The power of eight — Insurgency: Sandstorm hands-on at E3 2018

Insurgency was originally released in 2014, and it was a standalone sequel to a total conversion mod for Half-Life 2. Insurgency: Sandstorm takes its engine to the next level, defining it into something all its own. At E3 2018, I had a chance to check out the 8-player co-op mode, checkpoint.

In this mode, eight of us picked our classes, and had to push our way through hordes of AI controlled soldiers to collect different checkpoints. Once a checkpoint had been captured, any players killed along the way are revived, or “reinforced.” This allowed the game to feel like it had high risks when pushing ahead of all of your teammates, as all eight players in the squad dying means game over.

At first, everyone on the team spread out, trying to be their own leader. This lead to us dying before we could get very far into the mission. However, when the next game started and we stayed together as a group, the game finally clicked. Patience was definitely something that lead to a reward.

When we stayed close together, we were able to cover our surroundings. One of the developers playing with us instructed us on his mic. We weren’t perfect, but we had a chance. Each time I died I could change my class and watch my teammates attempt to make it to the next point. If they succeeded, I would come back, which made even observing my team a tense moment.

As we made our way through the battlefield, we had to strategize how to approach reaching the next point. It could be something as large as a building, but it would be loaded with enemies.
We never actually succeeded in our mission, but capturing several of the points felt incredibly rewarding. With a group that sticks together, Insurgency: Sandstorm can be a great eight player co-op game, or at least, a good team building exercise.

Insurgency: Sandstorm will be released in September of 2018 for PC and in 2019 for consoles. For more exciting hands-on coverage out of E3 2018, check out our E3 section here on Gaming Trend.

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