According to their blog, Counterstrike: GO is in for a big patch today. The patch doesn’t seem to be up yet as of 2pm EST, but the developers have advised that it should be up some time today. As with their last few patches they will be addressing a bunch of bugs and smaller gameplay issues, as well as making some improvements to their matchmaking system. But this patch is also adding two new maps, namely de_vertigo and ar_monestary, making it the first major content patch the game has seen since it was released. Still there is no word on some of the traditional Counterstrike features missing from this iteration of the game; silencers, skins, and, of course, sprays. It’s a free content update though which is pretty rare these days for any place other than Steam.
I have to admit that I’m a total Counterstrike noob. I didn’t play the original that much and seem to have no natural talent whatsoever when it comes to an unforgiving shooter such as this. Sometimes having a bad player on the team is worse than just being down a man, as the only thing I seem good at is accidentally throwing flashbangs off the back of my teammates’ heads. Still, I have been improving lately, bit by bit, although there’s little difference in the *ahem* constructive criticism I receive from voice chat. I learned a few new curse words though, so that’s a plus.
In all seriousness though the only reason I continue to play the game is that it’s fun regardless of the fact that I’m terrible. Having free content added in today’s patch only makes me more inclined to play. There’s no way I would have forked over any cash for these new maps, as I would have if this was an Xbox 360 title. My teammates might not like it, but I’ll keep playing if they keep adding content, and despite my negativity I’ll keep getting better even if it’s only a little at a time.
This is why cheap or free content is important, not just for Valve and Steam, but for the whole game industry. CS: GO is a difficult game for someone like me who didn’t play the original and I simply wouldn’t play it if I had to pay, the learning curve is enough of an entrance fee for me. That’s why LoL and Dota 2 are doing so well, they’re difficult games but people are incentivized to play them because there’s no entrance fee. I don’t think that CS: GO is going to explode in popularity by any means, but the community will continue to grow if the content they create continues to be free.
Here’s a bonus clip of some top CS: GO plays that are so good I want to give up gaming all together.