Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Review (PC version)

Does it manage to retain Counter-Strike’s charm and spirit?

Posted By | On 24th, Aug. 2012 Under Reviews | Follow This Author @KartikMdgl

Ah, Counter-Strike. Memories of struggling against aim-botting Chinese players, trying to figure out how they play and why I suck so much, and finally settling for some glorious low ping LAN gameplay made me realize the amount of depth the game has. It needs no introduction, really.

It is a perfect example of timeless gameplay, where skill and hand to eye co-ordination reigns supreme. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which is also available for the consoles, was met with much skepticism when the beta launched. However, you can’t really fault the classic formula of Counter Strike which, much like Einsteins Theory of Relativity, is simply faultless.

Too much hyperbole? Nah. It may look like your hitbox is gigantic compared to the guys you are trying to shoot; you may think that the game is unfair and people have better pings; you may think that you are simply not good enough for the game, but just one good game can totally drag you into this addictive pit, consuming all your time.

The game, running on a modified Source engine, looks pretty decent. Visuals were never the strong point of this engine, however, that could change soon as Valve embraces next-gen with an unannounced game and a new version of Source engine. This is a game where gameplay reigns supreme, and visuals are just a bonus. I wouldn’t care and so should you. That said, some of the maps do look quite good with good attention to detail.


Veteran Counter-Strike players will recognize all the maps which have made a triumphant return here, and that’s one of the advantage of using this engine, porting is short and sweet. Having played CS 1.6 a lot, I wasn’t lost here at all and there was hardly any learning curve for mastering them. However, newer players need to go through everything again, memorize the maps, learn the weapon patterns, recoil, player movements, money management before becoming competitive in this game.

It’s not easy, and no one said it would be. It’s Counter-Strike after all. High learning curve aside, there are some good tutorial levels which eases new players into the game. You can also play offline with the bots and it’s one of the features which will give a lot of experience to players who are new to this style of gameplay, and may barely escape from being butchered online. That may still happen to anyone though. It’s purely skill based and also depends on how stable your network connection is.

There are a lot of maps here — 16 in total — with all your classic maps re-imagined along with  bunch of new ones. Some of them are only available in certain modes. Dust and Dust 2 are bomb defusal based, and Office for hostage rescue. Some of the new ones like Bank and Baggage are well designed and look pretty nice too. There are plenty of weapons and gear available which is expected, and mastering their recoil and other minute details is key to having a successful competitive game online.


Performance is rock solid, as you’d expect, but I had a few problems with the audio de-syncing regularly. It must be an issue with my PC I feel since I haven’t heard anyone else encounter the same thing. There is a matchmaking system too, which is horrible, and places you in high ping games mostly and sometimes doesn’t work. Hidden Path Entertainment did a good job in adding a lot of features here but a shame about matchmaking, though, here’s hoping they fix that later.

Server browser is still the best, and no one can change my opinion on that. New and veteran Counter- Strike players are advised to use that to search for games as it’s the best way to have a satisfying experience, or you can always play with your friends — based on where they are located, the ping advantage can’t be overlooked.

Having played the game on PC for quite a while, it’s amazing how far we have come especially considering the advancements in Steam–Valve’s digital distribution platform–and it always surprises me, in a good way, since the nostalgia of playing CS 1.6 all those years ago is still strong.


This is an amazing game and offers some incredibly satisfying gameplay. You may die frequently but that isn’t going to make you rage quit, because the reason you died was your enemy had a good aim (and a good connection), or you simply suck. Don’t get discouraged though, keep playing, your next game could unlock your hidden potential of playing like a pro.

This is a highly tweaked game, easy to learn and difficult to master. It’s still the Counter-Strike you know and love, slightly modified without causing the fanbase grief, and with the goal of expanding the player-base. We don’t really see games where gameplay is the only thing that matters, you should be happy something like this exists.

This game was reviewed on the PC.


Classic Counter-Strike gameplay. Tons of modes, maps, weapons and gear. Netcode is good. Lot of features to tweak the game to your liking. Offline bot support.


Matchmaking is not that efficient. Visuals could have been better. Slightly high learning curve.

Final Verdict

It's still the Counter-Strike you know and love, slightly modified without causing the fanbase grief, and with the goal of expanding the player-base. We don't really see games where gameplay is the only thing that matters, you should be happy something like this exists.

A copy of this game was provided by developer/publisher for review purposes. Click here to know more about our Reviews Policy.

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