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First Person Shooters (Games)

A Look at the CounterStrike Source Beta 262

Posted by michael
from the bullet-time dept.
mutewinter writes "CounterFrag.com has posted an article reviewing the recent CounterStrike Source beta. What is unusual about Source is that it keeps the same gameplay, including guns and maps, of the original CounterStrike and simply brings CounterStrike (which uses the original Half Life engine) up to date graphically. Imagine if Doom 3 had been just like the original Doom, but with a better engine. Many gamers look down on recycled content, but is this a problem for a 5 year old game that is still as popular as ever?" S!: We also had an alternative look at the Beta over on Slashdot Games a couple of days back.
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A Look at the CounterStrike Source Beta

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  • by kmak (692406) on Friday August 20, 2004 @05:17PM (#10027649)
    why fix it? Well, of course, there should be new content, and there probably will be, but that doesn't mean that we have to get rid of the old stuff. There's always a balance somewhere.. but things aren't always as mutually exclusive as people think it be..
  • by Zed2K (313037) on Friday August 20, 2004 @05:18PM (#10027658)
    There is a difference. This is not a sequel, just an update. Think of it as CS 1.8 (or whatever version they are up to now).
  • Hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Espectr0 (577637) on Friday August 20, 2004 @05:18PM (#10027665) Journal
    Imagine if Doom 3 had been just like the original Doom, but with a better engine

    To me, that is exactly what they did.
  • by kenp2002 (545495) on Friday August 20, 2004 @05:18PM (#10027666) Homepage Journal
    I think that counter-strike has found an near perfect formula that follow the KISS standard. GAMEPLAY is the real core of a game. The graphics are just icing. The have a perfect sense of gameplay so there is no need to fix it. Just to make it pretty for the new generation.
  • by nacturation (646836) <nacturation @ g m ail.com> on Friday August 20, 2004 @05:18PM (#10027670) Journal
    Give the people what they want. If there's a market for the exact same game in a better engine, then it will be popular. If it's not there, perhaps the developers will work on totally new content. Not many people complain that the Scrabble being sold today is exactly the same as the one they played as a kid.
  • Gameplay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by asd-Strom (792539) on Friday August 20, 2004 @05:19PM (#10027680)
    The fans din't want the game to be changed. The counter-strike fans will go nuts even if there is a small box moved in some map. So this new version will sell good, at least with the hardcore fans.
  • Hmmm. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20, 2004 @05:21PM (#10027698)
    Imagine if Doom 3 had been just like the original Doom, but with a better engine

    You might get reviews like this [cnn.com]:

    "Doom 3" is the most visually appealing and best sounding PC game to date, but it doesn't bring anything new to the "3-D shooter" genre in terms of the game play, which is basically 1993's "Doom" all over again.
  • this is a mistake (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CAIMLAS (41445) on Friday August 20, 2004 @05:22PM (#10027703) Homepage
    This is a mistake on Valve's part.

    I played CS from beta 5 or so up through the 1.2 or so release. Then I got tired of it: the weapons were -too- balanced, and it lost a good deal of the fun and challenge. That, and things became rediculous, such as the accuracy of headshots and such. It just wasn't fun anymore.

    That, and the plethora of people that played it obsessively (not I) were irritating, as they were quite good and made getting killed repeatedly terribly boring/frustrating. Add into that the maps getting replayed an obscene number of times (dust, anyone?), with few people playing the newer (and IMO often better) maps, things got really, really dull.

    I'm sorry, but I wouldn't have paid money for Doom with updated graphics. I certainly won't pay for CS with updated graphics.

    I bought half-life. With it, I got a dedicated community full of modders, bringing forth DoD, CS, and the like of fun, playable expansions in addition to the single (and multi) gameplay of just Half-Life. What is it, exactly, that I'd get by paying for CS Source that isn't already available in terms of gameplay? Nothing. CS currently looks pretty damn decent, what with the 'modern' textures and such, and runs quite well. An engine change does nothing for gameplay.

    If I want pretty, I'll get a povray renderer.
  • by grolschie (610666) on Friday August 20, 2004 @05:32PM (#10027806)
    Sounds like RTCW Enemy Territory. Still my favourite game at present, but most people keep playing the same 6 maps over and over when there are heaps of better ones. Some people are so rediculously over-practised at these maps that new and even experienced players will find themselves getting repeatedly hammered.....
  • Fair comparison?? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dFaust (546790) on Friday August 20, 2004 @05:32PM (#10027810)
    Comparing Doom3 to CS:Source??? Come on, that's ridiculous. Wouldn't a better comparison be something like Capture the Flag, Team Fortress, or maybe even Doom's Simpsons mod. I'm sure if any of those were updated to use the Doom3 engine, they'd be fairly well recieved... however, none of those have NEAR the popularity of CS, hence players probably WOULD want to see some newness in them.

    In addition, as someone else noted, this is essentially an update, it's not supposed to be Counter-Strike 2. I didn't hear anyone complain about CS 1.6 being just like CS 1.5.

    Just my two cents

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20, 2004 @05:34PM (#10027833)
    Then I got tired of it: the weapons were -too- balanced, and it lost a good deal of the fun and challenge.


    That, and the plethora of people that played it obsessively (not I) were irritating, as they were quite good and made getting killed repeatedly terribly boring/frustrating.


    You just contradicted yourself. It was no longer challenging, but yet you were tired of good players running you over? That makes no sense.

    CS:Source is not only just CS overhauled with new graphics, there is an entirely new PHYSICS engine (the HL2 engine). The two main rifles (AK, M4A1) feel much different from their CS 1.6 counterparts (due to new crosshair behavior), the shotgun is different (more accuracy long range), the AWP is different (no more slow zooming). All the grenades also have changed as well; the HE grenade has been replaced with the frag grenade, flashbangs have new behavior, smokes are now much more effective.

    I will admit, those who play competitively will notice all the subtle differences the most, but calling it CS with only new graphics is a big mistake.

    For those of you who want a better review of CS:S, there is one at http://www.gotfrag.com/news/2483 [gotfrag.com].
  • by OverlordQ (264228) * on Friday August 20, 2004 @05:36PM (#10027855) Journal
    Did I miss the part where it called it Counter-Strike 2? Maybe I didn't because it never said that it was.
  • by HIghoS (177655) on Friday August 20, 2004 @05:52PM (#10027997) Homepage
    I started playing in beta3. Still remenber racing to my death, and specing for dropped weapons, because back then they were left between rounds, so it was a great way to save cash (or if you didn't have any ;p) Played in a clan for a few years, but gave up on it around when 1.3 rolled around, had gotten more interested in other games or other hl mods at that point. (far more active in TFC these days) ...unless of course i'm at a LAN Party, in which case we have to play CS :)

    > I certainly won't pay for CS with updated graphics.

    Huh? You've never had to pay for CS, if you've owned half-life. And the same is going to apply here for CS Source, except you'll be required to own half-life 2. [yes, CS did retail, but that was a standalone version, different story]

    You also seem to be missing the point that they don't WANT to change gameplay. Not for a port. This is just a 'port' of the game to Valve's new source engine. It's just going to be bundled together (as an extra add-on) via hl2 over Steam.

    Now, when CS2 comes along, all that will be a different story, and i'm sure gameplay will be different, and it will be worth paying money for. But considering you don't HAVE to for all this, minus owning hl and hl2, who cares? Geez.

  • by amalcon (472105) on Friday August 20, 2004 @05:54PM (#10028015)
    I understand this completely. Counterstrike was a decent game while it was still in beta. You'd still occasionally get people who work in teams, people still occasionally played on non-de_ maps, and occasionally one of your teammates would ACTUALLY rescue a hostage!

    I would contend that the weapons did not get "too balanced," at least by 1.1, as everyone still used exclusively mp5/m4a1/ak47/awp and usp/deagle. It was always inherently unbalanced due to the weapon buying system, but this didn't get real bad until the community degraded further, and there was such a gap between the 24/7ers and the casual players that once a team got going, there was no chance of winning. The anti-newbie mentality fueled this further, because people would at first opportunity switch to the team "w/o all teh n00bs."

    This is why this game has succeeded. A strongly elitist community has formed, and people take entirely too much pride in being a part of this community. In some games, this sort of behavior is looked down upon, but in CS, it's encouraged.
  • by Gooba42 (603597) <gooba42 AT gmail DOT com> on Friday August 20, 2004 @06:07PM (#10028141)
    For a long time I've been wishing that console gaming companies would understand this. The Mario Party line of games in particular is a good example. My friends and I loved Mario Party and Mario Party 2 was a big jump forward, simply fantastic. Then Mario Party 3 which wasn't as good. And Mario Party 4 which sucked badly. And Mario Party 5 which we haven't bothered to try. The two best games for this series are on the N64 platform. We would have easily gotten newer prettier versions of the same if they'd been available but they aren't and the "innovative" versions suck. A great way to make use of all of that content which is now supposedly obsolete would be a sort of anthology with mix and match rules. I'd love to play a Mario Party 3 board by Mario Party 2 rules. That however is unlikely to happen because the company involved isn't going to "recycle content". Not even to create a superior product. If gaming companies brought back something like Pac-Man in it's original form and didn't charge some outrageous price for an unnecessarily revamped version they would stand to make some money but it isn't happening in the mainstream because they're all too fascinated with the new content.
  • by JPriest (547211) on Friday August 20, 2004 @06:10PM (#10028174) Homepage
    I don't care what others say, CS is a much better multiplayer game than Doom 3 and others. CS offers a level of precision in shooting not offered in other games and has more realistic game play. The engine update is amazing if you ask me, the more realistic smoke granades and flash bang rock, as does the new machine gun.

    CS still offers a level of gameplay that other cannot match, and CS:S does a very good job of renewing the game. Expect to hear more about CS:S as it moves out of beta, I was impressed with it.

  • by d_force (249909) on Friday August 20, 2004 @06:16PM (#10028226)
    Bring back Action Quake 2, baby!

    Man, I loved that game and still believe that mod was, by far, the most realistic one I've ever seen. (laugh, yes, not completely realistic, but better than most IMHO)

    Bolt-action sniper rifle = awesome. Every other game that's tried to come close doesn't do justice to the look and feel of the weapon. Plus, the skull cracking "head shot sound"... truely magificent!

    Knifes with the Quake 2 physics engine were also unbelievable. I loved how you had to arc the throw in order to get any distance. It's also one of the few games where knife sniping is hilarious, unbelievable, and entertaining!

    Ah, memories...

    I would definately pay decent money if someone took that mod and applied it to the Doom 3 engine.

    -- dforce
  • by Lord Kano (13027) on Friday August 20, 2004 @06:28PM (#10028326) Homepage Journal
    It's currently too balanced. It's like a symetrically perfect face - it looks weird and awkward.

    WTF are you talking about? It's pretty much that Symmetry and Beauty are interconnected [brynmawr.edu]

    A more symmetrical face is percieved as a more beautiful face. Symmetry is indicative of a person without obvious genetic defects, and hence a good prospect for mating and reproduction.

    I realize that I'm probably feeding a troll, but I'll take the risk.

    LK
  • by huchida (764848) on Friday August 20, 2004 @06:59PM (#10028558)
    That's what CS is like now. Everything is so perfectly balanced, that there's no excitement to playing any longer. There's no challenge.

    No. That's WHY the game is still immensely popular (and it's why Starcraft is still going strong, too.) It's a complex game of strategy where both sides are balanced, yet have very different strengths and weaknesses. Counterstrike takes thought, and you have to out-think as well as out-shoot your opponent. And I can't stress enough how great it is that once you're dead, you're dead.

    Quake, now that is a boring game. THAT is a game where everyone is equal. And there's not much incentive to protect yourself because you'll re-spawn anyway.
  • by Dragoon412 (648209) on Friday August 20, 2004 @08:41PM (#10029307)
    If you weren't already at 5, I'd mod you up.

    I played CS back from beta 2 to beta 5, with beta 4 being my favorite phase by far and away. I watched the community you spoke of start to develop, and ultimately, it's what pushed me away from Counter-Strike (and most FPS games in general).

    In early beta, people picked up CS because it was different than the same Quake/Unreal deathmatch format we'd all been playing for so long. CS really did have an element of team play and strategy that wasn't present in other FPS games.

    Then, and I don't know what triggered it - the game must've been reviwed on Gamespy or something - beta 5 rolled around the the community almost immediately collapsed. The number of servers skyrocketed, and they were all populated by the same illiterate, spastic, hostile d00dz that were previously exclusive to Quake 2/3 and Unreal Tournament. No one wanted to cooperate, no one wanted to save hostages. They were more concerned with head-shotting you with an AWP and calling you a n00b than actually trying to complete any objectives. And god forbid you killed anyone with the Steyr Scout, because you'd be accused of cheating.

    These days, the CS 'community' is nothing but a cesspool of illiterate assholes, cheaters, griefers and d00dz, so bad they make the guys playing BF1942 and America's Army look mature by comparison. How anyone can stomach that game is beyond me.

    Sadly, that same mentality that's so pervasive in Counterstrike is creeping into Planetside, too. Back in PS beta, even if assaults weren't particularly organized, people always worked together. Now, stupidity and selfishness are the rules of the day, and it seems that most people would rather pad their kill count than work with their empire to capture objectives. And, sadly, the developers are content to placate them by giving them weapons designed to do just that and not much else. ...I think it's something about the genre. Not that EverQuest and the rest of the MMORPGs are bastions of intelligence and maturity, but I'll be damned if the average FPS player could pass himself off for being older than 12.
  • by Rolo Tomasi (538414) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @03:54AM (#10031032) Homepage Journal
    Everyone is trying to force this down our throats. Buying and actually owning things is frowned upon. Everything is becoming a "service". This means "they" stay in control. The good thing for the companies is that this generates a steady stream of revenue - they don't have to make as much of an effort creating a better and cheaper product, once you have the "service", they try to make it hard for you to switch to a competitor.

    Thirty years from now, you won't own anything anymore. Evertyhing will be "services" and "subscriptions". Welcome to the new age of feudalism.

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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