Review by Lazlo66

"A beautifully great game, unfortunately it is quite absurd."

In very late 90's and early 21st century, the first person shooting games were at its great peak with the release of the famous games by Valve which are Half-Life and the well-known Counter-Strike. These games were some of the greatest hits of the first person shooting and were hailed as some of the greatest shooting games of the century, especially in those Counter-Strike maps like the maps that I am addicted to myself, de_dust2 and de_aztec. Now, there is even a site where you can download Counter-Strike maps, skins, hardware etc! Even in my school, just about 70% of the boys know how to play Counter-Strike, and even I am addicted to it myself. However, this game is so addicting it ends up being suckish in some point. And where that flaw lies? Let me explain briefly to all my reviews.

This is the best part of the game. Just like its predecessor, Half-Life, the graphic is incredible for a late 90's game, whereas even my older console, the PS1 has worse graphics even though they were released in the same era. All the rendering of the textures such as the constructions in the maps are indeed very sharp and flawless. Motions for the enemy, whether moving, killed or alive are great. Not to mention the very realistic and sensitive law of physics applies in the game. When I use the sv_gravity in the console, a code used to modify the gravity and I once set the gravity to 0 (or even negative), and when I shoot the enemies their blood movement is moving upwards, not downwards and even the bullets you consumed are flying upwards. This game is truly powerful in cases of graphic and technical engineering. To be honest, I dropped my tears when I noticed on how graphics were pushed to it's highest limits as a quite aged game. Honestly, this game's engineering is awesome and Valve has done a great job in their Half-Life and Counter-Strike series.

This is where I will explain the flaw. The game is renowned for its addictiveness in as an FPS type game but unfortunately the flaw itself is located in all sorts of the gameplay aspects. I often got killed, and spectate all of my friend's movements around the map. Usually, my more expert and surviving friends rather kill their enemies than going to their real objectives such as bombing the location or saving hostages, so killing your enemy is rather a primary objective rather than saving hostages for counter-terrorists or bombing the target for terrorists and everybody will eventually became a maddened frenzy on killing the people other than aiming the objectives, since if you kill everyone of your enemies you will also win; so the actual way of winning became reversed; killing is the primary way, and saving or bombing became the opposite; it's really weird on how the people became true objective-ill and rather focus on the not-so-important way to win, which ends up on no cooperation at all.

But that's not all; and I still have few but complex and critical cases more to explain. When you want to buy your items using the buy key in your keyboard, you will see an array of items which consists of pistols, submachine guns, shotguns, rifles, machine guns, primary ammo, secondary ammo and equipments. When you are a newbie to the game, you're probably going to think and do this: "What should I choose?" and you will end up buying the wrong or useless weapon or equipment in the terrain, and you will either get killed with a headshot from any weapon, AWP or even knife from the more experienced enemies. Like me, it will take a while to master the weapon arrays and once you mastered it you will probably start to ignore the tactically useful equipments like flash grenade which will blind your enemies for a while, helium grenade that can kill in a powerful explosion or defusing kit that will allow you to defuse bombs faster, which will end you up on killing everyone instead of aiming your actual target. Even in some type of maps such as the es_(name) type or as_(name) type, which the es is requesting you to escape and as is asking you to protect the VIP in the counter-terrorists, you will either start to kill everyone instead of escaping or escorting. And in the cases of cash, the cash net of either sides is practically unfair; Let's just say, either sides are starting with $8000, and they bought the weapons and tools. When one side wins, they will get more net cash plus the leftovers from the previous round, while the opposing force gets less net gain which in this case the counter-terrorists will get about $9000 now while the terrorists get only about $7230, reduced from the purchased weapons in the previous round. Eventually, if one side is keep winning the other side will suffer a financial problems and will have to strive using no kevlar armor, pathetically weak submachine guns or pistols or even a cripplingly foolish-used knives while the other side can use powerful rifles or even that AWP, full-fledged tools and grenades to disarm your opponent's movements. It's really unfair in this point.

The last case is about the same as the previous points. This game's pace is incredibly fast, which means even if you open up the menu the game is still moving and when you want to tweak your game, you might as well get killed by someone. And the losing team, even experts in the end will have a fatal disadvantage anyway from financial problems so in the end one side will win, flawlessly. And it's quite absurd on the spectator system on how you need to wait on the either side dying first before you respawn again, which will cause a case where beginners will not be able to learn the map and loses all the time. This game is quite pathetic despite all the mania it causes back in the 90's. Even today, 2010, the game is still played as much as hell. Even I had to admit that this game can waste your life when you play it in internet cafes around your neighborhood with friends. You might as well spend to play this game for 8 hours, not because it's fun in cases to your actual objectives, but only to kill, kill and kill people all the time!

So, this game is often hailed as some of the greatest games of all time. But guess what? It is not. It's very overrated in my opinion and the gameplay itself is not amusing me that badly either. I play this game sometimes only to reflect on how pathetic this game is compared to some real good FPS games such as Doom. In this case, I quite recommend you play this game, but please rent it before you actually buy it.

The gaming plot itself is wasted by the sheer fun of killing everyone, especially with that overpowered AWP that can kill someone with one hit from a REALLY long distance. Experts use this to take out those newbies that just came to this game; and it's unfair whereas they won't explain it to the new players. My final remarks are to say this game is good, but wasted by the flaw in the gameplay itself.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 03/08/10

Game Release: Half-Life: Counter-Strike (US, 11/08/00)

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