After debuting as a Half-Life mod 12 years ago, Counter-Strike has grown to be a franchise of its own, often claiming the “most played” spot on PC gaming sites. While Valve has released updated versions of the original game such as Counter-Strike Source, nothing’s really been done to the series in recent years -- until Global Offensive, that is. This new content includes new maps, updates to the originals, new game modes, and updated graphics.
The build that was being shown at PAX was running on an Xbox 360 and looked great, especially compared to the original. The gameplay is the same as that of its PC predecessor, but when brought to a gamepad, can feel a bit slow. That said, the controls are solid otherwise and don’t feel like a haphazard remap of the mouse and keyboard controls. The classic terrorist/counter-terrorist mode was on display and feels just as fun as it did on PC despite the maps being slightly different. The team sizes were dropped down to six per side to make the gameplay flow faster, and the rounds were notably shorter due to this.
There are many nice touches in addition to the new content. For example, at the top of the screen, images of the player’s gamertag or Steam profile are displayed for an easy readout of how many teammates are still alive. In addition, the amount of detail that has been added to the remakes of original maps make them seem like entirely new levels without taking the feel of the original away.
Valve and Hidden Path’s combined track record gives us the feeling that our positive thoughts on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will continue as we begin to see more of the game. It did feel a bit odd to have the game demoed on an Xbox 360, but it was good to see the console versions looking strong.