The Weekend Hangover - Highway to CS:GO's Danger Zone

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Battle Royale.

The Weekend Hangover is Too Much Gaming's Monday rumination of the games or game we played over the weekend. Sometimes there is alcohol involved in the hangover we’re nursing, but most other times there’s just too much gaming.

When Valve announced that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will take the free-to-play route and add in their own take of a battle royale mode, everyone had mixed feelings about it. Mostly negative since going free-to-play made players who had paid for the game feel gypped. But that’s another story for another article. Today, I’m going to talk about my weekend playing CS:GO’s new mode Danger Zone.

Danger Zone is the name of CS:GO’s spin on a battle royale mode. You’re hoisted into a large new map called the Blacksite, where you duke it out in a 16-player match if you run solo or an 18-player match if you queue up as a squad of two or three. If this sounds too familiar, then it probably is if, especially if you’re coming from other BR games such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds or the Fortnite.

After a few games this weekend, I could sum up my experience of Danger Zone as such: It stays true to the BR formula, but with its intensity amplified by a combination of the fast-paced nature of Valve’s twitchy Source Engine, the addition of CS:GO’s game mechanics, and a few new twists to the battle royale formula. That makes Danger Zone unique compared to it’s bigger brothers.

CS:GO Danger Zone deployment screenshot.

After a few minutes of warming up and waiting for players, I’m shown a map of Blacksite where I can select where I drop down at the start of the match. Once I chose where to land, the game proceeds to show my character rappelling down the designated area. I landed in an empty pier with a few boxes housing an axe melee weapon, a pistol, and a flashbang. It’s a ghost town here. No game background music to ease the inevitable tension I’m about to experience once I explore further outside. Danger Zone begins!

CS:GO buy menu.

One of the first things I noticed playing Danger Zone is that CS:GO’s buy menu is still present in the game. In true Counter-Strike fashion, you’re able to access a buy menu that lets you purchase guns, ammo, armor, and misc gear. The difference is that you won’t be able to obtain the items you purchased at once. Instead, a drone will fly and head over to your direction and will drop the items you purchased as a care package. At first, I was clueless what was happening after buying an SMG to even the odds a bit in my favor. Then after a few seconds, I heard and eventually saw a drone whizzing in the distance carrying my newly purchased gun. As I was licking my chops waiting for the gun to drop, I was too late to realize the error of my ways as 3-4 pistol rounds whizzed towards me. I spotted a total of 2 strangers in yellow jumpsuits slowly approaching towards my direction. What happened next was a familiar battle royale scenario: I picked up my submachine gun, found out it only has 24 bullets, shot and successfully killed one of my attackers, move to nearest cover, proceeded to finish off the approaching second attacker but found out I ran out of bullets on both my submachine gun and pistol, died.

CSGO Danger Zone gameplay.

As I was slowly trying to get my ole’ CS:GO rhythm and playstyle back, I was successfully getting the hang of Danger Zone’s format. I tried out different strategies on how to approach the first 5 minutes of the game. Should I buy or just scavenge for parts? Is holing up in one secluded area for the rest of the game a good idea or should I try hunting down everyone where they least expect it? Should I go for a long-range rifle or a weapon that favors close-quarters combat?  placing on the top 3-5 most of the time before I luckily got dinked or just straight up died due to weapons or ammo disadvantage.

Like it or not, the Battle Royale format in CS:GO is here to stay. It has its own charming and exhilarating moments. However, the buy system, as well as the somewhat bland map design, might turn off a few players enough that they’ll just go back to their usual Fortnite sessions. I’d say Danger Zone is a great distraction or a good icebreaker between playing competitive ranked games in CS:GO if you don’t want the usual casual deathmatch mode. I personally did enjoy it more with a friend or a group because generally, BR games with friends tend to be that fun. Unfortunately, the fun factor didn’t really stick to me enough to make me play more after this weekend.