Ever since Counter Strike Global Offensive was unleashed on the world in 2012, this game has become the touchstone for multiplayer first-person shooter mayhem. Many Xbox owners will have revelled in many hours’ of gun-fuelled carnage, and it’s no surprise to find that CSGO is still one of the most popular esports around.
Despite the fact that well over 25 million gamers have bought a copy of Counter Strike Global Offensive, it’s clear that the game’s shelf life cannot last forever. This was made especially clear when the game’s parent company, Valve, decided to make the title free-to-play in December 2018. Instead of relying on the actual game for revenues, it was hoped that the sale of cosmetic items would give the title a new lease of life.
Whilst this was a popular move, there are signs that CSGO could be losing ground as a franchise in comparison to several more recently released games. Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch took many of the intense first-person shooter mannerisms of CSGO to become a rapid hit in the esports realm. But it’s the growth of the battle royale genre that has threatened to put Counter Strike in the shade.
As well as the phenomenal success of Fortnite, other battle royale titles like Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, and even the recently released Apex Legends have become massive hits in the Xbox gaming domain. Whilst it’s debatable as to whether a game like PUBG is as much fun to watch as a few rounds of CSGO, it’s clear that all of these titles are starting to make inroads into the fiercely competitive world of esports.
Although Counter Strike is still one of the most popular esports around, and there are even dedicated betting resources like counterstrikebetting.com that have been set up for the first-person shooter, the game runs the risk of looking out of date unless it keeps up with current gaming trends.
It seems as though somebody at Valve may have been watching the trend for battle royale gaming, as the game introduced a special Danger Zone option that delivered a special battle royale playing option.
This took place on the Blacksite map, and it put you against 15 other gamers who had to try and survive within the ever-shrinking gaming area. Each round of Danger Zone tended to last around ten minutes, but by being able to see your competitors movements and watch their drone deliveries, it made for a particularly unnerving gaming experience.
Obviously, the sub-game featured no shortage of fun equipment and special deliveries to pick up. Alongside being able to hunt down some money, you could also make extra cash by carrying out a range of tasks alongside simply trying to stay alive. These included things like taking hostages to special rescue areas, detonating safes and taking out special targets.
By doing this you could spend the cash on anything from upgrading your monitoring device or just buying evermore outlandish equipment to slay your competitors with. In terms of weaponry, there was plenty here to do some serious damage. From standard pistols and rifles, to some awesome submachine guns and heavy weapons, we were all guilty of getting slightly too into the ways that we could destroy our opponents.
So how did reviewers take to the Counter Strike battle royale gaming option? A few commentators were a little disappointed with the fact that only 16 players could compete at a time. Whilst many other battle royale titles allow you to go up against around 100 competitors, the fact that Danger Zone was much smaller will mean that many fans will feel a touch short-changed.
Whilst some people were impressed with the sheer speed of the battle royale options, it’s also true that it feels a little lightweight in comparison with full-scale battle royale titles like PUBG. There’s no doubting the fact that Danger Zone benefits greatly from including CSGO’s legendary weaponry options, but the overriding impression is that Valve just released this as an add-on and it doesn’t really do justice to the franchise.
As a result, it’s highly debatable as to where Counter Strike goes from here. Whilst the internet is awash with rumours that Valve are working on a follow-up to CSGO, it’s clear that the developers are keeping their cards very close to their chest. However, it’s worth mentioning that the esports star, Emil ‘Heaton’ Christensen did mention that Valve were working on a new Counter Strike, but whether that happens any time this decade is anybody’s guess.