Review: Counter-Strike—Global Offensive (PC)

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Developer(s)  Valve Corporation, Hidden Path Entertainment

Publisher: Valve Corporation

Genre  First-person shooter

ESRB: M

 

 

Counter-Strike, a game that has passed the test of time in the FPS genre, is back for its latest rendition with Global Offensive. Choose which team to play as: Terrorists or Counter Terrorists. I love this game because of its simple concept yet difficulty in execution.

Content Warning

This is a first person shooter so expect violence including blood, guns, knives, explosives, and flying bodies. Now, I have to say that CS:GO is not as bad as most other FPS games, but it is present so be aware.
There’s also the fact that the opponents of the game are terrorists planting a bomb in which the counter- terrorists have to stop, so some players may not like the fact that you can play as terrorists due to the political implications.
If you are playing online and you have voice chat enabled, expect to hear some foul language from other people who are playing. Competitive video games tend to get people pretty angry and it shows in their vocabulary, so if you’re reading this and are protective of your ears or your loved ones’,  beware.

Gameplay

Counter-Strike has had just about the same gameplay since it was first released in 1999, but the mechanics have certainly improved after each update. The game is simple: you chose either terrorists or counter-terrorists, purchasing weapons from money earned after kills (or use the ones you start with), and either plant the bomb and protect it until it explodes, or stop the Terrorists from succeeding in their mission.

Counter-Strike-Global-Offensive-PC-Screenshot-1

The three basic modes of gameplay are Offline with Bots (the computer), a Weapons Course, which is a tutorial, and Online. There is no story or campaign mode so I would recommend playing against bots first to get a feel for the controls and improving your aim before going online. If you are new to FPS games, then you will have a hard time playing against the seasoned veterans in CS that have been dealing out headshots for years, so practice as much as you can, and don’t get discouraged if you get owned at first.
Scoping helps you take down targets from a far distance

Scoping helps you take down targets from a far distance

Valve made sure that hackers or cheaters are booted and banned from the game with it’s Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) software. Often advanced players are criticized of cheating because of their skill level, but VAC gives them peace of mind that none of that is going on. There’s also a rating system that places players online with groups that are of similar skill according to their scores, and if you ever want to just play with your friends you can open a private server allowing you to change the various rules and gameplay of the match.
When you play online, there are several ways to  play the game, such as Classic Casual, Arms Race, Demolition, and Deathmatch. Classic Casual features two match types: the most iconic consists of the terrorists planting and guarding the C4 bomb in one of two locations while the counter-terrorists seek to defuse it; the other match type involves the counter-terrorist team rescuing hostages from the terrorist team. Arms Race and Demolition involve getting a new weapon or grenades based on your kill count. Deathmatch is my personal favorite and is a 10-minute match where you have to get the most points by getting kills. Your score increases depending on the weapon you use—using a knife gives higher scores while using guns gives lower scores—, and you also respawn very quickly so the round is intense.
Terrorists are responsible for taking the bomb to its location—always clearly marked with a large X on the floor as to where to place it—and making sure nobody disarms it or kills the carrier along the way. Both teams have distinct firearms that you can choose from before you start the round, the Terrorists have an AK-47 and the Counter-Terrorists have the MP9 for example. Before the round starts, you can buy items like Kevlar or grenades to help you survive, so take advantage of the money that you gain during the rounds. There are times though when you play online that you won’t be able to buy anything as the match randomly picks for you and you’re good to go.
As you play more and more, you will begin to master certain gameplay elements like knowing where to camp (shoot enemies without moving from a spot), respawn zones, and corners that have blind spots where attackers pop out from.

Presentation

Counter-Strike is not the most impressive game when it comes to graphics because that’s not the focus. Instead, you have controls and maps that stand the test of time. You either play in areas that have been around since the first Counter-Strike or maps that were made by players, which can bring some variety since you’ve never seen these new maps before. The familiar maps are fun and look better than their older counterparts, but they are still exactly the same down to the positions of boxes or holes to shoot from.
Always make sure you have Kevlar, it will save you from dying too quickly.

Always make sure you have Kevlar, it will save you from dying too quickly.

In regards to graphics, that all depends on your PC. You can crank up the resolutions and frames if you choose, but make sure what you’re using can handle it. CS:GO does not displaygraphics to write home about, but if you’re playing for high levels of detail, then you’re playing the wrong game.
One thing that is missing from CS:GO is music, and you won’t hear any unless you are in the main menu to choose your settings and game mode. My suggestion would be to start your playlist on iTunes, Spotify or whichever program you prefer,and then start the game. It helps the mood and keeps your mind a little at ease instead of worrying if someone is behind a corner.

Conclusion

First person shooters may be one of the most popular genres on the gaming market at the moment, but there was a time when they were not that amazing nor were nationwide tournaments as talked about as they are now. It’s not the best looking game out there and doesn’t have a campaign mode, but thousands of people still play it to this day for the sake of the challenge.
For those of you looking for a challenge, you will find it here. Whether you’re jumping for joy or throwing your controller at the screen, you will be playing this one for hours.

Bomb has been planted.

Pick this one up, but be warned, this isn’t Call of Duty or Killzone. You’re going to get rocked, and that’s ok; there’s always someone better out there. See you in dust2.

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The Bottom Line

If you're looking for a challenge, look no further. CS GO gives you no excuses if you lose. It's a very simple game, but the accuracy of your guns and quick game play makes it that much more fun to play with friends or online.

 

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Michael M.

Michael is a child of God, husband, teacher, business owner, anime lover and a life long gamer. When not conquering distant world's via console, he can be found reading, watching anime or Netflix, writing, or just enjoying life as a geek in the city of Miami. He aspires to travel to Japan and possibly...never leave.

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