There’s a moment of clarity that arrives the first time you find yourself crawling for your life as bullets pepper the environment around you. The shrieking streaks of hot lead rush past your head by the dozens, and as the screen begins to blur you realize that Insurgency isn’t quite your typical shooter.
Sure, you’ve felt this sensation before. You have shot your way through a number of fast paced first person shooters favoring flashy effects over realism, but what sets Insurgency apart from the AAA shooters dominating the marketplace is that it never tries to be more than it needs to be. The tide of battle can change with a single well-placed round and it makes surviving the match a heavy burden to bear.
Enlisting with Insurgency after tours of duty in the trenches of AAA blockbuster shooters can be jarring at first, but it’s worth it. Adjusting to the high level of difficulty takes a slight grace period that can be eased with the game’s brief Tutorial mode. Here, you gain a firm understanding of the fact that the weight of a single bullet can change the tide of war in a split second. Often, you will find that one or two shots force bodies to drop like the dead weight they are destined to be. This means that tactics and cooperation remain a fundamental core of what the game is about. Slow and methodical will march you to victory over fast and loud almost every single time.
Insurgency’s emphasis on teamwork is spread throughout the entirety of the game. As each match of up to 32 players begins, you are forced to pick from a limited number of specific classes that contain their own sets of unique weaponry. Only one slot can be filled at a time, which makes it a crucial element for elevating the game to higher playing field. It forces you to coordinate with your teammates and prevents the lone wolf mentality from dominating. There’s something inherently exciting about perfectly executing maneuvers with your teammates and calling in someone to accomplish the specific task that their class requires them to fulfill.
Completing mission objectives rewards players with supply points that allow you to further customize your loadouts over the course of each play session. Spending your points will net you a range of critical upgrades for dominating the battlefield such as different attachments for your weapons, grenades, armor and more.
Additionally, destroying your enemies’ weapon caches or capturing objectives can change the course of battle by allowing reinforcements to arrive. When you find yourself facing insurmountable odds and somehow manage to bring your team back from the dead you feel a powerful sense of accomplishment that lures you in for more.
Some may find that relying solely on multiplayer is a mistake, however, the lack of a single player campaign has allowed New World Interactive to focus on their core design philosophies and execute them brilliantly. Now, that isn’t to say that the game is flawless, no gaming endeavor is, but it has given the studio ample time to create a fine example of what a multiplayer shooter can accomplish. The most glaring issues I faced occurred in co-op. Occasionally, enemy AI would seem to wander off uninterested in the fight at hand and completely unaware that they were about to have a slug nestled deep in their skull.
Even with the game’s minor bugs, which are being addressed continuously through regular updates, Insurgency fuses gritty realism with pure enjoyment. This enjoyment is further emphasized by a strong sense of immersion that arrives in the form of a streamlined user interface. You won’t have to deal with a cluttered and intrusive UI that often accompanies AAA shooter experiences. Of course, it isn’t graphically on par with the best that the next generation has to offer, but chances are you’ll be having too much fun to truly notice the dated graphics anyways. With such a streamlined interface, player are free to focus on finding and executing enemies.
This is a game about you, your weapon, and covering your allies in the heat of battle. But in reality, it’s all you really ever needed in a shooter.
Insurgency is the first person shooter you didn’t know you were waiting for. With six competitive game modes, and two cooperative missions to tackle over seven different maps, the game offers up enough to keep you coming back for more. While it certainly has its flaws, none of them are glaring enough to prevent you from experiencing the game in all of its glory. And hey, at least it doesn’t need an endless stream of patches to fix the game at launch. I’m looking at you Battlefield 4. When you find your gun jammed up by the stream of overly produced shooters on the market, you need to be aware that Insurgency is patiently holding its breath, waiting for you to pull the trigger.
This review is based off of the PC Steam code, which was provided for us.
Insurgency is a breath of fresh air in the stagnant genre of first person shooters. It forces you to stay frosty at all times and always have your finger on the trigger. Don’t be surprised when you find yourself signing up for duty time and time again.