sandstorm. The hardcore shooter we deserve /


Insurgency: Sandstorm
Developer New World Interactive
Publisher Focus Home Interactive
Official site
release date December 12, 2018
Genre First person shooter

The history of the Insurgency series began in 2007, when Half-Life 2 fans created the Insurgency: Modern Infantry Combat hardcore mod. Seven years later, a full-fledged game was released, and on December 12, 2018, its sequel called Insurgency: Sandstorm.

The first release date was September 18, but after the beta test, it turned out that the game was raw and needed serious polishing. The developers had the courage to admit the minus of the project, so they took another three months to finalize. Extra time, the second beta test and the December release showed that Insurgency: Sandstorm feels better, but the main problems have not gone away.

Insurgency: Sandstorm

Insurgency: Sandstorm added a vehicle – a jeep with a huge machine gun. They also brought in a powerful system for customizing heroes. True, during the game I did not understand the usefulness of vehicles, because sitting in a car, gamers become easy prey, especially for enemy air support or artillery called by the enemy. The added customization is also puzzling. Such a thing is now in every modern shooter, but whether it is needed in a hard representative of this genre is an open question.

The scarcity of the starting content also let down: only four maps and three modes are available (training with bots, team battles and rating battles), but this will come with time. The promised story missions are also not yet available, but they are threatened to be added next year, along with the release of the project on the console.

Insurgency: Sandstorm

As for the main thing – the gameplay, then Insurgency: Sandstorm is doing great with this. Despite its hardcore nature, the shooter is dynamic, but it requires a thoughtful approach. The ideal definition of gameplay in Insurgency: Sandstorm is to rush slowly. The project does not like quick-witted gamers who rush around the map and try to be the first to make more frags. This is a team shooter where you need a keen eye, a cold brain and quick hands. Famously galloping a mountain deer, as in Call of Duty Black Ops 4 or Battlefield V, will not work here – you will run into a bullet, a grenade, an RPG or an air attack. But sitting in ambush for half a match, as in the same Squad or Arma, is not required here.

Insurgency: Sandstorm has a minimalistic interface: there is no terrain map, as well as hit points above the enemy’s head. Because of this, one can only guess about hitting the enemy (we are talking about long distances). But any gun feels like a native, the weapon has a tasty sound and realistic recoil, so it’s almost impossible to easily lay down an enemy with one bullet.

The reload is long, and the number of remaining rounds is not indicated. There is a quick charge option (press the “R” key twice), but in this case, the character will simply throw out the magazine with the rest of the cartridges and insert a new one. This method is used much less frequently, because it is difficult to replenish the arsenal here. Ammo can be recovered at several points on the map, so players often pick up weapons from the dead.

The developers from New World Interactive transferred their brainchild from the Source engine to Unreal Engine 4 and compared to the first part, the new product has become more epic, spectacular and more beautiful. The maps have been enlarged, and the landscape, buildings, weapons, and character figures have been given an unashamedly modern look. But you should not expect a mega-beautiful picture from Insurgency: Sandstorm, after all, this is not CoD, but now the shooter does not look like a rarity from the past.

True, for these beauties and all the new features of Insurgency: Sandstorm, they paid with the stability of work, severe fps subsidence and other “joys” of gamers. On many systems, be it expensive builds or “old buckets”, the game slows down on any graphics settings. And I had the same thing – maximum speed or low game does not matter. At regular intervals, she brutally blunted, which was instantly reflected in the quality of the battles.

In addition to these troubles, there are many small and non-critical bugs in Insurgency: Sandstorm, but there are so many of them that it really infuriates. A weapon suddenly disappears, and you don’t see where to shoot, artifacts appear on the screen, the character gets stuck in textures, doesn’t go through open doors, falls under the stairs, and so on. It turns out that even after two bets and three months of hard work, the new shooter still needs to be polished.

But pleased with the sound. The game sounds amazing, while each weapon has its own “melody”. On the maps, any rustle and actions of the characters are heard: here and there distant steps of heroes, a grenade explosion, a machine gun chirp, the sound of a magazine change, a mate around the corner or a sniper shot are heard.

Insurgency: Sandstorm is a new hardcore shooter that was released too early. The game has the most powerful potential, and the developers simply did not have enough time to remove the main problems with performance and optimization. Who needs a new beautiful picture, when everything lags even on powerful hardware, and only the lucky ones can play at maximum parameters and without problems. Nobody wants to be a free tester, and this is exactly what the game community of the project and its creators are doing now. Ideally, we should wait a little longer, play the first Insurgency, and return here in late winter or early spring.

The main thing is that all these problems are solvable (bugs will be removed and content will be delivered), and in all other respects Insurgency: Sandstorm is a cool, vigorous and potentially long-term project. The novelty can be safely recommended to those for whom Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is too simple, and Squad or Arma are too complex. Be sure to pay attention to this game, but later – at least in a couple of months.


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