Android is becoming a force in the market, with so many phones coming in at all consumer levels the platform has managed to rapidly conquer the field. Google is celebrating that success though as they’ve closed 10,000,000,000 downloads in the market since the launch of the platform, most of those falling in 2011 as it made up almost 7 billion added downloads this year.
To celebrate they’re putting popular games and apps on sale for a limited time at 10 cents flat.
Counter-Strike is back, many have already gotten a shot at the beta builds of Global Offensive during conventions earlier this year but now its time for a larger scale beta on the PC. We were lucky enough to get in on this beta event and report the balance and design of the game back to you guys. The problem of course is that the only levels available are de_dust and de_dust2 with a limited choice of weapons, it will not be a full preview but we’ll do our best to get the points available covered.
We’re still on the Source engine but the difference is simple, every model, level, shader and inch of the map will be honed to utilize the new engine to the fullest. While past maps in Counter-Strike: Source attempted to harness the design of the new engine, de_dust and the rest of the line-up will dump the old blocky designs for HDR and increased poly models of everything in the map as well as new textures to sharpen the final look. Many that have played it so far have referred to the game as a Left 4 Dead Counter-Strike, much of that inspired by the flow and flaming molotov option in each round.
Graphically we’re limited to dust themes, it still has a lot to show off simple because the redesign is so severe. Take a look at the comparison gallery below to help illustrate how far forward Hidden Path Entertainment is taking everyone with the visuals.
When playing through Dust and Dust 2 the old plain themes are gone, the color intensity has taken a huge step down as well. What was once a sandy flood of gold is now washed out, filled with buildings instead of walls and a gritty air and scaffolding all over. Inner passages have changed from carved or brickwork tunnels to structures and detailed rooms. If they can flip dust around in such a manner, one only has to wonder what Hidden Path will do with the rest of the Counter-Strike favorites.
When I stepped into the first night of the beta it was a nightmare, the AWP was dominating each map with increased accuracy levels for run and gun and general movement. Instead of the harder weight handicap and no-scope penalty on accuracy it was handling better than a scout in many instances, so often so that it was impossible to play without frustration. After a few days it feels like the game has balanced out, the AWP is still a monster but the balance has shifted and the other weapons tick away at health bars finally this is beta though and Hidden Path Entertainment is tweaking the game along the way.
Offense isn’t the only change in GO, players will notice a balance shift from weapon damage and a slightly longer lifespan in the game, while armor was made of rice paper before there’s now some level of buffer in Global Offensive. If you get caught with your pants down reloading though, no level of armor will stop a Desert Eagle from ripping through you at point-blank as you shuffle for a weapon. In the load out screen they’ve opted to leave out armor / kevlar and shields again which may upset some users but the map design and speed allow for even more effective cover now. Outside of that, the buy system is largely the same, just in a circle form but still allowing for users to fast key their purchases with keystrokes just as in all past versions.
Experienced Counter-Strike players will need to adapt to the adjustments for the hitbox, headshots do require a bit more finesse as they’ve tightened them slightly and long distance pistol one-shots are slowly becoming a thing of the past. Recoil is still a pain on AR and SMG weapons, kneeling still helps tighten the cross hair for a brief moment, I would suggest using short burst fire to control the damage radius if possible.
The game is also limited to 5v5 matches right now, a bit of a nightmare for anyone who played in larger circles but hopefully the next waves of the beta will showcase larger match capacity.
The kind fellows at Zelda Informer have stumbled upon a gem for those hitting game breaking issues in Skyward Sword on the Wii. Anytime this happens it usually means the save file is corrupt or ruined making it impossible to continue on. PS3 gamers saw a similar issue in Eye of the North last month which makes this the start of a scary trend.
Nintendo does have a solution of sorts though and I’m quoting the sequence below. Hopefully this spares some gamers that haven’t reached the broken area yet, personally I haven’t started Skyward Sword yet but I do plan to use this to avoid losing my entire save progress.
1. At the beginning of the quest, go to Lanayru Desert to retrieve the song of the Thunder Dragon.
2. In the Lanayru Mine, speak with Golo the Goron.
3. Complete the Thunder Dragon’s event, and receive his song.
4. Before heading to the forest or volcano regions, speak with Golo in the mine again.
5. At this point, the forest and volcano events will no longer occur, making it impossible to continue.
• This issue WILL NOT OCCUR if the Fire and Water Dragon songs have already been collected before collecting the Thunder Dragon’s song. Talking to Golo in the Lanayru Caves will also NOT trigger this issue.
• If the game has been saved after completing the sequence of events, it will no longer be possible to proceed through the game on that save file. The only options at that point are to either start the game over or to use an earlier save file to continue.
I wish I had a better answer, but I’m afraid there currently is no other fix available. I can assure, however, that we are documenting all feedback we receive on this issue. Thank you for your patience and support.
As the last section notes, there is no real solution for the issue now, they will most likely have to press a new batch of games with the bug instance corrected but it will likely not reverse the issue for those hit with it now.
The holidays are here and it’s time to get busy, while all the new releases slow down the team at Tripwire are here to bring Twisted Christmas 2 over for all the good little Killing Floor players from December 7th through January 4th. Packing new levels, music, and of course weapons it will keep players busy for the next month. To help stimulate the servers the game is also going on a free weekend on Steam from December 8th to the 11th so anyone can get a shot at all the new holiday goodness and the classic holiday enemies making a return.
For those curious on some details for the Twisted Christmas 2 event we have a few tidbits to share.
Making a return
Christmas enemies (replacing standard models)
Santa’s Evil Lair (Map)
Baddest Santa (character unlock)
New additions for the Holiday Update
New achievements for 2011
The Ice Cave (Map)
Steampunk 2 DLC pack
The Sharpshooter gets a shiny .44 Magnum revolver – good for dual-wielding for even more stopping power.
The Commando picks up a US Army surplus M-4 Carbine, with a nice, new red dot sight fitted.
For Demolitions, we’ve removed the sight and added the under-slung M-203 single shot grenade launcher. Wonderful all-purpose weapon!
Support Specialists can get their hands on a semi-automatic combat shotgun.
Berserkers can go all Scottish, with a massive two-handed Claymore. Perfect for the holiday season…
Following on from Horzine’s earlier experiments with healing darts, they have now provided the Medic with an MP5 machine pistol, mounting a dart-firing device.
Ripped from the arm of a dead Husk the Firebug gets his asbestos-covered hands on the fireball launching Huskgun!!! Charge this baby up and watch the zeds explode in a ball of flames!
Tripwire does warn that Baddest Santa will only be unlockable during this event so try to not miss out, with this being the second shot at obtaining him this might be a last shot at the unlock. If you’re curious for more information about killing floor check out the Holiday 2011 page.