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Insurgency: Sandstorm preps for launch with open beta weekend

I I love to reload during a battle!

Gritty tactical team shooter Insurgency: Sandstorm launches next week. New World Interactive's dusty game of desert warfare - both competitive and co-op - arrives on Wednesday, December 12th. Those wanting to sample its buffet of harrowing desert war scenarios can try it free right now - currently live and running until 5pm GMT on Monday, the current beta build is open to all, accompanied by a major update detailed here. There's a new map, an offline training level, improved character models and some major optimisations. Below, a video explaining its many modes.

While New World sadly dropped plans for a story-driven solo campaign relatively early in development, Insurgency: Sandstorm does still have a co-op mode, playable solo if you're a masochist. Players work through the map, capturing strongholds from the AI and occasionally hunkering down to drive off a counterattack. The game also boasts reloading mechanics that would give Revolver Ocelot a boner, with options for reloads of varying speed and completion. A half-empty magazine, if properly unloaded, goes back into your inventory to be finished off later.

Ballistic modelling is a cut above, too. Bullets are emitted from where you see the gun barrel on-screen, even if you pull the trigger mid-animation and it's aimed nowhere near the screen's centre. Penetration is well simulated, and cover can be shot through at the cost of damage reduction, and of course, guns can be customised, because gun nerds. Its PvP playmodes run the gamut, ranging from Counter Strike-esque small competitive rounds without respawns to larger almost Battlefield-like scenarios with vehicles. No tanks, sadly, but you can call in off-map air support.

Insurgency: Sandstorm launches on December 12th, and can be found on Steam and Humble for £20.79/€26.99/26.99. It's published by Focus Home Interactive. The game is free to try on Steam until next Monday, December 10th at 5pm GMT. You can see the latest major patch notes here.

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