Counter-Strike Global Offensive Review

Counter-Strike Global Offensive Review

One of the most iconic First Person Shooters (FPS) of all time returns to the PC with its latest iteration Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO). With Counter Strike: Source releasing more than eight years ago, Valve finds itself faced with a double edged sword. Consumers expect an enhanced experience that matches today’s current FPS market, yet the core fan base still wants a title that remains true to the origins of the series. Is Valve able to walk the proverbial tightrope to provide fans with the modernized Counter Strike experience that they’ve been looking for?

The first thing players will notice about CS: GO is how beautiful the game looks. Counter-Strike has always been known as a series that has valued substance over style, but Valve has been more than happy to usher CS: GO into the modern era with breathtaking visuals. Fans will be delighted to see their favorite maps reworked with a fresh and vibrant color pallet. The lighting effects are particularly well crafted as the detailed shadows add another level of depth to many of the games iconic level designs. The new designs are not all flash either, many old maps of the series like Aztec and Dust return with a new design aimed at offering players a more balanced competitive experience. While CS:GO not support the same over-the-top special effects that other FPS behemoths like Call of Duty and Battlefield are known for, the improvements still prove to be more than noticeable and further entice players to get enthralled in the addicting gameplay.

Other than the new look, the gameplay of CS: GO remains relatively unchanged. Sure there are a number of tweaks to the objective multiplayer FPS, but the game still feels, and more importantly plays like a Counter Strike game. That means ungodly aim and perfect map positioning are a must if you want to succeed. As with other CS titles, CS: GO revolves around the players ability to aim, rewarding those who fire in short succinct bursts, while those who spray will find themselves quickly the prey of their more disciplined counter-parts. This aim driven skill intensive combat has long been the staple of the franchise and makes a welcomed return in CS: GO.

As with the core gameplay mechanics, the two premier game modes Hostage and Defuse remain fundamentally the same. For those of you unfamiliar with Counter Strike both game modes work under the same premise, with two teams the Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists (CTs) pitted against each other. The game is split into rounds (usually best of 30), where players attempt to achieve the assigned objectives; but the real kicker is, that each mode hosts perma-death meaning when you die you are dead for the duration of the round. Unlike other popular shooters that use a class system, CS lets players define their own class buying equipment, armor, and tools at the start of each round, if you survive the round your items will be transferred into the next round, but if you die you will have to buy everything all over again (if you can afford it). The real difference between the two modes lies in their objectives, in defuse the terrorists attempt to plant a bomb at one of two bomb sites, while the CTs attempt to defend the positions. Inversely in Hostage the CTs are charged with rescuing a group of hostages while the Terrorists attempt to keep them contained.

The only real notable change to Hostage and Defuse is the addition of Competitive and Casual versions of each mode. Competitive is the standard version of each game mode from pervious installments of the series. Players will have to buy their armor, friendly fire and player clipping is turned on, and team size is restricted to 6v6. Perhaps the most interesting facet of Competitive mode is the new ranked matchmaking system, that looks to pit players against their peers based (win/loss ratio). This is a welcomed addition as it ensures that good players will find the quality competition that they are looking for, while also allowing new players a chance to play against opponents more relative to their skill level.

On the other hand, Casual mode offers a high intensity carefree experience. Friendly fire is turned off, players spawn in with full armor, and kills produce 50 percent less cash. The 50 percent reduction in money gains really sets this game mode apart from Competitive. It helps keep the mode balanced as players will find themselves with additional funds from not having to purchase armor at the start of each round, but it also insures that better players do not receive too much of an advantage over the opposition.





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