Sounds simple right? The simplicity of the game play is easily overshadowed by the tactics of the game. Do you buy powerful weapons and armor up front to try and overwhelm your opponents in the first round or do you save your money and hope that you get the drop on your opponents? Then there are also the team tactics. Do you stay together and beat them with numbers or do you split up into smaller groups to try and create cross-fires? Do you camp the bomb points/hostage areas or do you take the fight to your enemy? Once you’ve worked out those ideas, then you have to start figuring out the map specific tactics and strategies. While all of these decisions can be overwhelming at first, once you get your feet under you, it’s quite a bit of fun.
The core of Counter-Strike
is the maps and where the game really shines. Microsoft left in all of the classic Counter-Strike
maps (De_Dust how I missed thee), as well as including a couple of new maps to spice things up. Playing on Dust for the first time in a while was a lot like going back to high school for a 10 year reunion. You know all the nooks and crannies but it still feels weird. The new maps are solid but I never really warmed up to them like I did the old maps.
is solid but it’s not going to knock your socks off. The original game was based off a modified version of the Quake II engine (which came out a few years before the Xbox was created) and while the developers have done a great job on polishing the player models and spiffing up the textures, the game still feels dated. The upside of this is that the game runs really well and you’re not going to drop frames even during heavy firefights.
The sounds in the game have also been ported perfectly over from the PC version. Each gun has a unique sound so you can usually tell what weapon is firing at you (or in my case which weapon just killed you). You can also hear the footsteps of the other players if they are running, which can be helpful if you’re the last person alive on a level and are trying to figure out where the enemies are. There really aren’t a lot of other sounds except for the thudding noises when you get shot and the radio commands.
The single player side isn’t too bad and it does serve as a good warm-up before you go online. For the most part the, AI is pretty solid (I did have a few cases where it got caught up on a texture or continued to try and jump over something that it couldn’t quite do). There were times it almost felt like I was playing real human beings (they just need to add profanity to the AI speech pattern and some smacktard behavior to the bots and it would be uncanny). Online multiplayer action is where the game really shines and I enjoyed the experience (even though my survival time in a round was usually shorter than the guys who stormed the beach in Saving Private Ryan). The ability to use the headset to communicate with teammates adds a lot to the game and makes it easier to coordinate attacks and strategize on how to take out the enemy.
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