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Aeria Games is making a foray into the FPS world with its new next-gen shooter Ironsight. With the free-to-play shooter market getting more crowded by the day, it’s a somewhat risky move. Either way, I’ve spent about 8 hours with the closed beta to try and get a feel for it.

Ironsight, on its surface, is like other shooters we’ve covered on this channel in the past, especially Warface. In terms of gameplay, it doesn’t bring a ton of interesting new things to the table. If you’ve played a Call of Duty game in the last 5 years, you’ve played Ironsight.

When you first boot it up, the game gives you two major prompts for jumping into the action.

Mission mode takes you into structured campaign-style gameplay. At time of recording, though, the only mission available is the basic tutorial. It’s a functional tutorial, mind you. It does a good job of teaching you the controls, showing you the game’s version of kill-streak rewards (or contribution rewards in this case), and getting you ready to play. There’ll be a few adjustments you’ll likely need to make though before you’re ready for multiplayer.

First, a warning to headphone users. This game is incredibly loud. It made me physically jump out of my chair the first time I started the game up, so you may want to adjust the volume settings before putting your headphones on.

The other main adjustment you’ll want to tinker with is sensitivity. By default, Ironsight sets the aiming sensitivity incredibly low. After about 4 minutes of tinkering and fine-tuning it though, I found 10.8 to be a good sweet spot. Your mileage may vary, but I recommend starting from there.

Once you’re through the tutorial, you’re ready to start playing. Right now, the closed beta has three modes available for play: team deathmatch, search and destroy, and secure point.

Team Deathmatch is team deathmatch. I’m not really going to waste my time or yours by explaining it.

Search and Destroy is the classic FPS mainstay where one team tries to plant a bomb, and the other team tries to defuse it. Killing every player on the enemy team also counts as a win condition.

Secure Point is another mode that every FPS ever has had. You try to control a spot on a map with your team. The enemy also wants that spot. You fight for capture points until one team fills their bar and wins.

One of the very few things Ironsight does differently is the way it handles kill-streaks. In this game, like others, you gain points toward your special gear by killing enemies or contributing to the team’s objective. Unlike Call of Duty and other contemporary shooters, these points don’t reset on death. You need more of them to activate your rewards as a result, but even if you aren’t contributing these skills have timers ticking down to help you get there.

To some players, this will seem like they’ve taken the challenge and the sense of accomplishment out of gaining these rewards and, on one hand, they’re not wrong. It is a lot easier to earn them here if you’re a competent player. On the other hand, however, it’s a bit easier for lesser skilled players, like me for instance, to feel invested and to help our teams make comebacks with the little extra boost. This was the only real part of the gameplay that stuck out to me as unique or interesting. The remainder is standard shooter fare, and that’s not really a bad thing. It plays well and feels balanced, it just isn’t anything new.

Outside of combat, the game features weapons, customizations, and armor to unlock. You spend points you earn by playing matches to either rent or permanently unlock guns. If you opt to permanently unlock them, you’ll need more points, but you’ll also then get a durability meter on the gun meaning you need to repair it every so often with more points. I do not understand what the point of this system is. I didn’t understand it in Warface, and I do not understand it here.

Character customizations will also feel really familiar to anyone who’s played Call of Duty. You can add attachments to your weapons and abilities to your characters. Almost all the abilities are ripped straight from Call of Duty with slightly changed names. These abilities include increasing your sprint time, giving yourself explosion resistance, hiding yourself from UAVs, and more.

There are items you can buy with real world cash to customize your character, but the system hasn’t been implemented yet. I tried on multiple occasions to have the game take me to a screen to add this currency, but the links are broken at present. We’ll publish some kind of update about this over on MMOHuts.com once the system has been fully rolled out.

Honestly, that’s all there really is to the closed beta of Ironsight right now. It’s got a decent level of visual polish, and the gameplay is smooth, but there isn’t much reason to invest time into it if you’re already playing a shooter. In fact, if you’re looking for a shooter to play, I’d honestly recommend Warface over this. It has roughly the same level of audio-visual appeal with single and multiplayer PVE raids and campaign missions already on deck for you to play in addition to the standard multiplayer modes.

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Colt takes a first look at Ironsight