HLTV.org's Luís "MIRAA" Mira casts his eye on CSPromod Beta 1.04 and tells you what to expect of this new release.
In February 2008, the CSPromod developing team released Beta 1.03 to public. Like the previous releases, 1.03 was received with criticism and many have questioned the future of the project. Since then, almost two years have passed, and the crew behind CSPromod have been working hard to make 1.04 a stable, bug-free version. But will Alex "chibsquad" Garfield's baby finally triumph?
First of all, I have to confess that I have always been very skeptical about the whole CSPromod project. Not only because putting the fate of that which is the favourite game of thousands of people on the hands of a project which has had far too many problems since its inception seems risky, but also because I have never been a friend of Counter-Strike: Source myself.
I have been playing Counter-Strike since 2003 and, as such, witnessed the transition from 1.5 to 1.6 and also the failed introductions of Counter-Strike: Condition Zero and Counter-Strike: Source. I have only played the latter once or twice in these years, and it was more than enough to realize how bad it was. Of course the community opposed Counter-Strike: 1.6 when it came, but in their eyes Source was just too much.
Moving on to the main subject at hand, CSPromod Beta 1.04, it will be released on the last day of the month and, as members of the media, we have been given pre-access to the version.
When you enter the game and go to the Options menu, besides the regular tabs at your disposal in both 1.6 or Source, you have a "CSPromod" tab, which allows you to customize the game to your liking. You can choose your favourite HUD, Radar, Crosshair, Weapons and Wall Impact Effects settings so that the games suits you the best possible way.
As you can see, the developing team want to make this a game for 1.6 and Source players and, as such, you can play it the way you prefer.
To test Promod, I created a server and played around with some bots, which come with the game but have no Artificial Intelligence, they just move around in a funny way and do not shoot you.
The first thing you will notice when you create a game is how good the maps are and how they resemble those of 1.6. There are no barrels, no cars, no stupid things standing in your way and distracting you. They truly are 1.6-like maps, but in a new, improved engine. Also the way you move feels very 1.6-like, but since I am not an expert in bunny hopping or crouch jumping I will let someone else make that call.
But those happy thoughts soon vaporize as you realize player models have yet not been touched. They are still Source's models, and thus one still thinks he is playing the wrong game. But the CSPromod developing team have told us it will be ready by the time Beta 1.05 is released.
One of the best introductions in Promod is the detailed HUD, which gives you much info in an easy-to-read way. On the map, you can now clearly see where your team-mates are and who is who, as their nicknames are displayed. Also by pressing the tab key for the scoreboard you can check your mates' health points, as well as their money.
Quake-like Weapon Switch & Grenades
Something that will please many 1.6 fans is the Quake style weapon switch, commonly known as HLTV models. This allows you to switch between weapons without having to see the animation, just like it happens when you are watching a match on HLTV. Due to the fact that some leagues, like the ESL, state that non-default models are forbidden, several players have been unable to use the HLTV models, but they can now finally customize it the way they like without having to fear getting banned.
One of the main concerns of the community has been the fact that grenades in Source have little to do with the ones in 1.6. But as you will be able to check from the video below, which also demonstrates what Quake-like weapon switch is, they have been modified to behave as they do in 1.6.
When it comes to controlling weapons, be it rifles or pistols, it is extremely hard, at least for me, to tell where we stand in CSPromod, given the fact that Source models are still being used. It still looks very weird to shoot and watch my bullets cause a different animation, I can't tell whether I am hitting my target. Therefore, I made this little clip so you can draw your own conclusions.
Regarding the AWP, I am pretty satisfied with it, and believe it is similar to the one used in 1.6, as you will be able to see from the video below.
All in all, if you take a deep look at Beta 1.04, you can see that there are huge improvements from previous releases, which is normal if you consider it has been almost two years since the last version came out. Still, there are still some things that I think need to be changed before CSPromod can go live.
Should these things be changed for Beta 1.05, specially the player models, then I guess we have a version that could well please both 1.6 and Source players. However, that may not be enough, and much of Promod's success will depend on the developing team's promotion of the game, not only with the community and the top teams and players, but specially with tournament organisers.