A killer ‘Strike’ from Valve
Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 22:09
Let me start by saying that the Counter-Strike series holds a special spot in my heart. It was the first game I ever played online, ever since the early 2000s in a local New Jersey Internet café, and it has been one of my favorites ever since.
Hopefully this fact will dissuade the angry hordes when I state the negatives. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a tactical first-person shooter released last month by Valve Corporation for the PC, Mac, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. I personally used a Mac, upon which the game ran like a charm, and recommend that everyone use a mouse and keyboard combination for a game like this.
Let’s get the nastiness out of the way and start with the negatives. This game suffers from what I like to refer to as the “Mario Curse”; other than graphical improvements and some new models, it’s basically the same game as it was before. Everything from the spawn locations to the usual hiding spots is a prettier version of what it was before. Hell, even most of the sound clips have been taken straight from the prequels.
Now, some of you might be decrying me already, saying that a lack of major change is a positive thing, and for the record, I don’t disagree. It’s nice to see that a series can preserve the integrity that made it amazing in the first place, unlike some more recent series that have started to ruin themselves with poorly made, rushed sequels. And it really is nice to be able to play on the same maps (cs_italy, anyone?) that I used to play on as a kid.
But come on; let’s not ignore one of the biggest problems with this. The fact that the game is so similar to its prequels means that the game is extremely inaccessible to new players. Veterans have had years and years to perfect the way they play, all of which can be instantly and completely applied to this new game. They start at the very top of the learning curve! Even I was having a hell of a hard time trying to get kills while not dying within the first minute of the match. I can’t imagine what it would be like for someone completely new to the game.
But hey, it’s not all bad. Valve provides us some new game modes in the form of making old user-generated content into official game modes. Instead of only the classic Bomb Defusing, Deathmatch, and Hostage retrieval modes, we have Arms Race and Demolition. Plus the load times of each game have been improved tremendously, something that has always been an issue with Valve games.
At the end of the day, this is an amazing game that hasn’t let me down, and that fact should NOT be understated. The gameplay is the same solid craftsmanship we’ve all come to expect from Valve, and the vast amount of user-created content will ensure that you’ll never run out of new maps or game modes. Plus, at only $15 it’s a steal.