Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Impressions

I’ve now spent several hours with the Global Offensive beta with my friend and feel ready to deliver some impressions.

The first thing that struck me was how good the game looked. It falls short to Battlefield 3 in terms of detail and polygons for sure, but at a quick glance it looks just as good as Battlefield 3. It’s only when you start looking at the the details of the textures you can see the age of the Source engine. And also when you throw molotov cocktails and smoke grenades. Those effects look easily 10 years old. And that’s what I have been complaining about a lot with the Source engine. But I can’t deny the fantastic job done here with the looks of the game in all honesty it exceeded what I thought by far.

Let’s get down to the feel and authenticity of the game. It feels like Counter-Strike immediately. It looks kind of what Counter-Strike 2 would look like in the eyes of the players coming from CS 1.6 several years ago. The maps are remade with new paths added, textures, details, destructible objects etc. There is no quick scope or regenerating health and this is for sure Counter-Strike.

There are premade modes now such as Casual and Competitive which differ in terms of team damage, money, and other minor details. Obviously if you to try competitive you will be playing what the pros played like where you have buy kevlar yourself and whatnot. Then there are two other modes I haven’t tried yet such as demolition. I’ve played almost all the classic maps and they look and play great so far in my opinion.

The tactical elements of CS are still here. Sound is key and so is locking down positions and being map aware. Sneaking removes footsteps and it all feels familiar. I definitely feel like I am playing back in the days but with modernized graphics and some minor changes. The recoil feels easier to handle and the new cross hair is nice even though my friends don’t seem to fancy it that much, I do. But you can always use the classical one should that be the case.

Keep in mind that the game isn’t out yet and that this is the final beta – so I expect the retail version to play and feel even better than what I am given right now. I was expecting a bit more of options in terms of creating servers and esport things, but I am not sure if they are missing because they aren’t there or because of the beta and they are in the final version. Right now it still feels a bit “light” in terms of options so to speak. In fact, I felt there was easier and more customization options in forms of scripts and so in 1.6, although I just started playing GO and it might be there I just haven’t found them yet.

Compared to Battlefield 3 CS:GO feels more like an esport shooter with fast pace and focus on just that. Battlefield 3 feels more like a realistic war experience and feels exactly like war and chaos due to its massive scale and 64 player limit. They are two completely different games and I tried them back-to-back and they arose different feelings although I think that I will stick with CS:GO due to the esport focus and the nostalgia. Battlefield 3 might be close to an uninstall because of GO. But there is no denying that Battlefield 3 is the prettier game with more depth and larger battles. But GO is still very pretty too look at considering the age of the Source engine.

To sum it up, I feel that CS:GO has a bright future if Valve keeps supporting it like they are doing with Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2. That is, with constant updates and improvements. New features will be needed here I feel but possibly not if the esport prize money is enough. There are already numerous tournaments announced and I know pro players are making comebacks for this game. CS 1.6 was unprecedented in size and popularity and I hope to see GO reach same heights and become a behemoth of shooters and prove that esport focus is the way to go.

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