Insurgency: Sandstorm - PC Review

Enter into war

Game Info:

  • System: PC
  • Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
  • Developer: New World Interactive
  • Release Date: Dec 12, 2018

Who it Caters to

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There are a lot of tactical based first-person shooters out there in the gaming world. One of our personal favorites is Rainbow Six: Siege as that really immerses players in combat unlike other FPS titles. One developer though clearly wants to throw their own title into the mix and we will never argue with a new tactical FPS game being released in a world of arcade-like shooters. Titled Insurgency: Sandstorm, developer New World Interactive has aimed to deliver gamers a truly intense multiplayer only FPS title that takes players into war and combat in ways rarely experienced in the gaming world. Though does Insurgency: Sandstorm do enough to warrant playing it over other games similar in nature? We examine that below in our review of Insurgency: Sandstorm for the PC. If you want to know our final verdict, you’ll need to keep reading for more information!

What to Expect

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Insurgency: Sandstorm is a tactical FPS that aims to deliver realistic combat to the players with a multi-player focus. Up to 32 players battle it out in objective based warfare or go against the enemy AI in co-op. With a focus on making each encounter feel different than the last, Insurgency: Sandstorm feels very reminiscent of games like Rainbow Six: Siege and Operation: Flashpoint. Unlike Call of Duty or Halo, Insurgency: Sandstorm makes the player think on their feet about each action lest they wish to meet an untimely demise from an enemy just laying in wait.


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Insurgency: Sandstorm doesn’t have a single player story or story mode focus. Players team up—or go at it competitively—in tactical combat where every action needs to be planned out for the best chances at success. With a focus on realism rather than arcade-like FPS gameplay, Insurgency: Sandstorm gives players the feeling of being in real-life combat regardless of the game mode. Can you help your team achieve victory or will they face the bitter chill of defeat? Find out in Insurgency: Sandstorm for the PC.


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While we all love the fast twitch reflex shooters like Call of Duty, we do equally appreciate titles that take realism into account. That’s why we appreciate titles like Operation: Flashpoint or Rainbow Six: Siege. These titles—considered tactical FPS games—focus on including realistic first-person shooter elements that make battles immersive and very military like. These titles above aren’t the only games to attempt this though and a new contender has entered the ring in the form of Insurgency: Sandstorm by developer New World Interactive. Can Insurgency: Sandstorm rise up to the levels of games like it or will it falter and end up in the sea of mediocrity? We’re about to answer that question right now in our review of Insurgency: Sandstorm for the PC!

The first thing to notice with Insurgency: Sandstorm is that it focuses solely on multiplayer gameplay. There is absolutely no single player aside from a tutorial mission and that means you’re going to be playing with and against others online. There are three main game modes to enjoy though depending on your style. We shall go through each of these modes in our review and tell you what we loved about them and what we disliked in equal measure. Now, let’s move onto the first game mode, co-op.

In co-op play, players join forces with several other players to take down objectives against the enemy AI. Your goal is to go from point to point accomplishing said objectives all while fighting a constant stream of enemies. This works incredibly well in Insurgency: Sandstorm due to the enemy AI’s high level of intelligence. The enemy will constantly launch waves of troops at you but don’t expect them to not fight back. While they might sometimes swarm into a home you’re defending or stand still—its AI we never expect perfection—they will often use smart tactics to stress you out. We loved hearing the enemy yell at us to die or to surrender which then in turn was followed by them aiming quickly at us and occasionally taking us down with ease.

We also loved the objectives themselves within Insurgency: Sandstorm. Objectives usually can be simple “hold this position” affairs or it can be more complex and have us blow up a crate of weapons or munitions. Each map and game felt different though as objectives weren’t always the same and it made us think on the fly on how to best approach the situation. Do we run in as a team to possibly get slaughtered by enemies who are lying in wait? Maybe we spread out and enter the building through multiple entrances? There is no right answer in Insurgency: Sandstorm and it kept battles feeling fresh and unexpected. Though we do hope for more maps later in the future as we seemed to play through all of them in our short time with Insurgency: Sandstorm.

The second game mode and third ones are a bit less to explain. Here, players engage with real life players in PVP combat. Teams of 16—so 32 in total—duke it out capturing objectives and killing one another. This is where Insurgency: Sandstorm shines brightest due to the high level of difference between an AI and a player. What could be a simple sabotage objective turns more complex when you have a sniper waiting to shoot you before you enter the building or a player hiding in wait behind the door. You will need to rely on teammates to make good moves and be there to help you. A bad team in Insurgency: Sandstorm will more often than not lead to a quick defeat. Also, let us mention briefly there is a ranked mode that pits you against better players and teams but we recommend entering that mode only when you’ve played a significant amount of Insurgency: Sandstorm.

Insurgency: Sandstorm works in terms of its content but it only works so well because the gameplay itself is spot on and super realistic. Guns have a very accurate feeling to them where spraying and praying will more times than not get you eliminated as you miss your intended target and leave yourself open for a clean hit. Even talking on the microphone can get you killed if you use proximity chat which allows you to chat with teammates close by but equally allows the enemy to hear your every word. Add this to maps that are hyper immersive with strong visuals and detail and you’re going to quickly see why Insurgency: Sandstorm is probably one of the more lifelike tactical shooters we’ve played in quite a while.

We’ll wrap up with a few gripes we did have while playing Insurgency: Sandstorm and equally some fears we have for its longevity. The biggest issue we ran into several times was mainly during the co-op modes. We noticed some rather odd glitches but this could be on our end and not on the game, but they did take us out of the immersion when they occurred. Our other worry is that while Insurgency: Sandstorm is a solid title, we hope it continues to be loved by the player base and the developers. Rainbow Six: Siege is doing well thanks to numerous updates, add-ons and constant patches to keep the game running smoothly and to give players new content to enjoy. Insurgency: Sandstorm needs this if it wants to be a solid multiplayer only title as the maps we played can become repetitive after months we feel.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

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Insurgency: Sandstorm is a very similar title to the Operation: Flashpoint series and Rainbow Six: Siege. Rather than be like Call of Duty and aim to just kill players and enemies left and right, Insurgency: Sandstorm focuses on a sense of what real war could feel like and we loved that about it. However, Insurgency: Sandstorm is a title we don’t think is perfect either suffering from occasional random issues like enemies popping out of nowhere or strange glitches here and there. Plus, with only online to play, Insurgency: Sandstorm needs a constant player base and we wonder how long it can keep that in the current generation of games. Needless to say, Insurgency: Sandstorm is a fun title with a lot of potential to be a competitive/co-op based game as long as the developers continue to fix some issues here and there as well as provide new maps and locations to fight in. If you’re into realistic FPS gameplay, you’re going to like Insurgency: Sandstorm and what it offers.

Honey's Pros:

  • Strong visuals with an impressive amount of realism
  • Solid co-op mode
  • Fun pvp
  • Great use of sound to make Insurgency: Sandstorm feel quite real

Honey's Cons:

  • We’ve run into numerous glitches and strange occurrences on our PC
  • Will need constant additions in the future to keep the player base from leaving

Honey's Final Verdict:

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With games like Rainbow Six: Siege out there, many don’t realize that there can be other companies who do a great job with the tactical FPS genre just as well. Insurgency: Sandstorm is an example of one of those title with some truly solid gameplay and fun pvp to enjoy. Our only worry for Insurgency: Sandstorm is that being a multiplayer only title means its susceptible to becoming dull and repetitive after many hours of gameplay. We hope New World Interactive will provide players more maps to enjoy and new additions—gameplay wise— as time goes on but the amount offered now will provide an adequate amount of replayability without becoming overly repetitive. Are you playing Insurgency: Sandstorm at the moment or plan to download it? Comment below to sound off! Be sure to keep stuck to our hive to read more of our articles and game review courteous of us here at Honey’s Anime.

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Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

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