Counter-Strike VR Is (Basically) Here And Its Name Is Pavlov

by Joe Durbin • May 10th, 2017

A new update to the indie-created multiplayer team shooter, Pavlov VR by davevillz,  is making the game like new. And by like new I mean like another game. And by another game I mean Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Pavlov is now basically CS:GO in virtual reality and it rocks.

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Much like its chief competition for the title of top VR shooter, Onward, Pavlov was designed and published by a one-man team. The title’s enigmatic creator — known online by his Steam tag, davevillz, has released an update that is chock full of compelling new features. Most notably of which now makes Pavlov feel like a VR-ified version of Counter-Strike.

The full list of updates is as follows from the developer:

New Map

First Search and destroy map is fully added, there’s been some major changes for balancing reasons. I hope you enjoy this as much as i did making it!

Workshop (Custom Maps)

Aside from the new map I’ve worked really hard on getting custom map support as early as possible. The reception has been overwhelming and there’s already maps ready to download and play. I‘m so grateful to have such dedicated community members. Many thanks to you guys!

If you’re interested in making custom maps, take a look here.

5vs5

For a better S&D experience player cap has been increased to 10 players per server. It’s fun, I’ll leave it like that.

New Servers

I’ve migrated to another provider, please let me know how these servers feel and/or if you’re having issues connecting, lagging, etc.

The first three changes are the ones that have essentially brought the CS:GO gameplay experience into VR. The new map, dubbed Sand, is highly reminiscent of CS:GO’s most iconic battlefield: Dust II.

CS:GO's Dust II

CS:GO’s Dust II

Both of these arenas are located in sun soaked, vaguely Middle-Eastern environments. Both of them feature two separate bomb sites labeled “A” and “B.” And both of them feature plenty of choke points, cover corners, tunnels, switchbacks, and other layout challenges that force strategic, team-focused gameplay.

 Pavlov’s Sand map has been on the server for several months as a textureless test area labeled “S&D Map.”

This stood for search and destroy map — a Pavlov game mode that saw two teams of four competing to either place and detonate an explosive, or intercept said explosive and/or eliminate the opposing team. Sound familiar? That’s exactly how CS:GO’s most popular game mode works.

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If all of that’s not enough, this Pavlov update is also making the game usable with Steam Workshop and letting players build their own maps. In less than 24 hours, someone has already literally built Dust from CS:GO.

Pavlov has had Search and Destroy since early in its life cycle, however, when it was being played inside the game’s only finished map — an office building — the similarities were noticeable, but not completely overwhelming. Now, inside the modded maps and patrolling Sand’s dusty alleyways, seeing the graffitied A and B circled on the sandstone walls, it can no longer be overlooked: Pavlov has essentially become CS:GO in VR.

And it’s an absolute blast.

I played the new and improved Pavlov for about an hour last night and you can see some highlights of that session in the gameplay video at the top of this post and embedded above. CS:GO is one of the most popular games in the world because of its addictive, strategic, and atmospheric gameplay. With all of that essentially being translated into VR via Pavlov, it ends up being one of the best experiences you can get on an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.

All of the CS:GO positives are present in Pavolov’s homage. There were so many satisfying moments of taking down an enemy in a nail biting firefight or managing to diffuse the bomb at the last minute. You need to play as a team, understand the map, and aim accurately to win.

And, most importantly of all, never, ever peek.

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  • NooYawker

    That’s very cool and very uncool. Cool that there’s a CS like game for VR. Very uncool because he didn’t have to make it so much like CS that it seems like he’s ripping them off.

    • Angelo Overmeier

      Well I think it is more then fair that he rips them off in this case. 😀 Valve should have done this themselves but they are to afraid of motion sickness so they will only develop experiences…. I’m very curious what their 3 “full” vr games will be like but I have no hope that they will be as good as the flat games today. Let’s hope it’s not a Wave shooter 😀

      • Exacty right. Valve like oculus pandered solely to the nausea percentage so they will only ever bring teleport games.
        They barely bring any games these days anyway. They’ve pretty much abandoned new game development with their increasingly long development cycles.

        Having a one person developer make a CS Go like game is the best wakeup call you can get. Even so i doubt valve will learn from it. Whatever bs games they’re working on will still be locked to teleport when they emerge in 2020.

        • RandomLetters27

          Precisely. “Hey Valve, look what I did in less than a year.”
          Valve: “Sweet, look at all the money we’re raking in from selling Pavlov.”
          Win-win.

      • NooYawker

        They said “full” games so they better not release a wave shooter. But you’re right, if Valve isn’t going to make CS VR someone has to.

  • Nightfiree

    Excellent games last night Joe! HMU on steam and ps network, lets do some more stuff, farpoint coop? So SOON!!!! 🙂

    • Jeff Fanning

      Add gravesole (PS4) for some Farpoint coop

  • Darren Burns

    I will have to try this game. Loving Onward, but I didn’t rate bullets and more. Pavlov looks great

  • Pepitopalotes

    This is why i dont think is a real VR game:
    VR means moves if u cant track body into a game is not VR games.
    Its just smoke.

    • koenshaku

      Can you not track your body in the game? I only played it once for a short while when it first came out 30mins was enough nausea for me I never tried it again. You can duck and everything in the game though right?

  • I’d like to see this get ported to PSVR… or something like this game. We *need* a game like this on PSVR!

  • Ian Hunter Waddell

    How do i get this game someone please tell me how

  • Yeah, that’s crazy, I was just trying the training drills on Clutchkills to improve on my headshots by means of working on muscle memory, visualization and training the unconscious mind to stop doing things without realizing (such as shooting before aiming)…. I think these exercising will easily be transferable to the VR world due to training the body rather than game mechanics.
    I cannot wait to try this game out, it looks really awesome

  • David Melton

    I’ve played this, Onward & Bullets & More VR (BAM) and I have to say BAM has the best gun play out of the 3 and the most features. It has had this same CS map for months already and supports 12 players at a time. It has way more guns, attachment & game modes too. There is even a zombie outbreak mode where if you play as a zombie you can launch yourself like Climbey. Not sure why this game suddenly got all the attention.

    • dogtato

      BAM players: “BAM is better”
      Pavlov players: “I’ve never tried BAM”

      • David Melton

        Some kind of Paradox, I know….

    • NooYawker

      I’ve never even heard of BAM. But I just purchased Pavlov.

      • David Melton

        Well now you have!