Well I started my day yesterday by preloading ‘The Source’ through Valve’s Steam network. It downloaded fairly quickly over my broadband connection. All and all I believe the total download time was somewhere in the range of about 20 minutes or so. Then the anticipation began the official kick off for the second stage of beta testers was slated for 10pm EST. This group comprised of Condition Zero users and those who had keys from their ATI/Half-Life2 bundles. I never thought I would see the day that I would actually be able to use that key and get product for it. I had that bundle for well over a year now and it was quit an adventure having to locate it after all this time. The first set of beta testing was reserved for those who belong to Valve’s cybercafe community. Once my preload went from ‘Coming Soon’ to playable I was excited and ready to go only to be disappointed. My disappointment was from the fact that Valve’s steam network was so overwhelmed that I was starring at messages for the next hour that their network was to busy handle my request. So now the waiting game began, when was I going to be able to give thing a test drive? We’ll at 11pm I was connected to their network only to be further disappointed. My next disappointment came from not being able to find an open server. All the servers were full and I’m not talking about an 8 or 16 player server. I am talking about 50 player servers were packed and no one was dropping off for fear of not getting back on. After some server list refreshing I found an open slot on a server. Now let me preface by saying I have been playing CounterStrike for well over 3 years on and off and I consider it the best online game period bar none. That being said ‘The Source’ had a lot to live up to in my eyes and it meet and far surpassed any expectations I might have had. Now mind you that this is beta software and there are some physics issues which I will discuss further later in this ranting. Well I was greeted by my tried and true Dust map at least it has the same name. This was CounterStrike on steroids bearing a super model’s stunning beauty and finesse. The graphics and detail was just jaw dropping and I was running at 1600×1200 with all my video settings maxed on a GeForce 6800 Ultra. I don’t know how else to describe the initial experience, I just couldn’t believe this was possible for CounterStrike.
The movement takes a little getting used to and some of the physics of the game are of in this beta version. What I mean by physics is how characters move and how guns fire. For instance when you jump, you jump much higher than you would in CounterStrike 1.6 and you kind of come down a little slow almost as if the gravity at had been turned down. Also some guns recoil are off like the Auto-Sniper there is basically no recoil evident (Have fun with that tip). You now have objects which can be moved around such as barrels, paint buckets, cans. You can move them by bumping into them or shooting them. Also be careful of bottles while you sneak around, step on one of these and you just gave your position away. My biggest gripe with CounterStrike was with flashbangs. It always seemed to disorient the person throwing it and his own team rather than the enemy. After ‘The Source’ flashbangs are my new best friend, I just wish I could hold more than two. These things pack a wallop now, you still have to be careful around yourself and teammates but they do what they do in real life now to your enemies. They completely blind you and send your ears ringing. If you get nailed by one of these with a enemy close at hand your toast as in ‘The quarterback is toast’ sorry for the Die Hard reference. You can’t tell which way is up and when your vision starts to come back it’s all blurry and out of focus.
I’ll post more of my findings on my forum which can be accessed from the menubar above. Also I put up a dedicated Source server last night, if you need a server to play in try ‘PC-Doc’s CS Source’, the IP for the server is: 18.104.22.168:27015