Counter-Strike has acquired quite the legacy over the years. Many know it as the number one online shooter, and many believe it to be a cut above the rest as well because of the amount of skill it takes. Arguments on which game is more difficult aside, Counter-Strike definitely is a unique breed of shooter and Global Offensive is no different.

Fans have been wanting a new CS for a while now and Valve was able to deliver nicely on that request. Even though Global Offensive may not change the CS formula or advance it in many ways, it’s a great update of an already solid online game.

Counter-Strike GO XBLA Screenshot 1

Global Offensive is the same Counter-Strike you know and love with updated graphics, added maps, and for the first time ever it comes to consoles. As my experience was with the Xbox 360 version this will all be in reference to that version and I can’t speak to how the Playstation 3 version or PC version is.

Global Offensive has four different modes, and if you didn’t know already, I should point out is online exclusively. These four modes have fairly distinct differences. First up is classic casual and classic competitive. In both modes, your team wins by either completing the objective or eliminating the entire enemy team. There are differences between the two, casual turns friendly fire and team collision off and it’s only the best out of ten rounds. While competitive turns friendly fire and collision on and requires the best out of 30 rounds.

The thing about Counter-Strike, is that once you’re killed, you’re done and have to spend the rest of the round watching. This differentiates it from nearly any other online shooter on the market causing you to have to be much more cautious and tactical. This lends a certain something to the game, when you start to die over and over, you don’t blame the game you blame yourself for doing something wrong.

Global Offensive is all about planning and learning, learning the layout of the maps, the best chokepoints, the kill zones. In the end it’s a much more tactical experience than anything you can get in a Call of Duty or Battlefield game and there are arguments on why that can be better or worse. For one thing it’s much more frustrating at times, but also a whole lot more rewarding when you triumph over a team or player that you’ve been having trouble against.

Counter-Strike GO XBLA Screenshot 2

Luckily, Counter-Strike controls pretty well on console. The right trigger shoots while the left allows you to crouch. Like any valve game there’s no aiming down the sights, but standing still and crouching greatly increases your accuracy. Left bumper switches through your various items like your knife and grenades, however Counter-Strike is primarily about gunplay.

Face buttons perform their various actions like jump, reload and swap weapons, and then there’s one more thing, buying gear. After every round you gain money based on your performance and your teams in that round that allows you to buy equipment at the start of a match. Whether that be a new SMG, a sniper rifle, pistols, grenades or a few other things.

Everything controls well, easily allowing you to aim and move around and the sliders for sensitivity are much more intricate since this is a series that has its home on PC. However, the game has transferred well onto consoles so Xbox players need not worry.

In addition to the classic game modes, there is demolition mode and arms race. In both modes weapons are awarded for getting kills, but demolition retains the tactical nature while arms race is an all out scramble to get kills. Demolition has friendly fire on and requires you to complete an objective. Arms race on the other hand is complete madness. The mode has instant respawns and with each kill you advance to a new weapon. Get a kill with all weapons and your team wins. It is a team based mode but everyone advances separately.

The guns in Counter-Strike all have a nice weight to them when you shoot; sound effects are good but not fantastic. Music is not very present although I do like the title theme.

Counter-Strike GO XBLA Screenshot 3

One of the main attractions for Global Offensive is the updated graphics; it has been a while since Counter-Strike has seen an upgrade in that department. It’s quite surprising really, that Global Offensive can match any of the triple A titles out there graphics wise, except Battlefield 3 probably. For being a downloadable game Global Offensive does look really nice.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is another great update to the tried and true formula that Valve created, and it gives console owners a chance to experience a game that they might not have been able to play in the past. The tactical side of Counter-Strike makes it a nice break from most of the shooters we have today, and the Arms Race mode shakes things up a bit if you find the game getting old. It’s a simpler kind of game, one where it’s just players and their guns.  For a $15 price tag, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a great addition to a series that helped make the shooter genre what it is today.

Counter-Strike GO XBLA Box Art
Review Score:[starreview tpl=16] Title : Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Format : XBLA, Also on PSN / PC / MAC
DeveloperValve Software
Publisher : Valve Software
Release Date : 08/21/2012

[starreviewmulti id=1 tpl=20]