Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Last week I purchased a PC with the intention of broadening the selection of games available for me to play. Then I bought CS:GO.

Obviously, I was aware of its existence, but I only decided to purchase it to fulfill the new steam account requirements. Now, I can’t put it down.

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It is so highly competitive and tactical. You will not win against a decent team unless you use communication and employ a variety of tactics. This forces you to speak to your teammates and build bonds. I was unaware of the importance of the in-game economy, I love the fact that sometimes it’s worth throwing a round to keep the weapons that the last remaining members of your team have.

Each map has named locations and unique call-signs for different areas, the action can be explosive and tentative all within the same round. Getting one player to hold down an area with the AWP whilst the rest of your team position themselves with an array of equipment around each bombsite on the counter-terrorist team can become so intense in a matter of seconds.

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I haven’t played a game with this level of team-building interaction since the days of Halo 2, and I love it.

You must learn fast, but the game is perfectly balanced. The weapon loadout options are perfect and even with the stronger weapons, it doesn’t mean you are guaranteed a win. For example, the reload time on the AWP is superlative. It is not long enough to be annoying if you are sitting comfortably at a distance taking pot-shots, but it is long enough to be dangerous if you miss in a high-octane situation. This level of accuracy to detail is consistent throughout the game, be it with weapons, locations or financial rewards for performing certain actions.

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The only complaint I have about this game is the lower level participants. It’s too common to find yourself a toxic squad of random players. Some being rude or delusional about their own talents within the game, which is standard and easy enough to deal with, but more concerning is the amount that is intensely racist or abusive. I’ve found myself in multiple matches in which players will become abruptly disgusting for no apparent reason at all. I am aware that this becomes less common the higher you rank up, as players of a better caliber are not only of a better-quality performance-wise but just at being decent human beings as well.

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The game others so much, if you begin to struggle there are a huge amount of practice situations you can place yourself in. You can use each individual weapon in training simulations to learn spray patterns, go up against bots to learn the maps or even take part in more frantic games like Arms Race for a less intense game mode that gives you the opportunity to face real players with far less consequence.

All in all, Counter-Strike. I am impressed. Thank you.

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