Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Game Review (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - 360)

After eight long years, Valve has finally decided to release a new Counter-Strike... this time, it's Global Offensive, and it's on PSN, XBLA, and, of course, Steam. GO brings back eight old-school maps (with slight tweaks and new textures), and also adds eight new maps that are only playable in their new games modes: demolition and arms race.

To be honest, there isn't much in Global Offensive that wasn't in Source, other than a newer look, new guns, and new maps ... it plays about the same way, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you've played Counter-Strike, you know the deal -- it's the Counter Terrorists versus the Terrorists across all modes. In "Classic Bomb" mode, the Counter Terrorists must kill all of the Terrorists or defuse the bomb before the bomb site is blown up. In "Classic Hostage" mode, the Counter Terrorists have to extract the hostages to the safe zone. Both modes are great, but I have a minor gripe: It bothers me that there are only two measly Hostage maps. Office and Italy are both good maps, but I could have used more.

The new Demolition mode is pretty great. It's sort of hit and miss, but mostly hit. Basically, for every round you get a kill, your gun switches. That's cool and everything, but the line-up of guns never changes. I'm not sure why, but that's a minor annoyance I have. One more thing that irks me is that the Demolition maps can only be played in -- you guessed it -- Demolition. Why you can't play them in the standard Classic Bomb mode is beyond me. The maps are definitely smaller in Demolition, but I would have liked to play most of them in some other modes. Regardless of being unable to do that, the new maps are all great from what I can tell, so I'm not sure why I'm complaining.

[Arms Race I'll review whenever I play it.]

Graphics: 4/5 Since it's an XBLA game, and for a game that takes just under 2GB to put on your HDD, this game is pretty impressive to me. Some textures are a bit bland on certain sections of the maps, but from my experiences, the game's been running smoothly. I can't complain for it not being a disc.

Sound: 3.5/5 Very average ... it sounds like Source to me, with almost no changes at all. I'm pretty certain they even use a lot of the same voice overs from bots in this game, too. It's not terrible, but Call of Duty and especially Battlefield 3 sound better. Then again, that shouldn't come as a shock to anyone.

Control: 4.25/5 NO AIM ASSIST. It's really great, in my opinion. If you can't aim, you'll get absolutely destroyed from a distance. Sure, you can hip-fire up close, but that's rarely that effective. A nifty button that's been added for this version of the game is the ability to press RB and do a 180 to turn around if you're getting shot in the back. The game as a whole feels old and clunky, but there's charm in that to me... in some sick, twisted way.

Fun: 4.5/5 And of course the most important thing, the fun. It's been too long since we've had a Counter-Strike game on the Xbox, and it's a sight for sore eyes with all of the other modern shooters on the market. Global Offensive will be a great game for months to come, assuming the core of Counter-Strike fans stay online.

Overall, I can see Global Offensive being one of the top purchases on the XBLA. If you enjoyed any other version of Counter-Strike, this is just that. Be warned that it's nothing like Call of Duty or Battlefield or many other shooters, but more like SOCOM, which I welcome to the Xbox 360. The inability to be in party chat while playing is sometimes irritating, but sometimes you actually get on a team full of GUYS and not CHILDREN that help you out. Hopefully the trial will sift through the real Counter-Strike players and the Call of Duty only players, and the cry babies will be gone from the game forever. CS:GO has its fair share of flaws, but for fifteen measly dollars, I don't see why you wouldn't get this game. We can only hope now that Valve updates this game for the 360 as they will for the PC.


+: Great alternative to other military shooters, classic Counter-Strike gameplay, ability to play as a BOT when you're dead, a lot like Source but expanded upon, it's on XBLA.

-: No in-game party chat allowed, server problems early on, can't play any map in any mode (nothing new), some other question marks, including: how long will this last on XBLA...?

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