Review by MorpheusDV
A classic FPS, but not without its flaws...
After getting somewhat bored from Doom 3 until its expansion comes out, I looked through my game drawer to find a new game to play. Halo? Nah. Warcraft III? Not today. Counterstrike: Condition Zero? Sure why not. It was so, that day, I reinstalled this magnificant game.
Much like any FPS game, be it Unreal Tournament, Farcry, or any FPS of that matter, Counterstrike: Condition Zero is a shoot to kill, shoot to stay alive game. There's much more than to killing a bunch of enemies, though. In this game, you will be required to save hostages, plant bombs, diffuse bombs, and even protect people to get to the end of the level.
If you installed the deleted scenes (Which I know you did), this game plays much like any FPS game. You go around in highly detailed maps, shooting and killing for your life, to meet up with, let's say, Alpha Team, or any other objectives that need to be completed. This plays differently than regular Counterstrike: Condition Zero, and much like Doom 3.
This is where the game really shines. Given so many choices in what you can do, Counterstrike: Condition Zero will keep you occupied for a while. You can either do the regular game or the deleted scenes, you can play as Counter-Terrorists or Terrorists, and let's not forget the many weapons this game has.
In regular Counterstrike: Condition Zero, if you go to the Campaign, you will complete various objectives on whichever side you pick. Each side will have the opposite objectives than the other side. For example, the Counter-Terrorists might be required to diffuse the bomb, while the Terrorists are required to plant the bomb and kill off the other team from diffusing the bomb.
When you play this game, imagine that it is real life. What I mean by this is that a few bullets is all that's needed to drop you. Once you die, you cannot be resurrected until the next round. So, in order to stay alive, you will need to use stealth by crawling and walking around, hiding behind obstacles, and having that element of suprise on the enemy. Using all of these is crucial to your mission.
There are many weapons that are in this game, and most guns, if not all, all have a real-life counterpart. Each gun has its individual strength and weakness. The Magnum Sniper Rifle is powerful and good in long range fights, but is slow to shoot. The Maverick M4A1 Carbine shoots at amazing speeds, but gets inaccurate. The Leone YG1265 Auto Shotgun packs a powerful punch, but far away it's inaccurate and takes a while to reload. Get my drift?
Unlike most FPS games, you have to buy your weapons. Initially, you start out with $10,000. It may seem like a lot, but some of the better weapons are expensive. Money is used to buy guns, ammo, diffusal kits, body armor, and tons more. When you win rounds and depending on how many people you kill, you get more and more money. Try to save up money to buy the bigger and unstoppable guns! Let's not forget the weapon reload animations either. Each gun has a unique reload animation. The designeers of this game did a very good job with it.
Suprisingly, if you are playing with bots, the AI of the bots is almost lifelike. The only reason I hinder a point from Gameplay is because bots camp too often. Yes, I realize this is a life-like game, but they can catch you off guard in the most awful ways. Even on Easy, these bots don't mess around!
The game makes excellent use of the hit detection system, meaning a shot to the leg will barely phase the enemy, and a shot to the head will mortally wound someone. Try to get headshots whenever possible.
For a game made in 2004, Counterstrike: Condition Zero compares heavily with some of today's games, such as Doom 3. Every part of the game is detailed, from the scenery and surroundings, to weapons, and to even the faces on the characters.
Graphics wise, this game isn't very system demanding at all, unlike most games of today's era. Even with a low end system, like a 1.5 Ghz PC, a 64 MB video card, and around 128 MBs of RAM, you can get amazing resolution and graphical detail.
One of the best parts of the graphics is since it's not very system demanding, there will be very few cases in which you will get a slowdown. Stuff like smoke from the Smoke Grenades will slow you down a slight notch, but not enough to cripple your PC to a halt.
The sounds in Counterstrike: Condition Zero are amazing, yet unique, in their own way. Bots that talk over the radio sound very realistic, like you're fighting the Vietnam War with a couple of your buddies.
Each gun has their own respective sound, and their loudness. This makes another realistic point in the game. Guns like the Maverick M4A1 Carbine are very loud, but can be used in conjunction with their secondary functions. In the Maverick M4A1 Carbine's case, the secondary function would be to put a silencer on it. This will silence your shots to no one in Multiplayer can hear you coming up. This goes along with the stealth I mentioned before in the review.
Another factor the sounds are realistic in the game is you make footstep sounds everytime you run. Again, this goes along with stealth. In areas you know where enemies are lurking, you will be required to make use of the walk button so you won't be heard and get capped in the head.
Bots actually communicate with you. For example, if a bot hears something that you don't, he might say "I think I heard something". This usually lets you know something in the immediate area got the bot's attention, and you should use caution.
Play Time/Replayability: 10/10
Counterstrike: Condition Zero will keep you entertained for hours at a time. Sure, at the beginning of the game you might get discouraged after dying, but as soon as you get the hang of everything, you may think this game is the next big thing besides sliced bread.
Multiplayer is where a lot of your time will be sucked up. Competing with players around the world is always a blast, and who knows, maybe you can learn a thing or two from them =) Expect a few 100+ solid hours of playing online.
As far as Replayability goes, there are more difficulties in the Campaign you can choose. Beware, some of the objectives are ridiculous, but very fun. Hard difficulty will make you a better player in tons of way. There's also a plethora of mods you can download online as well.
Rent or Buy?
Buy this game. It only costs around $29.99, and it's well worth its cost. for the price of keeping you entertained for hours on end, why not? So what are you waiting for? go out there and get it!
Happy fragging =)
Final Score: 9/10
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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