Game Info:

Insurgency: Sandstorm
Developed by: New World Interactive
Published by: Focus Home Interactive
Release date: December 12, 2018
Available on: Windows (console versions coming in 2019)
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Number of players: Up to 32 online
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Price: $29.99
(Humble Store Link)

Thank you Focus Home Interactive for sending us this game to review!

Insurgency: Sandstorm is the sequel to the popular 2014 FPS, Insurgency, which sold over five million copies. The original game is built on the Source engine while the sequel is powered by Unreal 4. Both games look great and if you already own the first one, you can get a 10% off loyalty discount on the sequel.

Although I own the first game, I haven’t played it so I can’t really compare the two. According to the Steam store page, everything is bigger and better in the sequel. Like the first entry, Insurgency: Sandstorm is a team-based tactical FPS that has a lot of close quarter combat scenarios. Your goal in most missions is to capture and secure enemy bases, destroy weapon caches, and annihilate them if possible.

The tutorial will teach you the basics of movement and weapon usage against some bots, but most of your interactions will be with humans.  In COOP you’ll team up with online players to take down a group of AI enemies. Versus mode has you fight in a 16 v. 16 match against humans.  The ranked competitive matches are 5 v. 5 humans fighting for the top spot through ten matches. 

Insurgency: Sandstorm

Strong Points: Fun and fast-paced gameplay; active online community
Weak Points: Some of the maps are unbalanced, making it nigh impossible to get past well-placed snipers; some players have experienced crashes and performance issues (I haven’t); graphical glitches
Moral Warnings: Lots of in-game swearing and blaspheming; online players provide even more foul language and racist remarks; gruesome violence

Before each mission, you get to select your role and there’s a limited number of slots for each one. The commander can call in fire support with the help of an observer. The observer is radio support and has to be close to the commander to be effective. As the name suggests, the rifleman is good with assault and battle rifles. I usually played as a breacher who specializes in shotguns, SMGs, and SBRs. The gunner prefers to use large deployable machine guns. The demolitions soldier is an expert at making explosions with rocket and grenade launchers. An advisor uses exotic weapons and trains the local forces. The marksman uses sniper rifles and long-range scopes.

The game takes place in the Middle East and you can play as security or insurgent forces. The desert-themed maps are pretty well detailed and have lots of places to set up a sniper’s nest. I like how you can go through buildings to avoid open roads and areas. Not all of the maps are balanced as a well-placed sniper can take out a whole incoming troop before they are able to take cover.

When completing a mission your character will earn experience and can level up. Gaining levels will unlock various cosmetic upgrades like tattoos, gloves, pants, shirts, headgear and so forth. Female soldiers are available for the security team, but the insurgents only have their males do the fighting.

Insurgency: Sandstorm
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 82%
Gameplay - 17/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 66%
Violence - 3/10
Language - 0/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

While I was customizing my character, some of the changes I made to their appearance weren’t available in the character screen, but did show up in battle. There are also several reports of other graphical glitches including invisible hands and other appendages in game. Thankfully, this title ran fine on my 2080Ti, but other gamers have experienced performance issues. I did not see any slowdowns or crashes.

Like many first-person shooters, violence is a given. You’ll see puddles of blood and dismembered bodies lying around. If your gun is out of ammo, you’ll have to resort to defending yourself with a knife. The language is harsh during the tutorial with the Lord’s name being used in vain and sh*t and f*ck being said a lot. It gets even worse when playing online as I regularly heard racist and vulgar words. This is not a game for children to be playing!

If you enjoyed the first Insurgency game or Counter-Strike, you may enjoy this title. Be warned that it’s very violent and has a lot of blaspheming and foul language. If you plan on playing this game near children, please use headphones! A free update was recently released that added more weapons and a new game mode, arcade. There are also over 500,000 players so the developers and community are pretty active.

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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