Before you read the rest of my post, let me remind you that I do love this game and I find it a good successor to Insurgency 2014. I find it that the new engine puts out the full potential of the insurgency franchise in the limelight and media outlets all around. Better graphics, refined mechanics, and refined sound design make it a underdog in the FPS genre that shouldn't be underestimated compared to the likes of Battlefield, COD, and R6S. Insurgency Sandstorm might be the definitive tactical shooter barring the lines of Arma and Battlefield this year in good retrospect compared to recent releases.
However, after playing both the alpha and beta and returning to Beta #2 the upcoming release of this game has been making me disappointed and fear the pitfall of insurgency sandstorm.
Now first, I like to discuss my fears with the game first.
What appalls me, disappoints me, and worries me about insurgency sandstorm is considering the fact how insurgency has gone through 3 testing sessions yet the game in its current state right now is still unplayable. This infuriates me especially having gone through these testing sessions especially expecting a major improvement from the alpha but instead expecting almost the same thing with minor/unfinished improvements.
The game is so buggy that I believe it should be delayed. You have so many issues to count from with the game such as hit detection, disappearing player parts in customization, poor performance even after beta #1, MSAA issues, and the list just goes on and on. I thought NWI learned its own lessons from developing Insurgency and Day Of Infamy as those games were known to have buggy launches, but it seems like you guys are repeating the cycle again but instead in a more messier fashion.
Hit detection is just really awful. Even if you have low ping, you'll still have BS moments even in point blank range wondering how the enemy didn't die yet you dumped a whole magazine into him within point blank range.
The render issues are just embarrassing, especially when the game is really close to becoming launched. I expect it by now that this game's rendering of models would be fixed by now because it was an obvious issue in the beta and alpha but it is still unfixed. My setup should be able to load up the game's models instantly just like the other UE4 games I play but instead I have to face pop in for every match.
Performance has been improved nicely compared to Beta #1 and Alpha but it still has gripes and issues. My game tends to stutter and drop to low FPS randomly in intense situations even though I'm running on a overclocked i5 and a GTX 1070 Ti.
The MSAA video setting is broken atm. For some reason it still renders poorly even on Very High. I'm wondering if NWI can implement multi sampling solutions like Squad to have a variety of MSAA settings for user preference and visibility. In Squad the different types of multi sampling work surprisingly well.
I'm sure there are more issues that I haven't discussed yet, but judging by the amount of issues Insurgency Sandstorm has and how far away the release date of this game as a finished product makes me fear and concern the future and integrity of insurgency as a franchise. I don't want Insurgency Sandstorm to launch like post scriptum blowing its hype away in a flash but instead be recognized to a wider audience. This franchise is unique to so many shooters in the market that it needs to be recognized. But the current state this game is in is just really appalling and I'd suggest for a delay. I want this game to succeed but in this state I feel like there needs to be work done.
Now I'm done with my fears, I wanna talk about my main disappointments with this game as an Insurgency Veteran.
Now I get it that this game wants to appeal to a wider audience. However, because NWI is trying to appeal to a wider audience I feel like the core gameplay mechanics and feeling of the game has been dumbed down imo.
I feel like the tension and variety of the previous Insurgency has been removed. The slow TTK, the removal of AP/HP rounds, and the overall feeling of tension from the previous Insurgency feels completely gone. In Insurgency Sandstorm, you can literally mag dump an AK into a heavy armor guy while in Insurgency 2014 you had the ability to equip AP rounds to actually gain an advantage against Heavy Armor guys. Now I'm not including heavy armor guys but also just the damage bullets deal in this game. This game really feels bullet spongy compared to the last game while Insurgency was a game where you typically died from 1-3 shots. Now in Sandstorm you have the ability to take more than 5 shots which is ridiculous. I want the sense of tension and fast paced combat Insurgency always had not the slow paced bullet spongy gameplay Battlefield has. It doesn't feel right at all and it doesn't fit the type of gameplay the Insurgency franchise is well known for.
Now I get why NWI wanted to remove AP/HP rounds from Insurgency Sandstorm because it felt like stopping power in Call Of Duty; That is a completely understandable statement, but why are the targets in the game so bullet spongy? It feels completely different from both Insurgency and Day Of Infamy. Even in Insurgency FMJ rounds still had stopping power against targets. The makarov in Insurgency is well known to be a reliable sidearm even when you use it with just only FMJ rounds.
I want the bullets to deal damage in the game, not feel like I'm shooting .22 LRs against enemies.
The TTK the game tries to aim here feels like trying to be both tactical and fast paced but being slow paced at the same time. It doesn't feel right at all because it doesn't match the near perfect TTK insurgency had on what it was trying to aim for and the type it game it was. It just feels confusing trying to find what kind of play style you wanna really play as when you're dealing with the fact that your bullets are just bullet spongy and the majority of the enemies you're facing against are literal speed demons with heavy armor that take a whole magazine to empty at before they go down.
I don't mean to be harsh to NWI. I admire their games and attention to detail for making such small indie shooters that offer more fun, gameplay, and skill ceiling to what the triple A market tries to sell me. But sandstorm to me looks like a sinking ship about to drown, and I don't want that to happen.