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DUSTNET is a PC vs VR vs AR vision of the last dying de_dust2 server

While I believe that Counter-Strike will outlive the heat death of the universe, DUSTNET by SCRNPRNT paints a more entropic picture. In this multi-platform (regular PC, VR and augmented reality) multiplayer experiment, several strange breeds of player fight over the final de_dust2 server. The soldiers have long since devolved into abstract skeletons, and the textures have been washed from the now-wireframe world, but Counter-Strike must still go on, even if nobody has seen a bomb in decades. The game launches on July 16th. Below, a trailer that almost makes sense.

It’s funny that as strange and abstract as Counter-Strike’s most iconic map may look when stripped of its textures, it all makes sense again when you put a polygonal AK-47 into someone’s hands. It makes less sense again when some of the players on the server are giant floating hands, editing the level in real-time with their VR superpowers. Looking at the trailer below, in whatever strange future this is, even the game’s structure has degraded. At what point did everyone become skeletons? Why is there Quake 2’s railgun here? How long has this single round been running for?

Being a sandbox, players are free to fight or to just explore. As the game has broken down, exploits (bunny-hopping), cheats (no-clipping mode) and even admin commands have broken off to become powerups scattered around the environment. I’ve a gut feeling that it’ll take some cooperation between PC and VR players to claim them all. While desktop and VR crowds will have to pay money to tap into the weirdness that is DUSTNET, the augmented reality players (iOS or Android) will be able to look in for free. I’m excited to see what mysteries they’ll behold next week.

DUSTNET launches on Steam on July 16th, and the augmented reality version for phones will be free. You can find those versions on its official page here.

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Dominic Tarason

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