In the contemporary era, when companies are literally churning out first-person shooters recklessly to make a decent profit by appealing to the die-hard fanbase of the genre or those who would pay a buck for about anything that is on the shelves, it has become increasingly difficult to purchase anything without a second opinion. One of the biggest reasons is that businesses these days employ a very clever tactic to lure customers: the implementation of life-like visuals have a somewhat magical effect on people these days who believe that better visuals make a better game, while the truth is far from that ill-notion. The introduction of the pre-order feature at the expense of demos have also made critics, and even the common people question the credibility of games. While that is an ensuing issue plaguing customers, it becomes our moral duty to provide our fellow readers with a small token of reliable assurance, which ones they can purchase without a second thought. We naturally convey that by writing a review. But this article, in particular, isn’t a review.
The subject that finds it’s way into our discussion today is Insurgency: Sandstorm. From the developers of Day of Infamy, Insurgency: Sandstorm is New World Interactive’s upcoming FPS game, a titular sequel to the first Insurgency game which was met with overwhelming positivity on the internet and was blessed with a solid, dedicated community in addition to that. I know we are probably late, but our discussion will chiefly consist of the newest features being applied to Insurgency: Sandstorm.
Also, as the customary here in Spiel Times entitles us to provide our readers with assurance, we will be playing the game extensively and will be publishing a review and lay down our honest opinions about it very soon. So, stay tuned.
INSURGENCY SANDSTORM AND WHY I THINK ITS WORTH IT
It took me a few years to realize that there were games other than CS:GO that were worth playing. I was obsessed with it, grinding through competitive matches to rank up. But I ended up quitting it. I won’t go over the details, but if you want to know you can redirect to my bio. Anyway, going back to the main point. I purchased Insurgency maybe a year or two ago. At first, I thought it was some Battlefield or Call of Duty clone, but as they say, one must not judge a book by its cover. After an entire week of trying to download it, when I really had a substandard connection from a local ISP who had no idea what he was doing, I dived right into it and found to my surprise a really poorly made Menu. The UI was horrible and I still think they could spend some time fixing it, given that there is still a very solid player base who find the game fun. That menu was off-putting for me but when I started playing it I realised that it was not as simple as it looked. The mechanics were well refined and took time to grasp. There were weapon customisations and all sorts of stuff that will make you want to play more and more. A myriad features waiting to be explored. I loved the game so much that when I heard that the developers were making a sequel I was exhilarated. But sadly, my unit exams interrupted my time schedule and I couldn’t sign up for the beta. The reason why I’ve decided to write about Sandstorm today is because I want to give my fellow readers an insight into the game. Let’s begin:
New Engine: Insurgency: Sandstorm, as opposed to its predecessor, is being rebuilt from the ground up in a totally new engine, Unreal Engine 4 which will enable the developers to replace the poor graphics with stunning visuals. In addition, it will also make space for the developers to put in new features.
Weapon Recoil and Bullet Drop: Any avid CS:GO player will know how important the recoil factor is for taking down opponents. Likewise, the latter would be easier for Battlefield players to relate to. Bullet drop is relatively a new feature being added into Sandstorm. There will also be a travel time factor which determines the speed of different bullets being propelled from different guns. This will make it harder for players to aim and spam, besides it would be far more complex than just shooting and expecting the bullet to hit the target.
Vehicles: It really fills me with excitement to see that Sandstorm has taken examples from so many games and managed to add features and enrich itself profusely without being called a clone once. Vehicles are one of the biggest additions to Insurgency. It is still not clear how an infantry combat game would perform with the addition of mobile light vehicles mounted with machine guns, but what we are looking at here is an all-around diversification. We cannot expect a simple copy and paste every time a sequel is being made. In that case, it will just be a reskin of the same game. Other than light vehicles, players will also be able to call a helicopter for fire support. Something which COD 4 players will find easy to relate to. The helicopter cannot be controlled by players and can be taken down with enough firepower(or just an RPG strike I am guessing).
Interactable Environment: I have always endorsed it and I will keep doing it. The more there is stuff to do the more fun a game is. Although, in the case of online games it is often turned down a notch to encourage competitiveness. Breaching doors, or just pushing them open to make less noise or climbing ladders are two of the more well-received actions that have made their way to Sandstorm.
Dynamic Map: The maps in Insurgency have always been rather small, which is something I encourage for competitiveness. Immense maps just ruin competitive potential in my opinion. But, Sandstorm has taken a different approach. The playable areas of the map are now determined by the number of players in the game. Smaller playable areas will be available when there are fewer people in the server. On the other hand, for 16 v 16 games area restrictions will be withdrawn. [Edit: Yes, I made a mistake. Sorry, Reddit. Thank’s to Westie’s video for helping me out on this.]
Focus on Competitiveness: When I played the first Insurgency I felt that the game had a ton of e-sports potential. It’s a shame they couldn’t make it big. But, Sandstorm might be able to. With a serious focus on multiplayer, the developers are bringing a lot of fun game modes along with a ‘Ranked’ mode that will enable players to compete with human opponents of the same skill sets. A strict anti-cheat system is being implemented to prevent cheaters from exploiting the game.
My expectations were, however, instantly shot down when I heard that Sandstorm will not feature a singleplayer campaign. That is wasted potential in my opinion, but if the developers have canceled it to save time to refine the multiplayer, I have no problem with it. I would have loved to play a campaign had there been one, but being engaged in multiplayer games for such a long time, I would rather invest time and money for a decent online experience than a half-baked story that will probably turn the game into a cash cow that the developers would squeeze every penny out of. Either way, one thing is clear, Sandstorm surely has the capacity to take on some of the biggest e-sports games out there, that is if the publisher plays their cards right.
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