Rewind 12 years ago and look at the state of competitive video gaming. More specifically look at what games where being played competitively. It’s a short list and pretty much every single game you’ll have on that list will be a PC game of some kind. In all fairness consoles hadn’t hit their stride with online functionality until Microsoft rolled out XBOX Live in 2002 ( I don’t care if the PS2 had a modem option or that the Dreamcast pre dated everyone for online play we all know Microsoft made it happen for consoles), so when someone started talking about fragging other players or rushing them it was usually conversations revolving around Starcraft or a teenie weenie little game called Counterstrike.
I say that with a large degree of sarcasm. Counterstrike was far from a tiny little game and although it had humble beginnings as a Half Life mod it went on to become a force to be reckoned with in the FPS genre. In fact the game is still actively being played in competitive environments to this very day.
Counterstrike is a FPS in the modern combat genre. You may think Call of duty wrote the book on military shooters but you’d be wrong….Oh so wrong. Player skill and balanced gameplay are the foundations of what make up Counterstrike; after all , this is a game that was developed with the geniuses over at Valve ( Team Fortress, Half Life, Portal) and if you think being good at Call of Duty puts you a step ahead when it comes to counterstrike…well youd be wrong there as well.This game is fast paced and does not have some of the noob friendly mechanics that have made their way into current gen shooters like ” ADS”: Aim down Sights, Sprinting or regenerative health.Throw kill-streaks and Perks out the door as well; your not getting any help in the form of button presses that win a game for you.
Players take the roles of either the Terrorists or the Counter terrorists and wage war on a variety of maps . The weapon system is what makes Counterstrike unique. All of your guns and gear are purchased through an in-game radial menu as opposed to unlocking by leveling up your character. Kills reward you with money that can be spent on said weapons and equipment. If you want an even playing field in a shooter, this system delivers that. The game stresses a ” save or spend” mentality as you play and its not uncommon to see players running around with a pistol or knife in an attempt to save there money for the better weapons that cost more money.
Counterstrike: Global Offensive takes everything we loved about the original game and gives it a new coat of paint and tweaks that refine the experience further. IT DOES NOT try to reinvent itself for a new generation of gamers. The extent of the ” fresh coat of paint” is quite noticeable and we will be seeing things like weather effects and dynamic lighting. Old maps will be making an appearance as well as a line up of new maps to take the fight to.
Valve has created this game to show all of us competitive gamers why we have games like Battlefield and Call of duty. At the risk of sounding sill I’m gonna say …” The king is back baby”
So after stripping out 3 things you have grown to expect in modern shooters is there anything positive we can expect from Counterstrike:GO when it launches this summer? Certainly.
Expect to play a game that rewards player skill and a game that will have tremendous developer support behind it.A game that will dazzle you with its simplicity but draw you in with its hidden depth. There is reason people are still playing the original Counterstrike you know; its that good!
I think that console players ( as well as PC) are in for a treat because this is a game that we are all barely aware is coming out. It is essentially the proverbial retired heavyweight champion of the world coming out of retirement to face the current champion in an epic showdown. Think the last Rocky Movie that was released and you wouldn’t be far off when it comes to how this game will be looked at when it launches.
It will be interesting to see how t he console community reacts to this game in light of other competing titles to choose from. In a year where the FPS is pulling out all the stops to show us that it’s still a viable genre with lots of blood left in its stone one cant help but wonder if a simple XBOX downloadable title can dethrone the game that so many others have tried to. Valves last shooter was Left 4 Dead and if that’s any indication of the quality we can expect I would say we are all about to get a history lesson that we actually will enjoy come summer 2012!
Dwayne” EVO Knight” Morash