Marauder, is a squad based and tactical 3D game with RPG elements. It was released in late 2009, in Russia, and was developed by Apeiron with Buka as publisher. You may know these names as the former made Brigade 7,62 and the later also published Pathologic.
User reviews: Mixed (194 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 10, 2009

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"A squad tactics game of dubious quality. On sale for 75% off for the next day or so -- for a couple of bucks, it might be worth a look."

About This Game

«Marauder» is a tactical strategy with RPG elements. The game is based on the book "Marauder" by Berkem al Atomi and brings you to an alternate history where anarchy and endless strife have become a rule. You will play as a marauder who is trying to survive and settle a comfortable life. At first you have nothing but a double-barreled gun and a handful of shells, but in time you will gather "a family", arm it, and learn to stay alive in this constant war of everything against everyone.

Key Game Features:

• Game script and character dialogues written by Berkem al Atomi himself.
• A full-blown RPG system to develop your squad members.
• A small Uralian town with various different locales for you to explore (ruins, forests, military bases, underground bunkers); flexible system of weapon customization and a great diversity of items for barter and survival equipment.
• possibilities for tactical play and rich selection of combat situations – you will have to use stationary weapons, assault fortified buildings, operate at night, battle enemies indoors and outdoors and much more.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1
    • Processor: Pentium 4/Athlon XP 2 MHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX compatible 64 MB
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1
    • Processor: Pentium 4/Athlon XP 2.6 MHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX compatible 128 MB
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
29 of 34 people (85%) found this review helpful
29.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2014
«No one wants to buy me for a handful of cereals! »
- Random woman in Bazaar

Marauder, also known as Man of Prey, is a title which has a very soft spot in my gamer heart. There are some minor bugs, the story cutscenes are constantly freezing on modern systems and some ethical elements in the story indeed leave you behind with a raised eyebrow.

But if you've got a thing for turnbased strategy games like Jagged Alliance 2 or Marauder's spiritual predecessors Brigade E5 or 7,62 High Calibre, then this game is totally for you. Because of its appealing post-apocalyptic setting even fans of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. or the Metro series may take a look at this game.

The story, based on the same-named novel by Russian writer Berkem al Atomi, keeps you hooked for about 30 hours and is pretty unique. You control Akhmet, a Russian muslim and former army sapper, through the outskirts of a deserted city south of the Ural mountains. After a Russian political approach to NATO and the west, the US Army invades Russia under the pretext of a Peacekeeper Mission. The huge country therefore falls into chaos and soon anarchy spreads out. Akhmet and his lovely wife must now try to survive through this indeed chaotic cluster♥♥♥♥. As the game title already suggests, Akhmet does so in looting and fighting off bandits, stray dogs, corrupt policemen and even foreign soldiers. Interestingly Akhmet is not a good guy in the proper sense. He doesn't really care for the wellbeing of other dwellers or to bring justice all over the city. He only takes care of his family and its survival - whatever the cost. Soon he begins to fortify his apartment block against enemy raids...

Like in 7,62 High Calibre you control Akhmet from above and you can pause the game at all times. While the game is paused you can plan your next moves and give Akhmet (and later his companions) commands. Rather than taking away Action Points like in Jagged Alliance 2, all your actions require a certain amount of seconds, which will be counted down as soon as you un-pause the game. This gameplay element, called the Smart Pause Mode, may take a while to get used to it but works perfectly as soon as you progress. Once you also get your proper equipment the combat sequences are a blast - I've seldomly cheered so much while Vitek, our pro sniper in the team, scores another yet perfect headshot from hundreds of yards away. On top of that there is also a fancy skill system and upgradable character parameters. After levelling up you can invest points in better accuracy, stamina, barter skills or whatever comes in handy. The inventory, also similar to the one from the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, is pretty simple and self-explanatory. In the Bazaar, the local city market, you can trade further equipment and even upgrade your weapons. Also note that, similiar to the Metro series, the local main currency in Marauder are 5.45x39mm cartridges, colloquially called «fives».

Even if all this suggests that Marauder is an open-world game, it sadly isn't. In fact the game is pretty linear and you move from one section to another while regularly returning to your house and the Bazaar. I wish the developers would had implemented more city sections back then, but even then it's an already quite immersive world.

What really pissed me off is that the fancy story cutscenes always freeze on modern systems. This is already a well-known problem and nobody really knows how to fix it. Once again, it's an absolute impudence that the current publisher didn't give a ♥♥♥♥ about fixing all these problems before releasing this game on Steam. Furthermore there are a couple of other bugs and sudden crashes, but those are pretty minor or rather quite uncommon from my point of view.

Either way, please make sure to do the following steps before playing the game:

#1 If you've got a large monitor, adjust your resolution according to this guide.
#2 Adjust the poor camera controls according to this guide.
#3 Fix the grenade launcher reloading bug according to this guide.
#4 Please read Tin Tim's fantastic Let's Play Guide while playing. There you can watch all story cutscenes that don't work in the game itself! Furthermore it provides you with excellent hints and not too much spoilers.

The Good:
+ Quite detailed graphics
+ Immersive world and creepy Eastern Bloc atmosphere
+ Innovative story
+ Awesome combat
+ Lots of weapons (unfortunately not many NATO guns)
+ Good skill, trade and inventory management
+ Loot, loot and even more loot

The Bad:
- Pretty linear
- Some slowdowns during combat
- The final sections of the story are quite unpolished
- Those above mentioned bugs

The Ugly:
-- Story cutscenes not working on modern systems! Argh!

To put it in a nutshell, this game really grows on you if you love turnbased tactical games with lots of guns and a post-apocalyptical setting. It still has its minor flaws, but the rewarding combat system just does it for me. Period.

9/10

«The Democrats are to blame!»
- Random man in Bazaar, philosophizing about the cause of war
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
32.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
For me great tactical strategy game with RPG elements. The game brings you to an alternate history where anarchy and endless strife have become a rule. You will try to survive by looting and fighting your way for new items and supplys. Also you are able to develop your own squad members, which will give you advantage upon your enemies. The battles takes at many different places such as ruins, forests, military bases, underground bunkers and possibilities for tactical play and rich selection of combat situations. Thing that I like the most in the game is huge weapon arsenal and customization from tiny bullet to the mighty scope.

For me 10/10, definitely would buy it again
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
22.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 20
This is a hardcore tactics/battle sim/RPG set in postapocalyptic Russia. The graphics can be described as 'functional' by today standards, but attention to detail in graphics and gameplay and is immense. For example, you can see spent casings and MG belt links on the ground after firing a heavy MG. The gameplay is similar to game predecessors 7.62 and Brigade E5, it is pausable real time where 0.15 secs difference between aiming may mean death for a more sloppy character. These games offer the most realistic modern tactical engagement simulation I know.

The story of the game is based on a very grim and tragic book with the same title about civil war and chaos, where you can be killed for a can of fish. It's full of violence, includes famine, slavery and even mentions cannibalism, so I definitely won't recommend this title to kids or teenagers. On the other hand, it makes you play to learn what will happen next and to right the wrongs, much more captivating than a usual game story.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
30.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2014
Marauder is a Real time tactics game and the indirect sequel to 7.62 High Caliber.
The scenario has you AKhmed surviving in a Post-apocalyptic russia where Nato forces had made deployments before chaos started to spread. You take control of up to 4 characters with numerous pact weapons.
This game is hard but often not for the right reasons as camera might get stuck somewhere, you find yourself spazzing through floors or glitching weapons.
But for me the satisfying combat, the good russian VA and the interesting story made it worthwhile for me.
--------
buy it if your tolerance to bugs and bullets that instakill is high,
otherwise pass.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
31.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 5, 2014
I love scavenging. If you love scavenging and grumpy russians you will love this too.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
13.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 6, 2014
A good game. It crashes sometimes for reason I can't tell you because the text box is gibberish for me. When it does work it's very fun to play! A linear story, but freedom within the game when you do get to where you're doing the missions for the story. You also have a wife who punches like Mike Tyson. Your characters kind of a ♥♥♥♥, but who wouldn't be if survival was on the line, right?
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
18.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2014
Game is fun but hard. Need to play and die a lot before you will learn to survive.

Also camera movement is turned off by default. Go into settings and yank them up to max so you can see how they work.

Bullets are considered money, but nothing in game tells you this.

I give a recomendation due to well done doomsday atmosphere.
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8 of 14 people (57%) found this review helpful
51.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 7, 2014
Quite a short game with many cool features but way to many bugs and slowdown issues to really be enjoyable. Especially the cutscenes where slow for me at least and just made you frustrated so I skipped them.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
80.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 20
This game is a tough one to recommend -- very frustrating when it goes wrong, but hugely rewarding when it works! If you've played other games from post-Soviet studios (STALKER, for example), you'll know what I mean...

There are a couple of recurring bugs which you must learn to avoid to survive (close-range melee, for example), and the difficulty level can take some getting used to! ;) But, then again, when you do beat that scenario you've been stuck on for 3-4 attempts, victory is so much sweeter!

The commuinty-made translation to English is far from perfect, but it works well enough to give you the gist of what is going on. But I must be honest, I preferred to listen to the dialogue in Russian rather than read the (sometimes puzzling) English subititles.

In short -- definitely worth playing if you like challenging, tactical squad-level games. But bear in mind the handful of annoying recurring bugs!
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
24.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 24, 2014
I'm a big fan of both JA2 and 7.62 High Calibre. I'm really loving this game, it's very similar to 7.62, but with a great, dark novel as setting.

CAUTION: The Smart Pause System works more like a Turn Based Strategy game than like a Real Time Strategy. Only comparable to 7.62 and Brigade E5 (somewhat prequels to this game), or to Jagged Alliance (as far as micromanagment, guns and ammo go). If you buy this game expecting fast action and a slug fest, you are probably going to hate it.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
46.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2014
If you dont mind a few bugs this game is well worth its price, just check out the forum for fixes, tips, guides (full cutscenes avalible in tintim's guide) etc
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
62.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 16, 2014
***There's a way to unlock the camera, Absolutely unplayable until you do that, took a minute to find it on google.
The cut scenes are bugged, So you have to watch them on youtube.***

This game actually respects the player, it treats you like an adult and tells you probability of a shot being 80%, but won't hold your hand and tell you "but you have to stand to shoot out of a window.". It also won't tell you "you can throw that gernade at a 90% accuracy chance, but it will most likely roll past him and down the stairs.".
Once you get used to the Respect (or realistic) engine that it has, you'll gain an appreciation for the way the game treats you. Bugs people complain about (save what i started with in this review***) are just user error.

The game Is great. Hard? No, this game is brutal.
Bullets actually hurt you, and you cannot heal away the pain by ducking for a few seconds. Some shots are grazing wounds, some are full frontal leading to a broken weapon and shock for 4 rounds, you think it's over when you're down? Nope! His friend is going to come over and put a magazine in you for good measure. If they're really good, headshots that lead to instant death.

Fear not! For you have guns too, best way to play is to roll you main character as EOD/tech/ heavy build. I say this because this is the most satisfying build.
-Repairing weapons
Not so much for ware and tear, but the moments your favorites actually get shot, you somehow make it through and need to fix them.
And Heavy/EOD
-One of the few games I actually got to set up proper traps and ambushes, with a variety of landmines, and supressive flanking.

(I call him the main character, because I dhon't remember his name, havn't played in a while. I'm only writing this because i saw the game at mixed in reviews and saw this as injustice.)

Not for the faint of heart or lacking of patience, it is brutal, and crushing. One wrong move and party wipe.
Your tactical ability will be challenged to the level of final fantasy tactics and early fallout titles with this gem.

Honestly I cannot remember being so tactically challenged since F.F. Tactics in 1998.


10/10 You're a man now.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
20.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 16
RUSSIA STRONK
In this game you play Akhmet, a super churka imbued with astonding slavic power. The turn based combat is pretty intuitive and lots of interesting things can happen based on whichever strategy you employ. Sadly the game is bogged down by a lot of bugs keeping it from being a "great" game and instead just an "okay" one. Still, worth playing if you like really morbid stalker/metro 2033 vibes combined with a jagged alliance style gameplay.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
88.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 4, 2014
Truly a hard game to master as the constant translation glitches are a pain.
The game is excelent at pitched battles and planning.Enjoy and save many times.
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2014
You can gain experience points from beating your wife! 10/10
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120 of 143 people (84%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 4, 2014
Realtime RPG/Strategy with active pause (means, sheduling orders during pause is prefereble), worthy successor for 7.62/Brigade E5

Comparation with 7.62 Reload:
-better interface and graphics
-interesting story line and good voice guidance (note: I played russian version few years ago)
-almost no free choises or free battles (linear story line with close to no side missions and fixed order of combats)
-most of battles are in large enough, but extremely secluded locations (like buildings and alleys) with seriously limeted resources and huge difference in numbers of participants (you squad is 1-3 men), making combat somewhat different from 7.62 series (you will have to use mines and traps a lot more, rely on one shot kills instead of supressing firepower, element of surprise e t c)
-mostly same real time tactical combat system with active pause.
-slight changes to detecting system and RPG elements

P.S. Game is old, if there are serious lags, try compatibility mode with XP.
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99 of 115 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
51.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 4, 2014
I gave this the patience it needs, I've found that the game is deeper than it looks, initially for about 20 minutes, I died a lot, once i figured out the combat mechanics, i was double barrel shotgunning enemies in the face, enemies can be fooled, lured and blasted. A scope added to a rifle adds the little scope window like the old delta force games, simple but neat. Overall it reminds me of STALKER, it has the scavenger and survival element. Bullets are currency, reminds me of METRO. I'm only a few hours in and my character is still level 1, but in that short time, i feel as though I'm guiding my vulnerable character through a chernobyl/apocolyptic combination of areas, I'll update this if anything changes, only problem I've had so far is slowdown on the cutscenes, and sometimes enemies slip through doors when your in combat and occasional clipping issues. I'm off back to play it.

Updated- Yes, I can fully recommend this game (for the price), it has a similar overall structure to silent storm, it has roughly the same size gameplay areas, and is equally engaging. When you first start, you're like a hobo with a shotgun, running around loads, trying to avoid fire as you're constantly reloading the shotgun, while avoiding knife and axe weilding enemies. It gets a bit chaotic. Fast forward to level 6 (where I am now) and you will have raided army bases and found military hardware (rifles, smg's,scopes, lasers and suppressors) The professor in the market can upgrade weapon parts),you'll find new comrades to help in the good fight. It reminds me at this point of the old 80's film Red Dawn, as I now have a small guerrilla squad who cause maximum damage using stolen hardware and ambush tactics (mines,grenades and tripwires).

The story progresses each time you speak to your wife and rest in your bed, your house (which is in an abandoned appartment building slowly becomes your battle castle, getting more defensive as you play. It is not a game to be rushed, planning is everything. for instance- make sure your inventory is properly managed, it costs more action points to reload your weapon if your magazines are in your backback, than if they were in your vest or pockets, make sure you have filled magazines ready for a reload. I didnt find the micro management a chore, it's a neccessity to winning a firefight, and satisfying when you do.

If you do buy this, first thing to do is go into the mouse and keyboard settings and turn the sensitivity up, as its set to zero. it's a good idea to learn all of the quick keys too, I had a problem trying to remap some of them. IMO this game is worth the price and hopefully we'll see more of them on steam.
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57 of 69 people (83%) found this review helpful
47.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 5, 2014
TL;DR: Tactical strategy in a postapocalyptic world. Count me in!

I enjoyed Jagged Alliance and 7,62 (with the obligatory Blue Sun Mod), as well as all the S.T.A.L.K.E.R.s, Fallouts, etc. So this looked like a good marriage of concepts to me right off the bat. Add to this the unpretentious Russian storytelling, avoiding worn out game clichés and the main character being a cynical bearded man with cool comments and the game turns out really enjoyable. I finished it in just under 50 hours, which was a bit disappointing, as I enjoyed some epic battles there, and the story had potential to expand further...

The atmosphere is overall a bit postapoc-gloomy, but not depressing, just well fitting a random NPC's comment "Why is this country so f**ked up?" and the music unobtrusively complements it, although one "heavy metal" battle track can begin to grate on you a bit. Your character walks around with a leisurely pace (you can speed up, slow down or pause time anytime you like, if the action is too slow or too fast for you), exploring, scavenging anything useful, fighting bandits, looters, corrupt cops, hostile army troops, blowing up stuff, doing quests and following the main story plot as it unfolds.

The combat element is quite good, reminiscent of that in 7,62, with the game pausing when enemies are spotted or heard (or whichever way you setup your pausing preferences) or anytime you press SPACE, each action taking a certain amount of time to complete and you nervously checking the timer, will your character reload in time to shoot the bad guy, before he shoots you. Your character's stats play an important role in combat, so make sure you tweak them to your playing style (invest accordingly whether you are gonna be a hidden sniper or a charging commando). Particularly important are hearing and seeing, as your enemies will do their best to flank you and sneak up on you and your life depends on detecting where they are at any given time. I was pleasantly surprised that the AI isn't stupid and does not just blindly advance towards you, but tries to use cover, gets on your flanks to shoot at you when you don't see him, investigates noises and your last known position, etc. Combat can also be quite difficult, particularly when you've got a a nearly empty clip and several enemies advancing on you as they aren't bad shots either. So for some more difficult battles, you will likely die a lot and frequent saving is recommended. But sucessfully winning a difficult battle by employing various tactical tricks and approaches is very satisfying and looting fallen enemies can be quite rewarding too, if a bit too micromanagerial.

The camera commands are a bit clunky, but once you get used to turning the view with your right mouse button, zooming in and out with the wheel and moving the view with WSAD (hold shift for faster camera movement), you'll have good spacial awareness and control of the battlefield. One of the more annoying things is that the camera can get stuck indoors when you wanna look outdoors, and you have to "walk" it out of a door or window. There are also some other bugs that occur, like some talk or menu text suddenly switching to Russian (when it was English just moments before), your custom assigned keys resetting each time you enter the setup menu and the occasional crash, but I've encountered nothing too frustrating or gamebreaking and could bring the game to a conclusion.

Overall, if you enjoy this sort of game, tactical fights, RPG elements and atmosphere and can overlook a few bugs, you probably won't be disappointed.
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43 of 48 people (90%) found this review helpful
14.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 7, 2014
A fine game from very talented developers. Sadly, they are no longer in gaming industry, for almost five years now. If you liked this game you should check their other projects - E5 and 7.62. Those games are very flawed, just like this one, but its all from the lack of funding - tactical RPGs are not very popular today. Nonetheless they are still great games, and fantastic experience for fans of JA and XCOM. And gun nuts. Literally, hundreds of firearms.

And one more thing i must mention. Translation. Here we are dealing with atrocious, embarrassing, ugly and unholy kind of translation. I am Russian, though i prefer playing western games in English, so my Steam language is English, and due to a bug i am stuck playing this game, again, in English. And it is terrible. This game is based off a book, actually, and very fine one. Dialogues are great, but they are full of idiomas and phrases that are very hard to translate, and since translators were pretty incopetent you are missing a lot.

So, if you liked this game i strongly suggest that you read the book it's based off - Berkem Al Atomi's "The Marauder". I just hope that it has a decent translation.

And excuse me for my English, i know it is terrible.
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116 of 175 people (66%) found this review helpful
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 4, 2014
stalker and jagged alliance had a baby

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