Insurgency Sandstorm: A nice surprise in the small world of FPS simulation

The New World Interactive studio, which includes former modders of the fabulous Red Orchestra , but also former military, offers us in early 2019 Insurgency: Sandstorm , a game 100% multiplayer (and competitive) that was to initially propose a single-player campaign, but eventually abandoned this idea during the year 2018.

Insurgency: Sandstorm  is totally against the current competitive game, and that’s what we love at home. Here, no question of kill-cam or victory dance, the atmosphere is very serious, we are in a precise simulation . Although the context itself is fictitious, it is largely inspired by the horrors happening in the Middle East. A clever mix between what is happening in Syria and Iraq, but the “scenario” (even if we talk about multiplayer) remains deliberately vague, with fighting between insurgents and paramilitary groups (like what is happening in Syria and in Iraq with Russian and American groups like Blackwater). It is still quite daring and it is a decision to salute.

Between classicism and new approaches

The game offers a PVP system (classic, including modes of taking territory) but also, and more surprisingly, a PVE mode in which we must fight in teams against bots. The more players there are, the more the AIs are too and the more aggressive they are (it also depends on the level of experience of the players). And for once in the FPS (and unlike Battlefield Vto name just him), the AI ​​is not strawberry and offers a real challenge. This rough and visceral aspect is reinforced by the fact that a bullet or two is enough to put you on the ground . What a pleasure to find the feeling of a Red Orchestra in the gunfights …Obviously the artificial intelligence is not flawless and we still find some weakness like behaviors a bit too linear .

A quality multiplayer PVE mode

In PVE, once dead, it is necessary to wait until the team takes the following objective to be able to respawn, one thus has also a serious side survival where each troop movement must be done with intelligence. A tactical tip that accentuates the simulation side of the most beautiful ways . To avoid spoiling, each class is complementary, with a total of 8 possibilities (the commander , squad leader can request off-map support, the gunner , the sniper , etc. Before each game, the player must spend a limited number point to select his equipment, and as much tell you that we will have to make crucial choices.Simply forgetting an optic or a grenade can be catastrophic for your mission . In PVP the choices are even more crucial because the player has even fewer points than PVE, and obviously the human enemies are much tougher (whatever …). 

The new ARMA?

Unlike an ARMA , the ballistics of the weapons is not so pushed and it is not necessary to expect for example that the wind has an influence on the trajectory of our warheads , etc. We do not go into the extreme and we can consider that it is a good point. The quest for realism is more readily found in the decline of weapons  : no question of having a sensation of paintball as in FPS bad bill. Ditto for ammunition that is not found in mass everywhere: we must preserve our resources to a maximum because replenishment is almost non-existent, if not via some crates for a very limited time.

Some faults

Although the content is currently limited with a set of 6 maps , we will already welcome frequent additions of content (5 new weapons will arrive soon after the publication of this test for example). In addition, the level design and artistic direction are very successful and do not leave you bitter taste of déjà-vu from one card to another. There is something for everyone, from the oil refinery to the small farming village. We really feel like we are in the middle of Syria or Iraq.

Among the disappointments, in addition to the slightly light content, note the absence of a solo campaign originally planned , especially since it had enough to arouse curiosity with a scenario about a young rebel forces Kurds (without actually specifying this fact, so as not to get into trouble). The game is no less a pleasant surprise, as a wind of freshness to enjoy the FPS in a different way .


The PC corner:   With the RTX 2080 Ti and i7 8700K big drafting setup, you can imagine that there is no framerate problem. But we also tried the configuration on a much smaller configuration based on i5 and GTX 970, and force and find that it is very difficult to turn the game in optimal conditions. It will be necessary to make concessions because the optimization is not the strong point of the game, even if it tends to improve with the very recent patches.

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