When it comes to Counter-Strike maps, Chris
Auty’s portfolio is most impressive. He made Inferno, Vertigo, Thunder and a number
of others which made their way into the early editions of Counter-Strike. You may be familiar
with another one of his maps, too- Aztec. This map was part of Counter-Strike all the
way through until late 2017, when it was taken out, along with Dust1.
I had some fond memories on Aztec, especially back in Counter-Strike Source where it was
quite a common choice in clan matches. You could really lock down that map with a couple
of good snipers in key positions. Evidently, the map has fallen out of favour in more recent
years, but it still has its supporters. Plus its location was awesome and gave us lots
of exotic plant props to map with! But what you may not have known about it was
that it had a sequel. He started work on it in 2003 and while it was never officially
included in the game, at some point it found its way onto the internet and is still available
for download from Chris’s own site. I got this and ported it into CS:GO, keeping
all of its original textures and stuff. It was… more difficult than I had imagined
and let’s just say it took quite a lot of time which I’m never going to get back.
And there are a few differences with it- I had to redo the lighting, and it has the newer
CS:GO Aztec’s skybox. But the gameplay should hopefully remain unchanged from how he had
envisioned it when he developed it all those years ago.
And in case you wonder why there aren’t any sounds on it, it’s how he intentionally
made it! To play the map, check it out on the workshop
in this video’s description. He even did an interview with csnation back
in 2004 about the map, going under his mapping alias, ‘Narby’. At the time he hoped it
would be officially included in CS:CZ, but said that it was ultimately up to Cliffe.
He developed this map to compliment Aztec 1, but to hopefully be a little bit more balanced-
he got help from the Sclam Clan to get the timings right and stuff. And simply with that,
it has had more balancing than many early maps did! He said that later patches to the
map were always an option should it need them. He drew some inspiration from Dust2, which
proved to him that map sequels can be just as fun as the first. He didn’t do anything
too ambitious with Aztec2’s layout. He stuck to something simple, with good variation in
height. Which there certainly is- I chose to split the radar in 2 to make the overview
more understandable. I’d describe the layout as a simple cross,
with a long straight passage of water from one end to the other, and plenty of passages
and corridors leading through and around it. On the Terrorist side, Aztec 1 always felt
like it was forcing me around to the left. But in this one, both sides of the map remain
viable options- as well as charging straight ahead if you’re feeling brave enough. The
map is big. You only have to see the players running about a bombsite to know that there’s
plenty of space in this map- so snipers may still be the preferred weapon of choice.
He pointed out that too many entrances at once can make players paranoid, so he hopes
that with this layout, players will know where enemies are likely to come from- which is
better than stepping out and getting shot from an unknown angle.
I think there was meant to be more cover than there is. He was told in an interview that
the bombsites looked large and open and with little room for cover and said that the ‘final
version’ of the map would have more to hide behind. But of course, that never came. So
just in case you wonder why the bombsites are large open platforms… now you know.
And unfortunately, the version he has on his site seems a little bit older than the ones
seen in the previews. From this screenshot you can see more arches, and a decoration
on the far wall that isn’t in the map file that I used from his site. And while my map
has a stone walkway, it looks like he later swapped that for a wooden one, more in-line
with the one found in the first Aztec. So in other words, if Aztec2 isn’t a good
map, blame it on the early version. Below bombsite B is an inaccessible room where
Narby thanks the Sclam Clan, and Rizzuh. I did a quick bit of Googling and it looks like
Rizzuh worked with him on his Airstrip map, and was actually in charge of the CSNation
site for a while! I love escaping from maps, and I noticed this
barred entrance near CT spawn. It didn’t dawn on me until I had finished porting the
map across, but there’s actually no way of getting to the courtyard on the other side
of it! This whole bit of the map is just… there. As a sunny, peaceful courtyard the
CT’s can safely drop their children off at before they go into combat or something.
I love unused elements like this. To end this video, I’ll upscale some of
the textures just because I know some of you would ask me to if I didn’t. I won’t be
releasing the map upscaled, though. And before somebody says it, it’s not just sharpening
them! Look- this is what it looks like sharpened, and here it is, upscaled. Clearly the upscaling
also adds more detail and joins stuff together better. Any way, that’s it for Aztec 2.