Counter-Strike: Global offense on test – Go, go, go!
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is now over three years old. Our review reveals why fans of demanding multiplayer shooters can’t get around CS:GO.
When Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was released in August 2012, the most obvious changes to Counter-Strike 1.6 and Counter-Strike: Source were the customized maps and new game modes. On Dust, for example, there was a new staircase, and instead of just placing bombs and freeing hostages, in CS:GO you could also play Armstrike (team deathmatch, in which you get a new weapon in your hand after being shot down) or Destruction (small bomb maps, also with automated weapon switching).
If you bought and played the game when it was released, only to let it rot in your Steam library after a few weeks with the thought “Oh yes, CS …”, but start it again now, you will rub your eyes. A lot has happened: new cards, old cards in a new design, new weapon feeling, new matchmaking and – colourful creaking.
Shooting has to be learned
When CS:GO came out, we (and not only we) weren’t particularly happy with the adjustments that Valves’ contract developer Hidden Path had made to the weapons. The AK 47’s scattering behaviour under sustained fire was hardly comprehensible at the beginning, but with the application of various patches it became the fixed pattern we know today. And this can be counteracted much better by learned mouse movements, so that the opponent really falls over and not only the wall behind him is perforated.
Those who have mastered the individual weapon models have a noticeable advantage over players who just point and click. CS:GO is more than ever a shooter for people who enjoy improving in the smallest details.
Since August 2013 there are colorful guns and knives in CS:GO. They will be given out randomly at the end of a match or they are stuck in equally randomly distributed boxes. To open the boxes we need a key, which costs about 2,30 Euro each. And godfather coincidence decides which one of several weapon skins you pull out of the box. The rarer (and more elaborately decorated), the more valuable the skins are.
On the Steam internal marketplace, rare knives are traded for up to 360 Euros. The money earned there stays on Steam and can only be spent there, for example for games or new weapon skins. Valve has a percentage of the trade. However, the skins may also be sold via other channels, such as Ebay. The weapon trade may be considered as a rapier Free2Play mechanism of Valve, but in the end it remains only an optional offer.
Since its release Valve has been constantly making adjustments to the guns, with the last major update in March, for example, the movement speed with the AWP in zoom mode was noticeably reduced. The result is that snipers now have an easier target. Particularly when they’re looking around corners with zoom activated, we see the sniper’s upper body for crucial nanoseconds before they have us in the field of fire themselves.
Nevertheless, at least in the casual games (ten against ten, no team fire, team collision disabled, Kevlar vest and helmet for free) there are still far too many players running around with the big gun. But this will probably not change until doomsday. The AWP is simply sexy with its immense damage values.
It’s different in the competition games. They’re tournament based (five-on-five, team bombardment and collision enabled, no free gifts), and until you can afford an AWP, you’re going to have to save for a while or win a few rounds. Competitive play was already in place when Global Offensive was released, but now the ranks have been added up to give it all the right punch.
Using an algorithm known only to Valve in detail, the game calculates the skills of the individual, puts him in a ranking group and assigns him to matches in which he meets similarly good opponents and fellow players. The goal, of course, is to climb steadily upwards in the ranks by gradually improving. Most players strive for the 18th rank, which is simply called “Global Elite”. But only the really outstanding players reach this rank.