Counter Strike Global Offensive. © Valve Corporation

It took Valve Corporation and Hidden Path Entertainment quite a while to come up with a quality successor for Counter Strike. After the limited success of Condition Zero, there was no sequel in the making and developers only started to work on this game after seven years. Counter Strike Global Offensive is the fourth game in the franchise and it was released on Microsoft Windows as well as PlayStation and Xbox consoles in 2012.

Key facts about Counter Strike Global Offensive

  • Counter Strike Global Offensive features all the classic content, but also revamped versions of characters and maps instantly recognizable by Counter Strike fans.
  • Visually, Counter Strike Global Offensive is a steep departure from the original game, but in terms of gameplay the changes are less dramatic.
  • New types of games were introduced, with a total of five versions available including three brand-new ones that go by the name of Arms Race, Demolition and Deathmatch.
  • Counter Strike Global Offensive features more cosmetic items such as weapon finishes than any of its previous census.
  • Counter Strike Global Offensive is currently the most popular first-person shooter played in international tournaments.

The Counter Strike Global Offensive games

There are a total of five Counter Strike Global Offensive games that players can choose from. These include the classic ones involving bombs and hostages. Players from both teams need to complete the objectives before time runs out to win the round. The winners claim points and also financial compensation, while losers have to settle for fewer credits.


The bomb scenario is the most familiar one, with terrorists planting the bomb and trying to defend before the counter terrorists arrive at the scene. Hostage missions are also played out in the same manner they were played more than a decade ago, as counter terrorists try to rescue the hostages. The round begins with them being held by the terrorists trying to prevent the other team from taking them to safety. The most recent Counter Strike Global Offensive update requires players to carry the hostages to safety as opposed to leading them to their destination.

The Deathmatch mode was the most recent game to be introduced and each round lasts for exactly 10 minutes, during which players try to earn as many points as possible. The particularity of this Counter Strike Global Offensive game is that players respawn almost immediately after they die. As a result, the game is played at a faster pace and the 10 minutes turn into a roller coaster of excitement.

The Arms Race mode is played by the same rules, with players accumulating points whenever they kill an opponent with a different weapon. There is a list that gets updated as players come one step closer to fulfilling their mission, which is to score a kill using the golden knife. Last but definitely not least, the Demolition game bears many similarities to the bomb scenario but removes weapon and gear purchasing.

What is Counter Strike Global Offensive?

Counter Strike Global Offensive doesn’t stray far from the path followed by all the previous games in the franchise and stays true to the objective-based first-person shooter genre. Terrorists and counter terrorist square off in bloody skirmishes, trying to protect or destroy assets. The game is the last installment in the franchise and acts as a magnet for new first-person shooter aficionados and hardcore Counter Strike fans.

If you are interested to find out more about the previous games in the franchise, check out the following reviews:

Gameplay of Counter Strike Global Offensive

The success of the initial Counter Strike Global Offensive sale as well as the longevity of the first-person shooter is the result of preserving the original gameplay. The game is still played in short rounds that end when all the objectives have been completed or when all the players in one team are dead. Players who suffer an untimely elimination have to wait for the end of the rounds to respond and they’ve got a couple of seconds to buy new weapons and gear.

Money is awarded whenever players successfully complete an objective and those who stay alive get to keep all the weapons and equipment. There are penalties for losing a round, killing hostages or teammates and those at fault end up playing the new round with only a pistol. On the bright side, Counter Strike Global Offensive still allows players to claim the weapons dropped by downed opponents and friends.

Counter Strike Global Offensive adds a couple of new equipment and weapons, including the deadly fireball which is available for both teams. The terrorists are using the Molotov cocktail, while the counter terrorists throw incendiary grenades to set a small area ablaze and inflicting serious damage to all those passing through. Cosmetic items and weapon finishes were introduced to personalize most of the guns.

Valve has the merit of introducing an anti-cheat system, which does exactly what the name suggests, banning all those who don’t respect the rules. Since Counter Strike Global Offensive is popular among professional players, there are leaderboards and advanced matchmaking systems assign players to various teams, based on their Elo rating system. Those who choose PCs to play the game benefit from dedicated servers that grant immediate and unrestricted access to the entire community.

Plot of Counter Strike Global Offensive

Counter Strike Global Offensive doesn’t have a single player campaign, which isn’t necessarily surprising given the fact that such missions were not available in previous installments. A single game in the entire franchise had a set of 18 missions, but they didn’t even feel like a fully fledged campaign. The bottom line is that there is no plot or storyline to keep players curious to discover hidden secrets, just the never ending adrenaline rush. Counter Strike Global Offensive tries to compensate the absence of a narrative by adding new weapons, innovative game modes and a bundle of new maps. It also resists change better than any other first-person shooter and uses the same proven concepts to keep players hooked.


Development of Counter Strike Global Offensive

Counter Strike Global Offensive was initially regarded as an alternative to Counter Strike Source for those who wanted to play the game on Xbox. Developers soon decided that it is worth putting more hours of work into this project and the Global Offensive emerged as a standalone product. Closed beta started at the end of 2011 and Valve worked closely with Counter Strike professional players, to make sure that the final product will meet their expectations.

This is one explanation for why Counter Strike Global Offensive feels like a continuation of previous efforts, rather than an innovative game. The emphasis was on creating a better looking game, fully compatible with all consoles, without straying too far from the concepts that made it popular in the first place. The weapons are more realistic than in the prequels, they have recoil and this makes them more difficult to control and the AI was significantly improved.

Where can I download Counter Strike Global Offensive?

Counter Strike Global Offensive can be downloaded at a discount price from Valve and it is also available on Steam. Those who want to play the official tournaments need to acquire this game, although the free version allows players to participate in multiplayer games. The entire Counter Strike pack is also available for those nostalgic players who want to have all the games developed under the Valve brand.

What are others saying about Counter Strike Global Offensive?

Counter Strike Global Offensive was well received by the critics and the addition of the new games was much appreciated, particularly the Arms Race or Demolition game modes. Those who were expecting a better version of the previous Counter Strike game, but didn’t want any major changes to be made to the gameplay, gave Global Offensive thumbs-up. By comparison, those who were hoping for a game that would finally break free from the canons of the original were reluctant to give it a high score.


Counter Strike Global Offensive tournaments

Counter Strike Global Offensive is widely regarded as one of the most popular games for competitive tournaments and won the eSports Game of the Year Award in 2015. Normal tournaments represent just the tip of the iceberg and Valve proudly hosts and sponsors big events that are commonly referred to as the Majors. There is even an eSports league that goes by the name of ELeague in the making, it is produced by Turner Broadcasting and WME/IMG, and it will air live in 2016.

The popularity of Counter Strike Global Offensive is so great that there is even a trade union of pro players. More than $8 million were awarded in major Counter Strike tournaments so far and Swedish players are by far the most successful ones. All Major tournaments have a guaranteed prize pool of $250,000 and the attendance is growing at an accelerated rate, while millions watch the games online.

My rating of Counter Strike Global Offensive

Counter Strike Global Offensive is the best Counter Strike game yet and the most lucrative one, as far as tournament players are concerned. If I didn’t know any better, I would rate it as high as the original, but the truth is that Counter Strike 1.6 made a tremendous impact as a first-person shooter. Global Offensive is a great game, perhaps the best we could expect from the fourth sequel, so I’ll give it a rating of 9.5/10.

If you are interested to find out more about the previous games in the franchise, check out the following reviews:

Overall Score