Counter-Strike: Source, now with added TF2

Had a nice little surprise when I fired up Steam this evening – there’s a new beta version of Counter-Strike:Source available. After installing it, I had a little trouble with the graphics settings, and the mouse settings, and I’d forgotten how to buy weapons and armour, but all that was swiftly resolved. MP5 in hand and helmet on head, I set off for my first romp around DE_Dust in a long, long time. Four seconds later, I was a dead counter-terrorist on the floor.

First change spotted! The camera switches to the player that killed you, so you can see which CS:S-practicing bastard managed to add an extra ventilation hole to your head. So far, so TF2.

Second change spotted! Achievements! You get achievements for everything. There’s the expected “1000 kills with the M4A1 assault rifle” kinda achievements, there’s a few silly ones in there too, and there’s even achievements dedicated to certain maps. TF2 +1.

Third change spotted! At the end of the round, the server picks a player to be the MVP (for other non-Americans, this means Most Valuable Player, apparently). Everyone gets a little box on their screen which tells you who the MVP was, and why they got the award. Some of the reasons given are interesting – “So and so killed the last enemy with the last bullets in his last magazine” was one I saw. Pretty clever how the server analyses what the state of play is for each player. This is the only thing I saw which isn’t in TF2 (or any of Valve’s Steam games, for that matter).

Lots of the (presumably) children that were also on the server were whinging. From the obvious (“this beta’s laggy”, “my FPS is too low”, “the controls feel off” etc) to the not obvious (“it doesn’t like nVIDIA cards running in SLI”). One guy even logged out to compare it against the original CS. Do people still play that? Really? Fuck!

All in all, from the limited time I spent with it (about 20 mins or so, cos I’m waaaaay out of practice), it seemed like Valve had added some interesting and fun elements to the game. It’ll be interesting to see how they impact the feel of the game as time goes on; I can see the backlash starting already. It’s bound to happen. Still, for those who don’t like it, I’m guessing there’s still the original CS to go back to.

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