by Matt Porter
previewed on PC
Counter Strike has been around for a long time now, and co-creator of the original game, Minh “Gooseman” Le, felt it was time for a change. Out of the same vein of fast paced multiplayer shooters comes Tactical Intervention. Meeting with Le at Gamescom this year, it became apparent that he wants to bring something unique to the genre which has been slightly falling by the wayside in recent years.
Of course, all of the mainstay game types are in here, but it is the new VIP Escort mode which seems to be the most fresh. The mode takes place on a highway, with counter terrorists attempting to bring an important person to the other end of the map. The terrorist team is simply trying to stop them. Each team, on which there can be up to ten players, spawns in vehicles. Cars can fit four or five, while vans can hold up to eight passengers. You won’t simply be along for the ride though, as we were promised that you have full 360 degree aiming from any position in the vehicle. Your car can be destroyed, and it is possible to hijack other vehicles on the highway for your own use. It seems like this will be a frantic game mode, and great fun to play with friends over voice chat.
Detonate is a game mode where the bomb carrier only has one free hand with which to shoot while both teams fight for control of the device. Hostage Crisis sees both teams racing around the map trying to secure hostages for themselves. Hostage Rescue has the Terrorists start in a defensive zone. They have limited ammo and aren’t allowed to leave the area until finding a special box. Meanwhile the Counter Terrorists are saving hostages elsewhere in the map. For those just wanting some shooting action, there is of course a standard Team Deathmatch game type.
There will be dozens of realistic weapons to choose from, and you will also have access to more advanced weaponry. Riot shields will protect you from enemy fire, breaching charged will blast through doors, and ferocious attack dogs will run down your enemies. You will be able to customise your loadout before each game, allowing you to be versatile in any situation. Special masks will be useful against flashbang grenades for example. Killstreak rewards are unlocked for getting a number of kills in a row. For example you might gain access to a frag grenade at three kills, or even an RPG if you make it all the way to nine. Rounds themselves will be short bursts of action, taking only around two minutes. Whole matches will take only around twenty minutes, so it is a game which can be quickly jumped into for a while if you wish. There are currently seven maps in the game, with a variety of scenarios tied to each one. Plans are in place to release new maps and new items every month after release.
The game will be free to play, and we were assured that it would not be a “Play to Win” type model. The in game shop sells only cosmetic items, so you will not be able to get an edge on your opponents by spending real money. The in game currency can be used to unlock new items, and is acquired simply by playing, but the more skilled you are, the more you will get. The developers are borrowing from the World of Tanks method of online shop, as they feel that this game strikes a fair balance between spending real money and in game currency.
Tactical Intervention has been in development for some time now, but it will finally be released very soon. It seems like beyond the normal game types, VIP Escort will be the most popular, and has had the most work put into it. I got the feeling from Le that this was the mode he was most proud of. We will have to see if the game challenges his original title for the throne of online tactical shooters.