The past couple of weeks I have been trying my dab hand at 2 popular FPS games that are currently in beta stage. Counter-strike: Global Offensive and Blacklight Retribution.
Counter-strike: Global Offensive
Quite simply Counter Strike: Source but with updated graphics and a few new modes. Is that a bad thing? Hell no! Counter strike has always been striving to improve the competitive FPS scene and from what I have played it is certainly doing that. The improvements to the graphics are stunning and the game is genuinely pleasurable to look at. This is a great advantage considering I'm always dead and watching someone else!
I cannot comment on the new modes apart from the only one available to play at this current point which is I believe known as "Reverse gun game" which rewards players that do well in a round with... a worse gun. This is actually great, it keeps the games intense since the better players are given worse guns until everyone is at a similar level. Obviously skill will still prevail but it is a nice mode and especially helpful to new players.
While some people have commented saying that CS:GO is going to dumb down Counter Strike for the masses, I heartily disagree. Without a large player base, there would be no money in the game and therefore no support. No support results in less players, less players means less competition and the competitive e-sport slowly dies. CS:GO provides new players with a good base to get started on CS and allows skilled and proffessional players a nicer environment to test their skills.
Now Blacklight Retribution is a completely different kettle of fish. A free-to-play FPS set in a cyberpunk world with a shit ton of micro-transactions. I did have a little fun with the game but felt it was really a stereotypical FPS with some glossy graphics. Not only was it really typical but the micro-transactions really annoyed me. You acquire points through playing, around 150-200 points per game which you can spend on upgrades. You start with one gun and a pistol with no modifications. The first time I went to the store to spend my hard earned 700 points I found i could unlock a multitude of items, great! On closer inspection I could unlock a multitude of items... for 1 day only before they expired. In fact to gain 1 simple sight for my gun permanently I would have to acquire 5000 points (around 30 games of play) or spend approx £5. Does that not seem crazy? When speaking to players online if they thought this was a problem half of them weren't bothered saying they would play hundreds of games. But for the majority I think the cost of progression here is far too much. If it takes that long to build up an arsenal before you find a set up that you like then I can see a lot of would be players becoming disinterested.
Apart from that, while I enjoyed the game it didn't seem to grab me like CS:GO. The customization options are impressive if you are willing to play an incredible number of games or spend a lot of cash and while the combat was smooth it seemed lifeless, like another FPS just made for the sake of an FPS. Maybe you will get more into it than me and with a free game you can not complain too much.