Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – Review

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The best team-based online shooter of all time just got better.

If I was to compile a list of the games I’ve sunk the lion’s share of my time into the likes of Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Sensible World of Soccer, Final Fantasy VII and PES (back when it was all over FIFA) would all feature highly. None however would come close to Counter-Strike (CS), a tactical team-based FPS that’s about as polished as a game of its genre can get.

Originally a Half-Life mod crafted by Minh Le and Jess Cliffe, CS proved so well balanced, and heinously addictive, that soon even Valve themselves took notice, snapping up the rights to the game and taking its creators on as part of its staff.

Why so addictive? Because everything from weapon balancing, to map structure, to team bonuses and aiming were perfectly pitched, so much so that for a time CS dwarfed every other game out there in terms of number of players; its popularity even fuelling the emergence of prize money tournaments where the best players and clans would ply their trade.

To describe Counter-Strike is deceptively simple. Players choose either terrorist or counter-terrorist sides, take-up arms from their side’s unique roster of guns – which are purchased with funds earned in-game – and then go out to achieve specific objectives. Terrorists, for example, might have to bomb a certain point (or points) on the map, or else stop the CTs from rescuing their hostages, while CTs can defuse said bomb, or else rescue the hostages.

Then there’s the game’s je ne sais quoi: the fact that once you die in any given round, that’s it, you’re dead. Left to watch the rest of the players vie for supremacy from the sidelines as you count down the minutes until the next round, and never have a few minutes felt so long. The fact that death has a tangible punishment – where most games allow players straight back into the action – not only making you genuinely nervy as you play, but also acting as a catalyst for strategising as your team and the opposition consider their manoeuvres.

Needless to say, Global Offensive keeps all of the aspects of CS that made it so compelling in the first place but builds upon them, freshening up the graphics (though without particularly pushing the envelope) and adding new game types and weaponry.

So it is that the traditional modes are joined by Arms Race and Demolition. The former more akin to deathmatch than the fundamentals of CS, as players work through the entire arsenal of weapons (a new armament awarded upon each successful kill), with the winner he who successfully wields the final weapon: the golden knife.

Demolition meanwhile is another variation that sees the terrorist faction looking to bomb a point on the map, but this time maps have been shrunk down in scale creating bottlenecks and flash points which begin almost instantly. This quick-fire version of CS is even more action orientated, and also home to the majority of the game’s new maps, with the rest of the game happy to recycle classic maps, albeit with a few new secrets.

New weapons include a sprinkling of new guns, but the real fun lies in the grenades category with the introduction of the Molotov cocktail, which causes a blanket of fire to engulf an area, so causing damage and an impaired movement to anyway unfortunate to get caught within its effect.

Scoring has undergone an overhaul too with the most prominent score now a combination of your total kills and points earned through working for the team. The game even awards MVPs to the players who make the biggest impact on any given round, and gives constant feedback by highlighting players who did something particularly noteworthy during the course of the game – defusing the bomb say, or offing multiple opponents with a single grenade.

If I’ve any gripes about this new CS it’s that, by and large at least, there really isn’t too much new here. As a veteran I’m hoping Valve support CS:GO in the way they have Team Fortress 2 and so release new maps for the classic modes, add in new ways to play and look to generally shake things up for those who want it. I can see why they haven’t gone down that path just yet – imagine the outcry if the famous locales of Dust, Nuke and Aztec had failed to make the cut – but going forward why not inject even more freshness into map cycles?

Ultimately however CS:GO proves that once you’ve got, you’ve got it. Sure there are other options out there for players keen to take up virtual arms against each other – some might offer a faster way back into the action, or more explosions perhaps – but none match the perfection of CS, made possible through years of feedback and a dedicated legion of fans.

Score: 5/5

Price: £11.99
Format: PC (tested), PS3, Xbox 360
Developer: Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment
Publisher: Valve

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Developer - HTML, CSS, Javascript

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Application Developer - ...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine