Release Date: August 21, 2012
Steam Link: http://store.steampowered.com/app/730/
The first Counter-Strike came out back in 1999 and it is the father of the franchise. A few years later, in 2004 it evolved into Counter-Strike: Condition Zero and gave its place to its son, Counter-Strike: Source a few months later, in 2004. In August 21, 2012, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was born and ascended to the throne.
The young and handsome Counter-Strike: Global Offensive brings back all the classic maps, remade in high definition. Most of the good old characters are here as well, and it maintains the old theme of “Counter-Terrorists VS Terrorists”, presented with the same neutrality as the older Counter-Strike games. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is very conservative and instead of following the latest trends in gaming it stays true to its roots.
While most modern multiplayer shooter games feature iron sights, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive does not and maintains the good old system of simply placing the crosshair on what you want to destroy and fire from the hip. Only exception is weapons that have scopes, like the AUG. Unlike older Counter-Strike games, you can now see through the scope. Of course the scope gives you the old zoom bonus, but it also limits your field of view. Sniper Rifles still use scopes of course, but now the crosshair is literally two crossed hair-sized lines, making it a little hard to see it, but giving a greater field of view at the same time.
The main difference is that now you do not choose which character you play as. In older Counter-Strike games you could, for example, be a member of the German GSG-9 and play in a team with players using characters of the French GIGN, US Navy SEALs, or the British SAS, against an equally diverse group of terrorists in a map like “Dust” which takes place somewhere in the Middle East. Now your team has only one set of characters. If for example a map takes place in Germany, you can only be GSG-9 and all terrorists can only be members of what ever terrorist group is used for the map. Counter-Strike introduces a new “unmarked” group of terrorists, that without any insignia or indication of affiliation, can be any “other” terrorist group as well as robbers or criminals in general.
After joining a team, each player is assigned a random character, that is a little different than the others, so that players will not look like exact copies of each other.
Second main difference is the camos.
Older readers will remember when we were vising websites to download skins for our weapons or even, totally new weapons. This time it is done officially. This means that now other players can see your camos and that if someone dies they might drop their camo and you can use it. The same is true for your camos.
A camo is a camouflage on a weapon, that counts as an independent weapon. Players can have many camos for the same weapon slot, for example the M4, and while in the menu, they can select what camo will be available in the match; it cannot be changed while in-match. There are also alternative weapon camos. These can be equipped on specific slots, replacing the weapon that was in that slot. For example, all Counter-Terrorist players are given for free a silenced USP that they can equip in the slot where the P2000 is, which is the new Counter-Terrorist starting pistol. Alternative weapon camos are not just cosmetic but they do work differently. The USP for example comes with the good old silencer, while the P2000 does not, but the P2000 has a larger magazine capacity.
Camos can be obtained for free by playing online and getting random drops at the end of the match, by trading for some other stuff, with real money directly from the market, or from cases that are given as random drops at the end of the match and can also be acquired by trading or buying from the market. All cases are locked and in order to get unlocked they require a key that costs real money. All cases have chances of dropping many camos from a collection specific to each type of case, including some very rare and very expensive ones, but usually they will drop something cheaper than the key itself, because cheaper camos have better chances.
All camos come in various conditions. This varies from “Battle-Scarred” which is the cheaper, to “Factory New” which is the most expensive. Some camos include a “Stat-Trak” device that allows the user to count the kills they have made with the weapon and display the number on the screen of the device. This device also increases the price of the camo. There are many ways to customize your weapons further, including various stickers that can be bought with real money and even name-tags you can put on your weapons, that also cost real money. All these increase the price of the camo.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive introduces Competitive Matches. In this matches you can play with a team of Steam-Friends or random people against other people with the same rules as in a Competition. This kind of match is for the committed players as well as the pro-gamers and requires that you actually commit up to 90 minutes of real time. Leaving the game will result in a penalty and you will not be allowed to play again in a Competitive Match for some time. Things like team-killing will also result in penalty. Of course, dying in one round means that you will not be re-spawned until the next round.
The good old Casual Match returns. This is much more relaxing; you come and go anytime you like and friendly fire is disabled so no team-killing is possible and you do not have to worry very much about money since you get armour and diffuse kits for free. Still, a death is permanent until the next round starts unless there are available bots in the game that you can take control of. Yes, bots do return in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive!
There is also the Deathmatch Match, which uses dDeathmatch rules. In Deathmatch the re-spawn is instant and weapons are free, so it is much more fun and less intense, but not really a good practice. Other modes are the Demolition, which is like a short Casual bomb diffusal/detonation match, and Arms Race, in which you have to kill a person from the other team with a weapon and then receive the next weapon, and kill another person with the new weapon, until you unlock the Golden Knife and then you have to knife someone from the other team, and if you do that first you win.
Another new thing in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the incendiary weaponry. Counter-Terrorist have Incendiary Grenades and Terrorists have Molotov Cocktails. These weapons create an “area of denial” burning anyone who stands in that area. Incendiary Grenades are great for preventing someone from entering or even pushing back an attack. All the other grenade types do return in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Not Just A Game
Counter Strike: Global Offensive is based on the simplest idea. There are two teams and the goal is to win. This is the exact concept of the Gladiatorial Games of ancient Rome, dating 2500+ years ago. With the exception that in Counter Strike, no one dies in real-life.
Since the first Counter-Strike came out, people started to do what humans do for thousands of years. They placed wages on who is the best and started competing against each other. Today, many teams compete in Counter-Strike tournaments, claiming significant prizes of money and the events are streamed or even televised all around the world.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is an Electronic Sport, or e-sport for short. As Gladiatorial Games were spectacles back in ancient Rome, so is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive an e-spectacle for e-sports enthusiasts all around the world today.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive can be enjoyable with friends and even with random people, but Counter-Strike: Global Offensive requires skill and reflexes and situational awareness as well as knowledge of the map like knowing all the 473 spots you can be shot at inside a single room. Players new to Counter Strike and/or in FPS games will get dominated by the more skilled and experienced players.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a highly competitive game and thus very new-player unfriendly. Other players, including those from your own team, will constantly try to “break” other players. If you kill someone you are a “noob” and a “hacker”. If you get killed you are a “noob” and a “loser”. If you do something, always someone will tell you that you did the wrong thing. People can get very aggressive in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and things can escalate quickly. If you cannot take having your self confidence being constantly attacked, stay away. If you want to play, an option is to mute all voice communication, it helps.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is like Pool Billiards. If you are a casual gamer who does not wish to be professional, it would be much more enjoyable with friends or by staying out of Competitive Matches.
RATINGS COMING SOON
SPECIAL THANKS to Zorn for assisting in the making of this review!
Zorn’s avatar is Maeko from “Sakura Spirit”.
For reasons of anonymity, the nick-names of players have been edited out of the review screenshots.
For reasons of anonymity and copyright compliance, avatars of players have been edited out of the review screenshots .