With the news of a brand new Counter-Strike spreading like wildfire, fans of the series have been shooting questions and theories everywhere about the game. When Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was announced yesterday, key details about game modes and weaponry were included in an otherwise tight-lipped press release.
Today, ESEA professional gamer Craig “Torbull” Levine has revealed details about how Valve invited him, and several other pro-circuit Counter-Strike players, to their studio to provide feedback on the game weeks ago.
Torbull confirmed that the game is running on an updated version of the Source Engine, which should come to no surprise to fans of Valve. The longstanding engine has seen several upgrades over the years, starting with Half-Life 2 and making its way to games like Portal 2 and Team Fortress 2. While many believe that the true successor to the source engine is being saved for the notoriously absent Half-Life 3, the gamers who were invited to playtest the game were blown aback at how the graphics and animations in Global Offensive looked.
Not surprisingly, the press release stated that immortal fan-favorite maps such as de_dust would make a return, though it was stated that they would be in a ‘more competitive’ styling than before. During his visit to the Seattle-based studio where the game is being developed, Torbull confirmed that there are several classic maps in the mix: de_dust, de_dust2, de_nuke, cs_inferno and de_train were all play tested with graphical overhauls. While Torbull also got to try out some brand new maps, he didn’t reveal their names – or anything about what they looked like, so we may not see anything until the game is on the floor at PAX later this month.
Valve had also stated that they’ve added new weapons into the mix, and they certainly delivered on that front. While it looks like almost all the classic weapons from Counter-Strike: Source seem to be in the game, players will also take control of several new pistols, a new shotgun, and a heavy machine-gun rifle – of which there was only one type before. They’re also changing how accurate weapons are to give submachine and shotguns more situational value – something which received very mixed reviews from the professional gamers playtesting the game. Any Counter-Strike player knows the ‘tap’ rule – where the first 3 shots out of your barrel can be dealt-out with devastating accuracy (allowing for quick head shots). The mechanic appears to have been nerfed by Valve, making all the weapons in the game less accurate. Submachines are now ‘mid-distance alternatives’ and shotguns, of course, have been adapted to be even more punishing at close range.
To be fair, Valve said that the variables and statistics for the guns can be changed very easily, and likely will be different before the beta is released. Before you ask, there are no details on the beta yet.
One of the biggest additions to the game so far is actually an equipment purchase system – though it comes at a hefty $850. Terrorists and counter-terrorists alike can purchase a molotov cocktail to bring with them, which can be thrown into strategic spots to force the other team to make their way around the flames. Think about the tunnel system in de_dust2, for instance, and how gameplay would be affected if the terrorists couldn’t rush through the tunnels to Bomb Site B. Additionally, of course, you can just unload the fireball right onto a squad of people. There’s also a decoy grenade now in the mix, which produces either AK/Glock noises or M4/USP noises depending on which team threw it. While not the most useful of grenades, Torbull stated it might give the other team that ‘split-second of hesitation’ needed to lose their advantage.
Valve had also sets each player with refreshed armor automatically upon each new round, which the group of professional playtesters disagreed with – stating that “if everyone always has full armor, then it in a way becomes obsolete.” There was always an edgy feeling you got heading into combat without kevlar and helmet – that extra feeling of vulnerability that might make a player hang back and let someone else take the lead. Even for those with full-armor, the hand grenades were able to kill them in one shot, which mean’s grenades are currently more powerful than they’ve ever been. If they’re able to one-hit a cluster of people, it may change tactical movement for the entire game.
It looks like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has certainly changed the formula in the squad-based tactical series, and excitement is sure to hype up as more is eventually revealed. While we still eagerly await precious screenshots, the gameplay sounds like it’ll be as fast-paced and intense as it always has been.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is set for release on PC, Mac, Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and an unnamed next-generation console, which is probably the Wii U. We’ll keep you informed as more details about the game are released.
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