As heralded in the associated blog post, the CS:GO beta has been updated with a brand new game mode – Arsenal Demolition. This is one of the two game types that make up CS:GO’s brand new Arsenal Mode, which is an official version of the classic GunGame server mod for 1.6, developed by Valve and HPE in conjunction with the original GunGame mod team. You can call it Arse Mode if you like.
Arsenal Demolition is a fusion of the GunGame gameplay with the classic Counter-Strike game mechanics. Your mission is to plant or defuse the C4 (except Arsenal Demolition only uses exclusive new maps designed for close-quarters combat, that only feature one bomb site), there’s no buy menu, you start off with the strongest weapon, and the first kill you get will move you up the weapon progression, to a slightly weaker weapon. Subsequent kills in the same round will give you one bonus grenade, but if you die during that round, you have to spectate until the round ends. There’s only 5 rounds per match, and only two matches per game. Of course, the traditional version of GunGame will return as the second Arse Mode game type: Arsenal Arms Race.
Arsenal Demolition’s okay, but the weapon progression is kinda… small. I’d suggest extending each match to 10 rounds, making the progression bigger. In addition, I’d also experiment with having separate progression chains that the game would automatically and randomly cycle through for each match, to spice things up and add variety.
And because Arsenal Mode doesn’t use the classic maps, we’ve also got a brand new map, called DE_Lake. It’s based off the Boathouse Finale in L4D1’s Death Toll, with a little bit of CS_Militia sprinkled in there. There’s only one bomb site, and it’s a very tight map where you get into the action within the first seconds of a match. In addition, a brand new shadowing engine has been introduced. Like – literally, the old one’s gone. Completely. This means we have some absolutely delightful shadowing going on here, and even self-shadowing for player viewmodels! Looks terrific – but there are some issues with… well, overly jagged shadows and some slight optimization problems. It’s all work in progress, though, so I’m sure it’s gonna run way smoothly in the future.
Apart from that, an achievement medal ranking system has been introduced – this is a purely cosmetic award status, where, as you get achievements, you’ll get in-game medals that show up on your scoreboard. There’s 5 in total, and I’ve got two at the moment. There’s also been a load of bug fixes, and 10,000 survey applicants were registered in the beta by Valve. Check out the full changelog, and don’t forget to keep an eye on the CS:GO blog!