Review by MACHINA weapon

"Nothing beats the intensity of CS.....for a long time."

One could heard all the hype about Unreal:Tournament and Quake 3, especially to console geeks. But it is surprising there is still ''little'' hype about CS, now arguably the most popular online shooter around, and definitely a favourite in cybercafes around SE-Asia, like here in Malaysia, a dominated game for a year-plus, compared to Red Alert 2 and Starcraft. It's been here for a long time and the question that comes through shooter fanatics would be; can any developer surpass this masterpiece? Goldeneye on console is outdated, even though classic and Perfect Dark, well.....too futuristic. And there's nothing like pumping bullets on a terrorist's head with a assault carbine or nuking off dozens of bozos with just a single grenade! I myself got ''possessed'' with this experience a month ago (guess i'm too late to be a newbie. damn!)and to date, it's more than two hundred bucks forked to savour the ultimate ''battlefield''; fragged or be fragged-in style.

Quake and Unreal doesn't provide any ''style''.It's just basically pumping up bullets to whom anyone you meet and running around dodging enemies, or camping. In CS, even a camper cannot escape getting fragged almost every round. Instead of running around busting heads with a shotgun, loads of strategy and steath-plus cunningness and pure concentration is needed when trying to frag. Just one? Aye' sir, I get 20 deaths and a frag the first time i tried CS (in the infamous Mansion)and newbies might be turned off after an hour of gameplay. But as you go through deaths and countless humilation, you'll get to learn the rules to survive the battle of the fittest. And talking about style, there are only fraggers in Unreal or Quake. You can choose to hide in the dark and snipe enemies with steath, a gun-blazing Rambo,a bomb-geek (i am one), or sick and tired becoming an expert, a psycho (like frag with only a combat knife and a handgun!). Surprisingly many are still not tired of CS till to this date i type this letter as they said the ''style'' of CS is always the main attraction. Here are a summary of points worth mentioned.

Graphics: 8

This engine is outdated compared with games like Quake 3. The facial expression on faces are nothing to shout about, and the bodies are blocky. But the background textures are still stunning,lightning effects still considerably cool and the weapons are painstakingly realistic. Best of all, the creative level designs is what making this game stands out.

Sound:9

Real-life battlefield noises are one of CS's greatest assets. From radio commands, the noise blaring from rifles, heart-thumping explosions to the voice of your demise (ooouuugghhhh.....), it's just war... except inside a safe place (except cybercafes, with knife-wielding bullies).It's minus one from ten, as there is no soundtrack, and the radio commands are just too little (they could add some humour like....''Houston, we have a problem, there's FIRE IN MY @##!!!'', or ''Mind loaning me some ammos?'') and since it's a M-rated game, some swear words would do good (just my opinion).

Gameplay:10

A real winner. Instead of restarting after dead, you wait until all members of one side are wiped out. The cash-for-weapons stuff is pretty cool too, unlike Quake and there's no first aid kits or whatsoever! The experience is like real-life, and more games like this should be made. The camera control after ''being fragged'' is cool,too, as you can edit your own view on teammates and watch them die, like in action thrillers. The level designs are the best as there are loads of variety. There is Quake style frag arena of de_dust 2, or Italy, SWAT-storm-the-house type Mansion and Gulf-War style de_dust (a favourite among Malaysians). Even though it can be tough for newbies, experience counts, and that's what playing CS is all about; observing, learning, and be a class on your own!

Lastibilty:10

CS boasts wide learning curve, as each arena has different gameplay approach and each side has different weapons. It takes a looooonnnng time to be a Counter-Terrorist and Terrorist expert, so if you're hooked, you'll be hooked for more than months. And to newbies, the road to becoming a CS veteran is so long, it'll posess your current way of life, like mines.

Conclusion:

The question still remains; can any game in the future top up this classic? It seems no for a long time, and for veterans bored of this game, they'll be playing new Gamecube games and PS2 blockbusters like GT3, RE X and upcoming FF X.
It is too bad as CS is one of the last great PC games to play for now. Now, back to the battlefield, over and out!


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 09/18/01, Updated 09/18/01


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