New World Interactive
Glass shattered behind us as we ran down the wide hallway, and large caliber 7.62 rounds whizzed through the air all around us. We dove behind a desk for cover as the fully automatic PKM machinegun fire continued its deafening staccato. The last thing I saw before hitting my belly was an insurgent likewise laying prone at the end of the hall. Now he had us zoned-in.
“Who’s got flashbangs?” our squad leader barked.
“I do,” I replied, as I shouldered my M16 and withdrew an M84 flashbang grenade.
“Okay, I want you to toss it on three, you got it?”
“Copy that,” I replied.
As the squad leader began counting, I stuck my head up briefly in order to re-acclimate myself with our enemy’s general location, and as soon as I did almost caught a face-full of bullets. My screen became blurry as it simulated suppressive fire and my ears whined as the rounds collided with the desk; our temporary cover.
My hearing recovered in time to hear: “…three!”
I chucked my grenade through the air and found its mark, more or less, landing right in front of our foe. The machinegun fire ceased momentarily as the insurgent was met with blindness and ringing ears. My squad mates were already halfway down the hallway and made quick work of our stunned enemy, a testament to solid teamwork and on-the-fly tactical adjustments.
New World Interactive’s Insurgency has come a long way from its days as a Source engine mod, and is somewhat of a throwback to the days of FPS popularity. How it differentiates itself from other shooters, however, is in its focus on tactical realism. That’s right—if you get shot in this game, chances are you go down, so careful use of cover and concealment is strongly advised. The sloppy bullet physics and bunny-hopping all over the place, featured so prevalently in the Battlefield and Call of Duty series’ is absent here, and running off on your own will have you ending up on your back, sooner, rather than later.
The hand-holdy tutorials that players have become accustomed to has been replaced here by a bare-bones one. Gamers are expected to cut their teeth in the six Darwinian multiplayer modes. Noobs with limited patience or teamwork skills will find themselves rage-quitting and un-installing Insurgency, as it can be a brutal, unrelenting, game of wits, just like real combat.
Unlike less realistic shooters out there, encumbrance plays a role prominently in Insurgency; every piece of equipment can weigh you down, making you an easier target in the field. The maps, by the way, are similar to Counterstrike in that they are of the smaller, more contained variety, making engagements even more hyper-kinetic (and frenetic at times). Adding to the fast-paced, and realistic theme of the game is the fact that there aren’t any cute little glowing indicators above combatants’ heads. That means that players have to quickly distinguish friendly from foe on the battlefield. Those who don’t heed this will find themselves being banned from servers after racking up too many team kills.
Voip is strongly encouraged in Insurgency, and this is a good thing on the surface. However, players must be warned that voice communications are fully 3D, so speaking in more hushed tones is advised, lest your enemies eavesdrop on your conversations, and tactics.
Gameplay-wise, Insurgency falls on the “capture the objective” side of the spectrum as opposed to high rewards for high body counts. Utilizing teamwork in order to accomplish a shared purpose is rewarded here, instead of rushing off willy-nilly like a one man army.
Insurgency’s Source-driven graphics are serviceable enough; they aren’t the prettiest but get the job done on most gaming PCs. The game makes up for its lack of flash by making everything as immersive a possible; the weapons in particular have a real sense of heft instead of feeling like they’re floating in your hands. The sound effects are also very well done, and draw you further into the action, reminding you that you’re playing a realistic, tactical shooter, not some arcade-y game.
I found Insurgency to be an unforgiving, brutal game—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It forced me to think and plan before moving out, coordinate with squad members, and use patience and real tactics, as opposed to rushing off by yourself. New World Interactive also must be commended in that they are constantly releasing free content for Insurgency, which is rare in an age where most developers prefer to nickel-and-dime gamers to death with piecemeal DLCs.
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