Published on August 27th, 2012 | by Shawn Long, Features Editor
Counter-Strike Global Offensive Review (PS3)
Developer: Valve, Hidden Path Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation Network (PS3) [Reviewed], Xbox LIVE (Xbox 360), PC and Mac
Release Date: Aug. 21, 2012
Reviewer’s Note: This review was performed on the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
Truth be told, I have never played a Counter-Strike game before this. For years I’ve heard of people gathering at a friend’s house to play Counter-Strike, or going to a store that allows for link-up of multiple computers to play Counter-Strike all night long. So suffice to say, I was pleased when I heard a console version of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was coming to the PS3 and Xbox 360. Finally, my curiosity would be satisfied and I would play the game everyone raved about for years: Counter-Strike.
Truth be told however, the wait was not worth it.
Counter-Strike is a series that started as a Half-Life mod from 1998, developed by Minh “Gooseman” Le and Jess “Cliffe” Cliffe, that became so big that Valve eventually bought the rights to it in 2000. From then on it became a household name in the PC industry, but my question is why? Sure, at the time it was rather groundbreaking, but by today’s standards everything feels paltry and outdated. The game is a multiplayer-only affair, but there is optional bot mode for offline play. The game revolves around four game types: Arms Race (a deathmatch-style where each kill awards you a new gun), Demolition (team-based rounds with kills rewarding new weapons for the next round), and finally Classic Casual and Classic Competitive. Casual and Competive are the same, but Competitive features more rounds, and Friendly Fire. It either is a Bomb mission or Hostage mission in each of those modes.
Honestly, I fail to see the differencial between Casual and Competitive. Techincally, yes, they are two separate modes differentiated by longer rounds, friendly fire and so on, but it’s the same principal. Hostage or Bomb mission, and that’s all. Each round you either defend or try to rescue hostages/plant the bomb, and you are rewarded money by how well you do which is used to purchase weapons the next round. The system works fine, but I never really felt money was a real issue in the game, because I always had enough for the gun I wanted to use.
One of the main strengths that is mentioned of Counter-Strike is the notorious “teamwork” that is needed to play the game successfully. I cannot disagree with this more. I had no problem wiping out whole teams by myself, or planting a bomb and defending it while my teammates died all around me. I just don’t really see how the teamwork in this game is any different from any other game that features TDM-style of gameplay. Another problem I have is that each round is only three minutes long in Demolition, Casual and Competitive modes. How exactly are you supposed to have a strategy and utilize teamwork in such a short span of time? I just don’t see it.
Another major issue I have is that I cannot look down the sights of any gun, scopes excluded. How is this realistic? Half the time I just run around and dump a full clip in a guy and watch him drop, but it feels more luck-based then skill. I saw him before he saw me, he can’t line up a shot faster then me, and I’ll just pump some slugs into his chest and watch him die.
It’s 2012, I should be able to look down the sight of my gun in ANY first-person shooter.
Graphically the game is servicable, but very dated. The engine Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment uses is now over eight years old and it shows. The character models are decent, but the evironements are just drab and boring. The maps lack any real personality, and every effect from bullet ricochet to glass breaking just looks dated. Sound effects fare a bit better, and all the guns sound very crisp and true to form.
I don’t hate this game even though it may sound like it. I played it a good bit, and am still playing it now. I see some charm in it, and I can see partly why the series has so many fans. It’s just so outdated and lacking in everything compared to any shooter released in the past five years that it doesn’t deserve all the acclaim it receives. Arms Race features TWO maps. TWO. That’s unacceptable, and for a lack of a better term, half-assed.
Valve loves to milk their engine, and I think it’s time to finally shut it down. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a decent game for fans of the series, but newcomers should beware that this isn’t the groundbreaking game it was over a decade ago. The price point is reasonable, but I honestly feel Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment could have done a lot more to bring this game into the 21st century properly, instead of partying like it’s 1999.
+ Fun at times
+ Online is very smooth
– Everything is just dated
– Lack of modes