- Publisher: Valve
- Developer: Hidden Path Entertainment
- ESRB Rating: “M" for Mature
- Genre: FPS
- Pros: Classic oldschool gameplay; very addictive; bots!;
- Cons: Floaty feeling movement; so-so visuals; maybe a bit simple for modern shooter fans
The first thing you need to know about Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is that it isn't anything like the other shooters on Xbox 360. There is no generous aim assist. The hit boxes are precise. The weapons have serious recoil that can spray a whole clip of bullets off target if you aren't careful. You actually have to stop moving when you shoot if you want to be accurate. And when you die you don't respawn until the next round. It is basically the complete opposite of Halo or Call of Duty. You won't find XP ranks or perks or killstreaks or any of that stuff here, either.
Counter-Strike is pure skill-based shooting. Learning the layout of the maps, how the various weapons behave, and how to do everything as efficiently as possible is the key to the game. Everyone starts out with the same selection of weapons and identical abilities and it is up to plain ol' player skill to determine who wins or loses, not which player has the right combination of perks or weapons unlocked. It might sound simplistic compared to popular shooters on the Xbox 360 today, but when you get into it you'll find one of the most addictive and satisfying shooters around, which certainly has contributed to The Longevity of Counter-Strike on PC.
Arms Race and Demolition modes mix up the gameplay a bit by changing the weapon loadouts a bit based on your performance. In Arms Race you get a new, but worse, gun after every kill and there are instant respawns. The first person to get all the way down to just the knife and make a kill wins. Demolition mode adds that weapon downgrade feature to the objectives from classic mode so after each round that you make a kill you have a worse weapon for the next round. Each mode also has a different selection of maps, which keeps things interesting. There aren't a ton of maps, though, but we assume more will be added eventually.
Counter-Strike is a multiplayer game through and through, but a great feature in Global Offensive is that you can play against bots offline as well. Playing against bots is a great way to learn the maps and figure things out before jumping online against real players. There are multiple difficulty levels for the bots as well, which will offer great practice as your skills improve. Online play on Xbox Live works well, though some users are experiencing lag and other bugs currently (they don't seem to affect everyone, however, so it is inconsistent) but that will surely be patched eventually.
Visually, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is far from a pretty game, but the graphics are nice and clean and the interface is easy to understand, so you can't really complain too much. It runs fast and smooth, which is good enough for us.
The sound is decent as well. The weapon effects are nice and loud and very good overall.
All in all, for just 1200 MSP ($15), Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a pretty darn solid game that is worth a look for multiplayer shooter fans on Xbox 360. It isn't quite as feature-rich as some other shooters, but it makes up for it with some of the most pure and perfect gameplay you'll find anywhere. There is a bit of a learning curve, so just be aware that you can't jump in and play it like Halo or CoD and you'll do fine. For shooter fans, we highly recommend Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for a purchase.