Overview Insurgency: Modern Infantry Combat
(also called Insurgency
) is a Source Engine
, multiplayer-only mod. The mod is based on realism, tactics and squad-based combat in modern-day Iraq. Players take either the side of the US Marines or the Iraqi Insurgents and compete for control points around a map. The mod requires the Source SDK to play; this comes free with any Source game. Therefore one is not required to own Half-Life 2
in order to play the game, as many mods do, but any Source game. The mod is currently in the beta stage and is one of the first batch of mods to be distributed through Steam.
As mentioned, Insurgency is a realistic first-person-shooter game. Most of the time a player can expect to die in less than three shots depending on the weapon fired and the part of the body hit. Movement speed is quite slow, though sprinting can negate this, similarly reloading and switching between weapons is slow too. There is no crosshair and as such aiming down the sights is the only effective way to hit an enemy at anything more than few meters, also, to make this even more so, when the player's weapon is idle and 'on the hip', the weapon will sway across the screen rather than remaining entirely central such as on Call of Duty 4's Hardcore gamemode. This gameplay mechanic is one of many that are rarely seen on the Source Engine and have been scripted and animated from scratch. Others include 3D scopes (the scoped area is zoomed in, but the area around the scope is zoomed out, as per real life), different fire modes, different player stances (including a slight rise when aiming down the sights while crouched) and leaning around corners.
Each team has different classes for the player to choose, although there is a limited amount of each:
- Squad Leader/Cell Leader - rifle, sidearm, grenades, smoke grenade
- Rifleman - rifle, sidearm, grenade
- Support - machinegun, sidearm
- Grenadier/RPG - rifle and grenade-launcher/RPG, sidearm
- Sniper - scoped rifle, smoke grenade, sidearm
- Engineer /Sapper - shotgun, grenade, sidearm
Each team is also split into two groups, each split into two squads. On each team one group will have two squads consisting of standard riflemen and machine gunners and the other group with two squads of snipers, explosives experts and engineers. Each squad has a commander who can issue commands and waypoints for the rest of his squad.
There are four types of gamemode in Insurgency, each based around capturing and/or defending control points around a given map. In all of the gamemodes the player is able to respawn after being killed, though on some gamemodes one or both teams will only be allowed a certain number of respawn waves. Battle
allows either team to be on either the offensive or defensive, points must be taken in a set order and the reinforcement location changes as different points are taken or lost. Push
focuses on linear attack/defend gameplay. One team holds all the points at the start of a game, the other team must capture them all. Once a point is lost the defenders cannot retake it. In this gamemode the reinforcement location moves as different points are taken and the attacking team has a limited number of respawns. Firefight
is about non-linear gameplay where either team can be on the offensive or defensive and can take or loose and point in any order. Generally Firefight maps are fairly small and the reinforcement locations are fixed. Strike
maps are like Push
maps, only points can be taken in any order. Also, these maps are quite often smaller.
The mod was started in 2002 with an idea by a member of the Canadian Army, Andrew Spearin. Spearin's idea was to create a first-person-shooter with realism, immersive gameplay and teamwork as its basis. The Insurgency Team began work on such a first-person-shooter, aiming to make a multiplayer game with squad-based gameplay, a realistic setting and maps with a comparable scale to that of a real battle. Jeremy Blum, the original creator of the popular Unreal Engine 2 mod, Red Orchestra, contribute many concepts to the original design of Insurgency.
The mod was finally released to the public as Beta 1 in July of 2007, downloadable from a number of servers. The release was met with great expectancy and the majority of those expectations were fulfilled. Although the original release was quite 'buggy', it was still enjoyed by a solid fan base. In November 2007, a much more complete Beta 2 was released. . This featured a small degree of customizable players, more maps, better optimization, more balanced gameplay and many more fixed bugs. During October 2008, Insurgency gained Steam Support along with a select few other mods. This means that Insurgency is now available for download on the Steam retail system and is supported by simple and frequent updates automatically through Steam. Beta 3 is scheduled for release sometime in 2008; this is to include the British Royal Marines and maps to play with, or against them and an engine-update to the more recent Episode 2 Engine.
During its development, Insurgency had gained a large and loyal following on its website and in its forums. As a result the initial Beta 1 release was met with nothing less that satisfaction. Insurgency was praised for its hi-resolution textures, smooth animations, realistic but user-friendly gameplay and decent soundtrack.
It wasn't without its issue however. There were a number of complaints about bugs such as RPG animations and inaccurate sights. Also touched upon was the need for better protection in the spawn as a number of the maps suffered from heavy 'spawn-camping'. Many players with low-end gaming PCs also complained that many of the maps had draw distances too long and textures too hi-res for their computers to run at acceptable framerates.
Beta 1 patches and, more noticeably, Beta 2 worked on these issues with Beta 2 seeing a marked improvement on optimisation for lower-end systems and map design that led to a decrease in game exploits such as spawn-camping. The better map design was also focused on cutting down some longer draw distances, again for those with lower-end systems. Beta 2 was also praised for its small level of character customization. Insurgency has also enjoyed some degree of user-customisation in the form of custom models, skins and sounds on its forums and on the first-person-shooter customisation community; FPSBanana.
Insurgency won ModDB's Mod of the Year 2007 Player's Choice Award and Steamfriends' Best Source Mod 2007 Gold Award.
Insurgency's release on Steam was met by a mixed response. While many were pleased with the wealth of new players entering online servers, many suddenly found themselves playing the game, which they were used to playing with a solid, skilled fanbase, with brand new players who in many cases lacked communication and understanding of Insurgency's concepts.
www.insmod.org - The official Insurgency website
forums.insmod.org - The official Insurgency forums
www.moddb.com/mods/insurgency - the official Mod Database page