One of the most common complaints with previous Counter-Strike games was that the games high skill curve creates a barrier to entry for many new players new to the franchise. With deaths being as quick and merciless as they are, and a large portion of the CS community having been playing the tactical shooter for the better part of a decade, learning the skill comprehensive combat can be quite an obstacle. Luckily Valve thought of this and in turn created, the Arms Course a small simple tutorial, but something the series desperately needed. Running through the quick gauntlet will teach you all the basics, while it will hardly give you the skills you need to face the hardened veterans that await, it will at least let you understand the basics.
Additionally players will also be able to refine their skills in custom games against bots or even partake in two new Arsenal modes, which spawned from the popular Gun Game Modes in Counter Strike: Source and 1.6. Arms Race is the traditional version of gun game pitting two teams of players against each other in what appears to be a traditional TDM setting. When players are able to kill an enemy on the opposing team they will move on to the game, the first player to move through the entire weapon rotation, ending with the ever impressive knife kill is victorious. Demolition on the other hand plays much more similar the classic Defuse game mode. Just as it is in the classical game mode when a player dies in Demolition they’re dead for the entirety of the round, however unlike the original game modes there is not shop, instead as players get kills their arsenal changes. Typically the guns are downgraded as players get more kills actually making it easier for players who are doing worse to kill their opponents in the next subsequent round. These new modes serve as a great entry for new players allowing them to try a variety of the games weapons, while working on their aim.
Besides the two new game modes, Valve also introduces eight new weapons into the game. However, the new weapons feel more like redesigns as each new gun basically serves to replace an old gun. For instance the Schmidt Scout sniper from Counter-Strike Source is gone, but it has been replaced with the SSG 08, a sniper that does relatively the same damage and even has a similar look and feel. Some of you might be upset that Valve isn’t offering an impressive new cache of weapons, but in truth their old trusted selection of weapons and tools serves them quite well. CS has been using similar weaponry for almost as long as I have been gaming and that has helped the series to continue to produce one of the most balanced completive weapon sets ever seen in a FPS.
Honestly I have to commend CS: GO for its impressive execution. Retuning an old beloved title to compete in today’s highly competitive FPS market is not an easy task, especially considering that CS can be quite daunting to most new players with its high skill curve and talented community. Yet, CS: GO has somehow managed to walk that fine line, between creating a highly competitive shooter for returning fans of the series, while implanting enough avenues for new players to learn the game.
It’s unlikely that CS: GO will change your outlook on the series. If you have played Counter-Strike in the past and hated it, chances are you will feel the same about CS: GO. In truth, it doesn’t even feel like a new game. Instead it’s like the best patch ever created, bringing the aesthetic face lift that the game desperately needed, while simultaneously cleaning up the already solid game mechanics. I don’t need to tell old fans of CS to give this game a chance, but if you’re a fan of shooters, but have always been hesitant of CS due to its high skill curve and merciless community, I’d recommend you give this game a try. With CS: GO it’s never been easier to learn how to play Counter-Strike; and considering the game offers such a pristine experience for only $15, there are a lot worse ways to spend your money.