Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Preview
Counter-Strike is a well-known name among multiplayer fanatics. I still remember when Counter-Strike: Source came out and several of my friends would play nothing else. But it has routinely been a PC-oriented franchise, so console owners should be excited to learn that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is coming to the PSN and XBLA in addition to the PC and Mac. Developed by both Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment, it’s an upgraded version of predecessors like the aforementioned Source and Condition Zero.
The visuals have been spruced up a bit and thanks to the help of gamer feedback, we should get a robust and fully realized multiplayer experience that console and computer gamers alike can appreciate. Featuring 16 total maps (8 new and 8 recognizable classics), there will be multiple diverse modes that will keep the action fresh and intense throughout. And in contrast to other shooters on the market, there will be times when teamwork is absolutely essential to success, especially when it comes to some of the more complex Terrorist vs. CT scenarios.
If you’re a novice, you can always start out in Casual Mode, which lets you drag in money at a faster clip and gives you armor. You can even hijack any bot on your team after you’ve been killed; it’s an interesting twist that allows you to keep playing without waiting for a respawn. Basically, if there are any bots remaining after you bite the dust, you can just sorta steal their body and keep runnin’ and gunnin’. If you’re a veteran of the franchise, there’s Classic Mode, which will feel awfully familiar and will undoubtedly be more challenging. But hey, newbies need help at first, right?
A couple other modes that will catch your attention are Arms Race and Demoltion. The latter has the CT team trying to either eliminate all the Terrorists or disarm a planted bomb but again, there’s an interesting twist: With each enemy you take down, your weapon will be changed to something weaker. So you have to sort of balance your target shooting with survival and completing the objective. Arms Race is similar, in that your gun gets downgraded after a kill, but respawns are instant and there is no bomb to defuse. Both modes go ten rounds and players will play on each side five times, so you can prove yourself on both fronts.
So the core gameplay is definitely there, and they obviously want some new players to get involved in the Counter-Strike universe. They’re bringing updated visuals, ELO matchmaking, and dedicated servers to this experience, and for only $14.99, you have to expect a ton of bang for your buck. If there’s one common element among all these games, it’s the high level of replayability…in other words, they’re all pretty damn addictive. Just ask any avid follower. Global Offensive could really spice up your summer when it arrives on August 21.
7/30/2012 Ben Dutka