Unless you’re a fan of intense first person shooters, Insurgency might be too much of a by-the-numbers affair to really keep your attention.
Set in a familiar modern military environment, New World Interactive’s Insurgency is a game that takes itself quite seriously in today’s era of Michael Bay-‘splosion-fests. This tactical squad based title strips the combat experience down to its core with minimal HUD markings, no health meter, no map, and no preset crosshairs aside from your iron sights. It’s a hyper-realistic experience that harkens back to hardcore shooters from an era long past that might be too unforgiving for today’s spoiled audience.
As many modern FPS conveniences are not part of the Insurgency experience, communication with your squad is not only the key to victory, but the key to survival in Insurgency. Up to 32 players are dropped into one of a dozen maps, taking each other on in modes including Firefight, Skirmish, and the co-op Checkpoint. If that’s not enough for you, know the devs are planning for monthly DLC post launch that includes updated gameplay, maps, weapons, and other features.
If you’re still hesitant about buying tickets to this gun show, know that both the Insurgent and Security factions will have weapons unique to each side in addition to a shared list of common arms that appear for loadouts. This variance adds another layer of strategy to the game as guns (and other items they carry) add weight to characters and affect their movement. Character classes themselves are also available to squad mates in a limited number each game, meaning you’ll have to adapt to different play styles if you’re not fast enough to snag your preferred spot as the team’s sniper.
Aside from the unforgiving gameplay of Insurgency, the title also suffers from a lack of visual polish. It’s not nearly as flashy as other shooters you may have been playing as of late (aside from Counter-Strike), but that drawback is figuratively and literally overlooked once you’re immersed in the midst of a firefight and trying to lay suppressing fire while your teammates flank towards a goal. I cannot stress enough how important it is to coordinate with your teammates; all it takes is a few errant shots to get taken out of action.
To keep players from running and gunning into the middle of a map, Insurgency also uses permadeath in most game modes. Getting taken out puts you on the sidelines in many game scenarios, only letting you respawn once your squadmates obtain certain objectives. It’s rough, but it forces you to keep your head down and think critically- a welcome breath of fresh air differentiating Insurgency from games in which players need only throw bodies towards a goal to achieve it.
The FPS landscape is riddled with countless flashy titles that take players by the hand and lead them lovingly into the fray; Insurgency is the less attractive, no-nonsense, tougher older brother many of today’s modern shooters might one day aspire to be.
Insurgency is available for download now on Steam.