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Counter-Strike's third Dust map, originally a PC Gamer demo, is ported into CS:GO

Maybe you've heard of our tiny piece of Counter-Strike history: a map called de_dust_pcg. It was released back in 2005 as a collaboration between Dave Johnston, the creator of the original Dust, and PC Gamer—thus the title, right? As Johnston explains in this blog post, it was originally created as a tutorial for the mag, and so "it never quite got the attention and iteration that Dust and Dust 2 benefited from." But now it's getting a second chance, as 3kliksphilip has ported it from Counter-Strike: Source to CS:GO, and also put up a nice video overview of its history and the changes that were required to make the new version work.

"Retrospectively I’m surprised at some of the choices I made, and the choices the layout exposes to players," Johnston wrote. "The map clearly doesn’t have the same depth of gameplay as Dust 2, sitting closer to the original Dust in terms of size and complexity—perhaps it could be considered Dust 0.8 if these things were numbered in such a way. I’m still unsure if the dropped bomb spot was a good idea, but it was certainly fun to try it." 

As a tutorial in a magazine, the map didn't get the iteration that Dust and Dust 2 did, but it also reflects the different priorities of that era, when the focus was on lowering the barriers to entry rather than "the all-important metagames that help enshrine longevity." Gamers these days are more tolerant of complex map layouts, Johnston said, while modern game engines are better equipped to "recreate and then exploit properties of [the] real world to guide players around the virtual world." Because of that, he concluded, de_dust_pcg "will probably leave most CS:GO players wanting a little... well, more." 

Maybe so, but it's free, which is a big selling point, and an interesting piece of videogame history to boot. It's available via the Steam Workshop, and 3klikphilip's own site lists some servers running it. And if you want to play around with the original de_dust_pcg files in the Hammer editor, you can grab them up here

Andy Chalk
Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.