Valve were once the undoubted masters of game design in FPSs straight out of headshot university. Now, Counter Strike: Global Offensive takes the franchise into the world of Call of Duty, but is this a bulls eye of a game or a complete backfire?
Counter Strike has been held back by one crippling limitation: it’s simply never been a game for consoles. It was for this reason that Valve stripped out the shop menus from the Xbox port of Counter Strike in 2003. The weapon radial that replaced the menus system returns no in 2012 with Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Is this finally the Counter Strike that console gamers have been waiting for? If Valve have anything to do with it, then yes. Counter Strike: Global Offensive is that this is a game designed entirely with console gaming in mind.
The set-up is simple. The terrorist team must plant a bomb. The counter-terrorist team must stop them. Cash is earned for mission success and for kills, and can be used to purchase weapons at the start of rounds.
Arms Race and Demolition mode are a more casual experience. In Arms Race, every time a player make a kill they earn a new gun. The first to get through all the game’s weapons wins. Demolition mixes the traditional bomb-diffusion game with Arms Race, with players being given a new gun at the beginning of each round provided they made a kill.
Arms Race and Demolition come with new small scale maps which provide for intense battles, but sadly, Valve haven’t included any new maps elsewhere—possibly the biggest disappointment of the game.
The weapons set-up is largely the same as before, but with the welcome inclusion of Molotov cocktails which are ideal for routing enemies into your traps. There’s also a bizarre taser which kills in one shot.
To sum up Counter Strike: Global Offensive: it’s basically everything you’ve been hoping for.