Published on August 26th, 2011 | by Aplfisher0
>Aplfisher’s thoughts on CS:GO
> In the interest of full disclosure
Let me be clear. I’m a Counter Strike fan boy to a fault. It was the first online shooter I ever played that instantly captured my attention. I ignored family members, schoolwork and many other responsibilities for this game all throughout high school. A more mature person may look back on that time in their life and shake their head in embarrassment. Not this guy. Those days spent playing 1.6 and CSS were some of the best days of my life. I went from clueless novice to competent pub player to pub star to competitive player all in the course of a couple of years. I attended LANs, met some of my best friends, and watched a community go through its ups and downs all because of this game.
Facelifts make the heart grow fonder
All that background to say…I’m extremely excited about Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Many of you already know this but I want to clarify a bit about why I’m so excited. I truly feel CS needs a facelift. That may sound like heresy coming from a seasoned veteran of the game such as myself but here me out. I’m not saying graphics make a game. Far from it. Some of the prettiest games ever made have sucked complete ass in the gameplay department. I’m simply being a realist about the fact that CSS came out in 2004. It’s time for something a little more graphically impressive to draw in new players. With games like Call of Duty and Battlefield getting better and better looking with each iteration, any game that wants to be noticed in that same category needs to put some effort into the visuals. I like that Valve and Hidden Path Studios aren’t just resting on the laurels of the CS name with this new title. They are putting serious work into tweaking how the game looks in all aspects. Improved lighting, textures, player/gun models, and visual retooling of classic CS maps all are part of the CS:GO equation. Will it be the best looking game on the market upon release? Probably not. However, what I’ve seen so far (check out IGN’s gameplay video here) has me optimistic that it will be more than acceptable on the visual side of things.
Change is Never Easy
I already know what some of you fellow CS diehards are thinking. Scott you’re missing the point. We don’t need new players. We already have a diehard community that knows what they like. We don’t need a console version of CS:GO and we certainly don’t need to change anything in the gameplay department. Counter Strike is fine as it is. LEAVE COUNTER STRIKE ALONE (Chris Crocker voice).
Hey, I hear ya. I love being a CS elitist as much as the next guy. However – I’ve recently started changing my tune on that for a number of reasons. We always knew (whether we admitted it or not) that Valve would try its hand at making another CS game (A port of CS: Condition Zero simply named Counter Strike was released for the original Xbox in 2003) for the console. Many people automatically assume that since GO is being developed with a very console heavy focus the PC version will suffer. Though that is a possibility, I tend to think it is an overreaction. I very seriously doubt that Valve took the time to fly in 20+ experienced community members to simply ignore their advice. On the contrary, by all reports the devs were very eager to hear feedback on the game from CS vets. Am I saying that I think playing CS on a console is a good idea? Not at all. What I am saying is that we on the PC side of the fence shouldn’t be thrown into a tizzy just because the game is on multiple platforms.
I’m also very excited about the new gameplay possibilities that things like the Molotov cocktail and the Stun gun offer. The ability to cut off a certain route with a pool of fire using the Molotov makes the competitive CS player in me giddy with excitement. The new matchmaking feature is also intriguing. Though “matchmaking” is a dirty word to most PC gamers, I think in the case of GO it makes a lot of sense. Let’s not forget we all were new to CS at one time. It’s an extremely unforgiving shooter and this system, which gives you a skill rank and puts you in matches with players of similar talent, will help ensure new players don’t get immediately frustrated and stop playing.
We also recently got the news that GO will be a cross-platform title. Players on the PC, PS3, and Mac will all be able to square off against each other. The PS3 will also offer mouse and keyboard support, though the game will be capped at a stunning 30 fps (sarcasm). Overall, I think this is a great idea and one that has the potential to play out in a lot of different ways.
Y U NO HAVE CONCERNS?
I don’t want to leave you with the impression that I have no worries about GO. Though I’m excited about the game I’m not naive. I haven’t forgotten about the disappointment that was Counter Strike: Condition Zero. When CZ was released it turned out to be nothing more than a graphically updated and optimized 1.6. Many felt gypped for purchasing something that wasn’t a major leap forward for the series.
This brings me to another important point. Valve has maintained all along that GO is NOT CS2, nor is it trying to be. It is still using the Source engine (albeit a heavily tweaked one) and isn’t meant to make CS 1.6 and CSS obsolete. That said – Global Offensive is very clearly more than just a graphical update for Source. It’s an updated take on the series in all aspects, but clearly aims (pun intended) to keep the same core gameplay that has made CS such a respected online shooter.
Get to the point
In summation…GO has a lot riding on it. The task of trying to make a game that will appeal to a casual and diehard audience at the same time is never easy.
Here’s to hoping Valve can pull it off.
Screenshot courtesy of Kotaku.com