Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (2015 Winter Update-Present)
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (also known as CS:GO) is the latest installment of the Counter-Strike franchise, co-developed by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment.
The game used to be much better back then, and it was considered one of the best shooter games of all time, but since the 2015 Winter Update it declined in quality after Valve stopped caring about the game's mechanics and started to milk it for their worth.
- Rather than improving on the established mechanics, most of them were changed drastically, something that wouldn't sound bad in itself but only led to more problems. These changes not only angered many fans but also players that just weren't accommodated to them, thus rendering the game very hard for them.
- The sound effects were changed, making them terrible and unrealistic. A lot of weapons now sound like toy guns and the headshot sound is incredibly irritating.
- This actually led to some people to find a way to replace them with the older ones. Thankfully, it definitely works and you won't get a VAC ban, however, it won't work on official servers (matchmaking included).
- The gun physics are outdated as well, especially the recoil.
- It uses a very dated algorithm in which rather than actually fire it naturally as you move your hand, it always fires the same spray pattern. To make matters worse, even the original CS had a better and unpredictable recoil, without implementing a lot of fake difficulty into it, at least for that period of time.
- The AK-47 is the worst offender of all of the rifles due to the unrealistically large spraying area and terrible inaccuracy after the first shot, even if you don't move a single inch. If you are running or walking, you must completely stop or else the algorithm will consider that you are moving and will make the AK fire in a weird manner, even on the right or left. And you must completely stop because even a step can ruin everything.
- The AWP has many of the issues of the AK-47, especially when no-scoped, with unrealistic accuracy. That is right, unscoping a weapon and not moving your hand drastically reduces your accuracy. That is not how weapons work in real life.
- The M4A4/M4A1-S are a bit overpowered when fired in short bursts or at medium range, especially the latter one which is really easy to use with the silencer on.
- The Negev, a light machine gun, is near pin-point accurate when you're crouching, and it takes too long time for it to properly recoil like a real life counterpart.
- Speaking of the guns, there are tons of real-life inaccuracies of them. Which is quite ironic since the older Counter-Strike games were more inaccurate and this whole game is supposed to have a serious tone.
- Abysmal ranking system that treats the player like a complete idiot. It also completely fails at displaying other people's actual skill groups.
- If you have a winning streak of 10 matches in a row, even against higher ranks, you might not rank up, even if you out-performed the enemy team.
- But, if you lose a few matches, you can rank down drastically.
- There is a glitch that if you are a Silver I, it might be impossible to rank up if you don't play against people that have higher ranks than you (and win). And due to the fact that the game has a strong tendency to put you against players that technically have the same skill level, this means that you should better be boosted to have a high rank, or else you will have a below-average rank.
- Smurfs are rampant. And the worst part is that due to the fact that there a strong lack of human-monitored activity, they completely destroy the purpose of being matched with players of a similar skill level.
- On the contrary, Wingman's matchmaking is relatively easy and if you are okay at the game you get the deserved rank. But even then, due to how the system is in reality, there is a chance that you might not get your actual rank.
- Unlike all other Valve games, the game runs horribly on older PCs, especially on the new Dust 2 map. You might have occasional frame-drops on PCs that can handle demanding games just fine.
- False advertising: The game's screenshots used to show features that are no longer available in the game. (Some of the screenshot are now replaced since February 2021, over 8-9 years after the game has been released.)
- You have to pay for sprays.
- The same thing applies to other cosmetic features.
- Fortunately, you can earn a random one per week and might even be able to get it bought from someone for a few steam funds.
- Frustrating gameplay, which gives many Call of Duty games a run for their money.
- The radio commands can barely be heard.
- Also most of the radio commands introduced with CS 1.6 was removed.
- The tutorial is almost useless and helpless.
- There is little to no immersion in this game, a thing that Valve did in many of their older games.
- The game doesn't feel like a fight between counter-terrorists and terrorists anymore, due to the fact that Valve focused on making the game more competitive rather than realistic. It might make some players wonder if it is some "gun game" or an actual simulator of a counter-terrorist operation. In fact, some people are working on a Classic Offensive game mode for the game, that adds the classic weapons sounds and mechanics while retaining the game's visuals at the same time.
- Horrible hit detection. If you shoot a player who has a low ping, you might not hit him, even though you didn't miss the shot.
- The competitive defusal mode is very boring and incredibly frustrating, due to the aforementioned mechanics. It's basically a 5-on-5 in which you win by either eliminating the opponents and eventually plant/defuse the bomb, making it a filler.
- Back then, the game-mode was more appealing and it was a good way to demonstrate your skills. Now it is nothing but just another generic game mode that can be found in a modern shooter. As a matter of fact, Call of Duty implemented it as a game mode in Black Ops III.
- Ironically, that rank update was released on December 2015, just a month after the Black Ops III's release date.
- The VAC and the Overwatch feature (not to be confused with the game named like so) are doing their job poorly. The game is literally infested with cheaters. It is especially problematic on custom servers and operation maps, which are often overlooked by people in the Overwatch. Some people even reported that they got VAC banned for no or stupid reasons (such as changing a crosshair), though those claims are questionable.
- In fact, anyone which is at the bare minimum Gold Nova I, has 150 wins and a low report count can join it. That means even a very new player, which was boosted and barely has any experience in the game can go there. Just like Valve's horrible quality control when it comes about the games in their store.
- There's almost nothing you can do to defend yourself from the absolutely rampant toxic players. The reporting system barely works and it is very limited. And because of the fact that Valve stopped caring about their game and their fans, then you will have a horrible gameplay experience each time you encounter toxic people.
- Many updates add nothing new, besides some skins and cosmetics. In fact, there were little to no updates in the recent years that added game-play mechanics and fixed the problems that run rampant around the game, hacking included.
- There is a bug during the competitive mode where the music doesn't stop after the countdown for a few rounds and this can be distracting for some people.
- Despite the fact that Valve decided to add the MP5-SD to the game, it isn't very interesting because of the fact that it has a lot of the problems other weapons have, such as terrible sounds, horrible recoil mechanics and feeling like a toy gun.
- Considering many of the lines said above, this game is more like a generic shooter but with the Counter-Strike license slapped into it. (And no, adding some meaningless ranks, money in the matchmaking and a competitive mode doesn't really change that)
- The panorama UI, while great, is reminiscent of other generic first-person shooters due to the similarities between it and the other games' UIs.
- Despite the game claiming to be one of the best FPSs of all time and that it has a "high-skill ceiling", in reality, it is not that hard to learn or to master. This "high skill" thing is literally nothing but artificial difficulty (the terrible recoil, broken hitboxes, the abysmal rank system, etc.) thus not only making the main game a filler but a time waster once you get familiar to the game itself. While this could've been excusable back then in the late 90s when technology wasn't as advanced today, for this game, this is inexcusable especially because those problems appeared somewhere in 2016, where there were much better and far superior first-person shooters.
- Operations now are very rare and the worst thing, is that usually most of them have a plot, but operations are released only for a specific time period and cannot be replayed, so it means that if you are new to them or missed one/some, you would not really understand what's going on, unless you played previous operations with plot in them or looked up the information about said plot. And no matter what, to participate in the most things operations offer - you still have to buy a pass, even if you are not interested in special operation coins or skins.
- Considering the line said above, it is possible that Valve changed the gameplay mechanics on purpose.
- A possible explanation for Valve changing the game's mechanics is because of the most likely cash-in the eSport trend, as the game is extremely popular among eSport communities. This can actually explain the serious lack of updates that add other gameplay mechanics, such as operations.
- If you manage to get to the final rank, which is called Global Elite in-game (assuming you're either masochistic or not having other games to play for that long), you get absolutely nothing! Even games which had fake difficulty made you feel like a pro, but this game will make you realize how much time you had wasted to get there... for a meaningless badge. This is also ironic considering how the game's mechanics work.
- Speaking again of operations, usually, most of the maps chosen for them are either poorly designed or look good, but are problematic gameplay-wise, or both. One of the worst examples is Insertion, which is extremely foggy. Even though this is a nice touch since it adds a bit for realism, it is problematic when it comes to gameplay. Snipers can hide there and considering that the AWP is a one-hit kill weapon to the body, then there is an easy chance that you will die. The fog also makes everything hard to see and the area is disorienting, especially the forest part.
- Valve sometimes also makes pretty questionable redesign choices. For example, the Elite Crew got redesigned in the Dust 2 redesign update, but now instead of Arabic terrorists, they look more like movie stars.
- The console ports of this game only received one patch on December 2012 and console versions never got a patch again., later around 2019, the PS3 version of CS:GO has it's server shutdown completely.
- The game eventually became free-tɒ-play and a Battle Royale mode was added. This met a very negative fan reaction, to the point that the game's reviews dropped from "Very Positive" to "Mostly Positive" during that period. This can be considered a huge middle finger to all of the game's dedicated fans, as the game was pay-to-play for almost six years and most importantly, this is a clear sign that Valve no longer cares about their fanbase any more, as they started to cash-in on the long-running Battle Royale trend.
- Speaking of the Battle Royale mode, called Danger Zone, it has a relatively small map compared to other Battle Royale games. That is because the Source engine was not designed for extremely large maps.
- The Mac OS X version is atrocious. If there are any Applications running in the background, for some reason, it doesn't register a click, unless you click twice. And the frame rate issues are even worse than on the other versions. It should be noted that while Macs are bad for gaming, this game should run perfectly fine on it. The old version didn't have a problem on the Mac (same also goes for Team Fortress 2, it runs very poor on most computers due to updates, even though TF2 runs somewhat better).
- Some of the more new models included in the Operation: Shattered Web update, resembled something out of a Fortnite, due to the new art-style introduce in Dust II update. Thus felt by some players out-of-place in a Counter-Strike game.
- The Panorama UI, while looking good, can make the game feel like a mobile game, Also, the UI is mostly unoptimized, so it's likely to lag the game on older PCs.
- The server tick rates on Valve's official matchmaking servers are only 64-tick, while this isn't an issue for spraying, it can be an issue for burst-firing.
- There are however matchmaking servers such as ESEA and Faceit that have 128-tick rates.
- On January 7th, 2021, they removed Bots from Competitive matchmaking whenever a player leaves/gets kicked. This was yet another update that gives trolls a great advantage as now they just have to leave the game and the team the troll was on will have a big disadvantage.
Despite the game's problems, some people can still find the game enjoyable as there are "Very Positive" reviews. Plus, it used to be better back then.
- If you ignore the sound effects and the competitive mode, some games such as deathmatch or arms race are fun to play.
- For people who aren't very hardcore and are not interested in extremely realistic mechanics, then the game will manage to entertain them.
- The community servers and custom-made game modes are very fun to play and lack toxic players.
- It is still better than some generic first-person shooters in some aspects, despite them being average at best. Plus, it's also free to play as of nowǃ
- Valve released a new operation called Shattered Web, after more than 2 years of no operations, which shows that from time to time, Valve still cares about the game a little.
- Microtransactions are only cosmetic.
- The Danger Zone can be fun to play as it is less laggy and different. It's also a decent alternative to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, which is known to be broken.
- The reloading and suppressed sounds improved.
- It can be fun for Russians despite ignoring the flaws of the game.
- The Operation: Shattered Web update, while its new art-style for all new and old player models looked (for several only) out-of-place and inconsistent with each map, it finally gives a complete variety of models' back and even improved on from its previous entries in the series.
While the game itself has received "very positive" reviews from players, some of them are just sarcastic while the negative reviews actually got upvoted. It is Valve's 4th-lowest rated game, after Half-Life: Source, Ricochet and Artifact.