PAX Prime Hands-On: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
The announcement of a new Counter-Strike has caused mixed feelings from competitive and casual players alike. Thankfully, the developers are taking all the feedback they can and it looks like it’s coming along great. There were many new FPS at PAX and along with Blacklight Retribution, CS:GO was one I had to play.
The visuals are instantly familiar to anyone who has played a previous Counter-Strike. The map they let us play for the demo was a remade de_dust. Running out of CT Spawn for the first time just feels good. Models and textures are updated, giving everything a ‘prettier’ look. Maps look smoother and have an added amount of detail to help bring the game into 2011. The source engine is aging so while the graphics aren’t the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen, they don’t need to be and have never been the focus of CS.
All the key weapons like the M4 and AK are back, though I can’t speak much to balance quite yet. I do believe that the p90 was over powered in this build. Along with frag grenades, smoke, and flashes, there are now decoy grenades and Molotov cocktails. The decoy grenades cause footstep sounds where they are thrown, but since we weren’t using headphones, they were hard to test. It was much easier to see the effect of the Molotov cocktail. When thrown, an area is set on fire, effectively stopping a rush or controlling opposing team movement and choke points.
It has been mentioned many times, but I feel it has to be repeated, this is not CS2. CS:GO is an update to CS to help make it relevant again and bring it to a bigger audience. The mechanics, movement, and over all ‘feel’ of the game have been translated to console, an impressive feat. Coming from the PC, it takes a little getting used to and I started to feel things click just when I got kicked off for the next group. I did get the chance to observe a player who, if I hadn’t known any better, made it look exactly like it was being played on a PC, which proves this is CS at its core… on consoles… and that’s not a bad thing.