Opinion PC

Insurgency: Sandstorm is a great shooter that still needs work - Hands-on

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If you’re a fan of hyper-realism combat then you’ll feel right at home with Insurgency: Sandstorm where all it takes to kill a friend or foe is one well placed shot. Insurgency: Sandstorm is an upcoming FPS combat simulator that is the sequel to the rather successful Insurgency game. It takes a mix of defensive and offensive warfare and mashes that up with realism and amazing sound design. 

Check out our full video preview of the game below;

The game sees players either face off in a 16 v 16 PvP mode or an 8 player co-op mode which is where I spent most of my time. Both modes see players trying to eliminate the enemy forces and seize objectives. 

The small intricacies of real-life combat are in full force within Sandstorm as enemies and foes can be killed in just one well-placed bullet, enemy gunfire can be easily located through sound cues and visuals, guns handle as realistic as possible given it is a video game and even the ammo economy is not the typical endless supply. Speed reloading causes you to lose any leftover ammo in the mag and slow reloading keeps the rest of the mag for later. 

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The objectives within the game are rather simple with them being a destroy the objective and capture the area. Both of these are simple in concept but within Sandstorm, there are vastly more complex. This is mainly due to the realistic combat so you cannot just rush in and expect to win. The sound design ties closely to storming the objectives as it’s done so well that you can hear all the smallest details, even the enemies dropping their empty magazines after reloading. It was definitely one of the most impressive features in the game. 

Another impressive feature is the array of weaponry and customization. There are countless guns that are available to each class and attachments for those guns. It is unfortunate that certain guns are locked out for certain classes but examining the specific uses for the classes does put it all into perspective. You have the typical gunner classes with access to assault rifles then you get classes like the breacher that can use SMG and shotguns. The class system certainly has a lot going for it. 

A few problems I had with the game weren’t really problems with the game at all. I found myself dying to teammates far more often than I would to actual enemies, and the spawn zones for enemies while in the PvE mode could most definitely use some polishing as you’d often witness many enemies spawning I the open right in front of you. 

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Whilst there are many good things in the game there is a lot of bad too. Along with my previously mentioned problems, there are issues with laggy servers, buggy gameplay, poor AI pathing and reactions and just negatively impacting glitches. This was a beta test so this could be expected from the early code of the game. I just hope they iron out these issues before the game launches next month. 

Overall, Insurgency: Sandstorm is a pretty great realistic combat simulator that has some really amazing elements to it. While it could see improvements in many areas it shines in a few, such as the combat, sound design and overall gameplay, it could possibly find itself next to the likes of CS: GO. No, it will never be as popular as it but its gameplay makes for a fun experience that has some unique characteristics in today's gaming era. 

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