Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Top 3 Skins (2013-2014) - P2000, USP-S, Glock-18

When Counter-Strike:Global Offensive was originally released, I was mildly interested. I had played the original Half-Life mod and enjoyed it somewhat, but I wasn't really any good at it. It was more, I appreciated the concept, and how it would be fun if engaged in with teammates and opponents of equal skill. I had occasionally read updates on CS:GO, and noted that it included a matchmaking mechanism that would theoretically set you up to play in games with people of similar skill. Still, I didn't rush to grab the game.

Then I heard about their skin system, and how some items were worth a considerable amount of money on the Steam Market, and I was all-in.

Now, while I still have a large number of small investments, and a number of mildly valuable skins (mostly less than a dollar apiece), I've bought into the whole concept of skins, and I find myself comparing new skins to previous ones on a basis of "coolness" rather than simply on investment potential.

In that vein, I'd like to now present the first in a series (yes, another series, relax jerk) of posts sharing my favorite gun skins from the beginning of their implementation in CS:GO through the end of 2014. The final collection included here would be the Vanguard Collection; the Chroma Collection (which looks solid though unspectacular) would be included in some future review.

This post will focus on the three starting pistols: the P2000 and USP-S (counter-terrorist team), and the Glock-18 (terrorist team).

P2000


The P2000 is a solid option as a starting pistol. It's got a fairly large clip with good damage. It doesn't have much armor penetration, but neither do any of the other starting pistols. That's why you buy P250s, obviously.

The P2000 hasn't gotten many flashy skins thus far, but in truth, I appreciate subtlety as much as anybody when it comes to skins. So I still enjoy the P2000 options as much as most guns.

#3 - Fire Elemental


The Fire Elemental is from the most newly released weapon case (Operation Vanguard), and is probably the flashiest P2000 skin available. Part of my appreciation for the gun probably comes from my years of playing fantasy RPGs, and having fond recollections of fire elementals in a variety of circumstances. Still, it's a nice, bold skin.

#2 - Pulse


Pulse is the kind of skin I enjoy almost unequivocally. Dark colors, sharp edges, a kind of electronic vibe. It's also not a high level skin, so chances are I'll grab one for myself at some point. For now, though, I've got way too many of my #1 skin to justify spending more money on P2000 skins.

#1 - Amber Fade


The Amber Fade doesn't look that exceptional in the market, but in-game, it feels like you're the man with the golden gun. It's from the Dust 2 Collection, which many investors including myself believed would be discontinued this past autumn with the new operation. Instead, the collection was made more available, so my stock of Amber Fade P2000s became less valuable. It's bounced back a bit, but it'll probably be a while before I can get my money back on these guys. In the meantime, though, sweet skin.

USP-S


The USP-S was added after the game had been around for a little while (along with the M4A1-S) to give counter-terrorists a few additional gun options. It doesn't have as much ammo as the P2000, so it's better for more accurate players (read: not me). But it's already got several attractive skins, including one of my "wishlist" skins at #1.

It also sounds amazing when you take off the silencer. Functionally it's worse in every way, but the sound, wowie.

#3 - Stainless


Stainless is a simple, classy skin. It looks how a real-life version of the gun might look, which I enjoy. It's just got a nice clean look, definitely one of my favorites.

#2 - Business Class


The Baggage Collection is full of quirky skins, and Business Class is one of the best. The skin really makes you believe in the altered texture of the gun, thinking that if you were to touch it, it would feel leathery, or soft like suede. A definite win.

#1 - Orion


The USP-S | Orion can actually no longer be pulled from the Huntsman Case. The original submitter of the skin had apparently stolen artwork on another skin, and as such got all of their skins removed from the case (six skins all told). But art theft aside, the Orion is a beautiful gun skin. It's got the dark, sharp colors I love, and possibly some subconscious Orioles magic in there as well. Orion, Orioles...can't be coincidence, right?

Glock-18


The Glock is the default terrorist pistol, and by far my least favorite of the three. I feel like I have no control over the Glock, even though I've seen videos displaying how it can be pretty accurate even when running. It also, for my money, has some of the weaker skin options. There are a few solid ones, but none of these top three would make either of my other two lists. Still, there is a noteworthy skin at #2, one worth talking (and reading) about.

#3 - Blue Fissure



This is a skin that looks a fair amount better in-game, actually. The fissures aren't quite so pronounced, and it looks more textured, less broken. This is another skin I think I'd like to own at some point.

#2 - Fade


The Glock-18 | Fade is one of the most famous skins in all of CS:GO. It was a top-rarity skin in the first group of skins released into the game, and its desirability and rarity make it one of the most expensive non-StatTrak guns in the Steam market. Personally, I think the style is pretty good, but not as amazing as others do. Still, among a fairly weak class, the Fade is a strong Glock skin.

#1 - Reactor


Introducing one of my favorite collections, the Cache Collection. Almost every skin in this set is appealing to me, and it tops off with restricted-level skins for the two cheap assault rifles, the Galil and FAMAS. And anyone who knows me knows I love me some Galil. The Reactor is a fine skin as well, a bit more subtle than some of the other options. I like the black base with the nuclear-feeling orange on top. Quite a solid skin.

That'll do it for the first round of reviews. Tune in next time when I get to some of the other pistol options, including a couple of market movers.

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