The traditional Tactical First-Person Shooter from the 1990s is, for fleeting moments of relevancy in the ARMA series, dead. Slow, methodical combat has paved way for a more action oriented shooter that offers instant gratification rather than subject the player to arduous preparation before throwing them into a fight, and even then it's no safe bet that they won't get humiliated in some fashion. Games like Rainbow Six before the mid-2000s comes to mind, where emphasis was placed more so on strategy and pace than in who is able to squeeze the trigger quicker. Almost like a chess match where all the pieces are armed with assault rifles, grenades and thrown immediately into a hostage situation. While developers have veered away from this approach some games attempt to keep it alive, one that instantly springs to mind is Insurgency, a Source mod and one of the more popular to have been released. Insurgency is a shooter with an emphasis on tactics set in the Middle East that, while more forgiving than the Tactical First-Person Shooters of yore, still isn't afraid to slap you on the wrist for a headstrong decision.
As mentioned before, Insurgency was one of the more popular Source mods to reach release. It feels as if it's been around for years as well. Most mods tend to see their player base whither to nothing after a few years, even a few months depending on the quality of the mod and how well the game spread throughout the internet or word of mouth. Insurgency does indeed feel special because of how long it's lasted, and here we are, seeing a full release on Steam. For twenty dollars you can find yourself in the early access beta for the game but there know that the game isn't finished entirely.
After all these years, things change. Things need to change in a video game and Insurgency has seen its fair share. While some of the older maps have stuck around from the original mod there have been other additions, like the ability to modify weapons and smaller maps with tight corridors, tuned to make SMGs and shotguns a more appealing option. The weapons can all be finely tuned towards a certain play style. If you'd prefer to use an assault rifle but also keep as quiet as possible there's the opportunity of slapping a silencer onto it. Maybe even different ammunition, sights, or body armor for good measure. The amount of options for each gun isn't staggering but there is just enough to allow a player to utilize any sort of tactics they'd like if they found themselves stuck with a specific class.
The need to keep a game fresh is crucial, especially when dealing with something that's getting a re-release in the Steam marketplace. By incorporating smaller environments weaved into the classic large maps while keeping more or less the same gameplay pace in order to introduce, or reintroduce, someone into the Insurgency state of mind. There has always been the notion that the original mod team and New World Interactive wanted to deviate from the standard FPS genre. Insurgency as a mod was able to do that very well while remaining interesting enough to plant it's hooks into you, keeping players occupied for hours on end despite its slow pace. Being able to delicately balance the slow pace in small environments while making things interesting is a special skill that the original mod team was able to mix together into something that worked. You got the sense that the mod team understood the two concepts well enough to make it all click in the right ways, after all there has to be some tangible reason as to why a mod could last so long. Those sort of mods are few and far between, but when you stumble across them it's not shocking that a standalone release was planned sometime along the way, or already released.
It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out, like many games being released recently it offers the ability to become a part of the beta process for a price, for those that were previously invested in the mod the choice may have already been made. Being in beta still it's too early to decide whether or not they've successfully recreated the mod experience and hopefully even expanded on it. Giving the game a glance already, it seems as if they are heading in the right direction. The Tactical FPS of past years may never come back, but it's refreshing to see games still attempting to revitalize the genre for the better.