that are loved all over the world. This selection contains full-fledged major titles from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, which are definitely no worse than foreign games.

Heroes of Might and Magic V
Despite the fact that the publisher was the French from Ubisoft, the game was developed by the Russian company Nival Interactive. By the fifth part of the franchise, the developers decided to move away from the classic graphic style. The project has changed a lot in terms of visual image, which alienated some of the audience. But it cannot be said that this step was unsuccessful for Nival. Visually, the game was quite similar to Warcraft III, and this benefited the project.

Everyone’s favorite journeys have not gone away, they have only become more beautiful and more detailed, if you look at the game in terms of level design and the number of objects on the map.

Craftsmen from Nival left the main concept unchanged. Heroes of Might and Magic V remained the same turn-based RPG with its recognizable atmosphere and gameplay mechanics.

Minor corrections to the gameplay, after all, were. Turn-based battles now use squares instead of hexes, as was the case in previous parts of the series.

Heroes of Might and Magic V was a great continuation and rethinking of the basics for Russian developers. The game received warm reviews from the press and players. All questionable game mechanics went down the drain, which made the game more modern for its time. Of course, they were not without criticism in the style of “why did you remake the game, leave the old heroes!”, But such a layer of players can be found everywhere. The fact that the developers from Nival coped with the new part of the franchise does not change this.

Escape From Tarkov
A worthy military shooter from the Battlestate Game studio, which honestly occupied the niche of multiplayer projects. Other advantages include modern graphics, which are in no way inferior to AAA projects from Western colleagues, good game design and fairly high-quality optimization.

The spirit of the CIS can be traced quite clearly in Escape From Tarkov.

Developers love attention to detail. Just look at how deep the weapon modification system was added to the project. No friendly user interface is out of the question, which adds to the hardcore game and puts it a notch above its counterparts in the face of Call of Duty or Battlefield. This comparison will not be entirely correct, since Escape From Tarkov belongs to a slightly different niche of multiplayer shooters, but it is necessary for gamers to understand that they have a completely casual project in front of them.

At first, understanding the local interface will be a little … complicated.

More than a hundred types of ammunition, a detailed damage system, determining the location of the enemy by ear, the ability to die from two hits in the chest – all these details make Escape Form Tarkov, if not hardcore, then at least a well-thought-out game. This project will appeal to those who are tired of casual shooting games and an endless number of royal battles. A thoughtful approach and attentiveness are valued here. And such projects are worth their weight in gold.

Vivisector: The Beast Within
Based on the idea from the novel “The Island of Dr. Moreau” was embodied in a new project from the Action Forms studio, thanks to which the enemies are not the result of a sick fantasy of the developers, but the result of terrible experiments on people.

What can be praised for “Vivisector” except for a pretty good shooter component? For a system of damage to enemies, unique for that time. Bullet wounds lead to deformation of those parts of the body in which these bullets hit. If it’s quite simple, pieces of flesh fell off the enemies, which made the Vivisector a rather cruel shooter. Even after 15 years, few developers have implemented such mechanics into their project. Why? Not quite clear.

No other project could boast of such high detailing of wool.

It is impossible not to praise the developers for the picture. Visually and stylistically, the project was reminiscent of Far Cry 3, the Unreal Tournament series, and Halo. It cannot be said that the game lagged behind the above projects in terms of graphics. In some places, the Vivisector even surpassed these games.

“Vivisector” was quite an adult shooter. The level of cruelty here could be compared with such projects as Soldier of Fortune or Quake.

In places in the “Vivisector” the plot was lame, but this did not make the gameplay less interesting. By the way, it evolved as the player progressed through the levels. If at first the main character encountered four-legged enemies, then later anthropomorphic creatures began to appear as enemies, the level of intelligence of which was noticeably superior to their counterparts. This forced the players to use more accurate battle tactics, which added variety to the gameplay.

World of Tanks
It is impossible not to include Belarusians from Wargaming in this list. The fame of World of Tanks has spread far beyond the CIS. But what is the phenomenon of World of Tanks? In the ability to evoke that very feeling of delight among the players who warmly relate to the military theme.

It is not for nothing that the game is called “Tanks”, because WoT returns that feeling of nostalgia, when gamers take control of not a toy tank, but a full-fledged vehicle (albeit virtual), with its own character, control and other technical indicators.

Over time, the game became more beautiful and detailed.

Each tank model is distinguished by its control, for which thanks to a competent and elaborate physical model. In World of Tanks, it is interesting not only to drive, but also to shoot, turn the tower, run into potholes, cut down trees and houses.

With the “tank park” everything is in order here. Dozens of pieces of equipment, each of which can be customized.

In addition, World of Tanks boasts a huge community and serious support from developers – events, bonuses for veterans, a huge customization system for both the tanks themselves and skins. The game is being watched, which makes World of Tanks more and more developed and interesting for all categories of players.

Pride for colleagues from Ukraine and simply one of the most atmospheric shooters with RPG elements in the history of the gaming industry. Released in 2007 under the wing of developers from GSC Game World, the project was immediately warmly received by the audience. But for what?

For the open world, for the atmosphere, for the unique mutant enemies, for the plot that keeps the intrigue until the very end (and ends with one of seven completely different endings). For an excellent arsenal of weapons, each of which has its own character of shooting. And of course, for the spirit of the CIS and the opportunity to run around the post-apocalyptic wastelands before it became mainstream (hello, Fallout 3).

The detail of the environment and the incredibly beautifully rendered sky are one of the strengths of the project, for which I want to praise the game.

An open world with its own regions and different levels of danger was revealed to the players. The concept with anomalies deserves special attention. The closer to the nuclear power plant where the disaster occurred, the greater the danger they pose to the player. Anomalies should be detected using a special device and ordinary metal bolts.

After an anomaly is discovered, players receive useful artifacts that can be exchanged for money.

The game wasn’t perfect. S.TA.LKER suffered from optimization, as well as character and monster animations. But I wanted to close my eyes to all these shortcomings. Later, two add-ons “Clear Sky” and “Call of Pripyat” were released for the game, which also won good reviews from the players and the press.

For its time, STALKER had a stunningly beautiful lighting system.

By the way, the second part is already in development. The project is expected to be released in 2021. The game will be based on the Unrean Engine 4 game engine, and it looks like this is the same “Stalker” that we have all been waiting for.

Metro 2033
Another pride for the Ukrainians and just a wonderful post-apocalyptic action for those who put the atmosphere first. What is funny, the main part of the staff from the 4A Games studio took part in the creation of the aforementioned STALKER, which makes Metro related to the main post-apocalyptic shooter from the CIS.

If the scene of STALKER unfolded in the vicinity of Pripyat after the disaster at the nuclear power plant, then the plot of Metro 2033 took players to the Moscow subway, which would become the main refuge of post-war Moscow.

The gray palette only emphasized the atmosphere of hopelessness and lack of life outside the subway.

It is not for nothing that gamers compare Stalker with Metro 2033. Both games are characterized by leisurely, measured gameplay, great attention is paid to dialogues and creating the right atmosphere, which is revealed not only through the storyline, but through the details.

Like STALKER, the action component in this game is a little lame: the weapon does not always feel in the hands, the recoil system is not worked out, many guns are similar to each other in terms of the nature of the shooting. But this does not make Metro 2033 a bad game when the story is at the forefront, and game designers create such a believable and deep world that you want to return to. Because it’s atmospheric, and because they know how.

The project boasted a good work of shadows and lights, which made Metro 2033 not only atmospheric, but also a beautiful game.

Despite the fact that the publisher from THQ did not take care of an active advertising campaign, Metro 2033 managed to notice that it gave the developers the green light to create a new part, which 4A Games released three years later. To date, three games have been released in the Metro 2033 universe, the last of which (Metro Exodus) was released in 2019.

Domestic game development was distinguished not only by attention to detail and deep game mechanics, but also by the unconventional thinking of the developers themselves. They not only knew how to create original games here: sometimes it was put at the forefront even at the stage of concept development. Perimeter is one of those games.

A unique strategy of its kind, which is unlike any other RTS that has come out of all time. Developed in 2004 by the craftsmen at KD-LAB, it was the first game to incorporate the mechanics of terraforming surfaces (terraforming) so harmoniously.

I would like to separately praise the developers for the excellent art design, from buildings to units.

Why did terraforming occupy one of the leading roles in the struggle for superiority over a rival? Without competent control of locations, it was impossible to build your own network of nodes connected to each other. Only when all the buildings are connected by one network, it is possible to turn on the so-called perimeter (in honor of which the developers gave the name to the project).

Activated perimeter in action. It requires a huge amount of energy, but it saves players from almost any attacks, except underground ones.

Let’s add here a very modern (for that time graphics), good optimization, and we get one of the best strategies of 2004, which won interest not only from the Russian audience, but throughout the world.

Allods Online
The popularity of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft inspired many. But until now, no MMORPG game has been able to repeat the same success that the developers of the Warcraft world have managed to achieve. And if other studios somehow involved certain elements of game mechanics (or visual features) from WoW, the developers from the Allods Team decided to go a little different way – they simply created their own World of Warcraft, with allods and ships.

What I want to honestly praise the developers from Nival Interactive is for the astral ships.

A user unfamiliar with the project from Blizzard can look at the screenshots of Allods and think that this is the same game. And there will be no paradox in this. The developers took all the best and most beautiful things that Blizzard got and transferred the fictional game universe to their rails. It turned out quite well, beautifully, and most importantly, popular.

Steal like an artist. Spell icons, building architecture, armor and other elements – almost everything resembles the famous MMORPG from Blizzard.

The only thing that did not save the game from success in the long run was donation. This is not about customizing game items and visual features, but about the specific benefits that donators received in the form of cooler pieces of equipment, which, in turn, made the characters many times stronger. Such a policy created a too serious imbalance between those who did not plan to make any investments in the game, and those who poured their hard-earned rubles into Allods.

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The visual style remains one of the strengths of Allods

Despite such an oversight in the economic model of allods, the project is still an example of how much popularity a game can get if you can correctly borrow successful game and design mechanics.