When Jeremy told me about the new co-op mode Checkpoint, I instantly knew that gameplay of respawning your team ONLY when an objective is secure was suited for some fun and intense multiplayer. Firefight was ripe for some innovation.
On Friday the first iteration of Firefight was released. We've had two more updates to it and it's still not complete. However, at this point it is definitely worth playing.
I just had my longest continuous session of playing Insurgency since we've started this game (mod excepted). Normally I get exhausted after about an hour and a half of continuous combat in Occupy. Not today. Three hours straight of Firefight and I had to tear myself away in order to write this and get some much needed sleep for a long commute tomorrow (when I will be daydreaming about how to design the other game modes).
There is a demand for the one-life style gameplay. However, our Elimination implementation has been struggling to find the right balance. It started as a capture the object and bring it to the enemy's base. Then it went to just a single area objective to secure. Now it's just kill everyone. All along though, it was one life. There was no real purpose to the objective.
Firefight now starts with one life. Three objectives. One neutral in the middle. Your team only spawns when an objective is secured.
Those are the simple game rules that has created a wide variety of experiences. It works in smaller maps like Siege, Ministry, and larger maps like District.
With the right team, it can be over in just a minute. With two skilled teams, it can last up to ten minutes as each secure an objective and gain that instant reinforcement.
The most intense moment I have had in Insurgency - this game or the mod - has come tonight as the last man alive on Security in District. Insurgents had A and B. I ran to C... I secured it, then I died a hero. That wave of reinforcement came back and won the round. It was epic. You're so close to losing, but it's NOT over if you can put your balls on the line for your team. That should become an achievement - last man secures to call in reinforcements that win the round. It's the ultimate comeback.
You MUST try Firefight with Realism... and you will discover one of the most tactical experiences of your gaming lives - especially with the right players.
One change I am considering is earning a backup reinforcement wave if your team secures an objective while all your teammates are still alive. That way, securing it will not go unrewarded and your team will come back when you need it most.
Now, I'm learning what the best elements of this game mode are and implementing them into Battle and Push. Firefight can be quick rounds and that one-life dynamic combined with team dependence on objectives is really what brings out the intensity. We need to inject that intensity into the more prolonged gameplay, because that remains very popular and is part of Insurgency's DNA. There is a lot of potential to maintain a reinforcement system that ties into the objectives - instead of having unlimited respawns at regular intervals.
Arguably, now that we have a unique game mode for Insurgency that brings out its tactical side - I would advocate for the temporary removal of Occupy. Maybe it can come back once we move to Beta or Full Release because it's a familiar game mode for new players. But really, it undercuts the value of Insurgency being a unique gaming experience. We need to separate ourselves from the mainstream and this is exactly the way to do it.
Looking forward to playing some Firefight on the servers with you all soon!