Into The Night: Insurgency Adding Dark, Dark Co-op

I can seeee youuuu.

Darkness in multiplayer shooters is a tricky one. In theory, it demands new ways of moving, more attention and more caution, but opens up new tactics and opportunities. In practice, people bump their brightness high enough to make the darkness pointless so you do it too because they’re essentially playing a different, easier game and then it’s all just pointless and everyone’s looking at an ugly, ugly game. Few games manage fun, uncheatable darkness.

Military FPS Insurgency is having a crack at darkness in its next update, named Nightfall. Along with spooky night-time maps, it’ll bring a new co-op mode about sneaking around in the dark.

Here’s how game director Jeremy Blum explains the new co-op mode, Survival:

In it you must move from safehouse-to-safehouse, and evade enemy detection with your friends. The enemy gets more and more difficult as your team progresses, and with the cover of night it can get quite scary as they attempt to surround and eliminate you and your team.

Good-o! New night-vision goggles will mean folks aren’t totally blind, but are still challenged. I imagine folks waving flashlights around will cause trouble for goggles too. These will come in handy on updated night maps for regular modes too.

The update is due on October 29th, spoOoOoOOokily just in time for Halloween. It’ll also add a party system, a new map, and an AK-74 and an M4A1 to shoot men with.

Here, have a gander at the night-time antics in this recent livestream. It opens with a few rounds on the new level, Verticality, then NVG action begins after around 37 minutes:

30 Comments

  1. Hex says:

    Is this game an adequate replacement for CSGO?

    • The Godzilla Hunter says:

      Not really. From what I’ve played of it, it plays more like smaller-scale-Battlefront than CS:GO.

    • Synesthesia says:

      It’s a different beast. Think more to the lines of Red Orchestra’s heavy gunplay, but with much, much faster movement and no respawns. The few rounds that i managed to play with a cohesive team, it was an absolute blast.

    • zontax says:

      It plays like a mix between Red Orchestra and a bit of Counter Strike. It’s mostly objective based and the weapons are really deadly (and feel amazing too). there is a lean mechanic and suppressing enemies influences their aim. I feel like the pace is higher than Red Orchestra but slower than Counter Strike. If you like realism in your shooters this is probably something for you.

    • poetfoxpaul says:

      To answer your question we kind of need to know why you want to replace CS:GO, but here’s a shot anyways.

      Insurgency is more frustrating but also more rewarding. Unlike CS:GO, where a masterful player can control and predict quite a few of the game elements, Insurgency accurately relates the feeling of running from cover to cover in a warzone, being shot at from unknown locations and desperately trying to return fire. There are generally more paths to flank, more corners to camp and with the inclusion of explosive ranged weapons, more profanities to shout. CS:GO ultimately feels ‘fair’ – that being the feeling that if you lose it’s not because of chance but because the opposing team were better players. Insurgency does away with most of that competitive design in favor of a more chaotic battlescape, where every life can produce spectacular narrative or crushing defeat. Insurgency has a slower pace and less competitive atmosphere, but the fighting feels all the more cut-throat because of it. The weapons are deadlier (grenades produce powerful concussive blasts that shock your ears and eyes, if they don’t outright kill you) and the targets are less discernible (spotting enemies is quite a bit more difficult).

      A replacement? No. A parallel that can be enjoyed alongside? Sure.

      My least enjoyed element of insurgency is the aforementioned frustration. Playing against players who know the maps better will often lead to a quick succession of death and loss of rounds, since the ability to shoot from superior vantage points represents the most natural method of accruing advantage. This often leads to an unseen killer, so even after repeated spawns your digital soldier fails to make any progress. I’ve experienced situations where I run past not one but two of my previous life’s corpses, only to die to my killer a third time after failing to identify their hidey hole. This can be especially frustrating in certain game modes, when after a death you are stuck spectating the worst player on your team, inevitably a sniper, exhibit their poor game sense and lose the round.

      I love it, though. The feeling of success is much more palpable when the odds are slim. Every gun feels powerful, and the first time you open up with a m249 SAW is akin to your loss of virginity. The community is so-so, but players are easily muted and that solves that (despite TK’s always being a possibility the griefing is almost non-existant).

      Hope that helps.

      • Hex says:

        Thank you for the info, everyone above! While this was what I’d hoped to hear, I was sadly out of town for the free weekend back in August. :(

        As I suspected, this game sounds like something I’d enjoy much more than CSGO. My old fingers are no match for the ridiculous speed these young whippersnappers in CSGO have nowadays.

        Probably my biggest complaints in CSGO are the low damage of the firearms (if I successfully execute an ambush on a guy to the tune of unloading two or three rounds into him before he knows he’s being shot, why is he turning around and insta-killing me while I continue firing?!); and the gamey-ness of it. All the running awp-shots, twitch headshots and the like really bum me out.

        I feel like accuracy should be significantly reduced by people hopping around, and boosted for old-farts like me crouched in a corner waiting for a target. The kids playing the game today are playing the game, the know how to exploit the systems to wreck my shit. I’m too old and insistent upon doing stuff that seems like it would make sense in real life to get much joy out of CSGO lately.

        (And the real nail in the coffin is that my new, more-than-adequate PC has been experiencing major performance issues with CSGO since the birthday update a couple months back. The game started freezing just for an instant at a time whenever enemies of flashbangs would appear on my screen, and it’s progressively gotten worse to the point where I was frozen for 5- to 10-second stretches in the last match I played the other day. Anyone else experiencing this issue?)

        • MrJenssen says:

          Dude I know exactly what you feel, and Insurgency is your game then. Aim is important, sure, but not nearly as important as teamwork. And depending on what armor your enemy is wearing, and what ammo type you’re using, your enemy will go down in a couple of hits, easily. You’ll sometimes have the weird moment where someone ate two of your shotgun hits without going down, but it happens extremely rarely. I think you’ll really enjoy Insurgency. The community is pretty good too, although Europeans tend to be a little too quiet with the VOIP. Americans are better at talking together, which IMO raises the fun-factor tenfold.

          And you can’t shoot while jumping. It’s a realistic game, though not so realistic that it gets in the way of the fun. I personally would say it’s a middle-ground between Red Orchestra and Call of Duty. And I’m not referring to CoD in any negative way here. What I mean is just that it offers the same amount of realism and “grittiness” as Red Orchestra, but it’s not nearly as slow-paced. In that sense, it’s more comparable with CoD. Maps are relatively small (not comparable with Battlefield), and rounds go by quick. So even in the single-life modes, you’re never forced to wait more than a couple of minutes if you die early on in a round, before the round is over and you get to respawn with everybody else.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Last I checked, was a cross between America’s Army and CS.

  2. Hunchback says:

    A lot of “into the…” threads lately, eh? :)

  3. poetfoxpaul says:

    I’m going to do the obvious and praise the devs for continuously updating this game many months post release. It really does feel like their love child, considering the absurd amount of detail and care that has been poured into the game. It could always use more players, but there are always 5-10 full servers when I hop on after dinner. It’s absurd how much extra content has been added, and the devs actually listen to (valid) player complaints and update accordingly. This new mode is just some more icing on the icing on the icing on the cake.

    • SIDD says:

      this so much +1.

      I actually feel a little embarrassed that I paid less than £8 for this game, considering how much I’ve enjoyed it so far.

      It truly is a gem in so many ways…admittedly the engine is a bit dated but the only time you really feel that is when the limit of the render distance becomes obvious. That aside it’s probably the most solid gun mechanics I’ve ever encountered in a FPS and yes, the frequent updates and tweaks 99% of the time add to the game play rather than screw up the mechanics and flow.

  4. SIDD says:

    I very much hope that NVG will be available in all maps. We already have several Insurgency maps that are pretty damn dark (i.e. all Hunt maps) and playing co-op it’s pretty obvious that darkness doesn’t affect the AI to any noticeable degree, so this might even things a bit.

    Now…If only the devs would make plants and vegetation block AI LoS and maybe limit AI usage of RPGs (i.e. not let them fire an RPG into the spawn zone about 1 second after the team has respawned but allow us 5-10 seconds to move before nuking us) … then I would be happy as a clam…

    Either way I’m probably still gonna sink another couple of hundred hours into it ;)

  5. Shooop says:

    That’s not going to help the fact that the game’s just poor.

    The co-op is the only thing worth playing at all, but even that is lackluster thanks to the lack of players who bother using their mics for anything but middle-school “jokes”.

    • BobbyFizz says:

      I’ve got to offer a different opinion on this as I think this game is far from poor. I’ve played insurgency in it’s mod form and have played extensively in it’s standalone incarnation, it has some of the best firefights in any game I’ve played. The sound, lighting and feel of the guns is really immersive.

      • Shooop says:

        I can’t help but hate it. The community is the most god-awful one I’ve ever seen (even compared to CoD4) and the no respawning a-la-Counter Strikes makes firefights frustrating instead of exciting.

        Nothing has come anywhere close to matching Red Orchestra 2 in terms of realistic multiplayer shooting.

        • BurntCornFlakes says:

          Hello, member of the community here. I disagree with your comment completely. I have made many friends on steam through Insurgency, and they are all really cool people. As for Red Orchestra 2, the movement in that game is horribly clunky and glitchy, which ruins it for me.

          I get the feeling that you have barely any playtime in Insurgency…

        • El_Emmental says:

          There is respawning, it just works differently depending on the game mode you’re playing.

          You’re going to respawn when:
          (a) A teammate just captured/destroyed a control point.
          (b) Your team still has a respawn wave available (countdown of 20 seconds max if I recall correctly).

          In co-op, you’ll respawn when the surviving members of your team capture the next point (and if there’s a counter-attack it needs to be over). Since there’s a limited number of enemies per control point, it wouldn’t make sense to let you throw more and more players until the non-respawning AI enemies are all dead.

          If the enemy AI is too hardcore for your team, you can simply launch a vote to modify the difficulty or even change the amount of enemies per control point (if your team is too often overwhelmed). When playing late at night, tired and usually ending up with random newbies, I often vote down the difficulty a notch and it’s fun to play again.

          Regarding the playerbase, the Insurgency one is at least above average – I found it quite good (only got griefers twice). It’s certainly better than the RO2 one, by far.

          In general, the quality of the playerbase highly depends on where* and when you’re playing.

          * It’s much more comfortable to have 50 ms ping than 150 ms, so people tend to play americans/canadians play with americans/canadians, europeans with europeans, etc.

          Then, each countries have their own culture and gaming culture. They also don’t have the same kind of people playing at 6 pm, 10 pm or midnight.

          It *really* changes dramatically: the european sweet spot is very often between 11 pm and 3 am.
          – before 11 pm, you still have all the non-dedicated (“casual”) players who are extremely individualist (to the point of egoism): the “it’s just a game” crowd.
          – after 3 am, the dedicated players start getting very tired, leave to sleep, and you end up with more insomniacs (who tend to be less social and empathic) or very early players from another region (ex: for europe, you end up with the early russians…)

    • El_Emmental says:

      Wow, I have the exact opposite experience – for me the game is brilliant, and I’ve mostly met friendly people.

      The only irritating thing are the newbies who don’t know how each game mode work and that they have a map they can open to navigate through the current level, but that’s kinda inevitable with online MP games.

      As a tactical shooter, it’s very solid in my opinion* and the playerbase is pretty good.

      *disclaimer: I’ve played R6, GR, Vietcong 1, SWAT4, Hostile Intent, Insurgency (mod), Red Orchestra (mod+game), Darkest Hour/Mare Nostrum/Carpathian Crosses (RO1 mods), Red Orchestra 2, Intruder – and of course Operation Flashpoint, ArmA I, II and III.

      • wengart says:

        While many modes do have respawns there aren’t that many of them. You might get to respawn 10 or so times in a single round, and that is if you are lucky.

        Personally I feel that Insurgency sits uncomfortably between RO2 and CS:GO. It has the map design and mission structure of CS:GO combined with the realism of RO2, and that combination doesn’t really work out.

        The maps are so small that there isn’t a lot of room for interesting maneuvers or just general combat. Nothing really gets to develop dynamically. Instead you have that battle for the corner again and again. These strictly designated fighting areas feel really weak after having played RO. I mean a number of RO2 capture points are as large as entire Insurgency maps.

        The respawn system is very strict and in most battles you only get to respawn a small number of times. This makes it very hard to explore the battle and take interesting risks. It also doesn’t allow for fights to develop. A single death can dramatically swing the balance in a fight and because respawning is so rare you don’t get to chance to understand the conflict.

        Weapon lethality is also very high. Which is a problem when combined with the punishing respawn system and cramped maps. It is relatively easy to be killed without knowing how or just to be killed by random chance. While in RO that really isn;t and issue because battles develop slowly and take place over a period of minutes. In Insurgency it can put you out of the fight for the entire objective.

        I can see how coming from a CS:GO or COD perspective Insurgency works, but coming from an Arma or RO perspective I definitely think it fails.

        • El_Emmental says:

          Well, that’s the problem with server admins putting way too many players on their servers – it’s like RO2’s Appartment with 64 players, it’s a complete joke.

          Avoiding the servers setting the max players limit too high gave me a much more satisfying experience on Ins (same with most smaller RO2/RS maps, less players allows much more maneuvers and tactical CQC, requiring much less spam and camp to win). It’s really something you should do (avoid high pop servers) whenever a game becomes a TDM mess because there’s just too much people crammed into a small map.

          Insurgency aims to be a CQC tactical shooter, same with RO2/RS small maps – you can’t have that if there’s 6 players enemies at every single corner all the time. No matter how efficient you’ll be, you’ll never be able to raid a position and flank the other in one go: you would need to make 15 to 20 kills in less than 45 seconds (after that, the respawn waves kick in) and that’s just impossible. So you end up slowly moving from one camping position to another, steadily bleeding out the enemy reinforcements while preserving yours.

          If instead there’s no more than 2-3 enemies at every corner, then your squad of 2-4 soldiers can move up and clear the place, making 5 kills or so (with 1-2 casualties) in the process and completely secure the new position – allowing 2-3 more teammates to get there and flank the other enemy position. That’s the kind of maneuver most players are looking for when playing tactical shooters, it just requires the adequate amount of players per map size.

          Sadly, server owners are way too scared of paying for an empty server, so they bump up the player limit – even if the server crashes and lag horribly when it’s full (RO2/RS servers are very often guilty of that: they’re capable of 50 players max, they set it at 64 players, during peak hours the game experience is just terrible).

          The idea is that with a players limit set at 64 (or 32) players, it will average at 55 (30) players during busy hours so it will take longer to die (when there’s less than 15 players). It ruins the game experience, but at least the server is alive more often – I’m not sure it’s the best choice.

  6. wengart says:

    Personally I feel that Insurgency sits uncomfortably between RO2 and CS:GO. It has the map design and mission structure of CS:GO combined with the realism of RO2, and that combination doesn’t really work out.

  7. Goodtwist says:

    So, Alice “Alice” O’Connor, is one of the best additions to RPS yet. Have my fedora, milady.

    • SlimShanks says:

      OBVIOUSLY. If only everyone could aspire to be either Alice or Tim…
      On topic: I bought this game and enjoyed many things about it, but for someone who is serious about using effective tactics instead of twitch aiming in games the fact that there is is barely any suppression is quite problematic. Also the choice to use hitscan for all the firearms makes me vomit in my mouth a little bit. As someone further up said, it’s a weird mash of realism and fast pace, which doesn’t really work for me.

      • cocodacrow says:

        I was under the impression that the lack of ballistics was due to a Source engine limitation.

        • SlimShanks says:

          Not at all. Half-Life 2 has actual projectiles. They aren’t advanced or anything, but they are there on all guns.

          • cocodacrow says:

            HL2 used hitscan for hit detection with its guns. Particle systems and delayed impact may have been employed to mimic ballistics but it was still hitscan…or so the internet tells me at least.

  8. ironhorse says:

    I want to love this game like i loved the mod, but i just cannot get past the handicap that is dressed up as “immersion”, in the form of excessive obscuring smoke from your bullets.

    It’s akin to the loathsome BF3’s obscuring “suppression” effects. And this is supposedly the reason the devs made it this way.
    And it’s not even realistic, I’ve been on two combat tours as a Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan and I’ll tell you this: what smoke is kicked up from small fire is quickly wicked away, it doesn’t linger in in a big thick patch, even when indoors.
    Here’s an example: link to youtu.be

    I can understand at long distances for better hit feedback, but in CQB its just needlessly obscuring as the effects don’t scale.

    Here’s some pics of what I am talking about:
    link to i.imgur.com
    link to i.imgur.com
    link to i.imgur.com

    IF there was a way to disable this, i’d be a regular player.

  9. El_Emmental says:

    *PSA* If there’s one Steam Workshop addon to pick, it’s “Intense Realism Soundmod”.

    It’s in two parts:
    link to steamcommunity.com
    link to steamcommunity.com

    /! A few updates ago, the sound code of the game was changed. You now need the “snd_restart” command to get the modified sounds.

    To do that:
    – set a key for the “console” in the Options > Controls menu.
    – open the console.
    – type the following command: bind “_anotherkey_” “snd_restart”
    (ex: bind “L” “snd_restart”)
    – at the start of each map, press that key once and enjoy the soundscape of intense firefights :)