By Nicholas Sauma, Contributor
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) released Aug. 21, is a reworking of Counter-Strike: Source (CSS). The game is available on PC, Mac, XBOX, and PS3 via digital download for $15.
I picked up the PC version recently because I was a huge fan of CSS. Counter-Strike has always been my standard for first person shooters, and I was interested to see how adapted to a modern market dominated by other first person shooter games like Call of Duty.
I first noticed the graphics. CSS was released in 2004 and the graphics were a far cry from what gamers see today, but CSGO is smooth and detailed. The weapons are more intricate, and the player models look like real people, not robotic representations. The CSGO team updated some of the popular maps in a way that was just different enough to be exciting, but true enough to CSS.
CSGO offers the traditional hostage rescue and bomb defusal objective maps that CSS did, but they also added a popular gungame modification. A gungame is a free-for-all where every kill grants you a new weapon. Get a kill with all the weapons, and the player wins the round. I could also select between casual and competitive servers. CSGO has a ranking system to separate players of different skills, but also to let players classify themselves as casual or competitive.
The buy menu for weapons switched from list style, to a sort of wheel you can select from. Some of the new guns were fun to try out, but playing mostly competitive matches, players stick with the same tried and true weapons of CSS. For the most part, game play is the same as the original though. The new maps have the same balance as the old ones, and once players learn them, strategies become easy to call out and follow.
Fellow PC gamers will be disappointed to learn that CSGO has a matchmaking service making players unable to select from a server list. My only real issue is the player models. While infinitely better looking, the player models are extremely hard to tell apart from a distance compared to CSS. I found myself wounding my team and killing a lot in the first hour, and while I got better at distinguishing, I’d like to see a patch fix the problem.
Overall, CSGO offers veteran players a chance at a better looking, more robust version of the game they fell in love with in 2004. For game players who are bored of the standard first person shooters dictated by Call of Duty, CSGO gives you the chance to try out something really unique, and for only $15. No bells and whistles, just a level playing field to test your speed, accuracy, and skill against other gamers.