<img src="insurgency-sandstorm-review.jpg" alt="Insurgency Sandstorm front cover art."/>

Genre

Action, Adventure, Shooter

Release Date

Unknown

Publisher

Someone

Platforms

Xbox, PS, PC.

Insurgency: Sandstorm Review

With all the madness surrounding games like Call of Duty and Battlefield, you could be forgiven if you didn’t know or forgotten about the tactical shooter Insurgency: Sandstorm by Focus Entertainment. Where teamwork is key to survive and kills come quick and deadly, and you must be ready!

With the modern shooters like Battlefield, Rainbow Six, Call of Duty taking the main lead in fps these days, some of them don’t quite give you that feeling of realism to the point where each bullet you fire could be your last. Insurgency: Sandstorm is like those old school shooters with a different level of realism where a single bullet can end you. This is more apparent as there are no medics to heal or revive you and once you feel that hot lead, you’re dead!

Genre

Action, Adventure, Shooter

Release Date

21 September 2021 (Xbox)

Platforms

Xbox, PS, PC.

<img src="insurgency-sandstorm-review.jpg" alt="Insurgency Sandstorm front cover art."/>

The first thing you will notice straight off the bat when playing is how limited your HUD is and that there are no indicators or crosshairs when you are hip firing or when throwing a grenade. Everything needs to be done with your keen eye. There are no kill confirmations on screen or notices and no kill cams, so at times it’s hard to know when you have taken down an enemy in battle, unless you are close enough to see them drop. For some of you that love shooters like COD or Battlefield, you may find this annoying, which I did at first. However, if you take it at what this game is a realistic combat shooter, then you will get a better flow to the game than most.

Insurgency has two game modes for you to try out, Co-Op and Versus. In Co-Op mode you are tasked with certain missions, and you are expected to work as a team with a squad of 8 players versus AI players. These missions vary and it’s a great way to familiarise yourself with the game’s mechanics. While versus sees you in teams of 10 v 10 as you battle across each map to win your objectives. Each of these missions are not that varied in their format and all heavily focus on attacking or defending control points that are placed strategically on each of the maps on offer.

The key to winning each game is patience and teamwork as mistakes are punished by how long each spawn can be, plus you are often spawned back at a distance that can keep you off the hot points. It’s a little annoying at times as you are often running back to your team to help out, which can often mean your death as you try to team up, or a team member dies before you can come in to support them.

There are 8 classes for you to choose from, like Rifleman, Commander and Advisor, each with their own weapons that are unique to them. However, there are those like Observer or Commander that have more heavy responsibilities like calling in support from the air or tactical. What is good about this is though is that the developers have limited the number of classes that each team can pick. This makes the games less frustrating, and you are not being bombarded all the time or being pinned downed by snipers too.

A big plus too in the classes is that all weapons are opened to everyone, but there is a catch. You are limited on your loadouts by weight. This means you have some difficult choices to make, like more armour for survivability or more control and power with your weapons, or perhaps carry more smoke or frag grenades. The combinations that are on offer for you lets you really experiment with the attachments and weapons you have.

When it comes to the visuals in Insurgency: Sandstorm, there is a certain lack of polish when you are playing. While the gameplay is solid most of the time, it’s the visuals that are lacking. I know that in a future update for the PS5 and Series X|S there will be an update to improve the visuals and framerates, but at this moment in time, they are a little lacklustre. What is also a little disappointing on consoles is that on PS4 and Xbox One, the frames are limited to only 30fps while PS5 and Xbox Series consoles are limited to 60fps. Like I said, an update that is coming in early 2022 will rectify this which is fantastic. However, I feel that this should have been here from the get-go, especially for a first-person shooter.

The maps themselves are also a little bland in terms of how they are presented. Everything in each of the maps at first don’t seem to have no variation to them at all, except for the Hillside and Power Plant which are probably the only two not covered by sand and dust. Get past the look of the maps and you will see the map layouts are designed well with their meandering streets, destroyed builds and towns, each with their own vantage points that are scattered through the map. I feel that if they added more to the environment with more variety in terms of the buildings, the landscapes etc.. it would flesh out the maps a bit more. IF New World would have held off launch and had the PS5 and Xbox Series console versions ready, it may have been a more pleasing experience, visually.

Over the course of my playthrough, while enjoyable, I did notice quite a few issues. One of the most frequent glitches to happen would be you losing sound from your weapon. This can occur at anytime and can be a bit annoying as there is no way of telling when it will happen again. Then there will be times when you will have problems climbing through a window. Then there is the issue of the latency and netcode, where it could do with a bit of tweaking. As there will be times where you could swear that you are in cover only to get taken out from an impossible angle. While these issues are nothing game breaking, it can still ruin the immersion of your overall experience. Then there is the issue of team killing and this can be a right pain in the backside. Due to it being difficult at times to point out your teammates, especially without communicating to each other, you are often mowed down by teammates. What’s worse however, is members of your team killing you on purpose, just for the hell of it! Without any repercussions to them.

The Progression system in Insurgency: Sandstorm is a bit inadequate in terms of what it offers you. Every time you level or rank up, you are rewarded with nothing more than cosmetics for the two opposing teams for you to pick. There are also no medals on awards like ribbons etc.. that is offered and the only reward that is offered to you is a feeling of self-pride when you think you done a good job for your team, even if you didn’t do much. Again, it’s lacklustre and there could have been more done to rewards good team play and more appealing rewards.

Overall

Insurgency: Sandstorm is a fun game to play, but when it comes to its longevity appeal, it’s a bit thin on the ground. I was really looking forward to playing New Worlds shooter, especially with games like Battlefield 2042 being delayed. However, I see this game as more of a stop gap to Battlefield and will probably not play it again, even with a new update coming for PS5 and Xbox Series consoles. It is a shame though, as I was really looking forward to playing this title from what I saw in the previews, sadly I think my expectations were set a little too high.

SSG Rating 7/10

Homicidal All-Stars – A Game Show with a Twist!

Homicidal All-Stars - A Game Show with a Twist!Good Shepherd Entertainment and developer Artificer have revealed Homicidal All-Stars, a single-player, turn-based strategy game set in a dystopian future where citizens and convicts alike compete to survive on a brutal...

As Dusk Falls Review

As Dusk Falls ReviewAs Dusk Falls is an interactive story driven drama, that unwraps the entangled lives of two troubled families. Their stories are told across three decades within a small town in Arizona. Where the characters you meet all have something to hide,...

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope Launching October 2022!

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope Launching OCtober 2022!Ubisoft announced that Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope will release exclusively on Nintendo Switch™ on 20th October, 2022, and is available to pre-order. Bowser will join returning favourites Rabbid Peach, Luigi,...

Infinite Drive Announcement!

Infinite Drive Announcement!Testing players’ driving skills with high-octane fun, Infinite Drive combines accessible and authentic gameplay with stunning recreations of officially licensed cars. The Tiny Digital Factory has long-standing relationships with world-class...

Kao the Kangaroo Review

Genre Action, Adventure, 3D- PlatformerRelease Date May 27th 2022Publisher Tate MultimediaPlatforms Xbox, PS, PC, Nintendo SwitchKao the Kangaroo ReviewKao the Kangaroo sets out to find his missing sister and solve the mystery of what happened to his long-lost father....

Kao the Kangaroo New Trailer Released!

Kao the Kangaroo New Trailer ReleasedKao the Kangaroo from Tate Multimedia has published a new trailer showcasing the cast of characters set to feature in their forthcoming platformer. Launching on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Steam, and Epic...

Shredders Review

Shredders ReviewShredders is not just your typical run of the mill snowboarder game. It’s an open world ride that takes you by the hand to the top of the mountain. Then gives you gentle push off the edge, to a thrill ride like no other!Want to see some gameplay...

A Tiny Adventure – Tinykin Preview

Genre 2D/3D Platformer, Adventure.Release Date Summer 2022Publisher tinyBuildPlatforms Xbox, PS, PC, Switch.A Tiny Adventure - Tinykin PreviewYou awake in a strange yet familiar world but somehow stuck in a time that resembles the 90s. Milo is a stellar explorer that...

MSI launches pre-order offer on 2022 MSI Laptop Range

MSI launches pre-order offer on 2022 MSI Laptop rangeMSI, a world-leading gaming and business computing brand, announced its new range of 2022 MSI Laptops. Their gaming and creator laptops is available on pre-order from selected retailers. The 2022 range of MSI...

Xbox Series S Review

Xbox Series S ReviewWhen I first heard and saw the little brother to the Series X, I thought it look like a speaker or something that you could mount to your wall, and you don’t get an actual sense of the size of it until you have it right in front of you. The Xbox...