Insurgency: Sandstorm, the hit sequel to 2014's Insurgency, is a tactical first-person shooter. While fans likely won't consider it one of the best first-person shooters any time soon, its newfound accessibility on consoles means that it is attracting a much wider audience. Fortunately, new players have a wealth of content to experience thanks to frequent updates over the years introducing new maps and modes.
From concrete jungles to frozen fortresses, Insurgency: Sandstorm has a vast and varied selection of maps for players to play in. While many of them maintain the game's central visual theme of open desert landscapes, each one of them feels unique. But which maps should new players try out first?
Insurgency: Sandstorm is full of maps with a desert theme. From cascading dunes in the distance to sand-covered buildings, these maps all share a very similar motif. While all of the maps in Insurgency: Sandstorm are excellent, Tideway is by far the most uninspired.
Tideway leans into this desert motif a little too much and as a result, is one of the least interesting maps to fight in. However, it is worth mentioning that its wide-open spaces and scattered buildings make for excellent firefights and a match in this map is never dull.
Hideout is a dense suburban map with plenty of accessible buildings for the player to explore. Its vastness contrasted with its building density allows for both long-range and close-quarters engagements.
The layout and detail in Hideout make it a great map with excellent flow. However, visually, it does little to differentiate itself from the many other urban and suburban maps present in Insurgency: Sandstorm's impressive roster.
Bab is one of the few maps that is covered in snow. It is a breath of fresh air when compared to Insurgency: Sandstorm's many other desert-themed maps, and as a result, feels a lot more unique. Bab is a stunning urban map with a lot of impressive interior details across its many compact buildings.
Bab's lack of verticality is offset by its impressive flow. Going from its dense urban environment with plenty of flanking opportunities to its more linear finale in the fortress is exhilarating.
Tell is a map that requires some impressive response times. Its tight constricted alleyways and narrow corridors mean that you'll need to react quickly to incoming enemies. It goes without saying that for those wanting to play on a console, be sure to pick up one of the best controllers for first-person shooters available.
Tell is one of the few maps that specifically focuses on close-combat encounters. While long-range gameplay is possible, the narrow environment means that most players will likely stick to short-range weapons.
While most urban maps in Insurgency: Sandstorm contain both buildings and natural landscapes, Precinct is entirely a concrete jungle. Its ruined buildings, abandoned buses, and bullet-ridden streets make one of the game's most dense environments.
Precinct is an impressive map to fight in as while its cityscape is obviously not to scale, the level of detail in both the interior and exterior environments make it feel enormous. Firefights in this map's streets are incredibly intense and challenging.
Gap may seem like another of Insurgency: Sandstorm's desert-based maps, but its impressive level of verticality coupled with the intricate details in both its interior and exterior environments make it not only a stunning but engaging map to play in.
Gap allows for some extremely intense close-quarters matches across its tight and compact buildings that offer little shelter to those who hide in them. Constantly moving through each building and being careful not to get caught in some of its wider streets is the key to victory.
Unlike many of the maps in Insurgency: Sandstorm, Refinery is mostly about long-range combat. Its wide-open paths mean that players can't rush enemy positions. Later areas in the map feature tighter corridors and restrictive interior areas making it a well-balanced map with a good sense of flow.
Refinery is also unique for its more distinctive visual style. While it is still set in a dusty desert, its industrial design makes it stand out amongst a slew of urban maps and open dunes.
Hillside is a recreation of the classic Insurgency map Sinjar. The disparity in height makes it a difficult map to progress through in certain modes, but as always the challenge is the best part of Insurgency: Sandstorm.
Similar to Bab, Hillside is entirely encased in snow, making it one of the more visually unique maps. Its impressive level of verticality allows for engaging combat across both rooftops and the ground, making it an incredibly dynamic map.
Summit is yet another dense urban environment surrounded by sand, dust, and rocks. But what makes Summit so special is its intense chokepoints and tight alleyways. Its layout allows for more tug-of-war style matches, especially between two skilled teams.
Like most maps in Insurgency: Sandstorm, Summit benefits from an impressive level of detail across both its interiors and exteriors which makes it a far more immersive map.
Whenever a little bit of greenery appears in Insurgency: Sandstorm, it is something worth celebrating. Although its setting doesn't always allow for it, there are a few maps that feature more green environments. Farmhouse is one such map. It perfectly blends the rich desert-based maps present in its roster with some vibrant verdant areas.
It features the familiar flanking routes, buildings, and tight alleyways present in most of the other maps in Insurgency: Sandstorm. However, thanks to its more dynamic visual style, Farmhouse remains one of the more memorable maps.
Not unlike the incredibly enjoyable Hell Let Loose, Insurgency: Sandstorm is at its best when you're pushing ahead into the unknown. Crossing, a map divided by a river, is perfect for that type of gameplay.
Crossing is one of the best long-range maps in the game as it requires patience, perfect reflexes, and precision. While visually it isn't any more unique than some of the other desert-themed maps, its layout and design make it one of the most engaging and challenging maps in Insurgency: Sandstorm.
Citadel is the final snowy map in Insurgency: Sandstorm and is by the most magnificent. Its impressive level of scale and detail coupled with its complex and challenging environment design makes it an intense and immersive map to play in.
Not unlike Bab, Citadel ends with the titular citadel, which makes its map flow that much more enjoyable. This makes it perfect for the cooperative game mode or even for just a quick game of PvP.
Ministry is unique for being set almost entirely indoors. While every other map has featured a mostly uneven balance between exterior and interior level design, Ministry is set in a magnificent building. The exceptional level of detail across its vast interior ensures it is one of the most immersive maps in the game.
Additionally, the focus on the map's interior means that players can expect a lot of close-quarters combat. While the map does feature some exterior environments and even an impressive wider area within the building itself, a lot of the map is comprised of tight corridors and compact rooms.
Outskirts is an incredibly diverse map in regards to its visual design. While a lot of maps in Insurgency: Sandstorm bring the player across multiple different types of environments, Outskirts is a prime example of how to make each stage in a level feel unique.
From grassy hills to constricted corridors in a power plant to wide-open dirt paths, Outskirts not only makes use of its more natural landscape but also creates a satisfying map that is perfect for the game's cooperative mode.
1 Power Plant
Power Plant brings together the best elements from every other map into one perfect arena. From its diverse visual style to its combination of long-range and short-range combat, Power Plant offers players the perfect Insurgency: Sandstorm experience.
Its more industrial design is a stark contrast to the urban environments seen in many of the other maps, and its inclusion of lush greenery ensures that it doesn't feel repetitive or stale. Additionally, its scattering of small buildings and various alleyways combined with wide-open pathways ensure that players can approach the map in multiple ways.
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