Review of Counter-Strike: Source.
Edited by Jacpwner.
[15 August 2004]
Download C4 Video
Windows XP Pro, SP1
AMD 2400+ (~2.0ghz)
Radeon 9200 128mb
DX 8.0 Used
I was quite excited when I first received news that I would be able to give Counter
Strike: Source beta as test run. After hearing some things from places such as HLRadio
and some other news sites, I decided that I would give the game a good run through,
and post an article for the lovely visitors of hlgaming.com.
Once the game was done downloading, I booted it up, and was greeted by a bug which
prevented the background splash image from being displayed. However, undeterred,
I restarted the game, and was shocked to see an absolutely beautiful background
splash image. After I took my eyes off of the splash, I decided that it was time
to configure the game, which was very easy and painless.
Now it was time to begin the adventure. I decided to load a LAN game for starters,
just to get a general feel of the game. I loaded up the new and improved de_dust
and joined the terrorist team, and to my surprise, the map is almost bug free. The
map layout itself has not changed at all, however there were some significant new
enhancements, such as redone architecture and my favorite new feature, litter. The
litter is basically a bunch of garbage thrown about the map; however the fun part
about this is that they are fully interactive. You can blow up glass bottles, and
send tires and barrels flying across the map. This defiantly adds a new level of
interaction to the game, and I can't wait to see how it will affect the game when
Game play has not changed at all; it is still a run and gun reflex game. Be warned,
if you do not currently like counter strike, you most likely will not like Counter
Strike: Source, however it may be worthwhile to at least give it a try. The objectives
are the same, terrorists are the bad guys who want to blow up a bunch of crates,
and the Counter-Terrorists are the good guys who need to prevent the terrorists
from achieving their objective. Since I was playing on the terrorist side, I decided
that I would go do the terrorist thing and go blow something up with my c4 plastic
explosive. Once I made my way to the bomb site, I planted my bomb on the floor and
began to arm it. The first thing I noticed while I was arming the bomb was that
your character types a pass code to arm to bomb which was a nice effect. After arming
the bomb, I went to what I believed was a safe distance away so I could observe
what the explosion would look like. However, as you will see in the video, I was
not far enough, and I took some damage when a barrel came flying at me, which in
itself is a very cool effect and gives the game a more realistic feel.
Now to the part I’m sure most of you are waiting for, graphics and sound. Since
I have a low end video card and only 256mb of ram, I was unable to fully experience
the graphics that the source engine had to offer, however what I did see was far
better than the current Counter Strikes graphics. What impressed me the most the
was lighting and particle effects, such as dust floating gracefully over you in
some indoor areas, it truly makes you feel as if you are in a true middle eastern
environment. The players themselves also now have shadows, and the textures are
of higher resolution. There are also improved bullet holes and improved particle
effects that make gun fights more exciting with dust and debris flying everywhere.
The sound department also did not disappoint with excellent 5.1 representation,
that when combined with the enhanced graphics engine truly makes the game feel more
natural. There is also a nifty new sound configuration system that will help you
optimize your sound system or headphones. In 3rd person view, you are greeted with
a plasma Television in front of you, with a 5.1 surround sound speaker system. The
speakers will then light up, and an voice will then start saying 'Left front, front
center' and so on to help you configure your speakers properly. Overall, the sounds
and graphics are defiantly much improved over the previous incarnation of Counter
Strike, and it can only get better with more development.
All in all, I was very impressed with the Counter Strike source beta. From the new
graphics and sounds, to the environmental interaction really improves upon the already
solid foundation that has taken Counter Strike years to build. Be warned however
that if you want to experience this game fully, you will need a pretty hefty system,
however as my video card and amount of ram has proved, the source engine is very
scalable and will enable those with low end parts to also enjoy the fun. If you
have any questions about this article, the game, or whatever, feel free to post
it on our message boards.