The beta for Insurgency, the Half-Life 2 mod which seeks to realistically replicate the current battling in the Iraq (but with respawns, anyway), was released today after four years in development. Downloads are available hyah.
I've only spent a couple of hours with the game, but it's not exactly, well, good. It's got potential, of course, and it is just a beta, but let's just say that I'm already eager for some major patching.
The mod is free, and requires nothing more than Half-Life 2 and Steam -- and if you don't have those, then you really, really need to consider your current lifestyle choices. When I become president, not owning Half-Life 2 will be a criminal offense punishable by physical violence.
Hit the jump for my initial impressions of the game, or -- better yet -- download it and draw your own conclusions.
UPDATE: SeraphX is better at the internets than I am
As I said, the game has potential and it's obviously still in its beta stage, but it's also rendered damn near unplayable by huge balancing issues (the US marines will almost never be able to win a round -- involuntary design slip-up, or intentional political commentary?), an odd and user-unfriendly class system, and a combination of about a dozen other factors that make it damn near impossible to know what the hell is going on at any given moment. Bullets don't make very loud noises or a very large visual impact when they're fired, and literally everything in the game (including the players) is colored in various shades of brown, resulting in many, many moments where you'll spawn, walk a few feet down a dusty street, and then suddenly get shot at and die without having even a general idea of where your attackers fired from. It's decently realistic, to be sure, but it also gets irritating as hell after it happens a few dozen times.
Still, for all its massive flaws, it does have a lot going for it: the weapons handle with a satisfying realism (there are no crosshairs -- any precision aiming must be done using ironsights), the maps are pleasantly huge and nonlinear, and the graphics are superb, in an "everything is brown, deal with it" sort of way. Given that this is only a beta, it'll be very, very interesting to see where the mod goes from here: if some of the larger problems were fixed, this could be one of the best multiplayer mods for HL2 out there today. No matter what, though, Insurgency is definitely worth a download: for all its current flaws, it's easy to tell that a lot of work and care went into it. Plus, it's free (so long as you own Half-Life 2, anyway); it certainly wouldn't kill you to give it a shot.