If you've never played Counter Strike: Global Offensive before, you should know the game features one of the most basic premises ever--two teams of terrorists and anti-terrorists will square off against one another in a few game modes with various objectives where the terrorists must complete a special objective while the anti-terrorists must stop the dangerous group. Four game modes are available to play in online multiplayer sessions including the classic modes Bomb Defusal and Hostage Rescue and the two new modes Arms Race and Demolition. Arms Race challenges players to earn a new weapon with each kill to eventually cycle through an entire list of weapons on the way to victory, while Demolition makes players receive progressively worse weapons with each kill. The four modes do offer decent variety, but more traditional modes from other first-person shooter fares have been left out leading to a feeling of a lack of game modes.
In the majority of game modes you'll play in Counter Strike: Global Offensive, you'll receive money for each kill that can be spent between rounds to purchase better weapons and equipment for yourself. New weapons have also been added in this version including the Molotov cocktail which is the perfect weapon for flushing out enemies or making a hasty retreat of your own. However when you die in Counter Strike: Global Offensive, prepare to watch other players have fun while you're stuck watching the action from the sidelines. It teaches you not to run and gun so much and play tactical, but deaths in Counter Strike Global Offensive are no doubt boring and can lead you to quit sessions early.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive adds many new maps to the new release while bringing back old favorites with new passages and better vantage points/hiding spots to make the stages more tactical than ever before. The game's graphics have received some improved graphics, but as old as this title is, that's about like saying Joan Rivers got yet another face lift; it doesn't help it look that much better compared to all the other great looking first-person shooters out there. One great thing about the PlayStation Network release of the game is the option to play with your Dual Shock 3 controller, keyboard and mouse or even the PlayStation Move--although, I'd heavily advise against using the Move if it can at all be avoided.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive is a fun game, but there are just so many options for players in the first-person shooter genre that is seems difficult to recommend such an aged title. Fans of the Counter Strike series will gladly pay the $15 to pick up the new release, but it definitely isn't for everyone. The game cuts back to the bare minimums of what a first-person shooter needs to succeed, and while this is sure to entice the Call of Duty haters among us, Call of Duty remains one of the most recognizable franchises in the world for a good reason. Give the game a try, but unless you or your buddies prefer the classic feel of older first-person shooters, pop your favorite shooter into your disc tray and save your money
Counter Strike: Global Offensive is now available for PlayStation Network, PC and Xbox LIVE Arcade and can be purchased for $14.99 or 1200 Microsoft Points respectively. Counter Strike: Global Offensive is rated M by the ESRB for Blood & Intense Violence. For more information on the game, check out the official Counter Strike: Global Offensive website.
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Mac & PC (reviewed)
Release Date: August 21, 2012