|08-13-2003, 06:46 AM||#1|
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Has this been posted? PREVIEW
COUNTER-STRIKE. PROBABLY THE MOST recognizable (far and away the most popular) online multiplayer game in the world. Developed by a small team of dedicated, enthusiastic amateurs, it was originally released as a free "mod" (downloadable game addition that changes the characteristics of the game it is intended for) for Valve Software's legendary Half-Life game. Since then, through numerous iterations, it has acheived legendary status on it's own - ensuring Half-Life itself stayed on shelves and shifted yet more units, something it didn't even need any assistance with anyway.
It makes sense, then, to release a stand alone "you gotta buy it" update - the market is there, gagging for it, and it's a great way for the development team (now headed up by Valve themselves) to get some serious budget behind them. What can they do with the advantages of money and development time behind them? We are just about to find out, with the game slated for release this September. Before we get stuck into the nitty gritty, however, a quick recap of the gameplay for those who are new to the phenomenon.
Counter-Strike is alll about pitting terrorists up against counter-terrorists in a range of scenarios, utilizing the all too familiar first person shooter interface. With a vast array of real sounding and looking weapons at your disposal (they differ depending on which team you find yourself), you need to be very careful as you find your way around the level. This isn't Quake or Unreal Tournament; A single shot in the head can (and probably will) kill you. To help ensure you get at least a few seconds in the round (if you die, you have to watch the rest of the level - you cannot drop back in), there is a range of armour etc that you can buy at the beginning of each level. Buy? Yep, your weapons and armour selections are decided by you - by not only what you like, but by what you can afford. Do cool stuff in a level and you'll earn cash, which you can then spend on items in the next level. This aspect alone tripled the strategy of the game, which is already impressively intricate and well balanced with the frenetic action of the general "round to round" gameplay.
As you may have guessed, the original Counter-Strike was an entirely multi player affair. If you wanted to play offline or when there was no-one on your favorite servers to go up against, tough biccies. Sure, there are bots around (bots are computer controlled opponents or team mates), but finding and installing them is hard enough, let alone using them - and will you be impressed with them if you make it that far? Probably not.
Condition Zero, however, not only has a single player campaign, but it ships with the official CS bot integrated into the game. This will allow players to easily integrate it into offline skirmishes or bolster the number of players at a small LAN, the office, or even online.
With an enhanced half-life engine under the hood, the new levels and player models are looking super fantastic indeed. The original game, awesome as it is, is hardly cutting edge - the game it is based on is more than 5 years old! Condition Zero, however, has the advantage of being based on a customised engine, specifically created for the game. As a result, the levels and models exude realism and attention to detail.
In addition to looking fancy and having new levels and models to play with, Condition Zero will, for the first time, feature weather effects. It's going to rain, snow and atmospheric special effects will be more realistic than ever before.
Here's the official features list:
Single Player Gaming. Compete with and against fierce AI characters in three different single player game types. Perfect for those new to Counter-Strike or who are unable to connect to the Internet.
Amazing Depth. Six story-driven single player episodes, three different single player game modes, 75 different scenarios, and a total of 225 objectives.
New Missions and Environments. New missions are set in realistic locations all over the world and can be played from the counter-terrorist’s perspective, enabling gamers to fight the spread of terrorism.
New Weapons. New weapons and items including: M60 guns, LAW Rocket Launcher, Ballistic Shield and Pistol, Molotov cocktail, gas mask, and flares.
Enhanced Multiplayer. Each of the new weapons and maps can be played in both single player and multiplayer modes. In game voice-capability and spectator mode are also included.
The latest word from the New Zealand distributors is that Condition Zero will be releasing around September 25th. That is taking into account a slight delay for classification issues. For the latest release info, be sure to keep an eye on the news page.
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