My girlfriend told me to make this review, mostly because I think that she likes to see me in pain. It’s okay, we’re sadomasochists deep down. With that said, I know that the internet is going to hate me for this review, and I’m not even going to try to post it to the CS:GO subreddit since I don’t think that, even though I’m adding to the conversation, they will look kindly upon an unfavorable review. With that said, I’ll cringe hard and get right down to it. Remember, I’m grading this title on MY experience with it, not what the rest of the world thinks.
“Your skill at the game, whether you’re Pro MLG or whether you’re just an average player or a below average player, has nothing to do with reviews and how good you are at reviewing a game…”
-AngryJoe, Halo 5: Guardians Angry Review
What’s the lifespan? [How many times did I step away from the game and come back to play that game again instead of a different one? How long will it last as a playable title in the future?]
For me, this game was pretty much dead on arrival. I bought it because a friend told me to do so, and I did, expecting what I was told from thousands of people to be a strategic, yet slightly arcadey and addicting-fun game. Oh man, was I in for a painful surprise. This isn’t a game that I refuse to play (which would have resulted in a lower score), but I refuse to play it by myself. I will only indulge this game with friends, otherwise it collects virtual dust in my Steam library. In terms of its overarching lifespan, for me, this game is dead.
How long did I play the game in total at the time of making this review?
Total Hours Played – Score: 45/80
I currently have 16 hours in this game in its various modes besides ranked (I prefer to avoid as much toxicity as possible while I play). I have no desire to play this game any more than that. Ever. If I could give this game away to someone that would enjoy it more, I most certainly would. Before you tell me that 16 hours isn’t enough to fully enjoy a game like this, take a look at Dirty Bomb, a game similarly constructed which I continually play on a regular basis and I currently have 41 hours in it. It isn’t even fully released yet. I have more hours in a game called Paragon that you can only play for 24 hours a week due to its closed access alpha. Yes, I really don’t like this game. It does have its merits, however.
Hours Per Session – Score: 5/20
Jeez, the longest amount of time that I put into a single session of this game before I lost interest or got annoyed was about an hour, maybe two. So, I really did try to play this game for a good amount of time, at least 16 times before I decided to write this review.
How much content is there? Did it feel like a complete, undivided experience? Did it have depth? [Hours of playtime/things to do and ways to do them, etc.]
I sure as hell didn’t think that there was much content. Not much at all. In fact, every game that I played felt pretty much the same, which would be okay for this kind of game, but when two fundamentally different game modes feel so similar that they blend together in all aspects but bomb-planting and respawn-time, there is much that is left to be desired. Some of the guns feel the exact same as others, which is at least something that I have never experienced in any other game. Battlefield 4, a game where I have spent 100 hours and used every weapon, has never confused me on which gun I’m wielding on a purely functional and auditory level. I’ll get into sound-design later in the review, but of all the weapons in CS:GO, I only really recognize 4 of them from the rest.
Like I said, two gamemodes that I remember, and if I can’t remember the rest of them, they probably aren’t worth mentioning anyways since, in all likelihood, nobody plays them. In my opinion, Arms Race is the most fun since I don’t like to have a dry experience then wait a countless times to respawn only to die quickly thereafter and relive the spectator cam for what seems like forever when the gameplay is so shallow in the first place, in my opinion.
Did it feel like a full experience? Even without any meaningful singleplayer alternative? Sure, maybe. For the price at which it was set, this is an okay buy for someone that likes to play a game with content amounts that show the price of it.
How engaged did I become? How much of an impact did it have on me?
I was never engaged in this game, even though I desperately tried to see what everyone was discussing and trying to tell me about it.
How well were things explained and executed? [Was the story captivating and the mechanics understandable?]
Mechanics – Score: 30/35
This game’s mechanics are easy to understand, comprehend, and retain. Nothing is too difficult to explain and the game, when you first start playing it, teaches you these mechanics pretty well. Simple? Very, but that’s not a bad thing and doesn’t make a bad game. In fact, the more complicated things get, especially with poor explanation, makes a game pretty bad in my opinion.
Story/Lore – Score: 20/65
It’s a modern-day military shooter. That’s it. That’s all you get for a story or a lore. No characters in which you become invested, no side that you particularly understand the motive. Just assume that good guys defend and bad guys attack. Nobody gets a face.
How was the gameplay?
There were times where I got a lot of enjoyment from the game, but ONLY when I had the AWP. I will get into the details of that a little bit later. Still, I feel that the gameplay is too repetitive and simply similar from game to game for me to come back for more. Like I said, there is no problem with this, but it isn’t engaging or enticing enough for me to warrant my continuation of playing this game on any level. There are many, many more games that will give me rich and fair complexity while keeping the experience fun and unadulterated where CS:GO feels watered down.
As I mentioned earlier, one of my biggest complaints with the game is with the bullet spread. Before I get attacked on any side telling me that it’s realistic. No, no it’s not. That’s not how physics works. Bullets, when fired in succession, do not magically make a 30° angle upward from the barrel when you shoot two or three times. Likewise, I have shot many automatic weapons at firing ranges and my accuracy, although not stellar, is no where near as bad as this game would have you believe that a trained military personnel would be at firing his/her weapon. The AWP shoots where you’re pointing, and it’s the only gun that I can even think of using since every other weapon (since I don’t care to take the time to learn the ridiculous shooting pattern), to me, is unusable. It’s the only part of this game that I enjoy, mostly because I have a personal hatred for gambling and leaving anything out of my control; since the bullet-spread makes no sense to me, I’ll stick to something that shoots straight.
How much were my senses tickled?
SFX – Score: 2/10
The guns sound kind of like guns, but they don’t sound that different from one another. Besides that, everything in this game sounds plastic. I don’t even know how to describe it other than when I shoot a gun, it doesn’t sound, look, or feel like I’m actually shooting a real gun, rather just a cap-gun.
Soundtrack – Score: 0/20
Two songs? Two songs that really aren’t even that good? That’s all I can think of while I write this. They are bland and just a hair shy of annoying. They aren’t even what I would call a soundtrack, just noise or elevator music.
Voice Acting – Score: 15/20
There isn’t much, but what’s there is actually pretty good. It makes sense and, surprisingly, sounds realistic. I enjoyed the throwback to when this game was a mod instead of a standalone.
Graphics – Score: 15/20
This game looks as outdated as Half-Life 2 with better textures and shaders. It has aged well since 2012 with constant updates, but it really isn’t that striking. That might be from where the descriptor arcadey came.
Controllability -Score: 30/30
This game has tight and responsive movements and controls, there is nothing much else to say about. Moving in this game is satisfying, as well as aiming, jumping, and crouching.
How few bugs were there? [Any glitches in the game negatively impact the score based on how much they ‘broke’ the game or ruined my experience. After first week only.]
Many, many, many, many, many times has this game played one match then completely crashed the game as if I quit it from the main menu. However, this has only happened while I was streaming the game. Regardless, it is completely unacceptable. Every other time has been a great experience with nothing that detracts from the gameplay itself.
Availability and diversity of settings?
It warms my heart to see a developer put time and resources into making sure that everything about the visual and sound experience can be tweaked to my liking. I tried to make it work as best as possible for me, and even though the game is somewhat of an eyesore, the settings are there to change that if there was more to offer from the game.
How was the optimization? [ Size of files, ability to run smoothly, etc.]
Sizes – Score: 30/30
The game is 10.8GB in size, I thought that it would be 15, so that’s almost immediately a perfect score. The maps are complex, and there are several of them, so this is a good thing to see in terms of how much space it takes on my harddrive.
Performance – Score: 70/70
Are you homeless? You can still probably run this game on that fire-barrel you have somewhere near you. This game is a Valve game, meaning it is optimized to high-heaven to make sure that it will run on basically everything without sacrificing what visual fidelity it has.
Performance At Launch [First week only.] – Score: -/20
Did not buy at launch.
DLC/Microtransaction – Score: -0/20
There is nothing about this game that you can buy to make you a better player, unless you really believe that red-knife skin will improve your aim.
Customizability – Score: -5/20
Besides weapon-skins that, for the most part, have to be purchased, there is nothing to differentiate one person from the next while you are playing the game. I don’t like that.
Community Correspondence – Score -/20
Wasn’t involved with the community.
Promises – Score: -/20
Never paid attention to promises for this game.
Performance At Launch [First week only.] – Score: /20
DLC/Microtransaction – Score: 20/20
Customizability – Score: 0/20
Cross-Platform – Score: 20/20
Available on all major platforms on day one. Good job, m8.
Promises – Score: /20
~~~~~Final Score: 607 / 1,000~~~~~
I would never recommend this game to anybody in my life. This game does some important things spectacularly, but they don’t recover it from a point where I would deem it a worthwhile purchase, no matter how cheap it is. Whatever you spend on this game, it is money poorly spent, in my opinion. This game wasted 16 hours of my life making me search for some kind of redeeming quality, but I couldn’t find any. I will not touch this game without playing with a friend, and most of my friends hold my opinion of the game at this point regardless.