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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Tactical Shooter

 

Publisher

Sierra

 

Developer

Valve/Turtle Rock

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

Q1 2004

 

 

- Timeless, classic gameplay

- Good bot AI

- Perhaps the largest online community

 

 

- Showing its years

- Not worth the money if you're already playing the free mod

 

 

Mod Review: Counter-Strike (PC)

Review: Medal of Honor - Allied Assault Spearhead (PC)

Review: Call of Duty (PC)

 

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Counter-Strike: Condition Zero

Score: 7.0 / 10

 

What else can really be said about Counterstrike (CS)? I know girls who donít even play the Sims who know what CS is and that says a lot about how popular the game is. Itís timeless and itís a classic, and while it does deserve a place in every gamerís collection, CS: Condition Zero (CSCZ) may not be the way to own it especially in todayís gaming market.

 

counter-strike condition zero pc review          counter-strike condition zero pc review

 

I recently saw the remake of Dawn of the Dead and absolutely loved it. While the remake will always still hold a special place in my heart (Gotta love those slow zombies!) the remake was just so over the top in every way that I feel like I could watch it 5 times in a row straight. While Iím sure that there are some CS fans out there who will own CZ regardless of its value, in todayís market, there are no less than 4 other games out there that deserve your time and money more than CZ does. This takes nothing away from CZ as a classic game, but it does take away itís relevance in todayís market.

 

While slow zombies were how the full vision of the dead walking the earth began, todayís zombies are now the sprinting kind. CSCZís gameplay while as solid as ever, seems like yesterdayís slow zombies; classic, but lacking relevance in the modern gaming market. After having played CS to death online, why anyone would want to 

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play it offline against bots is beyond me. This however, is not to say that held in its own right, CZ is not a good game.  

 

Personally, Iíve never really been a big CS fan as I donít like playing online games. However, after playing the single player mode, I can see where it has its merits, but canít recommend it to the masses who no doubt love the online experience. If you are completely unfamiliar with the game, basically, in the single player 

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portion, you play as the commander of a squad of counter terrorism unit. There is a set environment in which the enemies are attempting to plant a bomb, or where they are holding hostages. Your objective is to rescue the hostages, defuse the bomb, or eliminate all members of the opposing team.

 

The primary addition to CZ over the standard CS is that you can play the game offline against bots. While the bot AI is very good, most CS players will likely find the offline experience distinctly lackluster. The AI attempts to mimic what you would most likely find in an online game. Your teammates can have different dispositions; some will follow orders, while others will be complete rogues, and there will be everything in between. As the game progresses and more missions are passed, you will be able to choose better teammates as they become available. In the offline mode, you will only be able to play as the Counter Terrorists.  There are different challenges that the single player presents to you for each level, such as completing the objective in a given amount of time, or killing a certain enemy with a certain weapon.

 

counter-strike condition zero pc review          counter-strike condition zero pc review

 

The real meat of the game for most will likely be in the online portion. While the community is large and there will always be someone playing, Iím sure a lot of fans are branching out to experience some of the new premium FPS games of today.

 

While the actual gameplay will always remain a classic, there have been many strides in the development in team based tactical shooters. Although the decision to simply refine the original CS formula will no doubt please many enthusiasts, I found the gameplay a little tired despite its finely tuned feel. With the online experience of Rainbow Six 3, the new Splinter Cell, and Unreal Tournament 2004, CZ has some stiff competition when competing for the gamerís fifty bucks.

 

Contributing in a large part to the gameís tired experience are the graphics. Nothing screams out for an engine overhaul than jumping in between games of Farcry and games of Condition Zero. While the gameplay can not be faulted as it is silky smooth, the graphics by todayís standards are so bland and just plain unattractive that any criticism about the gameís engine is almost like saying hybrid cars are slow. They sure are but they give great mileage.

 

After all that, the game is still as addictive as ever. I found myself playing through the game offline with all the bots and still loving the experience. Iím sure that those of you who are more social gamers have felt the experience of having the sun creep between the blinds at 5 am while you say to yourself, ďJust one more game.Ē Condition Zero still carries the Counter Strike magic. However, given its age, how much it costs and the quality of the current competition, CZ cannot honestly and should not be at the top of any FPS gamerís list.

 

- Mark Leung

(April 22, 2004)

 

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