The latest iteration of Counter Strike, Global Offensive, is out and the jury’s in session to deliver a verdict on the worthiness of this new title.
No longer is Valve the sole developer, having brought the team from Hidden Path on board to aid in bringing CS:GO to completion. The developers of the Defense Grid tower defense game would have their work cut out for them with the classic first-person shooter. With new blood, comes new ideas and new features, and CS:GO is not immune to getting some new with the old. Integration of the Gun Game mod from CS:S, a “Casual” mode, the inclusion of matchmaking alongside the traditional server browser, a “firing range” testing ground, new weapons, items and even new Terrorist and Counter-Terrorist groups breathe some fresh air into CS and open the game up to people new to the franchise.
Not all is new, however, in CS:GO. The standard fare of defuse and hostage missions on the classic maps are still present, although the maps have seen a major graphical upgrade from the original versions. The game mechanics have, for the most part, remained consistent. Smart gameplay and teamwork are still necessities. Players honed on previous Counter Strike games should see little real change from what they’re used to playing.
Valve has been working on the Source engine, keeping it fairly up-to-date, although the engine’s age shows at times. The graphics are solid, if a little bit behind on the tech end. No DX11 support in Source yet, so the eye candy isn’t up to the level of CryEngine 3 or Unreal Engine 3, but it has good quality and rock steady performance, even on lower end machines.
It’s classic CS, with an ever popular Gun Game mod as an added bonus. It takes what works and makes it better, and the removal of bunnyhopping is a welcome change for many CS fans.
CS:GO isn’t original, but it doesn’t need to be, and it doesn’t try to be “yet another Call of Duty”. It takes a proven game and touches it up in the right places to give it that fresh, new game smell. Overall, a good buy.