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After the launch of the much-anticipated Half-Life: Alyx, have you ever wondered how it is like playing CS:GO in a wholly immersive environment, assumt the role of CT while virtually inside Dust 2? After all, we are now living at a time where gaming graphics are increasingly becoming more realistic than ever, and the CS:GO’s Source 2 port might be an answer to the community’s quest towards playing CSGO VR. Thanks to Alyx’s mod on Source 2 port, you may finally get a chance to truly experience a virtual gameplay.
The Source 2 engine is a step forward in realising a more realistic gameplay in games such as CS:GO, and while the engine would not affect players currently, it could be used to deliver never-before-seen experience in the world of CS:GO with moddings. This year, a mod developed by ‘Gabe Follower’ has enabled anyone with a virtual reality headset to port maps such as Dust 2 in Source 2 software and even Half-Life: Alyx. Similarly, you will be able to play in first-person mode while enjoying the all-familiar Counter-Strike environment. Gabe’s mod includes Dust 2 and popular character models and weapons and even CS:GO skins that you can import into the single-player version of CS:GO.
Although this is an unofficial mod, it managed to capture the attention of Valve’s team, who commented through the official CS:GO account to Gabe’s reveal video about the mod. It may not be commonly known by many in the CS:GO community, but Gabe’s mod is not the first attempt that the community has looked into replicating the massively successful gaming title into a wholly immersive environment There were other CSGO VR mods in the past such as SteamVR and Pavlov, where players could experience walking around in popular maps. But Gabe’s mod is perhaps one of the best currently available to play in the space, as it utilised the Source 2 engine which it is rumored to be ported to in the near future.
Getting used to Dust 2 in a wholly immersive environment
For over a decade, players of Counter-Strike, and later the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO), were used to the pursuit, plant-the-bomb and hostage rescue mission, and play through QWERTY and mouse clicks. It will be safe to say that most players might struggle initially if the gaming controls were set in vastly different settings. While virtual reality games are developing at a breakneck speed, such as the game-changing Half-Life: Alyx, the adoption rate remains pretty slow due to the cost of the headset and lack of convincing gaming titles. Hence, not many players might be able to truly envision Dust 2 in a wholly immersive environment, let alone running and engaging in firefights in the virtual realm.
But Gabe’s mod certainly has given a chance for the community and the wider gaming community to understand how existing games could work in a wholly immersive environment. For those who do get to try out on the mod, it will definitely be an eye-opener for hardcore fans of the popular gaming title.
Let’s assume that you are an eager fan who cannot wait to experience a VR Dust 2, you may download the necessity files on the Steam Workshop. An appropriate software and a decent headset like HTC Vive or Oculus Rift are all you need to kickstart the wholly immersive journey.
Interestingly, after the immense success of Half-Life: Alyx, the Valve team has already begun to explore a wholly immersive environment on other popular gaming titles. It is with this curiosity that a Valve’s employee, Walker, has tried Gabe’s mod. But it appeared that playing CS:GO on a wholly immersive environment can be proved quite a challenge, as Walker explains in an interview:
“One of the challenges we faced when developing CSGO VR was the movement. When I first loaded into Dust 2 in VR I instinctively tried to crabwalk, fell over and hit my head on a large orange box. A lot of our creative decisions from that point onward can be traced back to that moment.”
He later added that he can foresee the shortcoming should CS:GO turns into a wholly immersive environment. One of the critical issues could be that of the eSports scene. Unlike Alyx, it is widely known for its competitive gaming scene. Should it becomes a wholly immersive environment gaming title, pro players might first need to get used to the vastly different gameplay. Also, each player might require a lot of space to maneuver in real-life, while connected with their heavy VR headsets. Thus, it might be some years away before we can actually see a fully fledged, official Dust 2 match that will see two esports teams competing against one another in the future of esports.
But Walker remains hopeful for the technology, as he believes that while Valve continues to break new grounds, so do the underlying technology that powers these VR games. Ordinary gamers might need slightly more time to adapt to the new way of gaming, but the transition might be well worth it, as a wholly immersive environment is truly a remarkable technology and is slated to become the new normal in the area of entertainment and gaming.
Alternatives to Gabe’s CSGO VR mod
While we do expect to see CS:GO retaining its title as the leading Multiplayer First-Person Shooter game, we shall make do with unofficial mods like Gabe’s awesome Dust 2 rendition in a wholly immersive environment. Otherwise, you might consider another alternative that is developed by the indie gaming studio XREAL Games.
Highly rated with 9/10 on Steam, Zero Caliber hopes to satisfy the VR community who are looking to playing First-Person shooters with their VR headsets. If you are looking for a complete gameplay designed to replicate the environment, Zero Caliber could easily be the best alternative at the moment. While it does lack features such as weapon skins like CS:GO skins do and an aggressive gameplay like the leading Multiplayer FPS title, this indie FPS is well-designed for VR players. Another FPS virtual reality gaming to appear on our radar is Renderise’s Iron Blood, a FPS game like CS:GO, which has a futuristic storyline and allows players to choose between multiplayer characters and skills.
But perhaps the most noteworthy alternative to Gabe’s CSGO VR mod is Pavlov. It is a highly rated (9/10) VR game on Steam which closely resembles the gameplay, and it was first released back in 2017 with much fanfare. It is a multiplayer FPS VR released by an indie gaming developer called Vankrupt Games. Although it is still pretty much a work in progress, Pavlov has captured the attention of FPS fans with its pseudo-realistic movements and closely resembles CS:GO.
Learning how to handle your weapon (or switching weapons) might be a challenge for many as there is still room for improvement in how weapon handling is engineered. But for those who could not wait for a wholly immersive environment gaming published by major developers like Valve, Pavlov could offer the equally immersive experience and is perfect as an experimental game for those curious to see how it could pan out in a wholly immersive environment. For those without a computer, Pavlov VR PS4 (or Pavlov PSVR) gameplay is also possible with a Playstation-compatible VR headset.
What is more interesting is that Pavlov has an active community workshop that supplemented the map roster with a majority of them ported over from CS:GO. This could explain the reason why Pavlov is popular among CSGO players as well.
Preparing for a future of FPS VR
Nonetheless, if you are willing to wait for the behemoth gaming company to create an official CSGO VR copy, then the above mentioned list might not be relevant to you at this point. After all, the hardware requirement to seamlessly run a FPS VR may be over the top, unless you are playing indie FPS VR like Pavlov or Gabe’s mod which can run even on computers with more basic hardwares.
Given the recent example of Half-Life: Alyx, it is understandable that PC gamers who have played the game are suggesting an upgrade in your RAM or GPU, otherwise it might be a very laggy experience which will ruin experience in a wholly immersive environment. Once that is done, you may look out for a VR headset like Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. Currently, these headsets come at varying prices, so do check out what suits you best before investing in them.
Last but not least, in order to complete the experience in a wholly immersive environment, you will most likely need hand controllers to mimic your hand gesture in the game. Some VR headsets might come bundled with such controllers, but other times you may have to purchase separately. If you are solely looking to play FPS games in a wholly immersive environment, then the BeswinVR Vive Gun controller is certainly the top choice for you, as it simulates the handling of a rifle or submachine gun.
How long do we have to wait for CSGO VR?
As explained in earlier paragraphs, it remains to be seen whether or not Valve could successfully develop CSGO VR. Countless rounds of research and development are certainly in the cards before the Valve team, using the latest virtual reality technology, could deploy a gaming environment that is not only similar to CS:GO, but also work out a seamless gameplay experience as how we are playing today. With competitive gaming in mind, CS:GO will have to overcome the precision and pace of VR-controlled gameplay. Also, unlike in the existing gameplay, your character in a wholly immersive environment will be as quick as your stamina allows you to. Therefore, it would take at least another decade of trial-and-errors before Valve derives with a complete, working version of the next-generation CS:GO.
Fortunately, with the successful Half-Life: Alyx release, it is also possible that we might not need to wait for that long before Valve actually figures out how to deal with CS:GO in a wholly immersive environment.