Counter Strike Condition Zero

Amidst much hype and expectations from the legions of loyal gamers, Counter Strike Condition Zero has arrived. The game is the next entry into the highly successful Counter Strike series, which is still the #1 online game years after its release as a mod for the mega-hit Half Life. Condition Zero is an enhanced version of Counter Strike as there are several enhancements as well as a new single play mode.
As before, players select to play as either a terrorist or counter-terrorist and once assigned to a team, they select the skin and weapons they wish to use for the campaign. Players select from a range of weapons, armor, accessories and ammunition each with their own abilities and costs. Players start the game with a limited amount of money in which to purchase weapons and equipment and as they find success, they will have a larger base of funds to equip themselves with. Now should a player die in combat, then they must wait for the round to finish to rejoin, and must repurchase all but the most basic weapons.
The gameplay options of the game are amazing, as players must rely on stealth and squad tactics to achieve missions that range from hostage rescues to the prevention of bombings. Naturally if you are playing as a terrorist then you will want to plant bombs and hold hostages while trying to dispatch members of the other team. .
The controls of the game are easily set via the options screen and any player used to a 3D shooter will have no trouble setting up the controls.
Since the majority of the game is online team based play, the designers concentrated on making the game as authentic as possible as there is no storyline for players. The solo missions are basically the same as the online with the major difference being that the enemies are computer controlled and players can set the enemy numbers and skill levels allowing players to practice at their own pace before taking on more seasoned gamers online. The solo play mode is usually set in a best 2 of 3 format with certain individual goals such as using a sniper rifle on an enemy or rescuing a hostage.
The graphics of the game are solid though starting to show their age, as with my 128 MB Geforce 4600 TI by Jaton, I was able to have high detail levels that included moving grass and water drops as well as dynamic explosions. While it is not as sharp as some of the shooters out there, the graphics are solid if a bit dated but still nice to look at.
The audio portions of the game are good as weapons fire is authentic and unique to the weapon being used. The ability to voice cast using a microphone is also very good as it adds to the authenticity of the program.
The game is an impressive collection of updated maps and graphic skins for the game and the addition of the solid solo play mode.
Many of the players I spoke with regarding the game online enjoyed it but saw the game as an enhancement of Counter Strike rather than an new chapter though they praised the new maps and the addition of the solo play mode. I found the game to be a complete version of the game that contained some great enhancements that completed the concept. While I would have been nice to have a full-campaign in the solo mode instead of bot matches, it is still a worth and addictive entry into the series that will keep gamers attention until Half Life 2 ships. There is a solid game with outstanding gameplay experiences that will delight fans old and new. I was never a huge Counter Strike players as the one kill and out mode did not work well with my style of play, that being said, I found myself enjoying Condition Zero and with the Steam online system included, it was very easy to find several online matches to play. The designers also included a nice bonus CD of gameplay from the forthcoming Half Life 2 showing that the wait certainly looks well worth it.
Gameplay 4
Graphics 3.5
Sound 4
Value 4
Rating M