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Video Game / Insurgency

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Insurgency is a 2007 freeware total conversion Source mod featuring realistic gun mechanics and teamwork-based gameplay pitting a conventional army against partisans. The Steam release of the mod is titled Insurgency: Modern Infantry Combat. Developed by InterWave Studios, a commercial version released as Insurgency was later made by New World Interactive (with many of the mod's original developers) using the Portal 2 Source engine, on January 22nd, 2014.

A spin-off World War II Game Mod, titled Day of Infamy, was released initially on the Steam Workshop, which was then endorsed by the developers, and eventually has its own standalone release.

You can download the mod from Steam here (a Source engine game is required, see the list here). The commercial version's website is here, and is also on Steam here.

On 23 February 2016, New World Interactive alongside their new publishing partner company, Focus Home Interactive announced Insurgency: Sandstorm, a remake of sorts on Unreal Engine 4 slated for release somewhere in 2017 for the PC as well as the PS4 and Xbox One consoles. Aside from updated graphics and different game engine, it will also feature an eSports framework as well as the air support functions borrowed from Day of Infamy.

This series provides examples of:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Although the game is designed to be pretty high on the Fackler Scale of FPS Realism to the point that you can't see the remaining ammo in each magazine, One Bullet Clips is averted, recoil is as realistic as possible, lack of crosshair with huge emphasis on aiming down sights, and one or two shots being enough to down a player, the game still features unrealistic features such as:
    • Objective markers on the HUD due to the lack of real in game object marker (such as flags), and depending on server settings, friendlies are tagged through cover and smoke.
    • Respawning, although any death is still a disadvantage due to it wearing off the "Reinforcement Wave" and taking a rather long time (average respawn time is 20-30 seconds) to regroup and return to contested points.
    • Friendly Fireproof, depending on the server - ranging from wounds that would be fatal being reduced to minor damage and an annoyed voiceclip, to invulnerability.
    • The lack of non-infantry support - you do hear airstrikes, and you also see tanks and technicals strewn through some levels, but they're there as scenery dressing and can't be interacted with.
    • You can sprint for as long as you want - though your soldier will gasp for breath when you stop after doing this for a while, they can get right back to it, and combat fatigue doesn't seem to be much of a problem.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Various voicebank clips of the "Need Backup" and "Cover Me" commands, as well as some of the announcer's dialogue.
    Security Announcer: (after an enemy wave in Outpost) Err, can we like, leave now?
  • All-or-Nothing Reloads: Partly averted - as soon as you put in the fresh magazine, the ammo count is updated and you can interrupt the animation by sprinting.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted, as you can use light and heavy armor which may slow your movement but will greatly aid your survivability as long as they actually hit you in your armored chest and torso, though armor-piercing ammunition can make it less effective and will completely go through light armor.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Your gun can use armor-piercing ammunition in commercial Insurgency if you pay supply for it. Inversely, you can use your supply on hollow-point anti-personnel ammunition to be more lethal when striking unarmored areas on your target's body or an unarmored target.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The AI bots in co-op and single player skirmishes are pretty much pushovers when they're not headshotting you the instant you come into view. Smoke cover pretty much makes you invisible to them, especially when using suppressors, unless they bump right into you in the smoke.
  • Back Stab: A single slash from behind with the knife or kukri instantly kills any enemy (or friendly depending on the server's setting).
  • Blinded by the Light: In the commercial Insurgency, flashbangs are available and are your normal blinding grenades, but there's also flashlight attachments, which are quite blinding to look at directly and quite often blind unfortunate teammates looking in your direction, especially if they're using NVGs.
  • Blown Across the Room: Surprisingly, this trope was played straight in the mod. Averted in the commercial release.
  • Boring Yet Practical: The basic assault rifle is available for most classes and both sides in commercial Insurgency, with the noticeable bonus of very low cost (1 for Security's M16, 0 for Insurgents AKM). Updates also add the Makarov pistol and Model 10 revolver, available to both sides for zero supply-point cost.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: One of the lines the security force announcers can say at the end of a wave in coop outpost is this:
    Security Announcer: " know this mode is endless, right?"
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: The Insurgents have a wide variety of WW2 era and earlier guns, including a S&W Model 10 Revolver, M1911A1, Sterling Mk. 14, Mosin Nagant, MP40, and M1 Carbine.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Some of the voice clips of player characters shamelessly lampshade this when narrowly avoiding rockets or explosions.
    Security: Ahhh I think I just pissed myself!
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The voicebank for the Security Forces is an arsenal of these, especially the 'distressed' ones.
    Security (reloading under fire): Fuck, Fuck, FUCK!
  • Concealment Equals Cover: Averted Trope, the distinction between the words is even pointed out in the game's tutorial while explaining not everything will stop bullets. Armor-piercing ammo goes through cover better than normal ammunition, hollow-point ammo is worse at it than the basic.
  • Cosmetically Different Sides: Averted, heavily. The different sides might have similar roles, but very different equipment (Security Forces have NATO equipment such as M16 and M4 rifles, Insurgents have Warsaw Pact weaponry such as the AKM and older equipment such as the Mosin-Nagant) with unique stats. That doesn't factor unique weapons on each side, such as the Insurgent's IED, or each side's bonuses (the Security Forces gets an armor discount, the Insurgents get free AKM rifles).
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: The Insurgents' announcer is not a patient man, especially when objectives are being taken or destroyed.
  • Defiant to the End: How the teams' HQ usually reacts to being forced to defend the cache in Push modes, where they'll be out of reinforcements:
    Security HQ: Outnumbered my ass! We're not going anywhere!
    Insurgent HQ: We will not go quietly! Kill as many of them as you can!
  • Desert Warfare: A lot of the maps are set in the Middle East and feature a desert or arid environment.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • Rocket launchers deliver tons of area damage. In some maps (eg. Sinjar) a single rocket can frequently wipe an entire unprepared team. However, they take lots of supply points, are too damn heavy and are very prone to teamkilling, and thus requires some skill to use properly.
    • Scoring a Back Stab on an enemy player using the melee weapon. It results in an instant death for them, but that requires getting in close, so if the potential victim turns around at the wrong time or has vigilant backup, you're hosed.
    • The C4 and IED can be deadly weapons if used correctly. However, due to their large blast radius, they can be just as dangerous to the player using them.
  • Easter Egg: In the tutorial, the scoreboard is unusable, but if you go into the squad selection menu, you'll see that instead of the default 8 player assault squad, this squad has 8 unique classes: one recruit, one leader, one driver, and 5 'backup' classes. You take the recruit class and bots take the other seven. In fact, the recruit class is unique; that's why you can equip assault rifles, LMGs, and C4s all in the same class.
  • Emergency Weapon: The Beretta M9, Makarov PM, Model 10, and both 1911-type sidearms in the commercial game are mentioned to be along these lines by the training instructor, though actually carrying one is up to the player (some classes don't have one equipped by default, such as Support, which frequently has too much armor and ammo on his person to have the room for one). All players also automatically have a melee weapon for this purpose... outside of Cherry Tapping someone they completely blindsided.
  • Endless Game: The Outpost and Survival co-op modes are thisnote . Outpost consists of a player-controlled Security team defending a sole ammo cache against increasingly difficult waves of Insurgents, while Survival consists of underwhelmingly supplied Insurgents running from one safe point to another to get more supply points. Fortunately both modes offer respawns whenever the surviving players complete a round/get to the safe zone.
  • Enemy Chatter: The Insurgent Forces bots in the co-op modes do this, and so do player characters under special circumstances and the Security bots in survival mode.
  • Every Bullet is a Tracer: Averted Trope - tracer ammo is only required for light machine guns (though it costs zero supply points for other weapons, but it can't be combined with AP or HP ammo), and even when used, only a small handful of the bullets are tracers.
  • Fackler Scale of FPS Realism: Quite heavy on the realistic end while not reaching Project Reality level. Many Steam reviews called it Red Orchestra in a modern environment.
  • Friend or Foe?: Friendly fire can be on or off depending on the server for retail Insurgency. Oh, and try to not point your flashlight at your own allies. Markers appear for you to see your allies' positions, but especially when aiming they tend to be a bit muted and hard to notice in a hectic situation.
  • Game Mod: Starts as one, and the commercial version includes a Steam Workshop support to easily subscribe (install) mods and publish mods. These can include everything from reskinned guns and sound mods to entire custom maps and gameplay modes, as well as new character skins. The latter can result in rather incongruous things like the Security forces consisting of D.Va clones, the SCP Foundation or M4 SOPMOD II Tactical Dolls fighting against the Combine, Ultranationalist Russia or Stormtroopers.
  • Good Guns, Bad Guns: Each side has their own weapon pool, of which only a small handful of weapons are shared.
    • Security generally gets fancier, more modern Western weapons: M16A4, M4A1 and Mk 18 as their primary assault rifles, MP5K and UMP45 as submachine guns, Mossberg 590 shotgun, M249 machine gun, Mk 14 for marksman's use, M40A1 as a sniper rifle, AT4 as a rocket launcher, and the modern M67 and AN-M14 grenades for respectively anti-personnel and incendiary use.
    • The Insurgents, meanwhile, are generally stuck with older castoffs, typically outdated Soviet equipment: AK-74, AKMSU and AKS-74U as their primary assault rifles, MP40 and Sterling for submachine guns, TOZ-194 shotgun, RPK machine gun, their marksman's rifle is the SKS, the Mosin-Nagant is their sniper rifle, the RPG-7 as their rocket launcher, and older F1 grenades for anti-personnel and good old-fashioned Molotovs for incendiary purposes.
    • There are about six weapons that are shared in some form, three of which are identical between the factions (S&W Model 10 revolver, Makarov PM handgun, and P2A1 flare gun) while the other three still play to the usual split: Insurgents have the older M1911 as a heavier-caliber pistol, FAL as an alternate marksman's weapon, and Galil ARM with wooden furniture as an alternate assault rifle, while Security's variants are the more modern M45 heavy pistol, semi-auto-only L1A1 battle rifle, and Galil SAR with polymer furniture.
  • Gun Accessories: In both games, though expanded greatly in the commercial game. In the mod, the only accessories were foregrips, sights, and grenade launchers on a few rifles, and only one attachment was allowed per weapon. In the retail version, every weapon can be modified with different ammunition types, sights or scopes, flashlights or Laser Sights, and suppressors or heavier barrels, with the only limit to attachments being which slot one goes in (e.g. armor-piercing, hollow-point, and tracer ammo types can't be combined) and your available supply points.
  • Heroic Mime: Averted in normal gameplay, but Played Straight in the tutorial, where the commo rose is disabled, and the recruit never says a single word, even if he's being suppressed or if he's been hit by gunfire.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Averted, bots in co-op and players can hear the suppressor from a distance.
  • Infinite Flashlight: The flashlight weapon attachment never runs out of power. Also a case of Truth in Television.
  • Justified Tutorial: The game offers an optional (but highly recommended) tutorial mode for newbies to the game. It is presented as a small training course for new recruits of the Security forces. The Instructor lampshades this by informing the player that as a trained military specialist he should already know most of the basics, but is new to the company and thus has to complete the course as a mandatory requirement. Movement controls, shooting mechanics and the game's supply point system is introduced professionally by the Instructor, and all skills are fully utilized in the final test when actual insurgents launch a surprise attack on the base.
  • Kukris Are Kool: The melee weapon for the Insurgents is a kukri.
  • Laser Sight: An optional weapon attachment that shows where your weapon's barrel is pointing. Any player can see it, and you can blind your allies with it.
  • Missing Backblast: Surprisingly Played Straight, despite all the other realistic elements in the game. If allies are standing behind you when you fire off the rocket launcher, they'll get suppressed, but that's about it.
  • Molotov Cocktail: An explosive weapon available to the Insurgent team, added in the aptly-named "Molotov Spring" update. It has a counterpart in the AN-M14 incendiary grenade used by the Security team. Not only does it provide temporary burning fire that will damage enemies passing on it, it also provides distortion for NVG wearing soldiers in night maps, and throws up enough smoke and flames to make it hard to aim through. Their damage-over-time also makes them perfect for destroying ammo caches. They also serve as an effective area denial weapon that can prevent enemies from camping at a spot.
  • More Dakka: Drum magazines, the RPK, the Galils, or the M249 are made for this. Other weapons will generally empty a magazine within a couple of seconds.
  • Night-Vision Goggles: Available on night maps. Using it for the first minute or so makes everything extremely bright until it darkens (which simulates your eyes adjusting).
  • Occupiers Out of Our Country: The stated objective of the Insurgents, occasionally announced at round start.
    Insurgent HQ: This is our land! They have no right to be here!
  • Oh, Crap!: Generally the player character's reaction to an impending RPG or explosive.
    Security: Oh, SHIT! RPG!! RPG!!!
    Insurgent: Watch out, grenade!
  • One Bullet Clips: Averted, the amount of ammo in a mag is remembered when you reload and reloading mid-mag and from empty mag differ (which is realistic).
  • Private Military Contractors: The Security team of the commercial Insurgency is stated to have contracts in the mission, leaving the implications of what sort of combatants they are fairly clear.
  • Qurac: The game takes place in one modeled after Iraq and Afghanistan, with places like snowy peaks, semi-arid farmland, swampy shorelines, and Iraq-esque television stations and stretches of desert. The insurgents themselves don't mention religion, but announcer chatter for their side talks of taking back their home from Security forces.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Averted. In comparison to the Makarov, the Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver is a tiny bit lighter, and does a bit more damage. However it suffers from a slow fire rate, a slight trigger delay, small ammo capacity, and a painfully slow reload time (unless a point is spent on the speed loader upgrade).
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: The Insurgent grunt will occasionally emit a comically high pitched scream in response to narrowly avoiding RPGs.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Somewhat, buckshot spread is very small at medium-to-long range (although buckshot is very ineffective against body armor) and slugs make it even longer range. However, its rate of fire is killer for anything less than CQC maps, as rifles are still more accurate and hit harder at longer ranges.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Hits with the force of a train. Magazine can be topped up between encounters. Cheap supply point cost. Averted with the slow rate of fire.
  • Smoke Out:
    • Commercial Insurgency has smoke grenades available for a supply point to be thrown for concealing your team's movement and blinding enemy positions.
    • Almost an Exaggerated Trope. The game also includes a smoke grenade 'launcher', and to a lesser extent regular grenades and even just bullets will kick up dust clouds.
  • This Is Not a Drill: The "Embassy" map features the titular building's PA system blaring this as part of the map's ambience. Also of all places, the tutorial level after the player is introduced to the basic game mechanics.
  • Trick Bullet: Commercial Insurgency allows players load their gun with team-colored tracer rounds that become more common as they run low (red for Security, green for Insurgents) at no supply cost, allowing them to easily point out what they're shooting at to allies and let them get an approximation of their magazine's current ammo count at the cost of making it easier for enemies to pick out where they're shooting from and also giving them an approximation of their magazine's current ammo count.
  • Translation Convention: The Insurgent Forces always speak accented English, regardless of which team you're on. Steam Workshop content may help avert this.