Counter Strike Condition Zero. © Valve Corporation

Counter Strike Condition Zero is a first-person shooter that continues the legacy of Counter Strike, while also introducing a single player mission pack. Its strongest point remains the multiplayer, but compared to the original title, the character models, maps and textures were all updated. With the single player campaign having players assuming the identity of a counterterrorist and playing alongside bots, the AI plays a more important role than ever before.

Key facts about Counter Strike Condition Zero

  • Counter Strike Condition Zero is more than a replica of the original game and the first one to feature a single player campaign.
  • All the popular maps and characters from Counter Strike were imported, but they underwent significant changes, in accord with the advancements of technology.
  • Bots are at the cornerstone of single player campaigns and players unlock them as they complete missions.
  • The AI was updated in multiplayer as well, with hostages performing much better than in Counter Strike and responding to reporters fast and effective.

The Counter Strike Condition Zero games

Counter Strike Condition Zero did a brilliant job at promoting the single player campaign, despite the fact that it is a one-sided story. Unlike the multiplayer games in which players can impersonate both terrorists and counter terrorists, in these missions they are always on the right side of the law. Their partners are AI controlled bots, but players get to unlock better ones throughout the campaign

There are a total of 18 missions and with each one completed, players unlock better perks and their companions are more effective at what they’re doing. The gameplay is the same but instead of communicating with real people, players need to think ahead and give orders to AI controlled units. The single player missions and prematurely when the player is killed or fails to secure the objective in time.

The vast majority of those playing Counter Strike Condition Zero do it for the sake of competing against human opponents in multiplayer. The familiar weapons from the original Counter Strike 1.6 game return in this installment, but they look better as more attention is paid to details. They not only look differently, but they also work differently and players need to factor in new elements such as recoil. This gets worse if players keep their finger on the trigger for all types of weapons including automatic ones.

Hostages are easy to control in Counter Strike Condition Zero and they respond just as promptly went issued commands by terrorists and counter terrorists. When they get caught in crossfire, the injuries they sustained the plans on where they are hit, as weapons inflict the same damage to both AI controlled units and real players. A headshot is guaranteed to kill the targeted any case, but even the bots can survive multiple peripheral hits.

What is Counter Strike Condition Zero?

Counter Strike Condition Zero is the natural extension of Counter Strike 1.6, with the first-person shooter undergoing a facelift. The same popular concepts can be found here, but the graphics are vastly superior. The gameplay was improved by introducing new concepts such as weapon recoil and variable damage. The addition of a single player pack makes it easier for beginners to get familiar with the rules and game mechanics.

Screenshot of Counter Strike Condition Zero. © Valve Corporation
Screenshot of Counter Strike Condition Zero. © Valve Corporation

Gameplay of Counter Strike Condition Zero

Counter Strike Condition Zero didn’t alter the gameplay in dramatic fashion, with most of the changes being visual or subtle enough as to allude recreational players. Completing mission objectives will result in the ultimate victory of the successful team and they are limited to the same standard targets made popular by Counter Strike.

Terrorists will try to blow things up, prevent their opponents from securing hostages and when given the chance to assassinate the VIP. Counter terrorists are still fighting their way through dangerous neighborhoods, trying to make it on time to defuse the bomb. Controlling hostages is easier thanks to the superior AI, but they need to get there in the first place and eliminate the terrorists holding them.

In the single player mission, the gameplay is slightly different because you need to interact with the bots each step of the way. Difficulty increases for each successfully completed mission, but on the bright side, players unlock more powerful weapons and their companions get more effective. Once players make the transition to multiplayer and tournament games, the Counter Strike Condition Zero shines brightly, with each map and mission allowing a great deal of creativity when weaving strategies.

Plot of Counter Strike Condition Zero

Counter Strike Condition Zero has an off-line mode that is supposed to act as a campaign said, but unfortunately it feels more like going through 18 unrelated missions. These are graded as challenges of different difficulty and with each successfully completed mission, players are taken to the next level. Even seasoned players might find it difficult to complete all of them in one clean sweep and some will agree that single player pack can be more difficult than multiplayer games.

Players are still supposed to defuse a bomb and rescue hostages giving these 18 missions, but the campaign said doesn’t have a convincing narrative. Instead of establishing contact with fellow counter terrorists, players have the option of buying bots at the beginning of each mission. Their quality improves as you progress with the campaign and players can choose them based on their skill, teamwork or bravery. Just like the players, these balls have preferred weapons, which can also come in handy.

Screenshot of Counter Strike Condition Zero. © Valve Corporation
Screenshot of Counter Strike Condition Zero. © Valve Corporation

Counter Strike Condition Zero has the merit of forcing players to think their strategy through at the beginning of each mission. With so many bots in their team, they simply can’t afford to go with the flow and hope that the AI controlled partners will rise to the occasion. Choosing the right weapons and amassing a team of bots with the correct traits can make the difference between success and failure.

Development of Counter Strike Condition Zero

Counter Strike Condition Zero developers had a slightly more difficult time than those who worked on Counter Strike Source. The latter were simply has to revamp the visuals and do whatever changes they can to artificial intelligence to make bots easy to work with. Since Counter Strike Condition Zero also contains a single player pack, spend more time in the development stage and Valve worked with Sony and ultimately with Gearbox Software.

It was the latter that turned Counter Strike Condition Zero into a gem, while retaining the popular concepts that ensure the success of the original. Key concepts from console games were implemented and the game was available on Steam for those who wanted to download it quickly. All the necessary updates were delivered using this system, with the only shortcoming being that all these changes resulted in the laser regarded as unnecessary by the gaming community.

The Counter Strike Condition Zero Xbox version was the most popular one for consoles and recently the game was tweaks to run on iOS and Linux operating systems. 12 missions that were initially developed by Ritual Entertainment surfaced at a latter date and there are commonly referred to as the Deleted Scenes

Where can I download Counter Strike Condition Zero?

As mentioned above, the game was available for download on Steam and you can still be acquired here. A Counter Strike Condition Zero will not set you back financially, because one decade after its release, the game is now free to play. Once Counter Strike Global Offensive hit the stores in September 2014, it became the game bearing the flag for the entire franchise.

Screenshot of Counter Strike Condition Zero. © Valve Corporation
Screenshot of Counter Strike Condition Zero. © Valve Corporation

What are others saying about Counter Strike Condition Zero?

Despite the fact that Counter Strike Condition Zero was not a bad game and it builds on the popularity of the first installment, the reviews were mixed. The frustration of both players and professional reviewers resulted from the fact that the games release was postponed several times. The AI was praised and the maps were also appreciated, but the reviewers were far from impressed with the single player package.

Counter Strike Condition Zero tournaments

Counter Strike Condition Zero tournaments were held at the same time as Counter Strike Source events and there were no shortage of dedicated fans. The most important international competitions had at least one of them in the roster and these tournaments were at the time some of the best paying contests for first-person shooters. Today, Counter Strike Condition Zero players can enjoy the game in multiplayer format on private servers, but there are no longer paid tournaments to attend.

My rating of Counter Strike Condition Zero

If I were asked to rate the game more than a decade ago when it was released, I would’ve probably hesitated to give it more than 7/10. Looking back and appreciating the attention paid to details and the manner in which the Counter Strike content was preserved and improve, 8/10 looks like a fairer score.

If you are interested to find out more about the other games in the Counter Strike series, check out the following reviews below:

Overall Score