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Valve have released Danger Zone, a Battle Royale mode for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive along with it going free to play.

All existing players have been upgraded to "Prime Status", which is a special status for verified players and only matches you against other Prime players. To become Prime after this update, you need to either purchase Prime from the Steam page or "reach Rank 21 by earning XP and add an eligible phone number to your Steam account" according to Valve.

Considering how I’m quite a big fan (understatement) of Battle Royale type game modes, I’m really pleased Valve has done this. I think it’s important for Linux gamers especially, since BR isn’t something we have much choice on. There’s no Fortnite, no PUBG and any other game with such a mode is very niche. A platform missing one of the most popular things in gaming, isn’t a very attractive platform. So even if it’s not your cup, understanding that I think is important. So again, I’m extremely happy about this.

Danger Zone can be played solo, or in squads of two or three players. On top of that, it's mixing things up a little. As expected from Valve, they're tweaking it with their own special flavour.

The main hook, as with all Battle Royale games is that you only get that one precious life. You also don't start with anything, so you need to be extra careful. You need to hunt for equipment and avoid players until you're ready—or catch someone with their pants down whose hunting for equipment themselves. Over time the map area gets smaller and so you're forced together. The effect Valve has gone for this is different too, with missiles firing from some off-shore rig onto the map. From that, something spreads across sucking all colour and life away from the map and it does look cool.

Each player has their own personal tablet, which tracks player positions in an area and it also allows you to buy weapons and equipment which fly down to you from a drone:

The drone system is quite a highlight, not just for yourself either. You can shoot them down, starving your enemy of their goods or follow them to ambush an enemy. Additionally, you don't actually have to use the dropped items yourself. Is an ally running low? Order something for them. You can also upgrade your tablet a few times, with niceties like seeing where the safe area will be when the map shrinks again, seeing drone paths and so on.

You can also rescue hostages, by carrying them to a safe area which will give you an additional cash reward to buy even more equipment. Naturally though, this will make you a lot slower and more vulnerable to other players:

On top of all that, for those of you who like collecting in-game items, Valve will be giving away a "Souvenir MP5-SD | Lab Rats" to anyone with Prime status while earning 250XP in the Danger Zone game mode. That offer will run until January 9th, 2019 which is probably enough to give the game a little player boost. People do love their skins.

This is what I have been waiting for. An interesting Battle Royale game available on Linux with good support and since it's Valve it will no doubt work well on Linux. Not only that, it's likely going to actually be an active game, especially since it's free. I'm sure plenty of the existing CS:GO community won't be happy, but you never can please everyone. It's not like anyone's forced into it, the mode is separate to the rest of the game.

After playing a good few rounds—I like it. It's quite different to what's already out there, although CS:GO is showing its age a little. Even so, the mechanics seem to work quite well for it. I'm excited to see where they go with this, as they said they will continue to update it based on feedback.

See more on Steam and the official site for details. For info on the free to play status, see here.

I will have more on this in the coming week, frankly I'm too excited to keep typing.

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WorMzy 7 December 2018 at 9:16 pm UTC
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God damn, matchmaking takes fecking ages.

It's fun when you get into it, but ammo conservation is not my forte, and this mode doesn't reward spray and pray.
einherjar 7 December 2018 at 9:32 pm UTC
I played a few times on Ubuntu 18.10.
First start I got an error message.
After this, everything worked fine.

Game is funny, but not that great. But good to have those type of game in Linux. I am sure they will make more out of it. But we will see.
Kiwii 7 December 2018 at 10:37 pm UTC
sigz[...] At first I saw the game complaining about missing "ifconfig" command (because there is no ifconfig on archlinux). So I created a dumb executable ifconfig script. [...]
There absolutely is ifconfig on arch linux. It's in the package net-tools from the core repo.
WorMzy 7 December 2018 at 10:41 pm UTC
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15/16 players ready!
Maokei 7 December 2018 at 11:24 pm UTC
PatolaTried to run the game after the update, it went to a black screen then crashed. Any ideas?
add this launch option: -nojoy
tonR 8 December 2018 at 3:18 am UTC
No wonder last update taking almost 1 GB data.

Also, curious on how Source ability to support/running battle royale.
ageres 8 December 2018 at 11:22 am UTC
It works if I unplug my Logitech F710 receiver (Steam Controller can still be plugged in).
Anyway, this mode sucks. Runs at 27-50 fps, 16 people only, the drone system is boring, and the outdated gameplay of Counter-Strike doesn't fit to battle royale.
devnull 8 December 2018 at 12:35 pm UTC
Been playing this a bit but it keeps crashing. It's a bit more then BR though, more like a mix of BR and ARK. Biggest problem aside from random crashing is frame rate.. There is no tutorial or anything from what I could find so understanding the game mode itself was a bit of "why the hell does this pda thing keep popping up?!" and blowing up random things.

The crashing didn't happen after the initial update, but a later patch.

UPDATE: Appears the crashing may be related to vacnet as it happens more when you alt-tab before joining a match and end of warmup but before match start. During warmup and while spectating are fine. Also appears the studdering is being addressed (possibly related to vac again?). At least the frame rates have improved quite a bit from low 60 to ~120 average.

Last edited by devnull at 8 December 2018 at 1:43 pm UTC
einherjar 8 December 2018 at 2:24 pm UTC
tonRAlso, curious on how Source ability to support/running battle royale.

What do you think is the big difference between "battle royal" and old fashioned "last man standing"?

They must improve a lot to get it running smooth with a high number of players. But BR with 16 people? That is something that was no problem 15 years ago.
Expalphalog 9 December 2018 at 2:38 am UTC
Played 4 games. Topped out at 3rd place. Not too shabby for someone who has never played CS:GO before. I really enjoyed it. Honestly Fortnite has never looked good to me because I like my shooters stealthy and methodical, like Hitman, instead of arcadey. This felt exactly like what I want out of a Battle Royale: Brutal but approachable, and with no crafting.
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