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Counter-Strike Update Adds Six Maps, Calms Dogs, More

How long is it before everyone copies Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive update structure? The latest addition to the venerable multiplayer shooter is called Operation Breakout, and it adds six new maps for everyone to play for free. For those willing and able to pay $6, you then get a now-familiar bundle of upgrades including access to mission drops with the chance to unlock “45 exclusive weapon finishes”, a Challenge Coin which tracks your achievement-y ‘mission’ progress, and a new weapon case containing new community designs.

Given how most other games split their multiplayer communities by selling the maps directly, and given how that split is bad even for the developers, surely it’s only a matter of time before we’re covering our Battlefield and Call of Duty weaponry with paid-for and unlockable stickers and baubles. More details on the update and its maps below.

Of the six new maps added with the update, there’s one that stands out just based on the screenshots: Blackgold, a colourful map set atop an off-shore oil rig. For anyone who played the Counter-Strike betas, it’s reminiscent of the old assassination map as_oilrig. Although that mode was difficult to balance – one player on one team was a VIP who had to escape, while the opposing team only had to kill that one person to win the round – I had a lot of exciting and tense rounds playing specifically on the old oilrig. Assassination mode no longer exists and I’m sure this map is entirely different in layout, but I’m too easily manipulated by nostalgia to care.

The other maps are Mist, Overgrown, Rush, Castle (not a remake of the Dave Johnston’s Counter-Strike beta map, but an original work), and Insertion. All of them are community-made, as are the weapon skins and other doodads inside the update.

Operation Breakout also acts as a patch, tweaking some of the base CS:GO game. For example, the Buy Menu now displays more weapon stats for your potential arsenal, revealing damage, firerate, recoil and more. All maps have also now been split into three categories – active duty, reserves and operation – which determines which maps are available via competitive matchmaking at any given time.

Finally, the patch contains these excellent tweaks to de_inferno:

– Removed pretty flowers behind yellow car in banana.
– Calmed down dog in apartments
– Changed max chicken population from 10 to 12.
– Added back relaxing flamenco music to T spawn.

The full patch notes are available on the Counter-Strike blog, alongside a separate post detailing a few of the Operation Breakout features and the usual microsite with pretty pictures.

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Graham Smith

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