Every new feature in CSP and every small detail were thought out from the standpoint of a competitive gamer, something that we don’t see from mainstream developers. Below is a description of what you can expect to see from Counter Strike Promod when it is released to the public on January 31st.
When loading any new game for the first time, one of, if not the first thing that comes to a competitive gamers mind will be to go to the options. Being able to change and customize the game through an options tab is much easier than changing a config file, or doing it manually in the console. This is where the developers from CSP went above and beyond creating a completely unique “CSPromod” tab in the options menu where you can modify the HUD, radar, crosshair, weapons, and wall impact effects. Giving you plenty of options you can make your game feel and look more like 1.6 or Source depending on your gaming background which keeps gamers from both series happy.
The last change, and my personal favorite in the options menu, was a quick and easy fix to the Multiplayer – Advanced options. This menu now gives you the ability to change your Update rate, Command rate, Rate, and Interp ratio right from the menu saving you time from going to console and changing the commands yourself.
While the HUD looks completely different than its predecessors not much has changed in terms of placement or functionality. Your radar, health, armor, money, ammo, and round timer are all in identical locations with improved colors which makes viewing these items and reading them quickly a lot easier. Two new additions were introduced, the first showing how many players are alive for your team and the opposing team located on either side of the round timer. Saving you the hassle of constantly pressing TAB and counting how many players are dead and alive on the opposing team. The second addition is located above the health bar it is a new graphic which shows you how many HE, flash, and smoke grenades you are currently carrying. Both additions are simple in nature, but make a big difference in competitive play. If you are impartial to these new add-ons you are able to turn them off in the options.
The new buy menu is small, slick, and simple just the basics are what the CSP team clearly decided on when creating it. The menu now takes up a fraction of the size that is used to and doesn’t include bulky pictures or descriptions that really weren’t necessary. The only problem I encountered with the current menu is the names of the guns do not change color if you cannot afford them. In my personal opinion changing the text to red when you don’t have enough money would be a simple feature that would help distinguish between weapons you can and cannot buy.
The greatest improvement by the promod developers single handedly is the scoreboard. With the addition of player health and money teams don’t need to worry about typing money at the start of a round and can concentrate on the task at hand. In a crucial situation in a match, players can easily TAB to see how much health their teammate has and play the situation accordingly instead of worrying about telling them their health points.
Graphics and Hardware
One of the main concerns from the community was the ability for their older computer to handle and run Counter Strike Promod. When playing the game I would average around 150-200 FPS on full high settings with a 9600GT graphics card, which is almost double what I would get on Source with similar settings. I experienced quick load up times, and nearly no problems in the public servers - significant changes have been made since 1.03.
Models and Movement
When moving around in Promod it feels exactly like Source because of the models being used in the current version. This will be changed in BETA 1.05 with the addition of CS 1.6 models and animations which will completely change the game. Some fans may be disappointed as they will need to wait a little longer for the next BETA. Not being able to crouch around corners or move like you can in 1.6 is somewhat of a drawback, but I have the utmost confidence that Alex and his team will get things working the way they’re meant to be in the next version.
Guns and Recoil Patterns
One of the misconceptions about the Promod is that the game is a mod on the Source engine which automatically makes the game feel and run like Source. First and foremost CSP is not a mod! While the name suggests that it is, the developers have created a completely new game using their own code and in doing so they used some of the models and textures from Counter Strike Source.
In saying that, the recoil patterns in CSP seem a little different than CS 1.6 which might be a bad thing for some players, but in my opinion the change is so small it is barely noticeable. When doing short bursts with an AK or M4 it seems identical, but spraying and entire clip and keeping your recoil down seems easier than CS 1.6. This will be an area that is completely up to you, the player; each of you will have your own opinions on how it feels. My final verdict on the recoil is that they got it extremely close, but not quite a replica.
I really enjoyed the way the AWP felt even with the Source models. After taking a few shots I could tell it was accurate and adding the option to use CS 1.6 or Source crosshairs was a great idea. The pistols feel very much like CS and the recoil on both guns is very accurate which makes pistol rounds play like 1.6.
In its current state you can only purchase weapons often used in competitive play which is somewhat confusing. While you may not use the scout, AUG, or TMP frequently these weapons should be available for a final round, incase that is all you can afford.
The most disappointing part of the game play from promod was the HE grenade. It’s blown up size and style when thrown from your hands seemed to have an odd bounce when put off the walls or ground, and the distance you could throw it also seemed reduced. I believe it had something to do with the unique shape of the object that they used instead of the same style that we are all familiar with. The flash bang and smoke grenade was spot on and were exactly identical to that of 1.6.
My final opinion of Counter Strike Promod is that huge improvements have been made from their last release, but a few fixes still need to be put in place before it can be played competitively. The entire feel of the game will change to more of a 1.6 style when the models are switched in BETA 1.05. The question still remains, “Is Promod going to be the next Counter Strike?” at this point it is hard to say. I think the foundation is there for this to be a really strong game that has the graphic appeal of Source, but has a similar style and game play to 1.6 but is that enough to get both communities to switch has yet to be seen.
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CS Promod Beta 1.04 Review
Looking Ahead to Season 5
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