In this week’s beta update, Valve and Hidden Path have added “Arsenal Arms Race”, which is the second Arsenal Mode (CS:GO’s official rendition of Gun Game) game type available in Global Offensive. Arms Race is pretty much the classic Gun Game mode – it’s a single continuous round, with instant respawning. If you kill someone, you instantly get a new weapon. First one to reach and pass the knife weapon level wins the match. Two Arms Race maps are currently present in the beta – Shoots, taking place in a Vietnam drug campsite… or something; and Baggage, taking place in the baggage sorting area carousel thingy of a German airport.
The Arms Race maps are very well-done, offering circular deathmatch layouts that have a great flow to them. Baggage is probably the best one, featuring some interesting vertical-axis gameplay. Shoots is also quite enjoyable, but feels closed, uncannily symmetrical, and a bit too simple. That said, Arsenal Arms Race is a LOT of fun. It’s unbelievably challenging and exciting, and skeptics will almost certainly be proven wrong when they finally get to try this thing out. Well done, Valve and Hidden Path!
In addition, the classic DE_Aztec has been added to Classic Mode. It’s pretty much the same map we all know and love – except one notable change has been made. The Terrorists no longer have access to the underpass river directly from their spawn, through the narrow indoor staircase. Instead, they now have to go to the doubledoor junction in order to descend to the river. This narrows down their movements, slightly slows them down and seems to make Aztec even more CT-centric than before. Much like DE_Dust, a significant change will have to be made in order to make the map fair to both sides – perhaps adding a corridor linking the Terrorist spawn to the main courtyard at bombsite A? Who knows – let’s hope Valve has this on their agenda.
In addition, the autosnipers have returned – CT’s get the SCAR-20, and T’s get the G3-SG1. The autosnipers have been rebalanced quite a bit, and are now significantly more pricey. Another new addition to the arsenal is the Zeus X-27, a lethal electroshock taser pistol that only carries a single charge and costs as much money as a firebomb. It will take down an enemy in one hit, but only at a very close range. It’s only useable in Casual Mode, which is odd – what’s wrong with it? Sure, it’s made utterly redundant by the addition of the instant-kill backstab feature – but is it really… doing anything to unbalance the game? Or are we simply seeing more “pro feedback” that isn’t doing what it’s supposed to? At least add this thing to Arms Race, or something.
Recoil has also been improved massively, with overall recoil patterns having been made far less random. This is something I can get behind! In addition, two new player skins have been added – the French GIGN; and the European Phoenix Connection, now rebranded as the “Phoenix Faction”. However, they are looking a lot fancier this time, with white Kevlar bulletproof vests. However, I am hoping that Valve will be adding a lot more skins, because it’s pretty weird to see the French GIGN and a European terrorist faction duking it out in places such as… Haiti, Mexico, Russia and America. Some more player skin variety would be nice. And who knows, we might even be getting full new voice acting for the radio comms!
Overall, a solid update, with some terrific additions. I know this is like the tenth time I’ve said it, but CS:GO is really starting to come together. What can I say, other than… hope to see you folks in-game!