Release Date: August 21st, 2012
The biggest notable difference in Counter-Strike: GO is the graphics. Compare them to CS:Source and you will understand that some much-needed upgrades have been made in this category. The most comparable game in Valve’s line-up would be Left 4 Dead 2, as much of the environments reflect the art-style and visuals found within that title. Guns, players, and environment models are well detailed and very fitting to the game as a whole. Also, it would be good to note that Valve seems to do its art-style to a more realistic approach then other people. Some could say there is just something about it that sets it apart from other games in times past. Whether it be attention to details, or what have you, the presentation and graphics are certainly grade-AAA quality.
There are 4 base modes in all versions of Counter-Strike: GO, excluding a zombie mode that is only on PC for the time being. You have your classic competitive Counter-Strike with your classic maps and some even new. The same scenarios are welcomed back, which include bomb diffuse and hostage rescue. Players start with minimal cash and must earn kills and objective completion points to earn more cash. Friendly fire and body collision are on in this mode, so be sure not to crowd a doorway or shoot your teammates by accident. This is truly your classic Counter-Strike experience that demands skill and team-work all around.
For those who wish to play a more relaxed game style, there is also a Casual play-list. In this mode, friendly fire and body collision have been turned off. Players are given body armor and a helmet as default to help keep the experience fair and relaxed. Exclusive to this mode is the added taser weapon that can be purchased as additional equipment. The taser is a 1 hit kill at short-range and is sure to deliver some laughs with surprise encounters.
The only real complaint you may find is that voice chat is not team exclusive. You can probably see why, as the feel is much less than a pro atmosphere. Valve didn’t forget about the people who want quiet gaming however, as mic spammers and annoying players can be muted with a few simple button clicks.
Other modes included are Arms Race and Demolition. Arms Race is just like your average Gun Game mode, where the goal is to work your way up in weapons through kills. In the console versions there are currently only two maps to choose from in this game-type. Most will certainly see this as a big draw-back, mainly because there is no way around this until Valve decides to make more maps available in this mode. It sort of makes you wonder why it was thrown into the console version when there are only two maps to play on. Ultimately, it seems like a huge over sight on Valve’s part.
While Arms Race may be a let down in terms of map availability, Demolition mode certainly makes up for it. It could even be argued that this is possibly the most reputable part of the game. Demolition mode is a mixture of Arms Race and Bomb Defuse with its own added twist. You start the game with the “best” gun possible and earning kills will downgrade you to a “harder” weapon. Get multiple kills with your gun that round and you will earn grenade bonuses on top of your new weapon change. Terrorists can still arm a bomb in this mode and counter-terrorists will still have to defuse it or lose.
The maps in this mode are arguably some of the best maps in the game and they come together for a nice close-quarters experience. What makes this game-type is how it tests the skills of better players, forcing them to adapt their play-styles as their guns change. There are definitely some great adrenaline filled moments to be had in this nice change-up of Counter-Strike play.
Some bugs are plaguing the console game right now, as it’s hard to find matches in a party along with some terrible lag spikes. One minor complaint to follow, would be the absence of any silencer attachments. When you fire a gun without one in CS: Source, you are lit up like a Christmas tree to everyone in the map. Essentially, you have the same case here. Some people just generally like to keep a low-profile playing these kinds of games and they have been robbed of that. Of course, this could go both ways. Now that silencers are opted out of the game, knife back-stabs do seems a little more tempting.
The final verdict should be clear on this title. Yes, there are a few hiccups and plain oversights to this title but for a $15 price tag, how can we complain? The price is amazing and the game play package is even more so. If you want the best experience possible and you own a gaming PC or Mac, the purchase platform is a dead given. If you game on console more and that is where your friends await you, a console purchase is definitely one to be considered. In my book, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a must own title this year for any shooter fan looking for a benchmark experience.
Replay ability: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5