The massive success of Fortnite and battle royale games in general have prompted some of the biggest shooters on the market to offer their own take on the mode. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 introduced Blackout, while Battlefield V will get Firestorm early next year. Next, it’s Valve’s turn, as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive–still a wildly popular game and routinely among Steam’s three most-played games–is introducing something called Danger Zone.
This move coincides with GO becoming a free-to-play game. Danger Zone is available to all players and is described as a “fast-paced battle royale game mode built on CS:GO’s tactical gameplay where players use their wits, skill, and resources to fight to the finish.”
As is perhaps to be expected from something built on the existing GO framework, the maximum player count is much lower than the 100 seen in competing games. Danger Zone matches include either 18 players (when entering in a squad of two or three) or 16 (when queuing solo). The action follows the basic battle royale premise, as players drop into a map known as Blacksite and fight to be the last one standing.
That’s not to say the experience is entirely identical to what we’ve seen before. Players earn cash over the course of the match by completing contracts, cracking open safes, and carrying hostages to a rescue zone. That cash is then used to acquire gear (delivered via drone) you can use to help you better survive. You also have access to a tablet that can be upgraded to provide you with different advantages, such as tracking enemy deliveries, enemy locations, or a preview of where the danger zone will seal off next.
Danger Zone uses the same weapons and gear from GO, and Valve says they “have the same behavior and damage.” But because players’ health can go as high as 120, you might find that what would have been a lethal attack in other modes doesn’t get the job done in Danger Zone.
You can download GO for free now on Steam and jump in. Existing owners of the gamer have been upgraded to what’s called Prime Status now that the game is free-to-play, while newcomers can upgrade for $15 in the US (netting you various freebies in-game). Those with Prime Status are entitled to a free weapon skin, Souvenir MP5-SD | Lab Rats, for a limited time. To get it, you’ll first need to earn 250 XP in Danger Zone. XP is accumulated by killing enemies, completing objectives, and surviving.