Review by Ice Wind

"This game is cool, but calling it super-realistic is too much"

Counterstrike, the once free mod that has been re-released last year in a retail form (pay 30 bucks for something you can download for free, like I did), is the most played game online, averaging round 42,500 people at any given moment. Two groups (terrorist and counter-terrorist) duke it out in a small map to the death, or when certain objectives are fulfilled (bombing a target or rescuing the hostages). The game is supposedly realistic, with ''One or two shots and your dead'' health mechanics, but it isn't, which you will realize as you pump 20 bullets at point blank into someones chest and he takes you down with one shot. Grenades are also woefully underpowered, as a direct hit will leave you with somewhere between 20-30 health remaining. Despite these shortcomings in realism, the game still kicks major ass.

Gameplay - 6/10

The game has some major flaws in it, the realism being the most prominent, but others exist as well. With CS's round based play, you only get a single life. While this preserves the realism, it is really annoying to sit floating around like a ghost staring at two campers (people who sit in one spot for long periods of time waiting for people to come by) who refuse to move (which is why there is a time limit to the rounds). The game also sports a ridiculous amount of headshots, most of which are instantly fatal and immensely frustrating. While the bullets are generated randomly based on crosshair position and recoil (short bursts produce much more accurate fire then full automatic fire), a large percentage will probably hit your head and kill you instantly. Conversely, your opponent will most likely survive a bullet or two to the brain.

Graphics - 9/10

The guns in this game are based off real existing guns, and are modeled almost exactly how the guns would look if you owned one. The 'skins', or how the players look, also make it easy to tell terrorist from counter terrorist, something vital if friendly fire is enabled. Animations are great, and some of them are even stylish (like the dual berettas reload animation). Overall, the game sports a very nice look to it.

Sound - 10/10

There is no background music to counterstrike, but you won't need it because everything else you hear sounds crisp and exact. Whether the guns firing sounds were taken off real recordings or synthesized, all the guns still have unique sounds when they fire. This can be useful, because if you know what gun your opponent has, then you can tell how quick he's going to mow you down. The game also has footsteps integrated into it, so running at full speed will sound like elephants through gravel, and consequently alert your enemies about your presence, giving away any surprise you might have had.

Story - N/A

FPS's have almost never had stories, and CS is no exception. It's basically team deathmatch with hostages and bombs thrown in for a mix-up.

Replayability - 10/10

The game is replayable from now till the ends of PC gaming. I've been playing CS for 8 months and I'm still not tired of it. Like any online game, you have to suffer through whiners and wierd typing people while you play, but it's a small thing, because with a little tweaking you can get chat to disappear.

Pluses

+ Game has realistic weapons sounds and graphics
+ Seeing bodies fly when your lump of c4 explodes
+ Melee weapon (knife) is fun to use

Minuses

- Game has unrealistic damage and headshot frequencies (3 headshots from a glock are not lethal!)
- Seeing your body fly when your lump of c4 explodes
- Broadband required for enjoyable play

Note: Overall score is not an average


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 08/07/01, Updated 08/07/01


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