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Video Game / Contract Wars

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Business as usual.

Contract Wars is a Unity-based free-to-play multiplayer first person shooter from AbsolutSoft, an independent Russian group. Released in 2012, it won several Russian game awards including KRI 2011 best game without publisher and OGIC'11 best start up project.

Russia, 2028. A construction of an international main gas line on the border of Leningradskaya and Murmanskay regions next to Finland leads to creation of special economic zone "Norvinsk". However, a multinational organization "Terra's Group" which allegedly has ties to a illegal operations in Tarkov two years ago and several local officials, began provoking an open military conflict between forces of UN and Interior Forces MVD of Russian Federation in the area. With such political tension, no one is willing to admit the conflict's existence and everyone retorts to private military contractors: BEAR (Battle Encounter Assault Regiment), known to be unofficially backed by Russia to subdue the foreign company, and USEC (United Security) hired by Terra's Group to act as peacekeeper but claimed by Russian special forces to be liquidating of evidence and witnesses related to their secretive operation. And thus began the Contract Wars, a secret and intense battle in that little region of Norvinsk...


Not that you care.

The game is available through Facebook, Kongregrate and VK. It has several game-modes such as Deathmatch, Team Elimination, Target Designation and Tactical Conquest.

A sequel/remaster version, Hired Ops (formerly known as Contract Wars Standalone 2,0), is under development by Absolutsoft with assistance from Battlestate Games (which is also developing other FPS title Escape from Tarkov, which is set in the same universe and centered around the aforementioned and titular Tarkov region); it is currently available on Steam as an Early Access title.


Contract Wars contains examples of:

  • Allegedly Free Game: You can still play this game using only CP and kick ass. But buying GP with real world money can help you speed up your progress immensely. (Think World of Tanks) There are also GP-exclusive weapons and camouflages that can be brought. Also, weapons bought with GP are permanently repaired (do not need repairs after a match) and do not require finished W-Task to begin customization. W-Tasks for GP weapons cannot be bought for balance purposes.
    • However, you can also earn GP through leveling up, the ingame roulette upon reaching level 10, random giveaways by the developers (either through promo codes or actual giveaways), and participating in (and placing) various contests held by the developers.
  • All There in the Manual: Contract Wars has an elaborate backstory (as seen here) along with brief summary of the conflict for each map. None of this factors into gameplay.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Contract Wars has several body armours, alongside a complex hit system and armour penetration formula. The best armour in the game, FORT Rosich+Helmet, alone has 150 points of armour, and can stop a single headshot below 60 damage. With all skills, 125HP and 160 AP plus 80% damage resist to the limbs and some explosion resist cna turn you into a tough nut to crack. If somehow your Clan has all the skills, this then increases to a whopping 160/220 HP/AP, with some caveats. Namely, the only time you'll be able to 100% benefit is bullets hitting the upper torso. With rounds landing on other areas, the armour level is effectively 160.
  • Critical Existence Failure: You're still fine and dandy even after your HP is reduced to 1.
    • Averted in HC (Hardcore) mode. Bullets to the leg or jumping off a tall ledge will cause "Leg trauma", indicated by a crunching noise and a broken femur icon. Bullets to the arms cause a similar debuff where accuracy and aim time are lowered to ridiculous degrees. And then there's the bit where you bleed to death when it gets too low (around 12). It also slows your movement down.
  • Excuse Plot: You'd be hard-pressed to describe the plot as anything other than "something about PMCs."
  • Friendly Fireproof: Played with. While you and your teammates are immune to each other's fire and grenades, they can mess up aim just like enemy fire. Shooting teammates in Hardcore (HC) mode, however, is an entirely different story.
  • Gun Accessories: There are several ways to equip attachments on your weapon in Contract Wars. First and foremost is by completing W(eapon)-Task assignments which will unlock a pre-customized version of that gun. The second way is to complete the W-Task and proceed further down the unlock tree which will let you acquire other attachments, such as gun sights or suppressors that can be chosen freely.
    • It is important to note that premium weapons do not require W-Task completion to be customized. In-game credit guns are the ones that require a completed W-Task to be customized.
  • Harder Than Hard: Hardcore (HC) mode on some servers. Available only to players level 40 and above, the game advertises this mode as being for its "true masters". The changes in Hardcore mode are:
    • 4x more experience than normal mode, with a maximum of a 56x EXP multiplier,
    • more damage (1.7x),
    • no minimap, unless a sonar or mortar beacon is deployed
    • no crosshair
    • no health and armor indicator unless your health is below 15
    • no fluorescent markers on the iron sights of the gun,
    • no friendly markers, which lead to:
    • Friendly fire, (with a -200 exp penalty for teamkilling, with players getting kicked after making 5 teamkills in one match)
    • a specialized skill tree that applies to all players on the server (Gives 50 armor which only protects the chest and 1 EFD frag grenade),
    • Traumas, such as:
      • Leg injury which makes you 0.3x slower, and is caused by a single large-damage bullet to the legs.
      • Arm injury which increases recoil, visually sways your view up and down, and is caused by a single large-damage bullet to the arms. Gameplay-wise, the swaying does NOT affect where your bullets land; they will hit their mark in any circumstance.
      • Bleeding which will always occur when the player's HP is below 10. You will gradually lose health until you die. This is also combined with the leg injury.
      • If you are close to a grenade when it explodes, your mouse sensitivity will drop for approximately 5 seconds, slowing reaction times significantly.
    • Reloading drops the magazine with the ammo left in it. Ammo does NOT carry over.
    • Bullet tracers are less visible, and,
    • Sniper optics have glare by default.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: The PMCs didn't seems to mind the lack of head protections.
  • Kill Streak: Getting four kills in a row without dying will net you a Sonar Grenade. Two more and the game will let you mark a location for a Mortar Strike.
  • One Bullet Clips: Averted only in Hardcore mode.
  • Regenerating Health: Subverted. Once it's gone, it's gone for good until you die - unless you get the relevant skill from the Assault class's tree.
  • Private Military Contractors: Oh yes.
  • Socialization Bonus: The Facebook and VK(ontakte) versions of Contract Wars allow players to unlock certain guns for free upon having a set number of friends playing the game. The number of friends required vary by weapon. Another benefit is that friend-activated weapons do not require repair.
  • Skills, Scores, and Perks: Your character can be upgraded with range of skills that are divided into six trees, any of which and be mixed and matched together;note 
    • Careerist, focuses on boosting your EXP progression and amassing more credits. Most of the skills in this tree need GP to unlock.
    • Scout, focuses on moving faster and analyzing situations in the battlefield.
    • Assault, for head-on combat, damage reduction and usages of primary weapon.
    • Destroyer, geared towards reducing weapon recoil, applying debuff on enemy and explosives.
    • Sniper, whose skill set boost accuracy of main weapons and helps in counter-sniping.
    • Gunsmith, which focuses on off-match weapon maintenance, accelerate beacon planting/defuse time and upgrading killstreaks.
      • And then there's the clan skills, which are also divided under Scout/Assault/Destroyer/Sniper/Gunsmith, and provide bonuses in-game (thermal sights, binoculars, ability to replenish teammates' ammo, etc.).
  • Standard FPS Guns: Your usual range of modern rifles, machine guns and all that entails exist in the game.
  • Super Toughness: The VIPs in Team Elimination mode for both sides are granted whooping 1000 HP. In return, their locations are revealed in minimap, which can be used to their advantage.
  • Tree Cover: Maps in the game are abundant with various bushes, both high and low. Learning to use them is essential as the maps often have long sight lines from one end to another. Amusingly, hiding in the same bushes as your enemy is the situation that happen distressingly often because of both this trope and how default uniform blended so well with environment.
  • War for Fun and Profit: BEAR and USEC mercenaries might be staying for money. But averted for their employers; there are different and very driven reasons for them to get involved.