Insurgency has come a long way since its days as a mod and in full release, I’m happy to say it’s easily one of my favorite first-person shooter games to date. But a big part of what makes it great is that it’s not familiar, it’s hard, and above all, it’s a fresh experience that hasn’t been done to death, much like some players and reviewers would have preferred it be.
What makes Insurgency so enjoyable is the developers’ commitment to their product. David Veselka and I had a chance to talk to the New World Interactive devs just before it was in full release and they impressed me deeply with how strongly they believe in what they’re doing. While they’re busy reading reviews slamming the game for being too hardcore to be good and listening to casual players who are upset it isn’t a new Call Of Duty, the devs of Insurgency have stood strong, unwilling to bend the intent of their game to yield more sales.
All too often, you see developers succumbing to the will of the masses or copying the competition to steal some thunder. BF3’s Close Quarters DLC made it obvious that DICE wanted it to be the next COD. COD: Ghosts made it obvious that with its bigger maps and “momentum based” movement, they wanted out-do Battlefield at its own game. Starbound is basically Terraria, and let’s not even talk about The War Z, or Infestation: Survivor Stories, as it’s known now.
Insurgency is the kind of game that punishes you for not playing smart and the devs are sticking to it. Let their development of their game serve as a reminder to everyone making games these days: your objective shouldn’t be to make something that reminds people of the familiar, it should be to make a high quality product that stands out as its own thing, even if it is just another arena FPS game (wink, wink, Rekoil).
Early Access opens developers up to a level of criticism and creative control that is unparalleled in the gaming world and I’m sure it makes it hard for devs to stay true to their goals while still improving their design to satiate people’s concerns. Insurgency is such a success to me because it it’s exactly what Insurgency should be, hardcore, tactical, and solid all around. The path to that accomplishment for NWI was littered with protests and outcry to make their game easier or more casual as well as legitimate concerns from die hard players looking for the kind of experience the mod once offered. It’s nice to know that they managed to stick with it and release a game that I think is changing how a lot of players perceive the hardcore shooter experience. They successfully filtered out the noise and made a high-quality game that I will be playing, thanks to upcoming DLC and additional game modes, for a very long time.
Anxious to find out if Insurgency is the game for you? Stay tuned for our full review in the coming days.