Developer: New World Interactive
Publisher: New World Interactive
Release Date: January 22, 2014
Insurgency started as a mod for Half Life 2 and after nine months in Early Access the game has now been fully released on PC and Mac. Insurgency is a tactical team-based first-person shooter for up to 32 players. It boasts heavy cooperative play and a drastically more realistic experience. So has Insurgency done enough to stand out from the current onslaught of first-person shooters? Or is it just like every other shooter on the market?
The first thing you will notice with Insurgency is the incredibly clean screen. There is no health bar, no map, no compass, and no aiming reticule. I am so used to the Call of Duty and Battlefield games of the world that at first I missed these things. But after playing for a while I realize that you do not need them at all. This creates a more realistic experience you will soon focus on the action at hand and strategies for taking out your opponent, rather than just looking for them on a map.
Another thing that I really enjoyed about Insurgency was the class slots that you get to choose from. When you start any game mode you have to pick a class you want to play as. There is an Assault Group and a Scout Group, and you can select from a bunch of different classes like Sharpshooter, Fighter, Speacilist, Machinegunner, Bomber and Striker and quite a few more. But once one of the classes is picked you have to find a different one. I like this feature a lot because you really have to work with your team and you’re not going to have half of your team be snipers camping near your base. It gives everyone a defined role and you have to stick with that role if you want to win. And the available loadouts change for each map so you wont have the exact same options in every game. Plus you can still customize each class with a few different weapon options. This is a very thoughtful part of the game and it really sets the tone for how you must have teamwork, more so than a lot of other competitive first-person shooters.
The actual gameplay of Insurgency works really great as well. There is a certain fluidity in the game that is beautiful. The movement seems natural and the jumping and crouching all again seem realistic. The controls are solid as well. As someone who is not super used to playing first-person shooters with a mouse and keyboard, I found it easy to adjust to. Everything from running to leaning left or right out of cover all just work. There is a lot of clunkiness that you tend to find in controls with indie first-person shooters but Insurgency is very solid in that department.
Insurgency has three overarching game modes: Tactical Operations, Sustained Combat, and Cooperative vs. AI. Within each of those there are three different modes ranging from firefight and search & destroy, to push and skirmish. Each of them has their own goals and objectives but they mainly focus on territory control. The one mode that I found to be a bit different was VIP. This is where one team must escort their VIP player to the extraction point. Both teams only have one life per round. And the VIP is only armed with a silenced pistol, but can pick up a weapon from a fallen enemy or teammate. This mode is quite fun and the others are as well, but other than having to protect or defend a supply cache again, most of the focus is on territory control. I get that is probably more realistic, but there isn’t really enough variation from each game mode. And some sort of deathmatch or free-for-all would have been fun as well.
This is another really strong point of Insurgency. The graphics are really quite remarkable considering the game is a $15 dollar indie FPS. Everything is great from the maps to the weapons. And the sound design is really strong as well. This could have been an area where they could have struggled a bit, but it is a really big strength of the game.
-Needs More Diverse Game Modes
Insurgency is a fresh first-person shooter that does a lot to stand out from the crowd. It is a bit of a challenge if you are coming from more mainstream FPSs and it will take a bit of time to adjust. But once you do, you will love what you find. You have to abandon your run-and-gun ways and learn to work with a team, and you will be greatly rewarded if you do so. The realistic gameplay and diverse classes make Insurgency unique, and the graphics really allows this game to compete with some of the big boys. For $14.99 I don’t think you can find a better first-person shooter, this game is big hit, and definitely one you should check out.
Final Score: 4/5