Counter-Strike: Global Offensive review

Written by Joe Martin

August 24, 2012 | 10:34

Tags: #counter-strike-global-of #counter-strike-global-offensive #counterstrike-global-offensive #csgo

Companies: #valve

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Casual and Competitive aren't the only additions to Global Offensive, however. There are two wholly new modes, called Demolitions and Arms Race, not to mention the ability to play with bots.

'Ugh, bots,' I can hear you say - but relax before you go any further. These bots are actually pretty good, with scalable difficulty and automatic drop-in for less than full multiplayer servers. In fact, one of the most easily skipped and appreciated things about Global Offensive is that players who die early on in a match can sometimes get a second bite at the apple by dropping in to replace any active AIs.

And, yes, we did find this out because we have a tendency to die early on. The point here is that Global Offensive is good, not that we're good at it.

Demolitions and Arms Race essentially work as inversions of each other and of the normal game modes. Each one removes your ability to buy weapons and instead doles guns out in a specific order, with the difference being which guns are given when and whether the bomb is in play as well. In Arms Race you get a new, better gun for each kill and the first person to score kill with everyone is the winner. In Demolition you get a new gun for every kill in a round (plus a grenade for every kill after that), but the weapons get worse over time.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive review Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Review
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Now, obviously everyone is going to have their own preferences and ideas of how Counter-Strike should be played - that's the entire idea behind the Casual/Competitive split, after all. For our money though, Demolitions is possibly the best thing to happen to happen to Counter-Strike since Valve elevated it out of the modding community.

Part of what makes Demolitions so great is the subtle spin it puts on those two components of Counter-Strike - using increasingly uncomfortable weapons beautifully subverts the simple twitch-shooting and acts as a wonderful prompt to re-examine the new levels. As you're forcibly switched from rifles to shotguns, you learn to play differently.

The other part of what makes it great though is the simple levelling of the playfield. As Demolitions matches continue good players are challenged, while poor players are advantaged by the weakening of their opponents. The result is a mode that rapidly re-balances itself to suit whoever is on the server.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive review Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Review
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Demolitions isn't the whole game however and a close look at Global Offensive as a whole reveals a few unusual absences from the game. There's no new levels in the Classic and Competitive modes, for example - though a few subtle tweaks to existing maps will doubtlessly send hardcore fans into a tizz. This isn't the end of the world once you acknowledge the price point and mirror polish, but it's an unusual gap for Valve to leave. So is the lack of killcams, which is one thing even the most fierce COD attacker will admit are a good idea for those learning a multiplayer game.

So, Global Offensive isn't perfect. It misses a few things. Precisely two things. You're still going to play it anyway though, aren't you?

Of course you are and there's nothing wrong with that. Because, unlike the majority of multiplayer shooters out there which try to hold your attention with shallow manipulations and background dub-step, Counter-Strike is designed with respect for the player and confidence in what it does.
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October 14 2021 | 15:04