Counter Strike: Condition Zero Review

Time for a counter strike, as the condition has reached zero.

Review by Darren Cartledge
Published 27th April 2004

Counter Strike: Condition Zero

  • Developer: Turtle Rock Studios
  • Publisher: Vivendi Universial
  • Release Date: 26th March 2004

Turning one of the most popular online multiplayer games into a compelling single player game was never going to be easy but Counter Strike: Condition Zero’s development has been nothing short of a rocky journey. Originally announced three years ago the game has jumped from developer to developer and been subject to numerous delays and other problems that make it all the more surprising the game doesn’t seem to have suffered too much.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with Counter Strike the game is an online multiplayer tactical shooter that pits two teams against each other, one a group of terrorists and one a counter terrorist team with each character controlled by another human player, however Counter Strike: Condition Zero is a standalone single player game with human players replaced by AI controlled bots.

If you’ve ever played the single player mode of any online game you’re probably thinking “what’s the point” which is valid as most single player modes in online games are boring due to the poor AI, luckily though Counter Strike: Condition Zero doesn’t suffer this problem as bot AI is spot on and actually does the job right.

The game features both map types that are available in the original Counter Strike, bomb and hostage. In Bomb maps the terrorist team have a bomb and have to plant it at one of two sites and it’s up to your counter terrorist team to stop them. In hostage maps the terrorist team have a number of hostages that they guard and it’s up to you to rescue them.

As mentioned earlier matches are played in rounds and to win a match you have to defeat the terrorists three times and by 2 clear rounds. Rounds can be won in two different ways depending one what map type you are playing on, the simplest and quickest way to win a round is by killing all of the enemy team, however in bomb maps rounds can be won if the terrorists plant the bomb and then your counter terrorist team defuse it regardless of how many terrorists remain.

A number of other simple objectives also have to be completed before you can move on to the next match. These include things such as achieving a set number of kills, or killing at least one terrorist with a specific weapon. During matches you will also be awarded cash based on your performance, with this you can buy new weapons and various other items to aid you in your mission. Weapons range from pistols, assault rifles, sniper rifles and shotguns. These come in various real world models such as the Desert Eagle, M16 and AK-47.

Experienced Counter Strike players will no doubt recognise a number of the games maps as some of them have been taken straight from the original game. However, some maps have been heavily modified and one or two taken from the Xbox version of the game while there are also a number of brand new maps available.

As mentioned above Counter Strike: Condition Zero features impressive bot AI and at times you may even forget you’re playing with computer controlled players. Enemies provide a good challenge and will hide behind walls and on ledges waiting to take you out, as well as take shortcuts to reach other areas faster. Team mates will stay in constant contact with you and will tell you where they are and what they are doing and just like human players some will go off and do their own thing. AI controlled characters are also prone to making mistakes, we witnessed some getting stuck on ladders and the all time multiplayer classic, running through a door into gun fire.

Before each match you are given the opportunity to put your counter terrorist team together, available characters each have a point’s value and three ratings, skill, bravery and co-op. The better the ratings the more valuable bot characters tend to be and their points value will be deducted from your overall value which in the early stages only allows you to select the least brave and co-operative characters, although as you progress through the matches you are rewarded with more points to spend.

Adding to the games value is a special deleted scenes play mode and a multiplayer mode. The deleted scenes mode is basically levels that were created before the game switched development teams while the multiplayer mode is exactly the same as the original Counter Strike.

Graphically the game is by no means ground breaking and things look a little dated. Characters move realistically enough although environments can be a little bland but at least there are no tears and the frame rate stays constant. Sound wise the game is pretty basic, sound effects are ok with weapon sounds been the most notable here while voices have been done well.

Making the biggest and most popular multiplayer game into a single player game was never going to be easy but overall Turtle Rock Studios have done a good job, the game is challenging and bot AI is probably some of the best we’ve seen and although the game looks a little old its definitely worth a look by any fan of first person shooters.

Review Score: 7/10

Please note, this review was scored using our old system. For more information please see our review policy.

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