Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Revives an Old Series

Few video game series are as universally recognized as Counter-Strike. Starting out as a fan-made mod for Half-Life, the Counter-Strike series was quickly scooped up by Valve and developed to become the unofficial gold standard of competitive first-person shooter games in the world of eSports.

I spent a little time in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive closed beta taking place right now in anticipation of the August 21st release, and thus far I have to say that I’m thoroughly impressed. Not only has Valve kept to the classic gameplay that has defined Counter-Strike over the years, but the updated Source engine is nothing short of smooth. Even in a beta (where you might expect jitters and server issues), play is smooth and fast.

Counter-Strike hasn’t fallen into the same FPS category as Call of Duty and others that force players to switch between standard and sighted visuals in order to shoot accurately. The majority of Counter-Strike’s gameplay is done from the hip. Sure, you can pick up a sniper rifle and enjoy some sights a bit more, but you don’t have to. Counter-Strike is intended to be a very fast, reaction-oriented game. Iron sights are great, but it’s good to know that Valve has decided to stick to some of the details that made Counter-Strike great.

Speaking of classic details, fans of classic maps such as Dust_2 are in for a treat. These maps have been updated, but haven’t been changed all that much. You can still employ many of the strategies you’ve enjoyed over the past decade with Counter-Strike: Source and the new maps feel like welcome additions to the franchise rather than over-the-top graphics boasting nonsense.

Counter-Strike has held true to not being a game about storyline or heavy plots, but one where you can simply load and jump in, competing with friends and strangers alike. Rounds are organized with objectives, and a number of different game types are available for players to choose from. My personal favorite: Arms Race. This mode mimics the Gun Game of Call of Duty in that you work your way up through a series of weapons as you gain kills. It’s a great way to get a feel for what’s available without having to play round after round switching between guns manually.

Valve took a franchise that came directly from the community and made as few changes as possible to it. In my book, that’s a commendable position and perhaps one of the reasons Valve is such a big force in the gaming world. Sure, it takes longer to release updates, but those updates are typically exactly what the players wanted.

Could Counter-Strike: Global Offensive replace Counter-Strike: Source in LAN tournaments around the world? Absolutely. Like StarCraft 2 did for the StarCraft series, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has stayed true to the spirit of the game. It’s that very spirit and balance that has made these franchises such an important part of the eSports world.

What Do You Think?

Not everyone is entirely on board with the latest edition of the franchise. We took the question to the community, and here are some of the responses we received.

Rocky Batton: “Valve needs to go back to the drawing board and start over and bring out something revolutionary if it is going to continue with the CSS Brand.”

Luke Blaney: “I thought it was going to be better than it was.”

Still, there are some positive reviews coming out of our community.

Adam Landreneau: “It is definitely a worthy title in an already awesome series. The upgraded Source engine is very polished.”

Marco Alessi: “I tried it in closed beta and it’s a very good game; I love Valve!”

If you haven’t picked up Counter-Strike: Global Offensive yet, you can still save during this pre-order cycle and enjoy the beta.

Image: Valve

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • Howard C

    Just an FYI, this is not made by Valve. It is made by Hidden Path Entertainment and published by Valve.

    • https://plus.google.com/112301869379652563135/posts Ryan Matthew Pierson

      Valve owns the rights to the series and while Hidden Path is the development contractor they’ve gone with, it’s still Valve’s game from what I understand.

    • Fal

      Saying that, so was Source

  • Erik Slavik

    Gun game was out on cs before 100k people even knew what call of duty was. Just an FYI. No need to give them bubble heads over at activation any credit they don’t deserve.

  • Erik Slavik

    Gun game was out on cs before 100k people even knew what call of duty was. Just an FYI. No need to give them bubble heads over at activation any credit they don’t deserve.

    • https://plus.google.com/112301869379652563135/posts Ryan Matthew Pierson

      Yes, as a mod, but officially?

  • Andrew Risenhoover

    Gun game was first employed as a mod on Counter Strike: Source. I remember playing RainbowSix: Black Arrow with a bunch of my friends on private servers playing “Gun Ladder” which was a game a friend and I invented to spice up the gameplay. Which of course was exactly what Gun Game is today in CS:S. I am not going to take credit for “inventing” it, but it was funny to see it come to life the way it did, no matter who thought of it and implemented it in CS:S. I have seen gameplay of Global offensive and I think it looks promising. I will be purchasing it for sure.

    • Andrew Risenhoover

      Maybe not first implemented on Source, but it was Counter Strike for sure