Upon loading the game for the first time, I took no time at all to go straight into the options crank all my settings to low and set-up my controls, all pretty generic stuff and in actual fact I could hardly see the difference graphically between low and high. Something I think that they may have missed is an "auto PC-detect" function where the game would optimally set-up your graphics for pc users who aren't familiar with this.
It is good to point out that they have tailored quite a few of the options towards 1.6 and CS:S players, things such as being able to change your view model and crosshair style back to the classics. However quickly moving on I continued browsing the menu and I came across a how to play button and my heart sank. Why you ask? Because for me personally I hate the idea of mixing platforms, in my mind it just does not work, and usually when developers try this the skill gap of the game comes drastically down and the general PC and gameplay becomes awful for the PC player.
Something that also struck me as odd was that there was only Gamepad controls under this option, and no default keyboard controls. Nothing to drastic, just a mere observation. However this would not deter me and I was instantly ready to start playing.
Now as you all know being the greatest player of all time I spit at the idea of having to go through a weapons course however for the sake of reviewing I shall do it just this once, and I hope this counts towards all four of my gold medals. As soon as the weapons course started I instantly wished it was over, not only does this sergeant patronise me he makes me sit through all of his speech without being able to skip it, furthermore I feel like this is the same weapons course I did in every FPS game created.
What's worse is the fact that after 30 seconds of telling me how I need a refresher on firing a weapon he then tells me to unleash my clip into the target, I then proceed to fire all of the bullets into the corner of the wall with him telling me “way to shoot the giant wood target” not sure if serious? However after saying all this and sitting through the 10 minute course it does give a good initiation for players who are new to the genre and takes them through the essentials they will need to know to play a game of counter-strike such as grenade throwing , bomb planting , bomb defusing and recoil control.
It is also nowhere near as lengthy as some other games I have played in the past with similar courses, and even shows you a couple of handy tricks such as running with your knife out, spamable objects, and grenade bouncing something that is good to learn for new players and to be fair to valve just how interesting can you really make a weapons course? Maybe they should of implemented the Americas Army system back in the day where, if you got a shit score, you couldn't obtain a sniper rifle...... only kidding.
After completing the weapons course, I was keen to get playing and to
see how easy it was to actually find a game., I remember countless hours lost refreshing a blueyonder or barrysworld 1.6 public trying to get that 16th spot, and true to their word in Seattle valve have made it very easy to get started and jump straight in to a game. It's also nice to see that they have also implemented the traditional server browser into the game for communities who wish to host their own servers with custom maps and mods.
Right now there are 4 game modes to choose from: Arms Race, which is a direct copy of gun game, Demolition which is very similar to headquarters in call of duty, Classic casual and classic competitive. My first complaint about this is the fact that they have added 2 classic modes when there only needs to be 1 (classic competitive). My reasoning behind this is that the maps are identical minus a couple of chickens or pointless fog, and instead of having this mode they could of added a Deathmatch mode or something completely fresh, which would have complimented gun game nicely.
However I understand that classic casual leaves room for fun features for public players such as different player models, and more graphics such as fog etc. My next big issue, and something I feel valve have really missed on adding properly, is the addition of a real match making system or world ladder like in dota2. This is something that a lot of pro's brought up in Seattle and something that has been put into a lot of games, games which turned out to become massive titles like SC2, LoL and DotA2.
For me match making is the perfect solution for gamers who want to play in a competitive environment but either don’t know enough people to mix or don't have the time to create teams. Match making also plays on the fact that everyone in this world loves to compete against each other and I believe having a ranking system and world ladder would be a great addition to CS:GO and would virtually wipe out IRC mixing channels overnight. Image a ranked ladder with a proper MMR system implemented, the possibilities would be endless.
Valve could even charge 1 or 2 pounds a year and give a way a prize at the end of each to the top ranked players, or a reward system where, the more you played, there more you earned a form of steam points to get discounts on games or other in-game items. In my eyes this is a way of building a player base and getting people involved who might not know about mixes or IRC.
If valve did this and added an easy to use spectator system on top, where you could find your favourite players, instantly find their configs, settings and replays, the sky would be the limit, and in turn could almost wipe out facebook fan pages of e-sports stars in CS:GO. Bottom line is: in my opinion a form of match making has to be implemented just like in SC2, LoL or DOTA 2.
After spending some time going over the various options and the finding a game features I was finally able to jump in and start to experience game play, the first thing you instantly notice when jumping into CS:GO is just how graphically pleasing It is, it is by far one of the best looking fps titles I have played with the exception of bf3 and I think valve have really hit the nail on the head by still keeping the clean feel that counter-strike always had whilst adding stunning graphical effects and HDR, for me at least they couldn't have got the balance any better and I think you will be hard pushed to find someone who disagreed.
Once I had spent around 10 minutes admiring the graphics it was then I started to look around a few things that they have changed, one of the first things you will notice is the HUD has had a complete over hall a much needed change. However for us CS:S players it comes as a problem due to the fact that valve have moved the clock to the top of the screen meaning lining up smokes and flashes has become that much harder it is also frustrating that during a clutch mid round you find yourself peering towards the bottom of the screen only to find you have 2 seconds left to plant the bomb....frustrating times.
Aside from that I have to say that the HUD update was a much needed one and it also has the nice addition of an improved radar system something which I feel could be slightly improved on maps such as nuke, when your team mates are on the lower bomb site you still have no way of telling, even for pro players this could benefit you in situations where your team mate cant reply quick enough. The other thing to mention would be that the HUD also displays yours and the enemies teams avatars and keeps track of who is alive/dead mid round, in my opinion valve could add an option to turn this off as I feel it is a bit unnecessary.
Something else you will notice is the addition of the new scoreboard, this for me is a little to excessive and has a few pointless columns such as $ per kill, mvp and score, no one really cares or takes notice of these and it just clutters something that should otherwise be simple and to the point.
However saying that it is nice that they have added in the money column for spectators , callers and shoutcasters, whilst talking about spectators I may as well mention that servers currently only allow two spectators presumably this was meant for one streamer and CS:GO TV which is yet to be released something I find very odd especially knowing how many spectators 1.6 used to receive on HLTV I still remember struggling to watch a CPL final with 40,000 spectators on. One of the most annoying things that I did find with the scoreboard was that it sometimes bugs and toggles on / off instead of just when you press the key, this can be quite aggravating when you want to quickly check it only to find it stuck on your screen.
In fact that wasn't the only bug I was to find on my first couple of sessions , sometimes you will start the round with a motion blur or the game will be stuck in grey scale meaning you have to kill yourself for it to go away, there is also another bug when you die from a player there name and what weapon they killed you with will be stuck at the bottom of your screen asking you if you would like to save a screenshot, not essential things but things worth mentioning as these bugs date back to the early beta's and are still to be addressed.
Whilst still on the topic of HUD and bugs the last thing I thought I would mention is that demo replays work but your HUD is not displayed and you also have to use a command mat_postprocess_enable to even make them viewable without death notices.
So lets finally talk about weapons. This was something that in Seattle we spoke about extensively as none of us really understood what VALVE were trying to do. When we first played the game back in August 2011 it was quickly brought to our attention that they had the idea of making every weapon viable, now what they meant by this was that in 1.6 and CS:S there were weapons on the buy menu that were never used and never even bought and this is something that they wanted to try and avoid in CS:GO.
However they stated several times that by doing this it didn't mean for example a p90 would be better than an AK47, it meant that a p90 would have its time, place and map instead of never being used. After playing the beta I was intrigued to see what they had done with this weapon balancing upon release but first lets talk about some of the new additions.
The long range version of a knife, it is a one-hit kill as long as you are close enough. It's extremely fun to use in public servers, however it only fires once and will cost you $1000 for doing so.
This is CS:GO's answer to the USP and is therefore the starting pistol every CT has, however after playing several matches with it I soon realised it was nothing compared to its old counterpart.
If anything, to me, it feels very under powered when compared with the Glock and very inaccurate even when tap shooting. Over longer range it feels as though your bullets are taking diagonal lines. It has a default kill award value and had 13 bullets in its clip.
It is also worth mentioning how powerful the Glock is in CS:GO, as it pretty much fires in a straight line whilst running, and packs a serious amount of damage when compared to 1.6 or CS:S.
To me this is the only weapon people should be using on a pistol round. It has 13 bullets in its clip, its a 1 shot kill when shooting at the head, or 2 shot in buy rounds when the opponents has head armour, and you have the ability to spam it and slow shoot it both with extreme accuracy. It only costs $500 leaving you with enough money for a Smoke or HE-grenade on top. In fact this weapon has almost replaced buying a desert eagle in eco rounds just because of how effective it is.
This little beauty is one of the best anti-eco weapons and the newest edition of the shotgun family. On close range maps such as inferno it is a one-hit kill, on anti-ecos it takes 2 shots if the opponent has head armour. It also rewards you with a 300$ bonus on the money system, but more about this later. It has some downsides though: it only comes with 5 bullets in every magazine, and you cannot spam walls with it.
These aren't new SMGs as such that they are remade versions of the classic mp5 and TMP, however they are much more effective and at such a low cost for the MP9, namely $1250) and $1700 for the mp7, they are worth their wait in gold. Both also provide you with a 300$ bonus per kill. Either of them come with 30 bullets per round and 120 in the magazine. After doing some tests you can also spam wooden and concrete walls with these weapons providing you know the spam spots.
This is the new and improved para implemented into the game, and with 150 bullets in my round you never see the reason to reload. Coupled with the fact it pretty much kills anything in 2 hits and has the ability to tap fire it is a pretty bullshit gun, however it does cost a hefty $5700 and with no kill bonus you hardly see it being used.
A new SMG that was added for CS:GO. It comes with 64 bullets in each clip, however unlike the other SMG's it does not offer any money bonus per kill so in my mind it is not very useful. It is good for spamming and never having to reload though. It costs $1400 and has a penetration value of 1X so it is spammable to an extent through certain objects.
These are the 2 new additions to the grenade family, and have both been welcomed and shunned by the community. After playing several hours of gathers and a lot of mixes I have come to the conclusion that both the decoy and the Molotov grenade could play its part in competitive play. The only issue I have with the decoy is that they sound too obvious and they show up statically on the radar instantly giving the fake away..
For example a possible idea of a fake would be to smoke outside on nuke and decoy, then hit inside, however due to the radar being to obvious these kind of things never work. That for me is a shame. Where decoy grenades do come in to great use however is when you use them as a sound barrier,a way of blocking out a rush as they do last for a good 7-8 seconds. The problem with this however is that it's flawed because everyone has started to use snd_restart again, which instantly cuts out any ambient sound. Something that valve should seriously find a way of blocking.
That brings me onto the next debate: Molotovs. I personally think that Molotovs have been handled wrong, I think that if we had limited CT's or T's to just 1 a team that they could of seriously been a great addition to professional play. Why you ask? Because they only last for 8 seconds, have a slower throwing arch, and if they were limited to 1 a team it would be another way of developing tactics instead of seeing the same sets of strats we have seen for the past 8 years in all genres of counter-strike.
It would have been something fresh and I still think that there is time to rectify this, to save the Molotov addition. There are however big flaws that lie with Molotovs such as Molotoving the bomb or slowing down the pace of the game. An example of this would be to Molotov the hut on nuke.
Upon playing more and more CS:GO, I couldn’t help but notice the weapon tracers. A lot of top players have stated their concern about this feature, however I think it is a pretty good addition if they add in a few tweaks. Weapon tracers occur when spamming or firing a rifle through smoke or door frame. This helps you pin point which direction the enemy is firing at, and in my opinion it is a good addition to the game. It now means players cannot just spam smokes as terrorists without thinking.
However I do feel that the silencer on the colt should be re-added, the reasons for this are simple the ak47 has an advantage over the colt by being able to 1 bullet headshot, something the colt cannot achieve. It also means that, when defending bomb points with a colt and no silencer you cannot spam or fire at terrorists without them instantly knowing your position, meaning on average you are only able to make one kill instead of multiple. The silencer added a whole new tactical element to counter-strike such as being able to hide in smokes and wallbanging silently without the terrorists knowing your direct position. It had a lot of features which balanced out the AK47's power.
In the beta Flashbangs were slightly overpowered, but in my opinion they were almost perfect. If you had a quick reaction time you could turn, and if you faced one head on you were blind for a full 8 seconds. This is something I thought was great, because for once you finally had confidence in your flashes after years and years of people using dx95 or flash exploiting.
Finally we had something that worked. However upon release I noticed they have been tweaked slightly, so that now if you turn around you are virtually never blind. The same goes for if you are looking away into a corner. If you are caught facing one you are still blind, but for not as long as before. I think this will heavily effect how people run strats on CS:GO, as I believe less flash based tactics will be used, and if they are used every Flashbang virtually has to be a pop flash for it to work (a pop flash being a flash that blinds you but you have 0% chance to turn away from it).
With this update it also brings back to my mind the use of Molotov grenades, making CT's leave certain positions only to then be flashed. However I think with the way everything currently is in CS:GO and with spamming added back in, the flashes are working almost perfectly for the current games state. The nice thing about having less powerful flashes is that in my opinion it will bring a lot more aim duels back into counter-strike and that makes for a great watching spectacle.
So as I mentioned at the start of this section when we arrived in Seattle Valve told us about how they wanted every single weapon to have its purpose on different maps. Now in theory this is a great idea, it gets everyone mastering the different weapons and gets players to think about what weapons are viable on what maps.
However the problem I have with this is that in the current update they have added aim punching and although I am not against it entirely I think when you add this with SMG's you start to have a serious problem. The issue right now is that the P90 or SMG's are slightly over powered weapons and they are more viable to use than an Ak47/Colt in some situations. When you add in to the fact is has a 300% money increase per kill it starts turning what we all love and know about counter-strike, being a very skill based game, into a joke. Which then brings me onto the next point. Is it fun to watch someone unleash 30 bullets whilst running into an enemy who cant even aim due, to his aim being bounced around like a ball because of this?
My answer is no, there has even been talk of banning the P90 in competitive play, when all that needs to happen is a slight SMG's and Shotgun nerf. Not so much that they are unusable, but so much that it is actually worth buying a COLT or an AK47 on that buy round.
The problem you then encounter with this is that soon as you start nerfing weapons, they start to become unusable, even if you only nerf them slightly, and people will not buy them. Something VALVE wanted to try and avoid.
One thing I noticed as I have got more heavily involved in the game is the re-addition of spamming, something CS:S players aren't entirely used to and something I am personally unsure of. Although I do not entirely disagree on spamming I do feel that there has to become a point where some spams are a little ridiculous, leaving the CT's hardly anywhere to stand to defend a bomb point.
However saying that I think that at times CS:Source got a little to stagnant on tactics due to the fact that CT's could virtually stand anywhere shot free, so I think striking a balance is important. Other things I noticed which have been added from 1.6 were aim punching and tagging, both of which have caused a divide in the community already.
My reason for disliking aim punching is purely due to the fact that no matter how hard you try in CS there is always going to be an element of luck involved. which means if I still get aim punched with armour on with slight interpolation around a corner, I have 0% chance of winning that aim duel. Something which CS:S was so good for was aim duels and aim displays, and being from a CS:S background I hope that we do not lose this element to the game. I don't entirely disagree with aim punching however, I think it should only be relevant when you have 0 armour and when you only get shot in the head. For those of you who don't know what aim punching is right now, it is when you don't have armour but are shot in the chest or head, which results in your aim flying up.
The problem I have with CS:GO is: the same occurs when you do have armour. Tagging, is a feature implemented from 1.6, it basically means when you get shot your movement slows slightly meaning you cant suddenly fly back around the corner and escape. At first I was highly against the idea of tagging due to coming from CS:S and all the fast paced moments that game provided. I was worried it would drastically slow down things such as rushes, however after playing several practices I realise that this is not the case and it is a good feature. It makes players think more before facing a corner and going in for that aim duel.
I really have enjoyed and hated getting used to the mix of CS:S elements and CS 1.6 that they have implemented into CS:GO.
Smoke grenades in CS:GO were pretty much near perfect upon release and it is something that VALVE have been battling with ever since the early beta stages of the game. Right now you have a nice balance between smokes that instantly pop and smokes that you can slightly see through. This leaves room for a lot of great one way smokes used in the early days of CS:S and again adds another great tactical element to the game. What's more is that the smokes on distance are pretty much virtually opaque so you have less chance of getting luck shot through them, they have also increased the height drastically so instead of maybe needed 2 smokes in a tactic you may only require 1. Something some of you may be surprised at is the addition of smoke peaking. This is a term I have come up with for the following screenshots. After many discussions on the forums with the Valve development team it has been deemed not a bug, and in actual fact has grown on me and quite a lot of the other top players. It is also another unique feature towards CS:GO and another way of developing player peak strategies.
One of the biggest plus points about CS:GO that I noticed so far is the lack of "configing" that can happen. Most of the FPS commands that were in CS:Source have been eliminated and in terms of what you can actually tweak graphically from within the game it is very little, something that we spoke about heavily in Seattle. At one point it was even questioned whether or not the developer console should be removed from peoples clients. It's also a great thing about CS:GO, that virtually from the point you install it it is ready to play without too many tweaks. Below I will list some of the useful tweaks I found, and the ones that should be banned.
viewmodel_fov : This command sets your weapon fov, so basically how close the weapon is to your chest. This value can be set between 54 and 68
viewmodel_offset_x : This sets the X position of your model on your screen , can be set between 0.0 and 2.5
viewmodel_offset_y : This sets the Y position of your model on your screen , can be set between 0.0 and 2.0
viewmodel_offset_z : This sets the Z position of your model on your screen, can be set between 0.0 and 2.0
fps_max : This can be adjusted to any value of 300 – 999, it is recommended you use double your refresh rate on your monitor so for a 120hz monitor you use 240 fps_max.
cl_crosshairgap : Can use this command to set the gap between the crosshair axis, great for adjusting your crosshair back to the old scaling of cs:source
r_drawtracers_firstperson 0 : This command removes the first person weapon tracers from your model but still keeps the enemies weapon tracers.
The last thing I noticed about CS:GO, was the maps. In fact this is something I have noticed through all releases of counter-strike ever, since the days when you use to grab the update from pc-zone because your internet wasn't fast enough to download it. Its something that bothered me for quite a while, that Valve are very reluctant to add any more de_maps to the game. We have had the same rotation of maps, aztec, inferno, nuke, train, dust2, since the beginning, and the only map they dared change was de_train. In some ways I wish they had done this with the other maps as well.
Sure the classics are great but it would have been nice to have a few new ones, or like train new things to adjust to on the old ones. The reasons for this are simple: we need new competitive maps in competitions to keep the game fresh, and have people learning new maps and tactics. The best way for us to get them to, is if new maps are officially released by Valve with the game, because when maps are custom made we have to first get them noticed by the community, and then go through the process of getting them put into the leagues.
The good news is however with the new game modes they have added several new maps, in arms race you have the addition of Baggage and Shoots, two close range maps which perfectly suite the gun game environment, and in demolition mode you have the addition of Bank, Sugarcane, St. Marc, Safehouse and Lake. I guess to me it just feels like they have focused almost too heavily on the other game modes instead of trying to improve the core of counter-strike, which has and always will be, the de_ maps.
My final thoughts are these: in CS:GO we have a chance at redemption to put CS back on the map globally, since the death of 1.6 and CS:S. It's something fresh, with new features. Yes it needs things updated and fixed, and we need new maps and gameplay tweaks, but we also need to learn to accept new things and move on from the past and leave what were great games behind. I urge everyone to finally get behind something as one big community and drive CS:GO to become something great. the whole future of team based FPS in tournaments relies on us.
|Victor Meulendijks // mvicK|
Posted 9 months ago: Sat, 08 Sep 2012 00:07:32 +0100
|More results ...|