The actual core shooting will be a huge talking point for many months to come. It has been tinkered slightly and gives weapons a noticeably floaty feel, which doesn't sit well to begin with. We eventually found ourselves enamoured by it, and the impact of hits add a real tactile distinction to play.
It's what doesn't work, however, that is most notable. Regular mode has no new maps added to it, while all the new guns seem somewhat cosmetic. Global Offensive has also removed some of its middling weapons such as the MP5, essentially pushing even more players to stick with the AK and the M4. Sometimes it gives the impression that there is in fact less valuable content than in previous CS releases.
If one assumed this was Counter-Strike Source with a visual mod installed, there would often be little to shake that impression.
There's also now a split between casual and competitive servers - however, many players aren't yet aware of the differences, mainly because the distinction isn't made obvious enough. It becomes even more confusing if you join a community server with all hosts of mods installed on it, which have perhaps taken casual mode, turned friendly fire on and essentially made it as close to Source as possible.
At times, arranging games in Competitive Mode feels like a chore. Joining a five-on-five war is simple enough, but attempt to lobby up with a group of friends and join a game, and you'll often hit a snag. Myself and a few others tried to find a competitive game with no luck, simply being told that no servers were currently available.
When you finally do join, it works fine, but the wait and work required to find a game seems like a drawback. We eventually gave up and resorted to using IRC to find matches, as we would with Source.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is not the key evolution point that we were hoping for, and the response from the community often reflects this view. On many occasions, other players used phrases such as "same old" to us.
This is elementally Counter-Strike Source with some fine-tuning under the bonnet, and Valve appears to have acknowledged this with the reasonable RRP attached to it.
And yet the core DNA of the game has not lost its appeal. This is still a glorious experience that sets a benchmark for all multiplayer shooters. Valve's objective with Global Offensive was to draw together the active communities of both the Source and trusty 1.6 edition. It clearly has a good chance.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a great introduction to the renowned shooter series, but veterans may feel there simply isn't enough new material here to justify the encore.
- Layers of polish typical of a Valve game
- Nails the 'just one more go' multiplayer hook
- New range of grenades are a blast
- Don't expect too much more than Counter-Strike Source Deluxe
- Arranging matches in Competitive mode is a chore
- Er... where's my MP5?