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Review

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Review

  • Game release: August 21, 2012
  • Reviewed: August 31, 2012
  • PC
Aaron Sampson on Google+

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a solid update to a classic shooter.

More update than honest-to-goodness sequel, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive maintains much of what made the original Counter-Strike (and Counter-Strike: Source) so fantastic, while adding a couple of new game modes, both of which were based on user-made mods to the original game. In this update, Counter-Strike continues to enjoy the enthralling gameplay and near-perfect balancing that took it from a cult hit in college dorm rooms to one of the seminal games in the multiplayer first-person shooter genre.

CS:GO features new maps for the new game types. This Arms Race map is more suited to individual deathmatch than the usual CS level.

In case you're unfamiliar, Counter-Strike is an entirely multiplayer experience. You can play offline against AI bots, but these are still merely simulating what it's like to play online, rather than really giving you a single-player game. The good news is that this is as good as online team-based shooters get. In the traditional game mode, there are two types of matches and two tiers of play. Casual level is for newer players and removes aspects like friendly fire and the need to purchase armor and ancillary items each round (more on that in a second). Ranked level is the original style of CS, with all the "realism" settings enabled, but it also features a comprehensive skill-based ranking system to try to balance teams and place good players with other good players.

Both of these tiers feature several maps--original CS maps like de_dust are reproduced here and still going strong, mixed in with entirely new maps--and each map is tied to one of two game types. In Defusal, one team (the Terrorists) must plant a bomb at a critical site and defend it until it explodes, while the other team (the Counter-Terrorists) must try to either prevent them from planting it or defuse it before it goes off. The other game type, Hostage Rescue, turns the tables. Here, the Terrorists have taken a group of AI hostages that they must protect until time runs out, while the CTs must assault their location and free the hostages.

In Arms Race, killing someone with a knife gives you a better weapon and knocks your victim back to a worse one.

One important facet to both of these game modes is that there are multiple short rounds in a match, and after each round you must purchase weapons, armor, grenades, and other equipment using money you earn for killing enemies, winning the round, or doing other important tasks. Thus, as games go on, winning teams tend to have better equipment, while losing teams tend to be worse off. The disadvantage is never insurmountable, but it does give teams an incentive to work, well, as a team. In serious matches, communication and planning are key, because players who die cannot respawn until after a round is over and cannot communicate with living team members.

The traditional CS modes are excellently balanced. Games are fast-paced without being unmanageable, skill is rewarded in both the planning and outfitting stages as well as in battle, and good teamwork typically beats individual skills. Pacing is fantastic, too, because you will generally die at least a few times, giving you time to observe other players' work, review your own mistakes, and plan for the next round during the downtime. Heck, even watching other players go at it can be entertaining in and of itself, as you shout at them to do this or not do that, knowing full well they can't hear you.

If you prefer no downtime, however, the two new game modes that have been added this time around should suit your fancy. Called Arms Race and Demolition, they both remove the classic purchasing mechanic and instead award you with a new weapon, instantaneously, when you make a kill. Depending on server settings, weapon awards generally go up in deadliness from an initial lousy weapon, reach an acme, and then begin to go down in usefulness, usually forcing you at last to use nothing but your knife.

The new incendiary grenade (or Molotov, if you're a terrorist) temporarily fills an area with damaging flames.

Arms Race also removes the downtime of waiting after you die, and plays a lot more like a traditional deathmatch game, with much less in the way of teamwork since each individual is out to finish his slew of weapons as quickly as possible and get the win. Demolition changes this structure, instead challenging you to continue playing a more traditional CS-style game, but with your weapons getting worse and worse with each kill. Both of the new modes are tremendous fun.

No matter which modes you choose to play CS:GO in, however, you'd better be playing with a keyboard and mouse. On the PlayStation 3, playing with a controller is very difficult because CS:GO lacks the hand-holding auto-aim that console FPS players are generally used to, and because many PS3 players will likely be playing with a USB keyboard and mouse, which are both supported by CS:GO. 360 players aren't so lucky, unfortunately, as they're relegated to a controller.

This isn't really a disadvantage, of course, as everyone else on Xbox LIVE is playing with one, too, but you definitely won't be getting the ultimate CS:GO experience playing with thumbsticks and shoulder buttons. Regardless of your OS, you'll appreciate some of the bells and whistles it has appropriated from other Valve games, especially Team Fortress 2. Like in that game, you now have "nemesis" players who can dominate you by killing you consecutively, and you can take screenshots of the moment of your death, should you like to memorialize that kind of stuff.

Veterans will be glad to know the classic maps are back, unchanged except for a graphics upgrade.

When using a keyboard and mouse, you'll notice the controls are sharp and easily customizable. Unlike the guns in, say, Battlefield, most of CS:GO's guns do not have an aim-down-the-sight feature. There are no vehicles, special weapons, or power-ups, either. You get your gear, learn the maps, and rely on your skills to take you to the finish line. Graphics, while improved from the Source engine, are nothing fancy, and neither is sound--although veteran players will be gratified to hear that many of their favorite guns' sounds are retained from earlier versions (especially the thunderous AWP). CS:GO adds a lot of new guns, too, of various types, and even a new grenade, the incendiary grenade, which can light a small area on fire for a short time, preventing players from passing through without taking damage.

Bottom line, CS:GO adds plenty, tweaks a little, and keeps the best parts of the classic multiplayer FPS. If you're into shooters, team-based gameplay, or just classic games that are updated well, you won't do better at the moment than CS:GO.

The Good
The intense, skill-based combat of Counter-Strike is as enthralling as ever
Low price
New modes put a clever spin on classic Counter-Strike
The Bad
N/A
8.5
Great
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Discussion

15 comments
SunzyMan
SunzyMan

I didn't like this game at all, it just felt like a cheaper and more awkward version of the awesome Counter Strike Source. I didn't really see the point of creating this title as it would be near impossible to convince console gamers to play it due to its outdated look and feel.

SKaREO
SKaREO

Stay away from this garbage and stick to Call of Duty.

DarckArchon
DarckArchon

For those who are into the old School style FPS's this is good for them. But i doubt those who are used to CoD and BF (like me) can enjoy it the same way, 

Lyon111
Lyon111

I know counter striker for many, many years, but never liked it. The problem is that it has no singleplayer campaign, and the multiplayer is onl engaging if all players are god enough, which is almost impossible on-line. However, the maps are close to ridiculous in terms of creativity. I never liked multiplayer. I mean, going from one point to the other killing almost everyone you find is not a good experience for me, for I learn nothing, and waist time of my life that I could be using to play an engaging singleplayer campaign, like Actiivision knows all too well with COD MW.

super94you
super94you

does anyone knows how to download this game here for free?

dreamerdonkey
dreamerdonkey

Why people still mixed it up with BF and COD:MW, I don't understand. May be they think that all of these game are FPS. But they are missing the point. CS is totally different genre. It first person that's right but its shooting dynamics and playing style are completely different. The people like this game because its classic background and they are still keeping it. And yes its really cheap and also hard that will be the reason for why new player hates it too much. 

drgribb
drgribb

I'd take this over that COD Black Ops whatever stuff any day.  Still haven't bought a "modern shooter" and I don't plan to any time soon.

subhumanmoron
subhumanmoron

The fact that CS:GO doesn't want to conform to modern-day shooter features is part of its appeal to the CS community. It provides more challenge not to have sprints or iron sights, and adds a more realistic feeling of a need to survive without the constant spawning in the middle of a round except for the new game mode. I'm disappointed that there are people here who just bark bullshit and compare this to BF and MW without even trying to appreciate it for what it is. There's a reason this franchise is still alive, and that's because of its respectable persistence at the classic mechanics and balance and its demand for player strategy and intelligence. And at 15 bucks on Steam? Jesus, I'd rather have this than spend 50 to 60 on a "new" MW clone every single year.

clsid
clsid

I played it for free in a 2-day trial from Steam. As many previous posters stated, this game belongs to the past. After playing Battlefield 3, I can honestly tell you that if you can't afford something better than CS:GO, you are much better off playing Battlefield Pla4Free.

Apsestas
Apsestas

Worth every cent and its value increases every hour ;) 10/10!

JFERNANDEZ84
JFERNANDEZ84

It's still a great game but it feels like I'm back to year 2000-2001 with revamped graphics only. The gameplay feels unchanged. It's fun to play with friends like always. My score: 7

totto210
totto210

GAME SPOT U ARE POOR.... GAMESPOT RIP QEPD 2004 APROX....

CS GO MY REVIEW  1.0    CS DUTY OFFENSIVE.... THIS GAME SUCKS,, SOURCE IS ONLY BURIED BUT IS THE ONLY FPS PLAYABLE...

AND VALVE SUCK M1 D1CK!

Langaroti
Langaroti

How can anybody compare a game like counter strike to games like BF3 and MW2. This outdated game lacks a lot of modern day features and is good for amateurs..

IshantheRocker
IshantheRocker

Cant wait to get my hands on this game. can anyone tell me if it is only multiplayer or single player mode is also there???

johno102
johno102

i was quite excited to see it returned as i gave up on the original from hackers ruining it 24/7i do miss the sprays tho ;(hopfully they smash out some dlc soon

Spike1988
Spike1988

CS was great back in the day, but the fact that you can't aim down the sights of  weapons makes it terrible compared to newer FPS games such as Battlefield.

ninos7
ninos7

This game is awesome but without a silencer m4 is not CS and without selecting your character is not CS too but at least it feels that you are in CS

 

ThePotatoGiant
ThePotatoGiant

@Lyon111 

Counter-Strike does have a Singleplayer campaign which is Counter-Strike Condition Zero. But that isn't really the MEAT in the series. The real thing is its multiplayer. You probably don't enjoy the game because you are used to playing games like Call of Duty. Counter-Strike is more focused on playing as a TEAM. Otherwise, you won't enjoy the game because Counter-strike is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay different from Call of Duty. 

danetz88
danetz88

@subhumanmoron how can it add a more realistic feeling is the game isn't realistic in any way, i was a massive cs player, played more than 3-4000 hours since the game started, but stopped playing about 2 years ago, it's just that the franchise has become a little stale, not changing anything in 12-13 years just made me stop, i bought cs-go, didn't impress me, played like 20 hours since i got it on the first day it came out. I moved to co-op shooters, much more fun and at least they didn't get the elitist yet. That's the other downside too much people spending hours in front of walls just to learn the way guns recoil.

majoras_wrath
majoras_wrath

 @clsid Those games are not related in anyway, shape, or form beyond the fact that they have guns.

majoras_wrath
majoras_wrath

 @totto210 ...yet you gave Far Cry 2 a 10.

 

You are a genius among men*

 

*Men whose intelligence rank somewhere around room temperature

rodan32
rodan32

 @Langaroti Know your roots! Just because you get pwned doesn't mean the game stinks.

Jsen
Jsen

 @IshantheRocker  single player is available but not a campaign mode. you can play all of the game modes and maps with bots, but the real game is online. bots are a great way to practice your aim though, a feature which people often overlook

vault-boy
vault-boy

 @ninos7 I could be wrong but I think they are going to be releasing more content for the game later, maybe that will be part of it.

Lyon111
Lyon111

@ThePotatoGiant @Lyon111 

I have been playing FPS games for years, so I know all about them, including CS. I do not like CS because it is really boring to say the least. I mean, do you really consider it a good game to walk from one place to the other, in small maps and with very low creativity towards action and design etc, just to kill? The best FPS games are halo, crysis, call of duty games, yes, planetside, and very few others. When CS was released, there were not much choice, but now there is a lot, which clearly humiliate CS in every way. I know many like CS, but I do not, and I also hate multi-player games; going around killing each other or the other team is extremely boring after a short while, very boring.

ThePotatoGiant
ThePotatoGiant

@danetz88 @subhumanmoron 

The reason why they didn't change some of the gameplay is to keep it original. The gameplay of Counter-Strike is way better than any other multiplayer game. Changing it too much would disappoint fans. Change it to a CoD like gameplay, I'll be damn pissed off myself.

Spike1988
Spike1988

 @DaTa9192 100% I played CS: Source about 2 months ago for the first time in years, and it felt incredibly outdated and completely inferior to modern shooters. Just my opinion though.

danetz88
danetz88

@ThePotatoGiant @danetz88 @subhumanmoron  

I didnt't mean cod, i hate cod, i was refering to coop shooters like killing floor and  dino beatdown, as for multiplayer games i play bf bad company 2 and red orchestra 2, and i have plans to buy arma 2 for day z mod and arma 3 because it looked awesome. as for cs-go it already changed alot, deagle is crap ak has far less recoil, p90 and negev are beasts, the awm part of the game is just like cod now, quick snipping is at home

Spike1988
Spike1988

@danetz88 @Hikiera @Spike1988 @Flavorysoup @nguyentrongnhan 

Just reading back over this old argument I still find it hilarious that people think aiming down sights is less realistic and shouldn't be there because it's 'mainstream'. Ridiculous. People in RL with assault rifles don't run around firing from the hip. They aim down the sights and carefully and precisely fire off a couple of rounds to shoot to kill.

danetz88
danetz88

@Hikiera @Spike1988 @Flavorysoup @nguyentrongnhan actually some weapons in game are way off in terms of recoil, for example the mp7 is a long range smg and it has no recoil, go to youtube and watch somebody shoot the mp7 in full auto, it doesn't even move, so there goes you realistic recoil theory out the window

Hikiera
Hikiera

 @Spike1988  @Flavorysoup  @nguyentrongnhan To be honest I think you need to calm down. I was giving my opinion too. Calling everyone "butthurt losers" is being insulting lol. Sort of caved in your own arguement there. We all respect your opinion mate. Everyone is in turn replying back. thats what a discussion is. lol

Spike1988
Spike1988

 @Hikiera  @Flavorysoup  @nguyentrongnhan Cry more you butthurt losers. I'm not insulting it at all..I've said multiple times that I'm just sharing MY opinion. It's obvious that you have a different opinion. Why does it matter what I think if YOU enjoy it?Calm down =)

Hikiera
Hikiera

 @Spike1988  @Flavorysoup  @nguyentrongnhan The Idea of recoil is what makes it more realistic than other shooters. instead of just aiming down your sight, shooting and always hitting. you have to shoot like real people have to and consider your recoil. learn where to shoot. its the shooter that separates newbies from pro's (provided you're not hacking). the whole idea you cant just slam down your trigger and get a kill. you have to squeeze it like a normal gun. pros dont need to aim cos they so used to just knowing where there reticule is, know how there recoil will factor. you just cant master a skill like that on other shooters where u just aim down the barrel shoot...this doesnt say other shooters are bad and doesnt meanthis shooter has everything. just dont insult a classy shooter that cant be matched for what it has.

Spike1988
Spike1988

 @Flavorysoup  @nguyentrongnhan I don't care about realism..this guy above me was just  saying it's the only game with 'true recoil', so I was merely pointing out that it's not very realistic to not be able to aim down the sight. And I consider it  dated and  crap. My opinion.

Flavorysoup
Flavorysoup

 @Spike1988  @nguyentrongnhan Not aiming doen the sight doesn't make it dated, it just makes it stylized. And what you said about it being realistic, most modern shooters have regenerating health and tons of respawns. Would you consider that realistic? CS has stuck to its roots and I am very happy it has.

nguyentrongnhan
nguyentrongnhan

 @Spike1988   omg you noob, cs is the only game nowadays that have somewhat true recoil. Aim down the sight ??? mainstream :sigh:

Spike1988
Spike1988

 @Jsen  @DaTa9192 Well I made the argument so your argument that there is no argument is invalid.There's my new argument ;)Hahaha 

Jsen
Jsen

 @Spike1988  @DaTa9192 There's simply no argument to be made that this game is anything less than great. It's a 2012 title that costs $15 brand new and has simple, original gameplay that lasts forever. This game has its own flavor and can't be criticized for something like "not being able to aim down sights". Simplicity is key in this game, that's why CS: Source is still one of the top 10 games on Steam.

Spike1988
Spike1988

 @Jsen  @DaTa9192 Not at  all. Diablo 2 has aged very well and is actually ultimately superior to  D3  in my  opinion. The point I'm trying to  make is that CS hasn't aged well  when you compare it to modern shooters. My biggest problem with it is that you can't  aim down the  sights  of  your weapons. I  think if they  added that simple  feature  in, I'd enjoy it a  lot more.

Jsen
Jsen

 @Spike1988  @DaTa9192 the game is 8 years old and you say its problem is that its outdated? -_- CS is one of the very few games that are actually original and havent had their gameplay style copied. do you also think that diablo 2 is a stupid game because other games have come out since then?

hue_jass_
hue_jass_

@Spike1988 @danetz88 @Hikiera @Flavorysoup @nguyentrongnhan It has nothing to do with realism. The reason Counter-Strike doesn't have aiming down sights is because if it did, it wouldn't be Counter-Strike. If you want realism, play ARMA or something of the sort. You don't look very smart waving the flag of "realism" when you tout games like Battlefield and Call of Duty. 

Also, deeming a game crap because it lacks such a minor feature is pretty shallow in my opinion, especially considering how deep CS's mechanics go.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive More Info

  • Released
    • Macintosh
    • PC
    • + 2 more
    • PlayStation 3
    • Xbox 360
    Counter-Strike: Global Offensive features new maps, characters, and weapons, as well as delivers updated versions of the classic CS content.
    7.8
    Average User RatingOut of 733 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
    Developed by:
    Valve Software
    Published by:
    Valve Software, CyberFront
    Genres:
    First-Person, Shooter, Action, Tactical
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
    All Platforms
    Blood, Intense Violence