Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has launched its newest in-game event, “Operation Hydra”, which is live as of yesterday. Special events like this are becoming rarer for CS:GO, which only saw one “Operation” in the entirety of 2016. Operation Hydra seems to have snuck up on us, with Valve making no announcements about it at all leading up to yesterday’s launch.
Operation Hydra will be a rather lengthy event, lasting until September of this year, and will have both free and paid-only features. Players who choose to purchase the All-Access Pass for $5.99 USD will gain access to exclusive content including an in-game “Hydra Coin” displayable emblem, a special Hydra Journal to track their stats and progress, an all-new cooperative Guardian Campaign, and new special Operation Hydra weapons and cosmetics.
The bulk of the Operation Hydra event, accessible to all CS:GO players, will be the Operation Hydra Events – new game modes based on classic Counter-Strike match types with new and wacky twists. These will be playable on both familiar CS:GO multiplayer maps, as well as some all-new community maps.
The three Hydra Events are “Wingman”, “Weapons Expert”, and “War Games”. Wingman is a rapid-fire 2v2 best-of-16 series on single-bombsite maps, encouraging team reliance and fast-paced cooperation. Weapons Expert is a 5v5 best-of-30 in which you can only purchase and use a weapon once, before it is locked out for the rest of the match, meaning versatility across both rifles and pistols is a must. War Games is a grab-bag type game mode, featuring a number of classic modes with key twists and alterations to gameplay; after each round of War Games, players get to vote on their choice of War Game to play in the next round. The playable games are:
- Heavy Assault Suit – Casual bomb defusal, but you can buy a heavily armored suit and become an absolute tank.
- Headshots Only – Deathmatch, but only headshots will actually do damage to players.
- Hunters-Gatherers – Players drop dogtags when they die: collect enemies’ after you kill them to score points and hope your teammates can snag yours quickly when you get dropped.
- Stab Stab Zap – Deathmatch, but players are armed only with a knife and a recharging Zeus, as well as a paltry few grenades.
- The Flying Scoutsman – Deathmatch in low gravity, with high mobility and airborne clashes
- Trigger Discipline – You take damage for every shot you fire that doesn’t land on target: pick your shots carefully and aim center mass!
You can learn more about Operation Hydra, and read through a rather extensive FAQ on more detailed aspects of the event, at counter-strike.net/operationhydra.