As Avinash mentioned in last week’s review, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is “a bit of a bitter-sweet journey”. The same holds true for its Xbox 360 counterpart. Except it’s more bitter than sweet mostly due to the limitations that consoles possess over the all but obvious PC option. Sure you can play it on your console of choice while sitting on your couch in front of a bigger screen but that’s where the advantages begin and end.
While Global Offensive isn’t that much of a looker on the PC, what with the focus on clarity and functionality (read: everything done to ensure you shoot your friends in the face easily), it’s more than a few notches lower on the Xbox 360. Be it character models, environments or even weapons, it all feels watered down and dare I say, aliased. Considering it looks a lot sharper on an entry level PC (or Mac for that matter) you’ll be on the short end of the stick when it comes to graphical fidelity on the Xbox version.
Further more, veterans will miss the ability to buy weapons almost instantaneously with a few taps on the keyboard. Yes, the radial menus look nice but purchasing your weapon of choice ends up feeling a lot more tedious than it should what with pressing buttons on the controller several times to grab a single item. It just feels cumbersome and a tad of a bother.
The greatest offender however, is the control scheme. In spite of being easy to grasp, aiming feels wobbly and floaty. Even after adjusting the sensitivity several times, it’ll take longer than usual to get used to. So before going online and making an embarrassment of yourself, make good use of the bots and offline mode. And yes, the lack of an option to aim down sights is more glaringly felt here rather than it’s PC brethren simply because you’ll find yourself trying to do so out of sheer muscle memory thanks to every console multiplayer shooter letting you. Also, it’s pretty much mandatory to be playing this online with a headset. Party chat is blocked though in an effort to prevent cheating.
There’s very little reason not to play this on the PC. The lax computer specifications needed make it playable even on machines running integrated graphics (heck, I’m running it on a 2011 Mac Mini), the community on Steam is a lot more mature than what you’ll find on Xbox Live (the tales of underaged gamers spouting obscenities are true) and most importantly, you’re ensured of support. Remember Team Fortress 2 on the PS3 and Xbox 360? Neither do I because Gabe and friends dropped support vis-a-vis the PC version that’s got the stellar Mann vs. Machine update. Not too shabby for a 2007 game eh? But I digress…
With history setting such a precedent, you’ll be better served getting your fix on the PC which is guaranteed to be supported long past release date. But if you absolutely must play this on the Xbox, do take a moment to wonder, how long would this be popular on XBL considering that Black Ops 2 and Halo 4 are on the horizon. As it stands there’s very little reason to choose the console equivalent of Valve’s latest iteration of Terrorists versus Counter-Terrorists. Unless well, you absolutely do not have access to one.