Valve’s legendary FPS returns. Global Offensive isn’t built off CS: Source, nor is it considered Counter-Strike 2. So what is it? Find out here.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive
Genres: Action, First-person Shooter
Posted By Yousif A. about 9 months, 2 weeks ago
Earlier I got a message from the young and dashing Austin, asking if Valve ever got back to me on receiving a Review code for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. I then proceeded to make several jokes about “Valve Time” and how the game will probably be delayed well into next year. Apparently, Valve heard.
Counter-Strike: GO is now available on steam for pre-order and those who do will have early access to the Beta which opens on August 14th. Additionally, there is a 10% discount to be for early orders.
CS: GO will contain over 45 weapons, new and old maps, new modes, leaderboards and more than 165 achievements. Having also played in the Alpha testing of the game, I can also say that the gameplay is as addictive as ever. Visually the game has improved greatly since CS: Source, something that will come as no great shock as CS: Source was released back in 2004.
No word on the console version as of yet, but I have just thrown another email to my friend over at Valve to see if we can bring you some more information on that subject. I’ll keep you informed.
Wow, Valve can release a game on time.
Posted By Yousif A. about 9 months, 2 weeks ago
Wow, Valve can release a game on time.
Way back in the 90′s there was a game like no other. It took the PC gaming market by storm and is considered one of the greatest titles of all time. Now, a remake of this title has emerged and I for one could not be more excited. I am of course talking about CounterStrike, the expansion to Command and Conquer: Red Alert! I was so surprised to hear that Valve were the developers on this on… what? Counter-Strike the first-person shooter? Damn it.
|PROS||Classic modes, New modes, Graphical update looks great, Distinctive and useful variety of weapons|
|CONS||Lack of maps, Hard to tell who’s on your side, Won’t settle the 1.6/Source argument|
|WTF?!||A matchmaking system on a Valve title that works at launch!|
Counter-Strike is arguably “the” greatest FPS of all time. Whereas titles like Medal of Honor, Battlefield, and Call of Duty have all had their day in the sun, CS has never seen the rain.
So why release Counter-Strike: Global Offensive at all? It may have something to do with wanting to release a version of CS on consoles that doesn’t suck (original Xbox), but the truth is probably far more simple. Counter-Strike has always had its community divided between the original 1.6 and Source. I imagine the CS: GO has been created in an attempt to unify these players into one cohesive headshoting unit. Unfortunately, due to internet communities being internet communities, this third version of CS is more likely to divide the community again than consolidate it.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive doesn’t try and wow anyone with a complete change, but instead tweaks what was already established, throwing in a few new modes for good measure. In the game, Terrorists are still pitted against, the imaginatively named, Counter-Terrorists with varying objectives. Headshots are abundant, flash bangs get thrown by jumping men in body armor and “the bomb has been planted” announcement still attracts Counter-Terrorists like moths to flame.
That isn’t to say nothing has changed. The most obvious of these changes stares you straight in the face. Counter-Strike has been brought into the modern day with a complete overhaul of the visuals. The advancements of the Source engine are quite evident and while CS: GO isn’t going to win any awards for visuals, it’s a drastic improvement on CS: Source. It’s the little details that have really made the difference. I spent several minutes simply looking at the models for each gun, which all have superbly rendered textures.
Now, Valve were kind enough to send me a PS3 version of the game too, and unfortunately the story is a little different. Not only are the visuals horrendous, ugly, and many other negative descriptive words, but the title suffers from serious framerate issues. Counter-Strike is a game that very much relies on reflex and playing it on a controller with a jerky mess being displayed in front of me, it took quite some time to get a kill. At least the PS3 version comes with the option to use a keyboard and mouse, but ultimately the low quality visuals and frame-rate kill this version despite it matching the PC in every other way.
Unfortunately, matching the PC means that the PS3 version has inherited the one major issue that the Steam version has. With all the upgrades Valve made to the graphics, everything blends realistically. Character models don’t stand out drastically from the scenery they inhabit, dropped guns don’t look like black splurges on badly rendered carpet, and smoke looks somewhat akin to smoke (crazy, I know). This creates certain problems, however.
It can be hard, and I mean very hard, to tell the difference between Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists, and considering that you are meant to be shooting one of them, this causes a few issues. Whereas before the character models stood out so much due to their flamboyant colors, the more realistic tones of the modern day make visual recognition far harder. Admittedly, everyone has to suffer from this issue, so it’s nowhere near a game breaker, but it can be frustrating to get killed just because you’re kind hearted enough not to empty your 12-gauge into your colleagues.
To be honest, your colleagues only get upset with you on what are now deemed “classic” modes where you only get one life per round. These are divided into casual and competitive, so that players can decide how long they wish to live. Classic mode contains both hostage rescue and demolition. This is the CS everyone knows and loves. It has to be said though, there are very few maps available. The same can be said for the new Arms Race mode, which only has 2 maps as of launch. As this is Valve, expect free additional maps post-launch… at least on PC.
Jumping into a game is quite simple. The PS3 and the PC version have quick and easy matchmaking systems which work 99% of the time. Very rarely have I been directed to a full server, and even then it quickly returns me to the main menu. Simply, getting into a game of CS: GO is easier than any Valve game out there.
The two new modes play with some similarity. Arms Race is a take on a popular mod for Counter-Strike which pits teams against each other in a classic deathmatch scenario. The twist is that you all start with the same weapon and for each kill a player earns they immediately change to another. Starting with submachine guns, players have to get at least 26 kills, with the final one being a knife kill, and unlike COD, that knife doesn’t propel you forward, nor does it guarantee a one hit kill. However, you can use the knife before the final kill. Doing so will not only reward you with weapon progression, but sets your poor victim back a notch, forcing them to get a kill with a weapon they had previously used. If you’re really smart, this can be used tactically to win you the game.
The other new mode, Demolition, is a mix between the two. The same weapon system is in place, with kills earning guns, but instead of a deathmatch setup, you play classic demolition and rescue. I love this mode, if only because some of the best players have a preferred weapon set and this mode forces them to vary their assaults.
Both Arms Race and Demolition are superb learning tools for new players. While I had the pleasure to be there when CS first came on the market, not everyone was. Learning the game while facing players like myself who have years of experience is a tough challenge and what Arms Race offers is a way to get to grips with every weapon in a mode where death doesn’t mean sitting out. I not only highly recommend the mode for beginners, but enjoy the mode immensely myself as it challenges high level players to prove their skill.
Weapons certainly have the own distinctive feel. It’s been enjoyable going through each of the weapon types figuring out which one I prefer in each. It isn’t simply a case of this one fire’s faster than that one. Each weapon has a certain feel, range and use. Finding the right weapon for your play style in CS is essential and Valve has done a great job making each so varied.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the new Molotov cocktail. While everyone knows what one of these is, its use in CS makes it all the more interesting. Molotovs are not “really” to be used offensively, but more as an area-denial tool. In matches where disarming the bomb is a task with a time limit, throwing down a wall of flame that lasts some time, makes the Counter-Terrorists have to make a risk versus reward decision. Go through the flames and take considerable damage or wait for the flames to die down and risk losing precious second perhaps required for to defuse the bomb.
The new Molotov is a great example of why Counter-Strike has been such a successful game. It’s not and never has been your average team-based FPS. CS is a game that asks you to make decisions in a split second that ultimately could decide the result of the round. Your choice of weapon, when to use a flash bang, the entrance route to a building, the exit route with the hostages, all of these can make a big impact on the next couple of minutes. The frustration of making the wrong call is perfectly balanced with the joy of making the right one. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive may not change the formula of the series, but why would it when the concoction released in 2000 was so great.
So Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is an excellent title, and if anyone thought any different would come from Valve, they must have been crazy. This does not mean it’s without its flaws, and ironically, flaws which are not found in 1.6 or Source. The phrase “the more things change, the more they stay the same” comes to mind.
I for one enjoyed my time with CS:GO and expect to spend much more time with it over the coming years. Although this time will be spent with the PC version as the PS3 edition of the game is (as of right now) unplayable for a CS veteran. This release won’t unite the CS community, but it certainly will give them something to think about.
This title was provided by the developer on PC and PS3 for review purposes. The title is online only. The game was played for over 15 hours on PC and 3 hours on PS3. Both were played on all modes. The reviewer openly admits to not knowing about the hit-box size in CS:GO which was a point of contention between 1.6 and source fans, however he didn’t notice any glaring issues.
The final score is for the PC version. The PS3 version scores a 4.