iCombat Tactical at Lasergame Berlin is the most realistic laser tag system in the world. We tested what’s different about this system and whether it’s worth playing.
Hit again! The electric shock pinches me in the stomach region and I run, as if stung by a tarantula, to the respawn point of our team blue. No, we won’t let the others win this time, I think.
I quickly rush along a corridor of the labyrinthine arena (Spaceship Schöneweide), always seeking cover close to the wall, as I know from countless films. But Fiona, the enemy’s killing machine, is already waiting around the next corner. Shit! Ok, enough with the electric shocks. Softly, I set my shock belt to vibrate. The realisation seeps in: in this life I probably won’t join a SWAT team again. But it is fun: iCombat Tactical has definitely given me the greatest adrenaline rush of all lasertag experiences so far…
Note: As experience testers for Abenteuer Freundschaft, we were allowed to try out the iCombat Tactical at Lasergame Berlin system free of charge. However, this experience report is not coordinated in terms of content and reflects our independent opinion.
As with our first visit to Lasergame Berlin at the Charlottenburg location, we played in a group of 8 experience testers. Five of them had already been there in Charlottenburg and could thus make a direct comparison of all 3 systems of this provider for their evaluation.
This time, all the testers had already played lasertag – and that was a good thing. According to the provider, iCombat Tactical is the most challenging, most realistic, if you will, hardest lasertag system currently available on the market. So it was convenient for us that we were all already familiar with “normal” lasertag.
In the iCombat Tactical system, you play with equipment consisting of 4 parts: a headband, a waistcoat, an irM4 rifle and a shock belt with the apt product name “Stress X”. There are sensors on the headband and waistcoat that determine the hit zones for the opponent.
The weapon is modelled quite accurately on the M4 rifle and shoots 60 m in daylight, but the darker it is, the further it shoots. Gas cartridges are in the magazine and ensure that you have to reload after 30 shots, as with a real gun, and that there is a slight recoil when firing.
Now for the shock belt – the part of the equipment that most people had a bit of respect for at first. Because when you get hit, you get a slight electric shock. The intensity of the shock can be regulated on the belt between level 1 and 5, but you can also set the shock belt to level 0 or vibration.
The shocks are not that strong, even level 5 – but you can feel it clearly, and of course it is not dangerous (for healthy people). However, it stressed me out so much when I was playing that I preferred to play on vibration. That is one of the advantages of iCombat Tactical: every player can decide for himself how hard he wants his feedback. 🙂
For the games, there are other devices like “respawn boxes” where you can revive yourself and boxes that you have to “conquer”.
We started with a team battle to get to know the arena. In the second game we played with slightly different teams and this time also with one respawn point per team. That’s the name of the little boxes in laser tag where you can recharge your lives if you’ve been killed.
In the next round, our game leaders hid 3 stations in the hall, which had to be conquered and defended as best they could. This works by shooting at them. Then the stations are marked and glow in your own team colour – until the opposing team has marked them in turn.
The last game variation we played was Wardens versus Prisoners, where each team got to play each role once. Here the guards guard a station like in the previous game, which is now the prison door. Any prisoner who manages to shoot it down is free and escaped. However, the prisoners only win if 3 out of 4 can escape. So it made strategic sense not to try to go it alone, so teamwork was particularly important.
After the Lasergame, our experience testers fill out an evaluation questionnaire so that our conclusion is not a subjective opinion report from one player.
On average, our 8 testers gave the experience an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars this time. Compared to the last time at the Charlottenburg location, our testers liked the experience even a little better, whereby both the arena and the system were included in the rating.
From the briefing to the end of the game, we were looked after in a nice and competent way throughout. The staff explained everything to us in detail and every question was answered nicely and patiently. In addition, they took up one of our suggestions from playing in Charlottenburg and offered us drinks between rounds.
Most of us liked the Arena Spaceship Schöneweide even more than the hall in Charlottenburg (which is soon to be overhauled, though). I thought it was especially cool that it had a realistic look (except for the space cockpit). In the labyrinthine corridors, I felt like I was in a winding building complex, which reminded me of various series, films and, of course, PC games in which shooting takes place in such an ambience.
One tester said that for her taste there could have been more tunnels and hills in the arena. Overall, she rated the experience with iCombat Tactical very positively and found this technology clearly superior to previous laser tag experiences. The only thing she could do without were the electric shocks, she said. But, as described above, they can be turned off!
All the testers agreed that the games in iCombat Tactical were varied, a lot of fun and that the name “Tactical” is absolutely justified. Interestingly, however, we favoured different games: while some found the Conquest game the best, others particularly raved about the Jailbreak variant.
One of the great features of Lasergame Berlin is that you can choose between 4 different systems! Except for iCombat Entertain, which is supposed to be very similar to iCombat Tactical, we have now tested all of them.
In classic lasertag, the spacey look of the glowing waistcoats was rated positively and that you can see the “laser beam” (not a real laser). This system is also best suited for younger players and beginners. However, it also feels the most like a “toy” in comparison. I and some other testers also find the sounds of this system a bit annoying (bling noise instead of realistic shooting sounds, rattling, etc.) and the large hit zones on the waistcoat are less challenging for more experienced players than exact hit points with the other systems. Games with them are less tactical in comparison.
iCombat Tactical is in some characteristics the opposite of the classic lasertag system. This is because a realistic baller game experience is the goal: in this, you really have the feeling of aiming with a real gun and the games are much more tactical, as the name suggests.
The shock belt, whose setting can be individually regulated between vibration and clearly perceptible shock, additionally whips up the adrenaline level (even with mere vibration). Knowing and feeling that an enemy can be lurking around every corner automatically ensures that you take the game more seriously and play with concentration. This also means: playing better by intuitively ducking as best as possible, using cover – and playing athletically.
This system also appealed to some of our testers the most because of its high degree of realism!
Tactical was super fun, it had lots of realistic elements (recoil, sounds, reloading), a big map and lots of game variations.” Carolina, 32
Bottom line, the 5 testers who played all 3 systems liked Lasertag PRO the best. One of them was me. This was mainly because I was much better with the equipment of Lasertag PRO. With the iCombat Tactical, you can switch between three-shot and sniper (single shot) with a small toggle switch on the tagger, there is no display with more information about hits. If the magazine is empty, you have to reload after every 30 shots. With the Lasertag PRO, on the other hand, there is a display on the tagger that shows helpful information, and there is also no recoil from the weapon because this tagger is not equipped with gas cartridges. To put it simply: in Lasertag PRO, the tagger is easier to operate and the system is less adrenalin pumping than iCombat Tactical due to the absence of the shock belt.
In terms of the realism of the game feeling, Lasertag PRO is roughly in the upper midfield between the other two systems, which for me personally ensures an optimal gaming experience. However, this is clearly type-dependent and subjective. Those looking for realism, adrenaline and more serious lasertag play will prefer iCombat Tactical.
Only the tough get into the garden! With iCombat Tactical, lasertag comes as close as currently possible to realistic combat with firearms. Just right for anyone looking for an adrenaline rush, as well as lasertag veterans looking for the next big challenge! However, we recommend that laser tag newcomers first play Lasertag PRO or classic laser tag before playing iCombat Tactical.
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