Two big changes in the world of Counter-Strike, and they have been rumoured for a while now but it is official. CS:GO Battle Royale is here and the game is now Free2Play. This should bring in a whole host of new players significantly boosting the games population and keeping interest in the game and thus the esport scene at a high level.
CS:GO Battle Royale – “Danger Zone”
The Battle Royale mode is called “Danger Zone” and features the biggest CS:GO map to date – “Blacksite”. While it is not as big as other Battle Royales you will really notice the difference in this maps wide open spaces, great for long range engagements. The mode features 16 players in Solos or 18 in Duos and Triples. Players select a landing zone in the pre-game and rappel down into the map with just a knife. Players spawn with a “Tab” a device that allows you to buy weapons, which are then airdropped to your location. It can also track opponents, and with upgrades provide other information like drone locations.
You will need cash for that though which can be found by picking it up off of dead players, rescuing hostages or finding safes around the map that must be blown up with C4. For the first time in Counter-Strike history, you can also heal yourself with an EpiPen style injection, it even increases your run speed for a short time
It all adds up to a pretty alien experience – the gun mechanics and CS tropes mixed with the Battle Royale game mode that has taken the world by storm, a few minor tweaks mainly the scarcity of ammo might make this a game mode with longevity.
Game matches are roughly 10 minutes which means the action is fast-paced and less tactical than the traditional game mode. This is CS:GO for the Fortnite Generation.
Here Come The Casuals – CS:GO Free2Play
It’s happened CS:GO has went Free2Play. Even more reasons to accuse your opponents of cheating! And to be fair, this could be a big problem. If you can easily make a new account who is to stop a banned cheater doing so? We’ll Valve have thought about this, paid copies of the game will now all be “Prime” accounts, hardly a foolproof system. While Free2Play will be non-prime, when this system is working correctly these two groups of players shouldn’t meet in competitive matchmaking. Free2play accounts can also be upgrade to Prime at any time for around $10 with the offer of exclusive skins and weapon crates to entice players. The first exclusive skin is already out the Souvenir MP5-SD can be unlocked by playing DangerZone with a Prime account.
Valve also clearly have faith in their anti-cheat system, with an active overwatch community and machine learning it can now be considered one of the best in the business.
Long-term this decision is good for the health of CS:GO as an esport. New players will join the game, fall in love and take an interest in the competitive game, all the while funding development through skins, crates and whatever other goodies Valve offer.
It’s a good move, the best move but oh, I can’t wait to accuse someone of cheating.
So what do you think of CS:GO going free? Will CS:GO Battle Royale mode capture the imagination? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.