Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – Operation Vanguard and the New Look of Train

Engaging in tactical warfare

Being such a constant in the world of esports, the unforgettable Counter-Strike, perhaps more than any other Valve game, needs constant updates. Struggling in the whirlpool of new trends, the classic competitive shooter is unlikely to find great popularity among demanding players in its original form. Hence the continuous evolution of Global Offensive, the latest installment in the series to this day.

Over the past two and a half years, fortunately, the project has not gotten lost in the maze of weapon-related issues, like the already hopeless one. Team Fortress 2 The focus on the actual gameplay and regular expansion of content is the cornerstone of modern CS. This is why there are regular releases of major updates, one of which is Operation Vanguard And this is also the cause of disappointment from the fact that the economic base of the newly released operation dominates everything else.

No, no one will force you to buy all those new paint jobs for AK-47 and other P250, although there are plenty of them as usual. There are fourteen completely different styles available, and many of them look quite good – just think of the sleek Basilisk for M4A1-S and the luxurious Sawed-Off | Highwayman. But you probably already show off half of the collection, so there’s no point in stopping here. And the problem is not in that anyway.

No, you will have to pay for the operation itself – and not just once. Previously, for $10, you would get the complete set of offered happiness, and Valve wouldn’t ask for a penny more. Operation Vanguard only includes the basic access for the same amount. Like, here are your new cards, an avatar badge – and a book with missions that constantly hints that it’s time to give a little more money to Uncle Gabe.

Initially, the infamous diary consists of two “campaigns”, which are essentially a set of challenges with a reward system for completion. Killed a couple of chickens on Inferno – got a random weapon from some old collection. Cut a few frags in a defmatch – well done, here’s a crate. The challenges don’t particularly shine with inventiveness, but they do add some variety to the familiar CS routine. Admit it, you’ve been looking for an excuse for a couple of outings with your “dusts” and “nukes”.

Completing high-stakes missions

But it is unlikely that the fact will escape your attention that there are as many as four tabs with tasks in the grade book. While you click on all the missions in a burst of curiosity, the game persistently demands an additional fee from you for access to the second half of the campaigns. And this, by the way, is another $5 for each – that is, you will have to pay in full for all the content of the add-on. And all this just to chase chickens again in the hope of getting an expensive gun. Gloomy. For those interested: it will not be possible to recoup the expenses for purchasing the product this time by selling the boxes, the price of which dropped to a miserable 10 cent per piece in the first two days. Why then should one even buy additional campaigns? It’s logical, since the challenges are similar to each other like two drops of water, and similar rewards can be obtained in the standard set. The only reason to make an extra monetary injection is to reduce the waiting time between missions.

Participating in a competitive season

Ah, here is the most interesting part. If you were planning to run through all the branches, grab all possible rewards, and turn the operation coin gold in a couple of evenings, then this fact will be the biggest disappointment for you. The first two tasks will go smoothly and fun, but then the unfortunate campaign book will unfriendly slam shut in front of your nose for a whole four days. Then another mission – and rest again. Another one – a break. Too long? Buy the mentioned branches and cut the waiting time in half. The only thing missing is gems for daily visits – we already have “Happy Farm” here, not a competitive discipline.

But the campaign routes often pass through new locations, which can be appreciated during the passage. The Operation Vanguard mix consists of six extremely unique maps, among which personal favorites and particularly disliked ones quickly stand out. For example, we immediately liked the narrow streets of Back Alley and the intricate Facade, but we couldn’t share the general enthusiasm for Bazaar – it’s too boring and feels like a rehearsed Mirage. Anyway, it’s always nice to try out old mechanics in unexplored areas, and we didn’t expect more.

Exploring diverse battlegrounds

In general, the feelings from the operation are mixed. On one hand, there is an interesting task system instead of the unimpressive mission drops from previous expansions and a good set of new maps. On the other hand, there is an overly intrusive mercantilism and an unpleasant feeling of other people’s hands digging into your wallet. Everything is cool, but it’s presented in a mediocre way. Pay here, pay there, get crates as rewards and pay to open them – if the developers don’t come to their senses by the next season, there will likely be a huge cloud of doubt hanging over the purchase of another operation.

By the way, for some reason, the recent OV map list also includes the classic Train, which has undergone a total redesign. And, frankly speaking, we haven’t had time to get used to the reimagining of the familiar map yet. There are many visual changes, and it’s the most noticeable thing: the color palette is more vibrant, the environment is more natural, and the details are bolder. In terms of execution style, the differences are drastic – the old good “train” is almost unrecognizable at first.

The layout has also undergone significant adjustments. The difference is shown clearly in the official video. in comparison with the previous version, but it is worth noting the main thing – the map has become much more open. Point A, for example, lost a whole tunnel in the middle, as well as several tightly packed wagons where it was so convenient to hide, and the platforms at B can hardly be used as an ultimate defense tool now. Every known corner has lost its effectiveness, which has positively affected the speed of battles – there will always be a way to bypass, smoke out, or deceive.

It will be interesting to see the further fate of the map. Many still remember Train from 1.6, and since then it has been mercilessly… They chopped, rebuilt, and polished. In order to maintain balance and interest, Valve is still working on its current iteration, so it is possible that additional changes will be made based on community feedback soon.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Action, Multiplayer
Hidden Path Entertainment, Valve Corporation
Valve Corporation
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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