Remember 1999? I know I do. There was a little mod for a Half-Life that was all the talk of the PC gaming town. It was called Counter-Strike. It took competitive FPS gaming by storm, and even to this day, is still being played. It really paved the way for games like Call of Duty and Battlefield. Amazingly enough, as popular as Counter-Strike is, many console players have never even heard of it even though it came out on the Xbox back in the day. Well, now gamers can get themselves an updated version of the classic game with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
For those of you who don’t know (and that should be maybe one of you) Counter-Strike is a first-person tactical team-based shooter where two teams go against each other in objective-based rounds. The team that completes the goal, or kills off of the other team first, wins. Objectives come in the form of bomb planting missions where the terrorist team tries to plant a bomb in a designated area and protect it while it counts down, and a hostage situation that has the counter-terrorist team trying to rescue and escort hostages out of the terrorist team’s base.
The game is a very simple formula. You can purchase new weapons in between rounds with money you and your team earned in the previous round. If you die, you’re dead for that round. There is no respawning in this game. There is a good amount of diversity in the weapons. You have shotguns, assault rifles, sub-machine guns, pistols, and sniper rifles. There are also a number of new explosive and incendiary grenades and throwing objects to use as well.
The game comes in a few different modes, one basically to cater to hardcore gamers, the other for more casual players. They affect how friendly fire is handled as well as collisions with teammates. There are some new additions to the modes. Arms Race has teams compete in a team deathmatch style with every kill giving you a new and improved gun. Demolition is set more on actually planting a bomb rather than having you constantly win due to all opponents dying. You get different weapons as well, but worse weapons for each kill.
The game is very much a cooperative game. You will have to work together to win rounds. There is no regenerative health, no perks of any kind. This game is all based on skill, and truly rewards players with the fact that they have become better at the game by increasing their skill rather than rewarding them with a new stat perk. There are in game rewards and medals you can obtain but all are really just for bragging rights.
There is a bot mode as well for those players that want to train some without getting slaughtered by other players, as well as an actual training mode that will introduce you to the controls and basics of the game.
The online is very smooth. I never experienced lag once while playing the game, and voice chat and spectator mode all work very well with the game. This is a good thing, because you will need to be talking to your teammates in order to win.
The interface is very well done. Every player’s avatar picture is on the top of the screen with their health bars. It shows not only who is still alive and who is not, but also where you stand in the fight.
Now, the game is great, but there are a few problems I had. The game feels like a PC game. The movement feels floatier than what I would have liked, and for better accuracy, you have to crouch. There is no aiming down the sights of the gun. Granted, that has never been in Counter-Strike, but it’s to a point now where it just feels off when you can’t use the iron sights. For a new, updated game, the visuals are not really mind-blowing at all. It gets the job done, but you will not be overly impressed with how the game looks. I really wish there were some more modes and maps to play on. With such a small number to work with, you may end up getting fatigued after a while.
For the old school fans of Counter-Strike, you won’t be disappointed. Global Offensive is very much a great successor to the original game. FPS players wanting to know what the big fuss is with Counter-Strike should really give this game a shot. This is where competitive first-person shooters were born. Sure, there may be a few problems here and there with gameplay and modes to play, but you still get a really good online game for only fifteen bucks.
Review copy of game provided by publisher. Primary play on Xbox 360.