The launch of Counter-Strike and its subsequent overwhelming success sprouted several independent and big budget competitions. Some of them lived up to a modicum of what made the Former great whilst other didn’t simply cut it with the larger gaming community. Even to this day a new iteration, inspiration, or a straight up copy pops up now and then.
Developer: New World Interactive
Publisher: New World Interactive
Available on: PC (tested), SteamOS + Linux, Mac OS X
Insurgency is a new tactical military shooter that, despite being based in an outdated Half-Life 2 mod, plays with such an enduring tenacity it never feels like a shallow affair. Insurgency’s visual realism kick up the notch cooperative teamplay turning the combat into a frenzied standoff of adversaries. Even the game’s dated graphics have little to no effect on the intensity of hostile encounters.
The game makes use of the middle-east conflict, setting its fictional retelling among the sandy dunes and the grim backdrops of Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. The various missions it indulges the player into revolve around getting around with utmost agility, strategy, and tactic to achieve tasks including escorting a VIP, clearing any area of hostile forces, or simply performing generic chores of run-and-gun, albeit covertly. With the combat essentially being an extension of heroism prevalent in Call of Duty and Battlefield, the game keeps you on your toes at all times.
You maneuver through dingy houses and narrow streets – a rather typecast imagery of middle-east prevalent in games and movies – and come upon an open area only to receive a bullet or two to critical points on your bodies and you’re down. That’s how death catches you off guard in Insurgency. One moment your mission as smooth as could, next second you’re frantically activating health packs to survive the sudden onslaught of bullets.
Insurgency’s charm lies in its effort toward visual realism, so much so that a bullet or two could take you out and you wouldn’t even know where it came from. Survival become a challenge in itself as the health does not regenerate, and you often find yourself scurrying around to find health packs. Vigilance is an essential trait that could get you through, as going gung-ho rarely works in your favour. Luckily, a comprehensive tutorial runs you through the bare bones of you the game before throwing out in the world.
The loadout system is rather impressively versatile in that you can change your basic paraphernalia in a variety of ways. A scope could be replaced with an under-barrel hand grip, or a silencer. This would make an otherwise long-range weapon more controllable in a close-quarter battle, baring the weapon of long-range engagement. A carefully put supply point systems tends to keep things close to realism by weighing you down if you keep too much on you, as a result having you swap inventory on a regular basis throughout your gameplay.
Combat mechanics offer a fluid yet strange engagement. Every tiny action you take in cover tends to have effect on your body, raising it just about enough to scout the enemy whilst protecting yourself from the harm. Mouse sensitivity can be adjusted specifically for you zoom in on your targets. You can even zoom further in by holding the shift key when not mobile. Keep everything adjusted on the go o maintain fluidity in your gameplay. Insurgency tends to keep your focus on the combat by limiting the elements of user-interface by leaving out mini-maps, health bars, and inventory display. This in turn drums up the focus on visual aspect of the game.
It’s a game developed on the concept of teamwork, and cooperation can mean between a moments death or a dumbfounding escapade. Your teammates are an essential part of your strategy, as the ‘Push’ mode lets you send your comrades on a covert hunt to carry out a mission-critical objective.
Cooperative mode is the life of this game, and a tiny squad is less than likely to prevail till the end in the 32–player maps which Insurgency sports. Alternative to that are two cooperative modes with AI smart enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. All-in-all, Insurgency maybe made out of an out-dated game engine, but its admiring devotion to infiltration, cooperative gameplay, and teamwork-centric mechanics is what puts Insurgency above the rest.