I know it sounds like a new freezer product or an Antarctic exploration but it’s a pretty good game by Sierra and Valve. The game is a spin off of their wildly popular on line game Counter Strike. This adds the single player gaming adventures of being on a team countering terrorists planting explosives or rescuing hostages.
The game plays really well on a pretty middle of the line computer, the requirements are here:
Processor Pentium III 500 MHZ or Equivalent
Memory 96 MB RAM
Disk space 500 MB
Video card 16 MB Video RAM
Processor Pentium III 800 MHZ
Memory 128 MB RAM
Video card 32 MB Video RAM
The premise of the game is unlike many other first person shooter games, each mission is separate than the others but you have to complete three missions with certain required goals in order to go on to the next three missions. Each difficulty setting has different goals and more enemies to kill. The goals are where the game gets fun. Each mission plays until you meet all the goals, both the teams and the goals for you. The team has to stay ahead of the enemies by at least the same number that you have to win by. This means that if your team has to win by two, you can’t let the terrorists get ahead of you by two or they win the round and you have to start over. For instance in the first round on easy setting you have to kill one enemy by yourself, you have to actually do the killing, not your team mates. On the normal setting you have to kill five enemies, killing one and surviving the round and win one round in under 75 seconds. On the other settings it gets harder.
Each setting gets more difficult and more challenging but it is also very fun. Each round has a certain objective for the terrorists, one is planting explosives and the other is guarding their hostages. In each one you have to either protect and rescue the hostages or stop the terrorists from bombing the designated areas in the game. There are a couple of spots that can be used as the bombing sites and are marked, sort of in the game. On walls and different structures there will be letters of the different sites and arrows pointing to them, and then at the site there is a big red something, usually a circle with lines to mark the area that can be bombed. The terrorists will plant the bomb near there but it can sometimes be a challenge because they don’t have to be all that close. In one mission they would put the bomb on top of boxes that you had to climb onto, and it was hard to climb up there once you figured out where it was. You can hear the bomb ticking and it gets faster as time runs out but I could not see it. Then I saw one plant it there and knew what to look for from then on. Rescuing the hostages can also be a chore, sometimes they don’t want to cooperate and you have to forget that one.
Each time you play it is a different part of the round and until you meet all the goals of both the team and yourself or the terrorists get ahead of you the round continues. Once you finish each mission you go to the next of those three of the level and then on to the next three, each set harder than the previous. It gets annoying but it is really fun. Some of the hints and tips are really not per each levels or map but in general, you should concentrate first on getting ahead in each round of play and then worry about each individual goal. Take the weapons you find to be the best with killing enemies regardless of what the goals tell you you have to use to kill enemies. Some rounds require you to use a particular weapon, but worry about that after you get ahead. And then worry about the goals once your a couple of rounds ahead of the terrorists.
Another tip or hint is to follow and not lead, follow the group of your teammates and see where they are going. They often have a better idea of where the bad guys will be going and you can help them better as a group than by yourself. In the game you can order your men around but it takes time and often you don’t have the time. A lot of the time you won’t be able to switch between weapons like when you would want to use a grenade, the terrorists usually pick that moment to pop up around the corner just when you switch to another weapon. One thing you can do is figure out what way the terrorists usually move to go to their goals, they usually follow the same route or two routes and you can figure out which way they usually go and ambush them.
So when you start to purchase your weapons, forget the grenades and other things and just take your Kevlar vest and helmet and weapon with ammo, and a defuse kit for the bombing missions. Some of the bombing missions have a defuse kit to speed up defusing the bomb and it can be the difference between winning the round and losing to the explosion. Most of the time until you get to kill all but one or two guys in the round you will not want to take the time to switch weapons or to other equipment as it can be a little too hectic while playing.
Some missions using particular weapons is better than others, I have found the Krieg 550 Commando is a pretty good sniper rifle as it is semi automatic, not having to chamber each round is quicker when in action. The ES C90 Machine Gun is nice for close quarters as it holds fifty rounds compared to all the others that hold less and when required to use a shot gun the Leone YG1265 Auto Shotgun is also a nice one to use for it’s semi automatic capabilities. The missions that require you to use a pistol to kill people what works best is to use the 50 caliber Nighthawk and the tactical shield. You right click to bring the shield in front of you and wander around, then right click to move the shield out of the way to fire the pistol. The shield works well to stop the enemies from killing you when you pop up around the corner. You get that extra second edge on them when they shoot at you and hit the shield and you can turn some to bring the shield onto your side as you right click it out of the way and then turn a little to aim and shoot them. It sounds kind of awkward but it works well when you have to kill some of the terrorists with a pistol and using the fifty cal makes sure they go down with the first shot.
The Multi player gaming is pretty much the same as the single player, only your playing with real people instead of bots controlled by the computer. People can make the game even more difficult and challenging which adds to the gaming experience and fun. Many times people will do the things you don’t expect them to do and it can add to the challenge.
Overall the game is really fun and definitely worth purchasing. The game has very low requirements and most computers would play the game well. The overall game play and value is something that you can definitely bank on, you get all the single player rounds and missions at the different levels of difficulty. Six tours of duty with three rounds in each tour at the four different levels of game play difficulty adds up to 72 rounds of single player missions if you play each one at the different difficulty levels. But you will have to play each round at least a couple of times and more often as you get to the higher tours or levels. So you may end up playing a couple of hundred times just to complete all the tours and levels at each difficulty.
Then there is the deleted scenes, an extra ten missions more like regular first person shooters but with the same game. The missions are like real world adventures that you have to complete as you go on to the next one. It is ones that they decided to add to the game after they had made it and it adds a bonus to the game that makes it all that much more of a great buy and a great game.