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Many great games began life as modifications (mods). Top charters like Dota 2, TF2, CS:GO, PUBG, and countless other games across all platforms were acquired as modifications for other, equally successful games. New World Interactive’s Insurgency is no exception. The game is a realistic urban shooter, using a very fast time to kill (TTK), various weapons that have a great deal of recoil, along with extensive customization, classes, and incredible maps all in Valve’s Source Engine.

Insurgency is perhaps the best realistic shooter on the market right now--with the exception of Squad, which forces you to walk for 20 minutes, then die instantly. Insurgency essentially has two teams: Insurgents and Security. Each team has multiple classes, from rocketeers and sharpshooters to demolition and snipers. Each class has a set of weapons, with primaries such as rifles, SMGs, and secondaries. There is also equipment: armor to reduce damage, chest carriers to carry more grenades/ammunition, and explosives such as grenades and C4.

Insurgency’s items are not balanced by damage or other aspects but by their supply cost, which is currently the game’s most unique concept. It provides players with a dilemma: should I sacrifice my weapon’s power in exchange for a single-use grenade, or should I use it to get armor? This level of personalization and adaptability is enhanced by the attachment system, where, in exchange for supply points, you can upgrade your gun to have more ammo, a sight, a barrel attachment, or something else. Despite this incredible weapon variability, every gun in Insurgency  feels, relatively well balanced, and no gun feels incredibly powerful or entirely useless. Each gun also has different recoil and feel--in other words, every gun feels unique. Insurgency also has Steam Workshop integration, which allows for user-created weapons to replace the stock models in-game.

In addition, Insurgency has a variety of maps and gamemodes. The maps are distinct and easy to recognize; each one has intricate design and theming. But they can be hard to learn because of the lack of a mini-map or other indication of your location. An example is Sinjar on the most popular PvP gamemode, Push, which is essentially attack-and-defend with three capture points and a final supply cache to destroy. The map rewards the attacking Security team with a difficult first capture point, then balances out. Although this can be disheartening to a mediocre team, it is nonetheless enjoyable, while also remaining easy to learn. Other less-played gamemodes include Skirmish, a Battlefield Conquest-like capture point gamemode with multiple points that both teams fight to control; Occupy; Strike; and a cooperative set of gamemodes for PvE. These include the most popular Checkpoint, which is Push but for PvE, Hunt, in which you hunt the enemy and destroy a hidden supply cache; Outpost, in which you defend against waves of enemies; Survival, a run-and-hide gamemode in which you progressively get more points; and Conquer. Some of these gamemodes are more popular than others, but are all fun and provide a distinctive experience.

Insurgency is an excellent independent game. It is perhaps the most enjoyable realistic first-person shooter with a distinct supply weapon system that provides an extra dimension of combat, diverse and easy-to-learn maps paired with unique gamemodes--all inside a very reliable and extensively tested Source engine, which guarantees that the game will run well on essentially any system. Insurgency is also incredibly cheap at only $10; for an extra $10, you can get the game’s bigger sibling: Day of Infamy, a WWII shooter that uses the same mechanics.

- Wellington Jiang '22