Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

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It's been a long while since I've written a review, which is pretty commonplace due to my busy schedule. But as my days have cleared up due to seriously inclement weather, I figured I'd write a review. Not just a review, but a review on a game in a series that I am in love with. This is something I had been saving and looking forward to for the right time.

Unfortunately though, this didn't pan out like I had hoped. This is hard for me to write. Not just because of the fact it's a multiplayer experience I'm reviewing, but also because it's a dream of mine being crushed.

As I've mentioned before, I was a pretty avid player of Counter Strike, and much more so, Counter Strike: Source. My father and I played CS: Source from around 2005 until 2007. We were in a clan, competitively. (The name of it was Exemplar Sect, best player was Pug.) Anyway, we loved that game, and I remember upgrading computer parts all of the time to increase framerates, and every weekend was a Mountain Dew fueled weekend of meeting people all over the world and killing them. But then other games became popular (I played Battlefield: Bad Company 2 quite a bit.) and I went over to them, but I always visited CS: Source, and always had a blast.

I'd played Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 online quite a bit, and when that got old, I became rather bored with online games. Including (GASP) Mount and Blade: Warband. I just didn't have it anymore. Modern Warfare's insistence on forcing players to move it or die really made me angry. It's unrealistic, and panders to toddlers who would die quickly in a game like CS: Source. But, at the same time, I enjoyed Modern Warfare 3. I just ached for some camping action.

So then I see that Valve had announced Counter Strike: Global Offensive, I was elated. I seriously cannot communicate enough how absolutely stoked I was. I wanted nothing more than that game. But when it came out, money was an issue.

So this past week, when it was on sale for half price ($7.49) I splurged and bought it. I wet my lips and readied myself... and all I found was disappointment.

Gameplay: As far as controls: Solid. They make sense, they're smooth. Mwah! Gameplay as far as balanced weapons? Great online community with supportive players who enjoy a good challenge? Well, if I'm to be completely honest: Fuck. No.

The experience of my 8 hours of gameplay is this: I equip an AK-47. I get sniped by the one shot stopper, the Awp. I then spectate and peruse that every single counter terrorist is using an awp. Not one. All of them.

I get ahold of myself, and play extremely cautiously, walking or crouching the entire time. I nab a few frags, and then it's just me and the last guy. He flashbangs me, and then starts to diffuse the bomb. I run at him, take as many shots as accurately as I can. He disarms the bomb and we lose. My team proceeds to cast a vote to kick me from the server. It passes. The last thing I hear is "Faggot!" I am disappointed.

Not only that, I hate that it doesn't have a server list. I loathe it. I can't freaking stand randomly joining servers. In CS: Source, I had regular, favorited servers that I visited frequently. I made friends, I knew what servers to avoid, I had a decent ping, and it was just more fun. Instead, now, you're just thrown in to whatever. You get a choice of what kind of match you want to play, but that's it. Meh, how mediocre.

The buying system, while different, isn't bad. And the new weapons are fresh and exciting. When people actually don't use an AWP or Auto-sniper.

Also, the ability to call a vote is the definition of double-edged sword. It's hilariously impossible to get votes passed, like, "Scramble the teams" when you have all of the best players on one team. But when the last guy on the team has 1:30 seconds left and takes a second to slice the pie on a corner, he gets the boot in the blink of an eye; the majority of the time, unanimously!

The new Arms race game mode, while the antithesis of what Counter Strike stood for, is still a blast. It feels more like it's for those Team Fortress 2 players that are sick of playing Team Fortress 2, so Valve made Counter Strike: Global Offensive with "Team Fortress 2 mode."

The saddest thing is that while Valve injected so many things that Activision has planted into their games,  they didn't include looking down iron sights. The one thing I would have liked!

Another sad thing, also, is that even with the low price, the changes made to the formula for Counter Strike are almost entirely negative.

Graphics: The game looks great, but it feels like people realized that the source engine was more capable today, now that they know it better, than it was when CS: Source came out. Nothing ground breaking, but better.

Sound: I will say that the sound is awesome, and is as important as ever. Running is a dead giveaway of your position, especially when the casualties have been racked up.

Things I Liked? That it was counter-strike.

Things I Hated? That it was Counter Modern Strike Warfare 4.

Valve should have known that staying in the middle just means that they're not pleasing either party, at least very much. CS: Source guys want it to be more like their old game, and the Modern Warfare players want more things that they're used to, like fast paced running and iron sights.

So, what the hell am I going to do now? Ha... Well, I did just picked up the Mass Effect series...maybe I should player number 2 and 3.... (Sigh)

Comments

How long ago did you play this game?

They added a community server browser months ago, and have been working on improving balance based on player input (typical Valve). Also, since you mention having gone into spectate, I take it you played Casual mode? Competitive matchmaking is quite a bit more balanced than Casual, forcing teams to trade off as T and CT, giving WAY less money so everyone doesn't AWP spam, limiting teams to 5v5... But perhaps most significantly, it all but forces players to be good sports because there are matchmaking cooldowns if you leave mid-game, and won't let new players take your place if you get kicked (only bots).

Pretty much this /\

Once I got to the part about there being no server browser I had to frown a little. That feature was implemented when the calendar still read 2012. I think CS:GO will have a lot of legs once it hits its stride with quality 3rd party servers. Some of the new equipment feels a little unbalanced, but a lot of the weapons feel distinctly inaccurate and punishing, much like their delicious 1.5/1.6 counterparts; this is as opposed to the too accurate (yet still sloppier than COD) CS:S.

Overall I have to say I like Global Offensive, even if the fizzle from my prime time with CS (and Source) from 2003 to 2007 is all but gone nowadays. That said, I went back to both 1.6 and Source, and the fizzle was gone there too, so I don't blame Global Offensive for that.

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