Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Beta Preview
James Ku / Aug 10th, 2012 No Comments
Valve has recently started taking pre-orders for the next iteration of their best-selling FPS game series Counter-Strike (colloquially known as CS in gamer vernacular). Titled Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valve’s latest shooter continues the (seemingly) eternal conflict between terrorists and counter-terrorists. What started off as a multiplayer mod to the popular game Half-Life turned into a full-fledged heavyweight in the realm of FPS games. Whether it be Counter-Strike 1.6 or Counter-Strike: Source, nearly every gamer has dabbled in the pure shooting thrill that is CS.
We got a chance to check out the beta build a few weeks before CS:GO’s stated release date of August 21, a build which will likely be very similar to the final release product. On the fence about whether or not to pre-order CS:GO? We’ll take a look at what’s new and what remains unchanged in CS:GO.
Counter-Strike GO Changes Abound…
The most noticeable change in CS:GO is the graphics, or more specifically, how much better the game looks now. It’s been 8 years since Counter-Strike: Source was released and CS:GO shows that the wait was worth it, at least from a graphical standpoint.
Textures are high-res, lighting is more realistic, shadows look softer. Nearly all the graphics from CS:S have been overhauled and polished to present a game that’s much easier on the eyes (whether or not you like to admit it, you can’t deny that CS:S was starting to show its age). CS:GO doesn’t quite reach Battlefield 3 or Crysis in terms of graphical quality, but it doesn’t have to: hardcore Counter-Strike fans will be more than happy with the new paint job that their beloved game has received.
Valve has once again showed the impressive prowess of their Source Engine, much like they did with Portal 2. CS:GO features impressive smoke and dust effects that weren’t present in CS:S, giving a more realistic feel to the game. CS:GO’s sound effects are well implemented and sound much more realistic than those found in CS:S, further immersing the player in a life-like battlefield environment.
Official support for more game modes in CS:GO makes finding and joining games a breeze. Arms Race has players work their way up ranks of guns as they get kills, Demolition pits the bomb-toting terrorists against the defusing-minded counter-terrorists, and Classic allows players to recreate the old-school Counter-Strike gameplay that they’ve grown accustomed to playing with. Players now start with armor rather than having to purchase it at the beginning of rounds, and new weapons have been added into the game as well. The new in-game user interface is even more minimalistic than previous CS titles, keeping the game focused on the gameplay rather than health/ammo information. The radar in CS:GO has received an overhaul and displays information much more clearly than the one found in CS:S. A new (and much appreciated) feature of the interface in CS:GO is the scoreboard at the top of the UI. Players no longer have to alt-tab to view who’s the “pwning the most n00bz”.
While Still Sticking To Its Roots
Old habits die hard, and in a lot of ways CS:GO refuses to part from the ways of its predecessors. There’s still no sprint key, weapons without scopes still can’t zoom (i.e. no aiming down iron sights), and ladder-climbing animations are still unintentionally comical (player models literally just zoom up while they continue a walking animation). Gameplay in CS:GO overall feels very similar to CS:S’s gameplay, which is not necessarily a bad thing considering how successful and popular Counter-Strike remains even to this day. No-frills shooting has been Counter-Strike’s strength for over a decade, and it appears that it will remain that way with CS:GO.
tags: beta , counter strike global offensive , counter-strike , cs:go , preview , steam , valve