For those of you who missed out on attending the Eurogamer Expo this year in London, you would have missed the opportunity to be one of the first gamers to have a playthrough of the new and upcoming Counter-Strike game, titled Global Offensive.
The game was available in playable format at the Expo at Earl’s Court in London last week, despite the fact that the game is destined for a release sometime in 2012 and has yet to be given any sort of solid release date either. I spent a good while with the game during the Expo and I can tell you that I was very impressed with what I saw. Valve had the console version of the game on show, the PS3 version to be specific, so I was glad to address a few of the immediate worries I had with the game.
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As a die-hard Counter-Strike fan and a regular player of CS 1.6 a few years ago, I was a bit worried on how Valve would be implementing the control system on the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game, given the fact that aiming is a core feature of the regular PC version and requires a strict learning curve with the mouse, keyboard and sensitivity in order to get to a decent level on the game.
From the time I spent with the game, I can say that the aiming is pretty good in Global Offensive on console, and it’s definitely not in the same barrier as Call of Duty for example, i.e just point and spray your whole clip into an enemy until the die. Just like the PC versions of Counter-Strike, you actually have to aim in order to take down your opponent, and the system on Global Operations on console follows the same formula.
However, I’m not sure if it was just me, but it did seem like an enemy could take quite a fair amount of damage before they went down, even firing close range at the body with an AK47 – one of the most powerful weapons previously on CS 1.6. Whether this is a result of Valve’s balancing tweaks for the new game, or just me being a bad aim remains to be seen, I only had maybe 30-40 minutes with the game in all.
One thing I did like in Global Offensive is the new buy system, which now takes the form of a visual wheel, as opposed to the menu layout in 1.6. The wheel takes a bit of getting used to, but after a few rounds you’ll find that you can buy your favorite gear very quickly, ensuring that you can leave spawn at the first opportunity, obviously letting you get to those tactical positions before the enemy.
The level available to play was de_dust and overall, the graphics were looking very nice – think of Counter-Strike Condition Zero and CS: Source visuals mixed into one, but with much more detailed textures and player models.
If I had one criticism to note, I would say that the crosshair is significantly different to the one featured on CS 1.6 for example, and it’s something which veteran players may not enjoy using. Having said that, we’re yet to see how the PC version handles in comparison, so there may just be a simple console command to switch to a more familiar crosshair which players will enjoy a lot more. Again, this could be Valve’s idea of balancing the game between console and PC because don’t forget, Global Offensive on PS3 is cross platform, meaning that you’ll be able to play online with PC and Mac players at the same time – a mouth-watering feature that other developers should take note of.
In conclusion, Global Offensive definitely took me by surprise and we can’t wait to try out the game further when Valve open the beta for the game some time next month. We have picked up a few beta keys from Valve at the event, so we have some to giveaway to those who are interested. If you are looking for an alternative online FPS to Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is your answer. Let me know if you have any questions about the game below.