In 1999, I crawled out of Counter-Strike’s wretched vagina to become the man I am today. And, now, I’m tasked with rating the game. How does one even rate his mother?
In sixth grade, I would wake up for school at 5:30 AM, but then I started getting up at 4:30 just to get a couple rounds in before class. Call it dedication or a sickening obsession, but I was hooked on CS (nevermind my neighbor who broke into my house to play while I slept!) It was more than a game. It was my social hub, my iTunes visualizer, and my brief entryway into game design (which didn’t go very far.) It is and remains a standout multiplayer shooter that paved the way for things to come with Call of Duty and Battlefield.
Being eight years since the excellent Source remake, Valve has decided it’s time to give the game another facelift. What started as a Source port for consoles became a more ambitious project that included PC. While there are no radical departures in Global Offensive, it is without a doubt a reboot. Valve has just hit the reset button on the series, once again. As drastic and premature of a maneuver it may be, there is no denying that Counter-Strike remains an addictive and rewarding competitive shooter like no other.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Rig: Intel i5-2500k @3.30 GHz, 8GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 580 GPU (SLI)
What I love most of all about CS are the maps and Valve seems to know as much. Nine classic maps are included in this download, in addition to eight new maps for the two new game modes (more on this below). You’ll find some minor changes made to Italy and Dust, but it’s not exactly going to put a stop to your nostalgia or established strategies. Since death comes quickly, you’ll need to learn the maps inside-and-out so you can cover all your corners. You’ll also need to keep quiet, as this is a game where hearing nearby footsteps can change the course of a round. Above all, you’ll need to be incredibly accurate and control your weapon. This is where things get a bit rough for console players. Without accuracy and player awareness, you don’t stand a chance in the brutal servers of CS:GO.
Valve has tasked Hidden Path with fitting a square peg in a round hole, but the young developer has done an admirable job of making the game approachable to new console players. There is a well made tutorial to guns, an informative “How to Play” option in the menu, dumb-as-dirt bots to play against offline, and a new player ranking system (ELO rank) that will pair players of the same skill level together over time. Here’s where the things fall apart: CS was never meant for consoles and this latest iteration serves as a reminder.
In addition to having far inferior aim controls, console players won’t have access to a browser and are limited to 10 player matches instead of 32 on PC. It’s ironic but Hidden Path have managed to gimp console gamers by abandoning its original plan to port Source. At least on consoles, you’ll have a level playing field with a controller unlike PC where using a controller is the equivalent of gnawing your legs off before a kickboxing match. The PlayStation 3 release supports Move and keyboard/mouse. I'm not sure if this is a good thing though, since these players will have a great advantage on the majority of players.
If you want an excuse to play Counter-Strike again or an approachable entry point into this esoteric series, GO is a faithful reminder of what made this the little mod that could. However, in its current state, I have my doubts that this will be the version installed on fans’ desktops for years to come. As for console players, let’s not kid ourselves -- they’ll be gone by the end of the year.
It may lack some of the community niceties, beloved maps (Assault, anyone?), and little features of past games, but Global Offensive delivers on the promise of a faithful, polished, and better looking Counter-Strike for whoever wants it. Even if the community doesn't meet the golden standard of 1.6 and Source, CS:GO will remain a multiplayer classic for those willing to put in the time to learn the maps and weapons.
THE VERDICT - Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Reviewed by Allistair Pinsof
|4:30 PM on 04.26.2013|
Operation Payback rewards Counter-Strike: GO map makers
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|7:00 PM on 01.25.2013|
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|10:00 PM on 10.01.2012|
CS:GO, Dota 2, and LoL part of MLG's GameBattles
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|7:00 PM on 08.21.2012|
Grab your knife! Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is live
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|7:00 PM on 08.07.2012|
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pre-order now on Steam
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|12:00 PM on 06.04.2012|
E3: Counter-Strike: GO comes to consoles/PC August 21
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