It seems like the Xbox’s attempt to cash in on the huge success of Counter Strike came a little bit too late.
Though, if for some reason you haven’t been able to play Counter Strike yet, or you’re just looking for an excuse to use Xbox Live a little bit more than you already are, then Counter Strike isn’t a bad buy.
Few PC games have enjoyed the success and longevity that Counter Strike has. As a matter of fact, to this day it’s still going as strong as ever–and it’s been on the shelves for years, and downloadable for even longer. Now Xbox owners can see what all the fuss is about, but unfortunately, they’ll have to see what all the fuss is about on a lesser scale. Though, granted, it gets the Job done and gives you an idea of how nail-bitingly addicting Counter Strike can be.
Usually, an older game ported to a next generation system such as the Xbox is lucky enough to receive a graphical overhaul. That isn’t the case with Counter Strike, however, as everything has remained the same except for the slightest of polishes. The opposing forces of counter terrorist and terrorist look different, but not at all better than their counter parts in the PC version. This isn’t a terribly bad thing, however, but Counter Strike would have benefited greatly from an increase in graphical capabilities. The weapons look more or less the same, as do most of the levels from the PC version. The favorites are still intact and looking the same save for a few extra boxes or awnings; graphics were never Counter Strike’s high point. So, more importantly, are the gameplay fundamentals that made Counter Strike a success still in evidence?
Yes, they are. Counter Strike for the Xbox is still Counter Strike through and through, but using the Xbox’s control pad is somewhat a change from the ordinary. Players accustomed to the quick response garnered through a mouse and keyboard will find the controller interface to be rather frustrating–if only because it isn’t what they’re used to. They’ll find themselves messing with the sensitivity in an attempt to recapture that ‘PC’ feel.
The default settings are way too slow for a fast paced, quick decision game like Counter Strike. If your cursor isn’t turning to a target as quick as you would like, you’ll probably end up dead long before you even get it in your cross-hairs. Counter Strike supports a quick turn feature, which allows you to spin quickly. It’s a nice little feature, but won’t be used too much unless you find yourself in a large scale match with an abundance of people.
Match stipulations are the same as ever. Eliminate the opposing force or plant/disarm the bomb. It’s a formula that has been working for years, so it’s perhaps better that developers, Valve, didn’t tinker around with it. We like creativity, but if it isn’t broken then don’t fix it, right?. Unfortunately, a game like Counter Strike just doesn’t work as a single-player title. It’s a nice gesture that a single-player mode has been included, but you’ll find yourself practicing with it more to grow familiar with both the controls and game levels. Counter Strike has no lasting or significant appeal whatsoever as a single-player experience.
The game’s sound isn’t up to much; you’ll be able to decipher what’s what in no time. A hollow rolling sound will always be any type of grenade thrown, and each weapon has more or less the same sound aside from its firing speed and pitched volume. The game has voice support for head-set owners (which usually comes standard with Xbox Live) and you’re able to set it so the voices come from your television instead of your head-set itself. No matter how you set it, it’s still the same people on the other end, so expect some harsh words and arguments aplenty. It’s just the nature of the game.
Counter Strike will always be a classic, and just because it’s been ported doesn’t mean that it has lost its luster. It’s still a great team based FPS, even though, by all acocunts, it has its flaws and has been dumbed down considerably from its original version. If you’re an Xbox owner who hasn’t had the chance to own Counter Strike yet, then by all means, pick up and play.