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The day I nearly melee-killed Chet Faliszek in CS:GO

Friday, 23rd March 2012 08:13 GMT By Patrick Garratt

The big fish that got away. Valve’s Chet Faliszek speaks to VG247 on the bullet-proof longevity of Counter-Strike and why no concessions were made for the console versions of Global Offensive.

“We are all still trying to figure out exactly
what it is that Chet does at Valve, but at
the very least he occupies office space on
the 11th floor as self-proclaimed
Mr. Awesome.”

I’m going to tell you this story because I can. I went to San Francisco a few weeks ago to see some of Xbox 360 games. One of them was Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Turned out Valve’s Chet Faliszek was manning the pods, which was cool, so I did a bit of an interview then started playing. I’m a total CS newb. I had honestly never played it before. After two minutes I was glued to my seat. Chet had chosen to show Demolition mode, which involves terrorists planting a bomb and counter-terrorists trying to stop them. Nothing more. The mode handicaps you with progressively worse weapons if you do well. You’re in an fighting before you can blink.

Chet was a terrorist. He was hiding up some stairs. While he positioned himself, I ran up after him and tried to knife him to death. A knife kill would have finished the round and I would have have been legendified, in my own head at least, for all eternity. I nearly had him. On the brink of death he shot me.

He saw the name of the 360 I was playing on and looked over.

“Nearly,” I said. He scrunched his face up and turned back to his screen.

“Yeah,” he said.

Five seconds

And that was my introduction to Counter-Strike. The game I’d always seen on office PC screens was full of weapons-buying and menus, but this was about running around a house like a monkey trying to beast people.

“This is a really good mode for new players to just jump in and get their feet wet, to not have to worry about all that progression and complications,” said Chet.

“It’s fun. In this game you don’t have to wait ten minutes before you shoot somebody. You’re five seconds in and exchanging bullets. It’s a really intense, quick battle.”

That I could get hooked on an 11 year-old game so quickly and stand up to one of the people that makes it is testament to Counter-Strike’s bewildering success. Global Offensive is the fourth incarnation of PC’s most popular competitive shooter, and is sure to add handsomely to the franchise’s tally of 27 million units sold. This is the first time Counter-Strike’s released on 360 – the original came out on Xbox in 2004 – but Chet isn’t concerned about the formula making the console transition. After playing it, neither am I.

“It doesn’t cloud the central issue: are you better than the other guy? There are loads of games out there now – which I love and play – that allow you to be better because you have better weapons, because you have a better load-out.”

“One of the things we learned from the Left 4 Dead series is that PC and 360 players are the same people,” he said. “There’s a control difference, but they’re the same gamers. So we didn’t make a lot of concessions. We didn’t dumb it down or consolize it. One of the goals right from the very beginning was to bring Counter-Strike to consoles. That was really important to us, that Counter-Strike be Counter-Strike. There are gamers on the 360 that are just as good and able to play this kind of game, right?

“It was fun watching the first showing at PAX, and seeing people going, ‘Oh gosh, it’s on console. I don’t know. I’m a big PC player.’ But the skills they have for the PC version map directly to this version.”

While the game works well on 360, there’s a fearsome reputation to overcome. Counter-Strike is hardcore, and that’s essentially why I’ve never got involved. Who wants to die every two seconds for no other reason than boosting someone’s kill-count? Valve’s aware of the issue.

“All versions will have skill-based match-making,” assured Chet. “Counter-Strike has a reputation for being really hard, and there are players that are really, really good. We have players who come in and they will own you. I don’t want to play against them. They will devastate you. You want to be matched against people of your own skill, so you’re always going to have that good experience. You want to feel, ‘Hey, I did good this time. I’m getting better.’”

I’m sold. When’s it out?

“We’re looking for summer. We’ll see. We’re letting the beta community drive a lot of the decisions. We release stuff, we get feedback, we collect data, we look at the data behind the changes, we roll that in and we get more feedback. We keep doing that. It’s a cycle. We’ll see when we’re done.”

The central issue

That doesn’t sound like it’ll be with us any time particularly soon. And if you’re hoping for a beta run on 360, forget it.

“No,” Chet told me when I asked if there’ll be a console test.

“It’s really simple for us to do a beta on the PC. We’re actually making a lot of changes. Some betas are basically demos, but this is a real beta. With all those rapid changes it’s a lot easier on PC.”

The Microsoft event lasted for two days, and there was a bunch of downtime between interviews. I kept drifting back to Global Offensive. We had some great sessions. Some young kid joined in for one – I have no idea why he was there; it was a press event – and he kicked ass. We were on the same side, him crouching in front of me moving forward, both of us with AKs covering doorways, soldiers walking into withering fire, Chet hooting in the background. There’s something so pure about it: you, other people, map, gun. Chet’s under no illusion as to why it works, and why it’ll continue to work.

“It doesn’t cloud the central issue: are you better than the other guy? There are loads of games out there now – which I love and play – that allow you to be better because you have better weapons, because you have a better load-out. It’s a really competitive game. It’s been around for 11 years, and on PC it’s still the number one competitive shooter.”

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ships for PC, Mac, 360 and PS3 this summer.

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12 Comments

  1. Ge0force

    “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ships for PC and 360 this summer.”

    Huh? Is the ps3-version canceled or is this some kind of Microsoft-sponsored article?

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    I didn’t know there was a PS3 version. Hang on.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Gekidami

    @1
    I dont think so, but its quite apparent MS has managed to throw enough money at Valve that they’re just going to ignore the openness of PSN they had announced on using in the first place.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Patrick Garratt

    There’s a Mac version too! All fixed.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Ge0force

    Thankx Patrick, you got me worried for a moment :)

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Patrick Garratt

    Sorry, my bad.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. VIP0R

    The Ps3 version was at EuroGamer and that played just fine.

    I got to kill a Valve Developer with a crowbar when I played HL2:CTF with them many moons ago. It was an awesome OMG moment of my life haha! =]

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Patrick Garratt

    @7 – :D I was pissed I didn’t kill him. It was a golden opportunity.

    Yeah, I can’t see the versions being any different at all. It’s not a heavy game technically.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. DiodeX

    Mouse/KB for the 360?, or just the PS3?

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Sam Clay

    yeah, Chet Falisek is pretty much Mr Awesome. Pat, you would of definitely become a legend if the knife kill was a success! :D

    #10 2 years ago
  11. bpcgos

    I was played CS intensively almost 10 years ago during my high school and there’s a few rules that I want to share with you, pat!(although I’m not an expert on it)

    First, you will never knew (for your early play) that the bullet in CS doesnt move in a straight line, it follows the rules of physics (moves in curve/parabol lines). So, if you intend to headshot someone, then you have to aim your crosshair a little on top of it’s head.Its also depends almost on your instinct and type of weapon to find the right spot.

    Second, never shoot someone in rapid sucession because of the weapon kickbacks (recoil) will only make your aim very inaccurate through time. Always shoot in a short burst at a time and make sure it hit the target while looking for a cover. It’s also will conserve your ammo.

    Third, dont rush your enemy,always look for another way around (thats why map familiarity are very important in CS) to surprise him.

    What makes me worried is the kid you’re mentioned in your article,Pat. No matter how smart he/she is its almost nearly no chance he/she knew some of the rules I mentione above at his first playtime (if it his first). No matter what Chet said about not to dumbed it down because of console (but I wont blame console for this), there’s a clear evidence it does.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Lounds

    I love CS:S

    #12 2 years ago

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