Counter Strike: Global Offensive is one of the most established first-person shooters ever made. Released in 2012, the game has managed to cultivate and retain a massive number of dedicated and casual players. It’s captivated huge audiences around the world through its competitive scene, which is one of the most robust of any FPS franchise in the video game history. In fact, CS:GO will likely remain a heavy hitter in eSports for years to come. Such longevity is unparalleled in the industry.
The secret to CS:GO’s widespread and long-lasting success is the type of FPS it is. The premise of the game is simple. Two opposing factions of five players each — “terrorists” and “counter-terrorists” — face off in an armed-combat simulation. They try to take each other out in a hail of gunfire or complete different objectives, such as detonating bombs and rescuing hostages.
As far as gameplay goes, CS:GO is considerably stripped-down and minimalist compared to most of the major FPS titles in 2019. It doesn’t need a bunch of bells and whistles to be great, just reliable, balanced, and exciting point-and-click action.
Just because CS:GO seems rudimentary on the surface by today’s standards doesn’t mean it’s not complex. The most competitive players know how to take gameplay to the next level by exploiting its hair-trigger mechanics. CS:GO features a fairly complicated weapons menu with over 30 firearms to choose from. Each of these weapons — be it a sidearm, shotgun, SMG, rifle, or Rambo-style street-sweeper — has its own unique spray patterns. By mastering each gun, players can become more lethal on the battlefield.
Familiarizing yourself with the layouts of different maps can also improve your ability to strategize effectively. It is very much a team effort, so communication and coordination is key, and knowing the maps helps with callouts.
The game offers a wide variety of gameplay modes, including but not limited to competitive, casual, deathmatch, and weapon races. Competitive play is by far the most popular. It includes an international ranking system so players are matched with other players who have similar skill levels.
The other modes are all entertaining, though. And they offer less stressful ways to play the game, depending on what kind of mood you’re in. Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or just looking to have some fun in your free time, CS:GO offers something for everybody.
CS:GO allows you to trick out your gear with skins for your guns, knife, and even gloves made by artists in the game’s community (who get a percentage-wise cut of the profits). You unlock these cosmetic items via random drops after matches, by unlocking crates with keys that can be purchased, or buying them in Steam’s online marketplace, where there are some pretty incredible deals, with awesome items going for pocket change.
Speaking of markets, CS:GO is a major contender in the current eSports scene with over $70,000,000 in prize-winnings awarded thus far. As a player or just a fan of competitive gaming in general, watching pros compete at major tournaments is quite the spectator sport. The clutch plays they make under extreme pressure will drop your jaw.
There are only a few downsides to Counter Strike: Global Offensive. First, the high level of toxicity in its community can be a turnoff, but there are fixes for that. You can mute other players if you don’t like how they interact with you in text and voice chat.
Also, Valve has developed a stringent, community-driven method of identifying and punishing cheaters by permanently banning them. Rage quitters get temporary bans for abandoning you as well. There are also what are known as smurfs — high-level players who create secondary accounts to pick on novices who are not as skilled. Sadly, trolling is an issue in CS:GO’s community; there’s no way around it.
Lastly, you’ll need to learn to talk the talk to be effective in-game, which can be challenging. CS:GO’s community has developed an unusual and somewhat exclusive vernacular over the years. So if you hear someone say something like “360 no-scope, noob,” “get to B-site now,” or “don’t be a loser, buy a defuser” — don’t feel too ostracized. It takes everyone a little while to get accustomed to the game’s lingo and what everything means.
Other than that, CS:GO is an absolute blast. Overall, it’s a phenomenal tactical FPS that stands toe-to-toe with its newest and most popular contemporaries — even though it’s ancient in terms of video game half-lives, especially FPSes, which tend to become obsolete faster than they took to create.
The fact that so many people still play Counter Strike: Global Offensive nearly a decade after its release is a testament to its greatness. It has stood the test of time, something that no other FPS has really done, and if you haven’t given it a spin yet, you should get in on the never-ending hype.