Counter Strike: Global Offensive Review
Counter Strike has been the world leader in the tactical first person shooter arena for over a decade. The franchise has seen it’s fair share of changes, upgrades, and face lifts, and now CS expands it’s grip well past the PC onto consoles. Can CS: GO propel itself into a prominent contender in the competitive console fps genre?
Developed by Valve and using the Source engine, Counter Strike: Global Offensive is a bare bones tournament type first person shooter. There are only four different game types, two of which contain two different game modes. There is no leveling system, no story, and no player progression system. Every player comes in with a clean slate every game, and sometimes those players happen to be bots.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive gives you the choice to play Arms Race, Demolition, Classic Casual, and Classic Competitive game types. In Arms Race you receive a different gun after every kill, cycling through the games 26 weapons until the final kill with the Golden Knife. After that kill the game is over. Demolition is just a plant/defuse bomb game type that takes away your ability to choose what weapon you want to use. Friendly fire is off and you’re given a random weapon at the beginning of each round. This game type was by far my least favorite, being given a weapon you dislike becomes more frustrating than challenging. The two following game types contain the same two modes with different conditions. Each contain the Defuse and Hostage modes, but Classic Casual has no friendly fire, no collision, and does not require you to buy body armor. Competitive Casual is the CS I grew up to know and love, friendly fire is on, collisions are on, and you have to buy armor and defuse kits before each round. Competitive is my favorite, forcing teamwork and objective completion over the lazy team deathmatch spray and pray of the other modes.
There are 16 maps total, 8 of which are Counter Strike classics, such as dust, with a few tweaks. I was pleased to see Office, Inferno, and Italy, and hope there will be even more classics maps coming in the future (Cbbl, Aztec). The maps are set up almost perfectly for tournament play. Each level is fairly small and has purposeful designs that force strategy and team play. In Office there are multiple ways to enter the rooms with the hostages, making guarding them difficult, while Dust now has a few new alleys to make bottle neck camping almost impossible. It’s brilliant level designs that will make CS: GO a great test of skill and teamwork.
The 26 weapons of Counter Strike: Global Offensive range from pistols to rifles, and can be purchased with equipment such as grenades and body armor. In the Classic Competitive mode you have to buy body armor manually in addition to a defuse kit if you want to defuse any planted bombs from pesky terrorists. Only a few weapons actually zoom into crosshairs, forcing you to control fire from the hip. Add that to no auto-aim assist a la Call of Duty, short round bursts and crouching for increased accuracy are essential. Weapons vary dramatically, and not every weapon is appropriate for every map or situation. I really enjoyed that there isn’t one weapon to rule them all. It added a breath of fresh air having to use other weapons and not continually getting killed by a Famas after a flashbang.
I am thoroughly enjoying Counter Strike: Global Offensive. The mix of nostalgia with a fresh new look and a fighting spirit makes CS: GO a welcomed guest in the competitive fps genre. It’s a tournament fps at the core, built with the basics in mind and made complex by the shear amount of options you have in each match. Your team, weapons, and strategy are all important if you want to make the most out of CS: GO. The general run-and-gun, objective ignoring, team deathmatch player will not understand the dynamics of CS: GO, and I’m just fine with that.
*This review was done on the Xbox 360 version of Counter Strike: Global Offensive*
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