Counter-Strike: Condition Zero Review
Roy Rossi / Apr 20th, 2004 No Comments
Five years ago a little MOD for Half-Life by the name of Counter-Strike came to the delight of gamers everywhere. Today, Counter-Strike is more popular than ever with more than 1 million users making Counter-Strike the number one on-line game in the world.
How could a game still be popular after 5 years? Easily, you make the game easy to play, while at the same time making the game challenging and addicting. Which brings us to Condition Zero.
For those of you who haven’t played Counter-Strike here’s a quick synopsis. You have two teams, Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists. The terrorists mission is to plant a bomb in a designated area while the coutner-terrorists job is to prevent the bomb from being planted or diffuse the bomb once its been placed. What takes place in between for each team is like a shot of adrenaline rushing through your body. Very few games can do what Counter-Strike does even after 5 years of playing.
Now Condition Zero isn’t so much as a sequel, but rather an updated version of an already classic with some minor upgrades. Counter-Strike now boasts a single player game which has you pitted against computer AI through 18 maps each offering specific goals or objectives.
There is really no story to the single player missions and there’s no real sense of accomplishment as you progress through the many maps that most gamers who’ve played counter-strike are accustomed to. The AI is average at best, but how can you compare the AI of any game to that of a person. Which is why Counter-Strikes strenght lies in its online playability.
Graphically, Condition Zero isn’t going to push any of the latest video cards on the market nor is it going to make you forget about the delayed Half-Life 2, but graphics aren’t what Condition Zero is about; the game is about the online experience.
Condition Zero boasts some lifelike explosions and bullet effects as they whirl through your speakers, but the game doesn’t rely on sound effects to carry the game. Condition Zero is meant to be played with headphones and not through the latest pc home theater setup. The advantage of having a good set of headphones is that the sounds that matter most are those of your opponents footsteps and trying to pinpoint the direction they’re trying to come up on you. This is one of the few games where less sound is actually more.
Half-Life is one of those games that’s meant to be an online only game due to the fact that game experience when played with humans rivals that of any thrill seeker. The game is fast paced and intense. Add to the mix a little strategy and a user friendly interface and you can see why Counter-Strike continues to be the number 1 online game in the world. The downside to not having a broadband connection is that the single player missions can get repetitive with due to spotty AI and no real story mode behind the single player missions.
What’s made Counter-Strike the biggest online game is the fact that the game is rather easy to pick up. The controls are setup like any first person shooter game would be and anyone who’s played a first person shooter would be at ease playing counter-strike. The pacing and the intensity of the game are fast which further heightens the gameplay experience by keeping the player absorbed into the game.
When Counter-Strike emerged 5 years ago, the game set a standard for what a first person shooter should be. The game was fast paced and gave gamers a rush of adrenaline. But, by todays standards Counter-Strike is still an enjoyable game, but it’s more of an updated version of Counter-Strike rather than a true sequal or an entirely new gaming experience alltogether.
If you’ve never played Counter-Strike, I highly recommend Condition Zero. But, if you’ve been playing Counter-Strike since beta version 1, a few maps and a few new weapons aren’t much of an incentive to go out and buy Condition Zero. Condition Zero wont necessarily be pushing the gaming envelope, but the game wont be going anywhere either. Counter-Strike has had enormous success for the first five years and I believe that it will continue to have success for the next five years and more.
GRAPHICS: The graphics wont push the latest video cards, but Counter-Strike is all about the gameplay.
SOUND: Some revamped explosions and gun sounds make you feel like you’re in the middle of a warzone, but this game was meant to be played with headphones and a microphone, not a 5.1 surround sound speaker system.
GAMEPLAY: Easy to learn yet hard to put down. With intense action and fast gameplay what more could you want from an fps.
LONGEVITY: Without broadband connection there’s really no point in going back to play Condition Zero once you’ve gone through all 18 maps. With broadband, the gameplay is endless because nothing can take the place of a person playing against you.
ORIGINALITY: As the saying goes, if it’s not broken why fix it. Such is the case with Condition Zero. A slight update to an already classic game that doesn’t make you forget about the original.
The Final Word: If you are a CS fan, then you’ll love the title.