Dangerzone, released a year ago when CS:GO
went free to play, started with just the Blacksite map, before Valve later added a second, desert-themed
map called ‘Sirocco’. Then, more recently for Operation: Shattered Web, they added Junglety,
a community-made level by Michal3210. If you had told me it was Valve-made, I’d
have believed you. It sports the same high level of polish, is the same size, and has
a similar distribution of huts and hamlets to explore. It even contains an underground
tunnel system just like those found in Blacksite and Sirocco- and has a large tower you can
climb, involving parkour to reach the top. I was impressed enough when Valve managed
a Battle Royale map. Being the Source engine, it can’t support maps anywhere near as big
as the ones seen in other games. There are strict limits on the number of objects that
can be used- which is a major problem for a map as large as these. So to find a community-made
map that somehow gets it to work is an incredible feat! Now it’s been included in the game,
I’m curious to see how Michal goes about maintaining and updating this map based on
the feedback he receives. Similar to the other Dangerzone maps, it’s
got extremely thick fog everywhere- which will help to keep framerates high by limiting
how much is being rendered. But it also helps with the gameplay to stop players from being
frustratingly sniped from across the other side of the map by somebody the size of a
pixel. So while this is the way it’s meant to be played, I’ll just go ahead and disable
the fog so that we can take a better look at this map.
It suddenly makes it look a lot smaller, doesn’t it. But it’s the same size as the existing
Dangerzone maps. If a community-made Dangerzone map had to be added to the game, this was
the right one to start with as it plays it safe, providing a similar experience to the
others, but with a new theme and layout. But some of the other community-made maps
approach a Battle Royale gamemode for Counter-Strike a little differently.
The first of these I’m going to cover is CSGOWORLD, and it really lives up to its name,
featuring parts of official maps. Here’s Nuke- which contains bombsite A and feels
really strange cos you can go out the back entrance. It’s always weird to play a familiar
map in a new setting, it’s like all of the barriers have been taken away and you’re
able to explore the world around it. Here’s Train’s bombsite A, with a new sky and lighting.
I know that what’s out here isn’t what’s really out there on the proper map, but it
doesn’t matter. My brain thinks this is how it should be, and I simply love flying
about from place to place on this map- you never know what’s around the next corner.
For instance… here’s the whole of Dust 2! Or at least, an older version of it. I
still can’t believe that he’s managed to cram so much into a single map, and to
make it look so convincing. This map must have taken him MONTHS.
And, as well as these areas, there’s a whole lot more to explore. There’s a desert! A
really atmospheric canyon with a road winding up and around. There’s a forest, all beautifully
detailed. And a town full of buildings that you can explore. This map is 4 times the size
of a standard dangerzone map, and sadly runs into the limitations with Source. It crashed
several times for me as I was exploring it. I hope this will be sorted, as even if it’s
not featured for Dangerzone, I’m sure a map of this size and beauty can be used elsewhere,
or even just to explore with friends late one night.
The corners of the map are well disguised. Several times when in noclip I accidentally
flew into the void. Over the years I’ve heard so many people say how cool it would
be if somebody placed lots of CS:GO maps into the same level. I’ve steered clear of this
idea because I know just how many problems doing that in Source would cause. There are
strict object limits that you’ll quickly reach if you begin copy+pasting existing maps
into a new one. The fact this map even loads is incredible. Its maker, iDaydrEAm, is clearly
a talented mapper with inhuman patience. He has already updated this map to V2 which adds
pretty colour-correction. Check out his video about this map, which also shows it in the
editor. Harvester is a large, rolling cornfield with
just a few landmarks. It’s simple yet effective, and I mean both of those things in a positive
way. I get the feeling this map didn’t take long to make when compared with the others
in this video, yet I think it’s better suited than some of them for the dangerzone game
mode. You know how every gamemode has a fan-favourite that’s easy to learn and surprisingly simple?
I feel like this could be it for dangerzone. In fact, the map’s weakest parts are where
it deviates from this and tries indoor locations. They’re poorly lit and not that suitable,
gameplay-wise. There’s a dead-end sewer. There’s a dead-end cave. Most buildings
you can enter, which makes it even stranger that you can’t access this one, right in
the middle. Looks like you could at some point in its development, as I spotted a ladder
and a few doorways buried beneath the ground. I would almost suggest that Pablo takes these
out and markets this as a simple cornfield level and I think it would work well. It could
also double up as a terrifying zombie survival map. I also like the 2D painted-on trees around
the edges. It might not be the modern way of doing it, but it does at least show players
where the edges of the level are in a quick and easily identifiable manner, which helps
with a map where most of it looks similar. And last is Selfishzone. I am confident that
this one will never be officially featured in CS:GO. But I don’t think its maker intended
for that. It’s a weird, colourful, MESSY world with so many things to see and do that
I feel I’ve only just scratched the surface of it.
I went into the underground and watched as trains rushed past.
I watched a movie at an outdoor cinema. I went up and down an elevator in a skyscraper,
and BASE-jumped off the top. I rode a cablecar up to a castle at the top
of a mountain. I explored some weird, abstract art floating
in the sky. I got a health boost from a floating crate.
I even drove a tank and fired its cannon. I’m sure that most of you didn’t grow
up playing custom levels for the original Unreal Tournament, but this map some how features
the best bits of all of them. I don’t think it would work well for dangerzone. Everybody
would end up messing about and exploring instead. The fog looks like it’s come straight from
fortnite. There’s a scale-problem in some of the buildings. What is this, a school for
ANTS?! But it doesn’t matter. This map is an experience
and one I urge you to check out. Who is this mysterious person? I checked out Selfish Player’s
workshop, and it seems like none of his maps play by the rules. Most of them don’t even
look like they’re from CS:GO! He gets textures and stretches them across displacements to
create stuff that looks like it’s straight from Google Maps. He’s got levels with driveable
fighter-planes, tanks, submarines… he’s even got a fishing simulator. What is this.
So there you go- 4 very different Danger Zone maps. And a fishing simulator.