Game Review: Insurgency

“I could end his shit right this motherfuckin’ instant”

The story of Insurgency begins back in the days when Half-Life 2 was fresh in everyone’s collective minds with its mind blowing (for the time) physics and fun as hell gameplay. As many of you already know the source engine community is very open to modding and with these new improvements that came to Half Life 2’s engine led to arguably it’s most famous mod, a multiplayer mod known as Insurgency: Modern Infantry Combat released on the 23rd of October 2007. The original mod was seen as a homage to the soldiers who fought in the war on terror by providing the perfect mix between hard core shooters like the ARMA games’ quick kill times and more casual first person shooters like the Counter Strike series’ fast pace, basically baby’s first “realistic” first person shooter. On January 22 2014 a sequel was released by new world interactive simply titled Insurgency which took elements from the mod and further expanded upon them for this standalone release. I intend to look at the good, the bad, and everything in-between.

The Good

Performance: The game performed well above 60 FPS on max settings on my PC and I seemed to have no noticeable performance hiccups and I suspect people with lower spec PCs than mine should have no problems running the game. Although if you overload your game with conflicting texture mods the game will be pretty damn unstable, especially if you have tons of conflicting texture mods. This level of performance should be a given seeing how source engine games can literally be run on anything from a Mac-book to a Pentium II.

just because you can modify it that way doesn’t mean you should

Gameplay: I find the faster pace of Insurgency compared to other shooters in the “hardcore” market to be a welcome change of pace seeing how people who don’t have the slightest experience with military tactics can pick it up and play without feeling too alienated. Another thing that sells it’s more hardcore nature is the simplistic UI that further pushes the hardcore semi-simulation feel the game is pushing for.

Class customization: Weapon customization returns from the previous entry but expands upon it in the best way possible by having more weapon options, grenade types and optics. Not only did they expand on what was already in the original mod they added completely new things including bipods, class specific modifications, heavy barrels, suppressors, ammo types, under-barrel grenade launchers, armor levels, how much ammo you carry, how many grenades you can carry, and even down to whether you even want carry any of those things at all. All of this comes at a cost: supply points. Some mods cost more supply points and some costs less but every round you play in the game adds one point you can spend on a customization to your soldier. Another factor that plays into your customization is how much weight you can carry in game. Along with limiting your gear, the weight of your gear affects how long you can sprint before you can get tired. I can say that the customization is in depth enough to be expansive but not to the levels of getting the perfect loadout you want, which is a good thing. Oh and you can equip lasers, flash lights, and even NVG’s.

the green boy has arrived

Gameplay modes: Insurgency has both Counter Strike-like game modes like elimination and game modes that offer up a great and unique flavor to the overall experience. One of my favorite game modes definitely has to be Ambush, a mode where on one team you’re escorting a player who has no armor and only carries a pistol as his means of defense. The other team has to find the escort (who will be described to the team) and kill him to win the game. And if the escort makes it to either point A or point B that team wins the game. In other modes you have to capture certain points and destroy the enemy team’s weapon cache with explosives, and some are more king of the hill in nature like Skirmish. Not to mention the co-op mode, which offers PvB action with your friends to destroy the enemy cache’s against seemingly never ending waves of bot enemies with the bots themselves being pretty smart. These game modes are enhanced further by night mode which gives you night vision goggles as an attachment and making the flashlight an actually viable option for a gun attachment and lead to an overall higher difficulty level. Insurgency’s gameplay modes offer up enough variety to keep you from being bored.

Easy to access community servers: One factor that will for sure help this game’s longevity will be the ease of access to community run servers. Since there are no dedicated servers (at least to my knowledge) it’s up to the people to keep the game’s servers running which entails that even after the game will no longer be supported by New World Interactive the player base will still have easy access to servers to pop a cap in insurgent asses.

multimeme tactocool extravaganza

Mods: on the Steam workshop you can install skin mods to your game to either have the ideal war scenario for you or have a balls to the wall experience with anime optic reticles and grenades that yell anime catchphrases once they explode. In some of the pictures shown, instead of the desert MARPAT-like camo the security forces wear, I have installed multimeme (so I can see them better lol) on my security forces and Oakley factory pilot gloves to give my game a little more of a “tacticool” feel. With the ease of installation from the Steam workshop and the game telling you if mods conflict with each other, modding Insurgency literally is as easy as clicking a few buttons and waiting.

The Mixed

let there be light

Weapon handling: it’s wobbly and it’s weird, some people love it while others aren’t huge fans, I like it but it may be controversial to some.

Graphics: The graphics are a mixed bag, at some parts it looks like I’m right there in Iraq/Afghanistan at other times it looks like your average source mod but there’s one texture that looks like absolute ass. Though insurgency is still a good looking game it could have looked better.

Learning curve: I put the learning curve in this section in particular because it could be a major turnoff to first time players; the game is hard to learn and hard to master, since you can get shot from any angle without even getting a glimpse at whoever just shot you. It’s not nearly as steep as the hardcore ARMA games but at the same time it’s not nearly as easy to pick up as the arcade-like Call of Duty games.

Hit Detection System: I’m not so sure on this one, I can’t decide whether the hit detection is actually good or not. Sometimes a bullet hits the enemy square in the head and other times I shoot him right in the chest and it doesn’t do jack shit. In general it’s not as bad as an FPS on the iPhone it’s still not the best out there.

The Bad

Lack of a campaign & shitty bot AI: OK this may not be the worst sin of the whole game but seeing how there is no campaign and the only single player content available is a tutorial and a bot mode means the only way I can enjoy this game offline is with a bunch of numskull bots who can’t shoot for shit, and seem to have a complex where they think they’re Rambo or something standing out in the middle of the map waiting to get shot by me. It’s funny because in the co-op mode the bots tend to be relatively intelligent.

Lack of dedicated servers: While some don’t mind this, I find it to be problematic for players who just want an easy and streamlined way to get into a game without the inconsistencies that come with community servers.

let’s be real they’re all just the same (with minor differences)

Classes: My gripe with classes is that of them coming off as redundant. Insurgency’s class modification system is a double edged sword where you can make any class fit your exact playstyle which makes certain classes redundant.This makes the special classes feel a bit less special. Thankfully the World War II themed sequel to Insurgency titled Day of Infamy fixed this by having some classes being essential to a successful game, though that game is a story for another day.


In conclusion Insurgency really is the best of both worlds when it comes to military shooters while having some flaws that keep it from being perfect I still think insurgency with well worth the $15.00 asking price and then some.

I’m feeling an 8/10 on this game.

Ross B.

Ross is a video game columnist with occasional reviews of shit gear. He has a passion for games and an autistic obsession with the finer details of the products he encounters.

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