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Back to life, back to reality.
Back in 2002, Andrew Spearin wanted to create a first-person shooter based on his basic training in the Canadian Army; that is, not one that "seemed to get things all wrong." With a strong concept, his Operation: Counter-Insurgency project based on Valve's Source Engine garnered a hardcore following and a mod team, which eventually included Jeremy Blum, the creator of the popular Red Orchestra mod. The Insurgency mod finally released in July 2007 featuring team-based, multiplayer gameplay with tactical objectives and a few realistic elements like a lack of crosshairs and much higher bullet damage. As a result, it received multiple awards and, for Jeremy Blum, it was a burden of love that he wishes to continue to this day in a modern reboot of Insurgency (known previously as "Insurgency 2") by his new studio New World Interactive.
Fans of the original Insurgency will see a bevy of similarities in this spiritual sequel, whose production began in September 2011 and has been in early access since around April 2013. Skirmishes take place in more realistic areas inspired by Iraq and Afghanistan, whether they be the common sandy, desolate town or the more interesting environment with snow-laden streets. Teams of up to 16 players are comprised of specific but customizable player classes built into smaller squads of about four players each. Suffice it to say, communication between team members through 3D VOIP is necessary, unless you want to type your way to an untimely death.
Though Insurgency isn't meant to be a completely realistic experience, it will have free-aim weapons and severe suppression effects which effectively disorient a soldier's aim. Simply firing shots around a target will pin him down if he has no exits, especially with the lethality of any bullet that hits. On top of that, upgrading gear will impact your overall weight, stamina, and movement speed, so any improvements need to be handled carefully. There are more than twenty weapons with a host of attachments to boot.
The main multiplayer mode that most early-access players are gravitating toward is Skirmish, which combines elements of the traditional domination mode with a twist. Every point (out of the five) that a team captures adds a wave of reinforcements, but if a team's weapon cache is destroyed by explosives, then capturing points adds absolutely nothing for that team. Strike features three weapons caches that, if destroyed, gives the attacking team another reinforcement wave and potentially bring a team back from death, just like dodgeball rules. Search & Destroy mode tweaks Strike mode by having teams respawn only once a cache is destroyed. In addition to Classic and Firefight modes, the other highlight is VIP which revives the popular mode from Counter-Strike where a group of players must escort a VIP while the other group attempts to prevent that at all costs.
If strict team-based competitive multiplayer isn't your cup of tea, or if you just want to score some practice on the twelve available maps before delving into the competitive modes, several co-operative modes exist. Outpost Co-op forms the familiar horde mode, while Checkpoint Co-op asks your team to complete various objectives against a host of bots and any objectives that are completed will respawn all enemies.
Insurgency plans to release sometime in Early 2014. It's currently in Steam Early Access, and you can leave comments and feedback in the Steam discussion forum.