At just 17 years old, Nathan “NBK” Schmitt
has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of the European scene. After establishing himself as an upcoming talent with teams Dreamrar
, Nathan was invited to join the mighty Team VeryGames
in 2010, where he quickly developed into one of the game’s most versatile players. In his relatively short career, he has already propelled VeryGames to no fewer than 18 first place finishes across Europe, including last year’s Electronic Sports World Cup
in Paris. Team VeryGames have now been the undisputed kings of worldwide Counter-Strike: Source for three consecutive years, and NBK is one of their brightest stars.
The following blog on CS:GO was written by Nathan, having played an exhibition match against CKRAS at England’s i44 Tournament in November, as well as the closed beta at home.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Lots of people are looking forward to the release of this game, especially the possibility of it uniting the CS 1.6 and the CS:S communities. At the moment, few people have access to the game, but these people are – fortunately – very active.
First, let’s talk about the menu. It looks clean, easy to understand and to use. Everything is easy to change, you have two arrows to change the settings (graphics, in-game settings, sounds). You can also join a game pretty easily, just by clicking the "Quick Play" button. It is clearly designed for a very wide audience, in order to be as usable and popular as possible.
The downside to these easy menus is that you lose precision in the settings – far more than other CS games. The console can be opened only once in the beginning, when you launch the game, otherwise, you need to bind a key to open it whenever you want. Being accurate in the settings is extremely important as a professional player, to make the game feel exactly as though you were "at home".
I decided to set my Global Offensive beta up as I set my CS:S up, using the same autoexec, same config, same settings, everything. For me, this means low graphics, same sensitivity, and so on.
In-game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is bright, clear, and nice at the same time. You can see the changes and the evolution from previous versions of CS, though the graphics look more like Call of Duty now. The weapons, the models, the maps – everything makes us think that the game evolved in a way in order to please a more "casual" gamer, while trying to retain the traditional hallmarks of Counter-Strike.
The maps are the same, and typical. (de_dust, dust2, inferno, nuke, train) Only de_dust can be played online at the moment though, the others can be only be played locally with bots (which are very, very strong…) or on a personal server. HiddenPath haven’t tried any weird things with the maps, they just kept it simple and in-line with the existing Counter-Strike spirit.
The aim has been simplified, though spraying is way harder. The game is more accurate when you shoot bullet per bullet, but very inaccurate when you spray. It has to be improved, in order to remove some "luck" and to require more "skill" to master the game. It’s difficult to be good at the game easily, even coming from another CS, because the moves are different, the models are a bit faster, and you don't have the interpolate problem anymore.
As a little summary, this is still a Counter Strike game. The maps are staying the same and the spirit is still in the game. Some points must be improved though. For example, the CT models must be darken, because at the moment it is pretty hard to differentiate T from CT skins. The aim has to be reworked, especially for the sprays, which are very inaccurate. The maps are clean, bright, and easy to understand. The movements are easier and faster in the game, which makes the pace faster and more impressive too.
For me, the gameplay is crucial. Look at 1.6 – what made the game last for such a long time? Neither the graphics nor the sound-track. The gameplay is the only reason that this game is the main FPS played at a top level. The game is fluent, impressive, requires a lot of mastery, and a lot of dedication to the game. You can't be good by watching streams or tips from pro players alone – you need to "burn" the game.
CS:GO must – for me – have this gameplay quality to "unite" the communities. CS:S gameplay has too much randomness, whereas 1.6 has none. They need to find a balance between these 2 games.
The graphics (when you are in low quality) make the maps very uncluttered, bright and nice to look at. With the game looking more like a Call of Duty, casual players will understand the game easier. A bigger part of the public will be reached now as they'll understand the game more.
From a player point of view, the game has to be improved. The aim is still shaky and inaccurate. You cannot be extremely accurate, especially during the sprays. The tactical opportunities are more like 1.6 now. The skyboxes have been changed from Source in some places, which limits the usage of smokes and flashbangs over walls.
The two new grenades, Molotov and decoys, are respectively too powerful and too useless to be viable competitive options. The Molotov grenades deal way too much damage. It destroys you if you stay in it for few seconds, and also slows you. The decoy grenade is pretty useless too. It makes too many noises in a short time, which blows any illusion, and I don't see it as a useful thing.
The last thing which kills the competition a little is that you can now only carry 1 flashbang instead of two. HiddenPath needs to allow 2 flashbangs to have more flexible and impressive tactics, and make the game more entertaining.