During this weekend I’ve played three different first person shooters (Fear the Wolves, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Insurgency: Sandstorm) and I must say, all of them, even though in the same genre, are completely different. Going from playing an online match in Black Ops 4 to an online match in Insurgency really gives you an adaptive challenge. But I bet you’re not here to read about Black Ops 4. The very first Insurgency title which released on PC back in 2014, was made using the Valve Source engine. Now, New World Interactive has opted for the Unreal Engine 4 to develop a new version coming on PC this september and consoles some time next year. Not only do they upgrading the game with better visuals etc, they also gave it a new name; Insurgency: Sandstorm.
The gunplay is alike as its predecessors, and that is a positive thing, even the reload system had its special touch with “tactical reload” option. Giving you the option to save unused bullets in the mag or throwing it away for faster reload time. The graphics and sound design have also been given a fair share of “upgrading”, and the sound design is mostly on point.
I also like the “realism” in the game, on both PvE and PvP. One bullet can kill you instantly, so the tactical input is extremely vital, good thing you’re friends have your back (but then again, friendly fire is also brutal).
This isn’t a game breaking issue, but the one thing I noticed immediately during my playthrough in the PC beta, is the frame rate. An average frame rate between 30-50 fps isn’t something to brag about, especially when the first title have an average above 60 fps. (my setup is good enough to play with ultra settings). One other thing I constantly found irritating is the lack of hit indication, a hitmarker will ruin the experience, so it isn’t that. But I might suggest adding minor details such as blood spatter, dust/mud spatter when you miss a shot for instance to indicate a direct hit or not.
Overall, Insurgency: Sandstorm is a big visual improvement with a mediocre performance to this date. If you like games such as Arma, but looking for something between Battlefield and Arma, this title is the closest thing out there for now. We will off course come back with Gamescom impressions and more intel later on.