I should stop writing about Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, I’ve said too much already. But thinking about it makes me a bit concerned about so called survival* games being developed these days. Not only Counter-Strike, in my experience, from 1.3 to Global Offensive, was never riddled with cheaters but, over time, good ideas about players/community management we’re directly melt into the game user interface. For instance, someday /votekick was modded: now it is a just click away. Since internet is no longer a thingy for a chosen few, these players/community managements features are a must have, there is no way around. I do not even understand how anyone could think ever releasing a multiplayer game without these. That should be part of the user interface design, not an crappy thing added extra two days before the final first release. It was already nice in Left 4 Dead, it’s great in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive so they can focus on other things (before changing anything to Aztec, I’d suggest heavy fixes on Lake: the ability to run like mad on the roof of the house just like if it was solid ground, without it even making specific noise, is already way too gamey for my taste; but the running, not swimming, around in the Lake is really nonsense).
But Counter-Strike will always be Counter-Strike, otherwise it’ll have to be renamed, since any substantial change would make too much fuss among pro players. So even though the game qualifies as a tactical realistic experience, there are cool realism items they’ll probably never implement. I doubt they’ll ever add iron sights for instance.
So no iron sight, no blurry target and iron sights clear either, as it should be when you are actually aiming with a weapon with iron sights, focusing on the said sights. In depth: I admit not easy to implement, obviously, while he can be aiming down the sight since a few seconds, the player still have to decide when he’s actually about to fire and want to only focus on the sight instead of the whole environment. But, in FPS where you can aim down the sights, there is often a key to slow breathing : maybe it could fill that purpose too in the case of iron sights. Or another fine way to implement it could be to assume that when you aim down the sight, it’s for immediate fire so it would by default focus on the sight and slow breathing; and the extra key usually for slow breathing would be a general release trigger, releasing the breath and focus with the sights still aimed.
This leads me to Insurgency. It uses Source engine, so even though it’s not the best on the market in regards of aesthetics these days, it’s stable and quite nice to see nonetheless, especially since you can actually put all the settings to high and expect at least 50/60 frames per second. And votekick, mute morons, etc, are already implemented.
Insurgency ambiance is quite similar to COD 4 Modern Warfare, with fights taking places in Iraq/Somalia/etc. Insurgency gameplay is a bit similar to Counter-Strike, with objectives that invites to a tactical playing style.
And Insurgency is new, they don’t have to deal with history, they can implement things like this blurry target/iron sights clear thingy. They already seems to focus on realism, with a minimalist interface (for instance, it tells you how many magazines you have left but it does not tell you how many times you fired with your current one however), they could continue on this path.
I was also thinking it could be interesting not to consider ammunitions as a whole and magazine size as a limit of ammunitions that can be fired without reload, as it is in every FPS, but, as it is in reality, magazines as real containers: you fire three ammunitions and load another magazine then you have in your backpack a magazine with 3 ammunitions left. Gameplay wise, when reloading, as it is in every game I’ve played so far, provides you each time the full maximum of ammunitions, you should almost always reload after a firefight, as soon as you are in cover. That’s easy to remember and to apply. But that notion is not realistic. No magazine is automatically fed to the maximum each time you put it in the pocket. Unloading magazines and refeeding them on the battlefield could be possible but that’s not a fast reload. I don’t know whether a realistic take on this would make the game funnier, but it would definitely makes it more immersive, and even help players to perfect strategies about magazines management (is it better to change regularly magazines to keep them to a similar level, but ending will all of them almost empty at some point? or is it better to always empty them one by one so you never end up in the situation where you cannot fire an almost full one, except when you are completely out? or is it better to change regularly but to keep one full at all time just in case?).
Anyway, the game is on sale these days, if you want a similar experience (realism, tactical modes) to Red Orchestra 2/Rising Storm, but in another ambiance, you should go for it. Erhebe du dich!
(* if you can respawn in a sleeping bag a few meters from where you died, if you can actually easily manage multiples death without substantive loss, then it’s more a farming game than a survival experience)