Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Review by Slinged

26 Aug 2012 26 Aug 2012
32 14 23
Before we get into the meat of this review let me point out to you all few things you should know about the Counter-Strike franchise as I feel a lot of people doing reviews on this(mainly on this site, but a few others I've seen as well) have either never played Counter-Strike 1.6 or any of the other Counter-Strike releases or are simply comparing it to the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises. Valve does not create games to be like the cookie-cutter FPSs and they've stayed true to their roots with this release with a sprucing up of the old Counter-Strike many of us know and love. I will say that the comparison by others may be warranted based on the fact that CoD and Battlefield rule the first-person shooter market right now and perhaps they may not have been around during Counter-Strike's relatively unchallenged dominance of the FPS genre, though I regard Counter-Strike:Global Offensive as a different kind of beast which warrants it's own review without being extensively compared to current FPS release. So with that in mind, I hope you all enjoy my review. If you're going to vote negatively, at least leave me a response so I can improve my reviews in the future, as this is my first. Thanks!

Being that the other releases of Counter-Strike never had stories, since Counter-Strike itself was a mod of Half-Life, I was not surprised to find that this release did not contain one either. That being said, I will not penalize Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for not having one.

Score: N/A

There are some issues with some of the player model animations, in particular the AI hostages running animation doesn't work quite correctly but it's a relatively minor glitch. The guns are for the most part accurate to their real life counterparts. A little more variation in player models would be nice, most if not all players look almost exactly the same from map to map, though there are some subtle differences. The graphics are on par with Valve's other FPSs from the last 2-3 years as well as most FPSs in general, they could be a little more polished but overall they don't take away from the gameplay.

Score: 3.5/5

Counter-Strike has never been one to blow you away with it's auditory brilliance and this release is no different. The sounds are decent enough, most of the gun firing sounds seem a little generic, which is a tad disappointing because I feel that's a detail that is hard to overlook. When playing certain game types the computer will call out for help or to tell you a sector is cleared, there's little chatter other than that though so ultimately the call-outs aren't annoyingly repetitive or obtrusive such as those found in Brink, for example. Maybe it's just me but enemy footsteps are nearly impossible to hear so using that to know when an enemy is approaching won't get you many kills.

Score: 3/5

This is where Counter-Strike has always shined, at least to me. There are no attachments, killstreaks, perks or anything else of that ilk to distract you from what you came here for; a fun, fast paced shoot 'em up. While to some the lack of customization may be a drawback, I view it as a plus here because it gives everyone a level playing field, you all start off with the same base guns or money based on your game mode so there aren't any outright advantages. This game does not have a steep learning curve and it would not take very long for someone who is not familiar with the Counter-Strike franchise to become accustomed to the game.

There are 3 different game categories(one of which has it's own game type subsets), separated into 4 different game modes. The categories are as follows:

Arms Race: A Gun Game type of game mode, where each kill(with either your knife or gun) moves you up to the next gun rank. There are a total of 26 ranks, you start out with SMGs, transition to shotguns, then to sniper rifles, followed by light machine guns and finally pistols before you reach the 26th and final rank which is the golden knife. This game mode can be frustrating at times because your 'teammates' can and will often steal your kills, especially when you're playing with the bots. This game mode also has a spawn protection feature where enemies will appear transparent and are invincible for 4-5 seconds after spawning.

Demolition: This is your standard demolition game mode, you plant the bomb at the bomb site, usually something like a bank vault or a railroad car packed with explosives and other hazardous materials. Much like in Arms Race you need to kill to advance to the next weapon, though unlike Arms Race, the next weapon is given to you at the start of the next round as opposed to instantly, you'll occasionally earn incendiary, explosive and flashbang grenades as well. These matches are usually quick if you've got a decent team as this is the only game mode that features 4 v 4 gameplay as opposed to 5 v 5 in all of the other modes. Each match in this mode is a best out of 20(first to win 11 rounds).

Classic: This category actually contains 2 different game modes, Competetive and Casual. Money is earned by killing and winning/losing rounds as well as planting/defusing bombs or rescuing hostages. You can purchase different weapons and gear with the money you earn. There are two different types of missions you can play underneath the Competetive and Casual modes, there are bomb planting/defusal missions and hostage missions. Casual features no friendly-fire damage and is a best of 10(first to win 6 rounds). Competitive does have friendly-fire damage and you are not automatically given armor or defusal kits so they must be purchased under the gear section when in the beginning of round purchasing menu.

Score: 4/5


Counter-Strike: GO features 12 achievements worth a total of 400 gamerscore, 9 of the 12 are very easily attainable with proper boosting partners, Awardist could also be obtained with good boosting partners as well. God of War and King of the Kill will both take time, with the latter taking upwards of hundreds of hours to complete, though one could conceivably leave their XBOX on as the game does not actually have any sort of pause feature. My lone gripe is that 5000 matches of Arms Race or Demolition is incredibly excessive, 500 would've been a much more obtainable number instead of a huge grind.

Score: 4/5

Final Comments: Overall, Counter-Strike won't blow you away with any innovations, graphics or storylines but if you're looking for a solid multi-player shooter or looking to relive your glory days from a decade ago on the PC then this is a game I think you should try. If you're a CoD or Battlefield fanboy, this may not be the type of game for you. Download the demo and see for yourself smile

Overall Score: 3.75/5

Thanks for reading!
Alapapavery good review.. i agree with almost everything you said. Nice to see a actual review from some1 who know where this game came from and how old it is and not to be compared with current stuff. Also, this is a straight shooter, meaning no bells and whistles. Its the way it was meant to be. The only thing I disagree with you are the graphics and sound. They are better than what you give them credit for, not perfect but better. 5000 matches is a bit much but since you can AFK them over night with bots and without turbo stick, it softens the blow. positive vote from me.
Posted by Alapapa on 26 Aug 12 at 02:11
HiradCSo other people are wrong to compare it to COD and BF but you can leave hypocritical slights like 'This is where Counter-Strike has always shined, at least to me. There are no attachments, killstreaks, perks or anything else of that ilk to distract you from what you came here for' hmmm...
Posted by HiradC on 26 Aug 12 at 08:48
DaBlackAlbinoPeople who compare CS to BF and COD are stupid because CS has been a popular shooter since 2000, the other two series didn't get popular till the mid to late noughties.. around 2007-ish. You don't compare newer shit to older stuff, they're from different era's. CS:GO is an updated remake, as is every CS game. You are misinformed and ignorant if you compare current gen fps games to early noughties PC gen. A lot of us actually like that gen, as things are fair without all the "bells and whistles" as they were described here.

Overall a good review, I didn't agree with everything but I thought the 3.75 score was a fair one and that it was good to see a review from someone who understands the series and it's roots.
Posted by DaBlackAlbino on 26 Aug 12 at 13:19
Defrosted JayYou say you can't compare old to new, yet this is a remake making it new. a new release. They are from different eras and i've been a fan of it since 1.6 came out but that does not mean a new release shouldn't be compared to the two biggest shooters at the moment. when doing a review I think it helps to make comparisons to similar games of recent times, so I ask what would you compare this to?
Posted by Defrosted Jay on 26 Aug 12 at 14:07
DaBlackAlbinoI don't think you should compare things to other things unless said things are similar. CS is the oldest and most popular multiplayer shooter. The fact that 1.6 still has thousands of servers available, and has display options for 640 x 480 is a testament that such an old game is still so popular, and in it's hay-day WAS the most popular full-stop, before consoles even dabbled in internet game play. I think you are confusing this remake as being re-made in the sense that "it wasn't good before, and so things need changing to be more like other popular games in the same genre" this isn't that kind of remake. It is a remake that stays loyal to its roots without dabbling with the gameplay that made it popular (something that the Halo Franchise could learn and draw from, to be honest) it's a remake in the sense that it's getting a graphical update, some new game modes and some new maps but that's it. So by all nature, it is a shooter from the early noughties that has had a polished update, these maps and weapons and physics were not made in this era, and the whole design is completely different. It's a massively different type of FPS. COD/BF are unlock over-drive FPS-RPGs where you level up to get more powerful. This isn't. That's why you don't compare them if you realise why they are different. This game doesn't even try to contend with COD, this game was before COD so why should it have to prove itself to COD when it doesn't have half the features that COD has? EG: Going prone, aiming down your sights, gun attachments etc? They're completely different. Allow me to re-iterate, this is not an FPS-RPG and it is geared more towards being competitive with an even playing field for all.

As to what to compare it to, sure you can draw comparisons if you want to but it isn't fair or logical to do that. I think the problem is more along the lines of expectations and peoples attitudes towards CS. People expect CS to try and cater to the new era COD/BF fans, when really it's just being the game it always was, and is very unique in that sense in which it isn't another COD clone. You can't accurately compare it to anything because it is a unique franchise. To make fair judgements on a game, there must be a significant number of similarities to the game you are comparing it to, CS is not similar to BF or COD, so it isn't fair to be comparing it to those games and then further condemning it for not being similar to those games just because all these games are FPS and multiplayer on the 360. CS actually came first, so why shouldn't it be allowed to retain it's uniqueness and avoid being criticised negatively? I'm not saying that's you behaving in this way personally, but a lot of individuals on TA seem to be comparing CS:GO to COD/BF and it makes them look ignorant, mis-informed and obnoxious to talk drivel about a franchise and make poor judgements on it because of their lack of knowledge and preference for COD. COD fanboy-ism is out of hand. This game is a breath of fresh air for those of us without the COD syndrome.
Posted by DaBlackAlbino on 26 Aug 12 at 15:25
Rheinadlerthis game was released in 2012!!! that's why it should be compared to shooters like cod and bf and, like it or not, compared to them it sucks the big one! badcrap graphics (yes, this SHOULD totally be taken into account b/c if you're gonna milk a game by releasing the exact same about a decade later, don't be surprised if it cannot keep up with the current titles at ALL).
summing up - the graphis are extremely poor, the sound is an insult to the ears and the gameplay is basically non-existent bc it takes hours to even find a game .also there is no ADS and on a console thart is a HUGE deal,
games like this one are the perfect examples why game developers should not re-release games. i know there are fanboys out there and i understand they like their games to be re-released, but you cant expect anybody that isnt totally into it to actually, rationally like this game over games like cod or bf unles you get nothing but owned in those.
again, i guess fanboys might like this, but looking at it objectively, this is literally a decade from current shooters and thats it.

ps: the other reviewers are right when they review it as though not having played the previous titles, bc the point of reviews is giving a lay reader a view of what the games like. thats what sucks about a lot of reviews bc they try to convey their knowledge of the games' series but thats not what its about.
Posted by Rheinadler on 26 Aug 12 at 15:52
Rheinadleroh and at dablackalbino - this game has every right to stay what it was. except it doesnt, it rereleases on console which is totally uncounterstrike-like. imo, whoever loves this game should play it on pc, bc thats the only platfrom it was made for. quit milking games, people, dammit!
Posted by Rheinadler on 26 Aug 12 at 15:56
SlingedShooters like CoD and BF while different, are very much the same, whereas CS to me has always been kind of it's own breed. I've always liked CS because it starts everyone on a level playing field, allowing skill and a little luck to be the true method of separating the good from the bad, not who has a n00b tube attached to their gun, who can kill more people in their overpowered vehicle or who can quick-scope better. If you want to compare it fine, but I intended for the most part to stay away from that in my review, I know I dropped a line here or there but that was completely intentional. As for rating the graphics and sound as 3.5s, I don't really see a problem with that as other series have taken strides to add in the actual sounds of these guns firing whereas Valve/Hidden Path chose to use a generic sound for all guns which was a little disappointing. Graphics, you could certainly make an argument for that being a little better than I described but I was comparing it to other current games and quite honestly with some of these newer titles, there's room for improvement I think. That's not to say in any way shape or form that they're bad, quite the opposite in fact, there's a lot of minor details they paid attention to and I love the fact that they did that.

Comparing a game you got for $15 on XBLA to titles that retail for $60 out of the gate and end up with retarded Premium additions and another $60 worth of shitty DLC maps seems a bit off to me but if that's your prerogative then so be it, I won't judge you for doing so.

And flosta, there has never really been ADS in CS, I'm glad they didn't put it in this one because for the most part in CS I imagine it would be very cumbersome on most guns, for instance, try using the AUG in CS:GO, with it's sight and you'll see what I mean. Valve generally doesn't have ADS in their games because they're primarily intended for you to play on the computer where ADS is not as important due to the precision you get with using a mouse or other pointing device. While I can see why you wouldn't like the fact that it's not part of the game, I also think that it would be ludicrous for them to change their titles to meet the demands of console players.
Posted by Slinged on 26 Aug 12 at 16:11
Defrosted JayAh you see my review was based on it being a new release and to a new console. I make my points because even though I have played it back in the day others may not have. I've reviewed it as a fresh game and while I understand what cs is (and the reason I love it) I think it should be compared to other shooters, even tho this is arcade and CoD an BF3 are retail. Thanks for the in detail response my comments aren't aimed at putting you down or bigging mine up. Just wanted to clarify the different POV's
Posted by Defrosted Jay on 26 Aug 12 at 16:36
Paully05Nice review, thumbs up. Might try this one out.
Posted by Paully05 on 26 Aug 12 at 18:05
SlingedNo worries Jay, everyone's going to have a different take on this game and not everyone will agree on it or whether it should be compared to the FPS giants of today. As far as I'm concerned if Valve wasn't so PC-centric with their development they could've corned the console market long before CoD or BF was ever thought of so they have no one to blame for that but themselves, granted they're likely crying all the way to the
Posted by Slinged on 27 Aug 12 at 00:32
Slinged*cornered >.< not corned
Posted by Slinged on 27 Aug 12 at 00:33
DaBlackAlbinoXBLA > < RETAIL
£10/$15 > < £40/$60

Without the rhetoric, these are the fundamental reasons I believe the majority are drawing unfair comparisons.

@DefrostedJay - I appreciate your input and sophisticated demeanour but I must still disagree with your viewpoint. smile

@Flosta - I agree about it being a PC shooter, but then you could argue COD/BF work better on the PC with a mouse. All FPS games work better with a mouse, it's not a massive betrayal or "a milking". They are just trying to enhance their fan-base. Milking a game is remaking the same old crap and not putting any effort in. I would hardly call this game a milked franchise when the rather large fan base request after just a few short years that the game be re-made with current tech and the game itself goes through a private beta for close to a year. It's just that popular. Beta keys were being sold for the PC version for double what the final product is selling for on the XBL marketplace at the moment. Since when do the games everybody wants to compare this to aka COD and BF get such high quality assurance by doing long betas and ironing out all the major bugs and exploits? They don't. They're rushed franchises. This isn't rushed, that's why I must disagree with you. That's how I think you define milking something, releasing a sequel game off a successful titles brand name but not bothering to make the new game work/play well AND rushing it out as soon as possible so you can get your pay cheque, without making the game as good as possible. There is a fine difference between improving on a successful formula, and re-making it rather than milking it - making a completely new game untrue to it's roots with a lot less thought put in to it.
Posted by DaBlackAlbino on 27 Aug 12 at 02:05
Defrosted Jay@dablackalbino & sevenburgh
No problem was just giving my view point and reasons for my review, wansmt trying to put this or anyone down. And I think we can all agree to disagree... with me lol
Posted by Defrosted Jay on 27 Aug 12 at 09:46
Rheinadleri define milking a game as re-releasing it with absolutely nothing new in it. the same people are gonna buy it again. i totally get fanboys like that. when the 720 comes out, should they ever re-release alan wake or red dead or any of the other great 360 games, i would definitely buy it again, even if they didnt add anything new at all and that would only be because i am a hardcore fan and wouldnt care that there isnt anything new.
thats exactly what its like with this game - thy havent changed a thing about this and, like you said, the people who requested it were fanboys.
at the end of the day - people should do as they please. to all the cs gamers out there, i wont begrudge you this release, we're almost all fanboys of some title and as long as everyone's happy, so be it.
taste in games is as different as anywhere. some people like this, some people that. i was simply expressing that i highly disagree with you guys. i just dont get how one can seriously play this when there are games from nowadays and stating that is my every right , just like you guys have every right to ignore my nagging and play the crap out of it. lets just leave it at that.
Posted by Rheinadler on 27 Aug 12 at 21:27
DaBlackAlbinoFair enough flosta.

I wouldn't reven consider myself a fan boy of CS though, I'm definitely a Halo fan boy. I rather play CS at the moment rather than Halo 3 or Reach because Halo 3 has next to no population and Halo Reach just doesn't play like halo. It's catered to the COD/BF crowd by slowing down the gameplay and making things more unbalanced. CS currently is the only multiplayer shooter on the 360 with an even playing field and that's what attracted me to Halo in the first place. I mean that in the most objective manner too. No armour abilities like in Halo Reach, no gun attachments or overpowered guns. Just straight FPS gaming where skill dictates who wins. That's why I (and I assume, many others) will enjoy this versus "games from nowadays" which are "easier" or shall we say.. full of a lot of game changing unbalanced BS. smile
Posted by DaBlackAlbino on 28 Aug 12 at 05:40
Linkus2323This game apparently matches you up depending on skill, so why do I always end up in games that have people kicking my ass all over the floor? And no, I'm not terrible at the game, 'cause I can get a couple MVP Stars per game, but they always manage to be so awesome, and want to kick me from the game almost every time? What the HELL can I be doing that's so wrong to them, and what's wrong with the matchmaking system?

By the way, love the review. Keep it up! :)
Posted by Linkus2323 on 28 Aug 12 at 16:30
SlingedLinkus I can confirm that the matchmaking system is indeed jacked up, I either get thrown in matches with kids who have no clue what an objective is or I'm against 3-4 guys who are just slaughtering everyone. Not sure what formula they use but suffice to say I believe it could be improved.

Also thanks for the kind words, feedback is always appreciated :)
Posted by Slinged on 29 Aug 12 at 03:59
MajorAmokGood review. I have always watched my friend play this on pc and I loved what I seen. Cant get any decent games on xboxlive people are just lagging all over the place, doing my head in just playing against bots on single player. Hopefully this gets fixed so I can play online cause its a great shooter otherwise
Posted by MajorAmok on 06 Sep 12 at 16:15
Slinged@Major Thanks! And I've taken a short break from CS:GO to wrap up the last 3 achievements I needed in the first prototype but I know for the past few weeks online play has been horrendously laggy, I really hope Hidden Path/Valve fixes this with a patch, playing against bots is fun but it isn't worth $15 imo. The lag and poor match-making have been the only detractors on an otherwise solid game.
Posted by Slinged on 07 Sep 12 at 05:12
KiN6TiMAmazing review. It's like a tractor beam, sucked me right in. ;)
Posted by KiN6TiM on 09 Sep 12 at 14:53
flodrosGreat review, I agree with pretty much everything in there.

My biggest gripe though is that there is no ability to pause, even against bots. It's kind of frustrating as this would be an excellent game to play while doing other things, like cooking dinner or during the breaks in football.
Posted by flodros on 06 Jan 14 at 18:21
xCRiMZoNxCounter Strike is the FPS that will always have a place in history. Its loyal audience after all these years still proves that. (Obviously that audience is on PC) Its one of the shooters I always end up going back to when I'm craving a good and simple skill shooter. Great review!
Posted by xCRiMZoNx on 01 May 17 at 02:22