So there’s a new avatar to Dust 2 – that greatest of all great CS maps! Dust2 has always been considered to be one of the very best multiplayer shooter maps in any game, anywhere, and it’s not something to change lightly.
After all, each map has a subtle balance that is very easy to upset – a balance between teams and opportunities, between chances to ambush and opponent, and places to take cover in. And all of this has to come together into one great harmony that allows for a vast range of tactics – or the map is a failure.
It’s not easy to change a map, and keep what makes it ‘live and work’.
Well, with Dust 2, you’ll see that Valve has appreciated – and kept – the original brilliant meta of the map, while adding in…
Dust 2 has brilliant graphics and textures
Yes, the graphics have been upgraded, but that’s not very impressive. Graphics are really the least important part of a map when you think of competitive play. There’s no point in changing the graphics if it destroys the meta of a map.
Just how good are the new graphics?
Pretty good. Rich textures. Places that are ‘outside’ the walkable areas, but give the feel that the map is more than just a ‘killing ground’. The style of the entire map has improved, and the sculpting of different areas is great. There’s a lot of detail, and the lighting is very good, very realistic, and very pleasant. This is a map that goes all out for realism and detail and a ‘good feel’.
Why are we talking about the graphics so much?
Because not much has changed bar the graphics…
Which is actually good, from one point of view. After all, why change what works brilliantly well, right? So there are minor changes. Some areas that used to provide cover have been changed slightly, and some of the spaces have been moved around a little. You get the feeling that the people ‘remaking’ this map wanted to increase the pace of an already fast-paced map.
So if you were good at the original Dust, you’re going to be good at the new Dust 2. Valve has kept the great stuff while massively adding to the realism of the level.
It has, in fact, as I said earlier, delivered the best of both worlds!
One interesting thing on the map are the poles and trees that have been added in. The trees are great for lining up throws. That’s always a nice thing to have on a map, as any hardcore player knows. The wooden poles can actually be used to bounce your throws off. This allows for a whole new level of strategy in grenade throwing in the new map!
Of course, the map is still beta at the moment. And it’s going to be a while before it’s perfected. But most professional players who’ve looked at it agree that the map is workable. It’s not a complete distancing from the old Dust, which no one would have welcomed, and it has a lot of well-thought-out improvements.
It’s a great map. We can see ‘remembered plays’ from the old Dust coming back to people as they play Dust 2, and new strategies unique to Dust 2 evolving alongside those.