Counter-Strike: Condition Zero is a follow up to the original Counter-Strike game. This game was released in 2004, so almost eleven years ago. Condition Zero uses the Half-Life engine.
What we have here is a CS game which includes a single player mission pack. When it comes to playing Counter-Strike, I am more or less a newb at it. This game gave me the perfect opportunity to learn the guns, maps and mission types without the pressure of feeling like you are letting your team down by sucking. The campaign took me about four hours to complete, but this was only on Normal mode, you can go back and replay the missions on a higher difficulty to eventually work your way up to playing online.
I also found the squad management system to be a nice little feature which isn't seen in other CS games, at the start of each mission, you can choose which squad members to take with you on the mission, each of the team members have their positive and negative stats so you can really get stuck in with min-maxing them. You start out with three members and you work you way up to having a full blown squad of about eight men.
On each of the missions you also have to complete specific challenges, these can be goals set around killing a certain amount of people, winning the match in less than ninety seconds, rescuing a specific amount of hostages etc etc. This added a little variety of play, especially the challenges where you have to use a certain weapon in order to complete them. This allowed you to learn how to use other guns effectively rather than sticking with your tried and tested Rifle and Deagle.
While the graphics do not come close to looking like games we have in the current day, the game still does look nice. I wasn't put off by the dated graphics one bit; I guess that just shows how good the Half Life engine actually is!
The difficulty levels completely rely on how hard you want to make it. I started out on Normal mode just to get to grips with the game as I am newb like that; but you can work all the way up to playing as if you are in a match online and have the brutally hard experience if you want to. Easy mode is complete walk in the park though, enemies can be standing in front of you for about three seconds before they realize they should shoot you, and even then they spray bullets randomly all around you without actually hitting, so I wouldn't recommend you start out on Easy mode.
Like I said, the campaign took me about four hours to complete, but there are two or three more difficulty levels to try out, and I can see this adding a lot of variety into the game play, so I can easily see the single player alone taking about twelve hours to complete it fully on all difficulties.
I found no technical issues what so ever while playing, I would assume all the bugs and ♥♥♥♥les would of been ironed out years ago..
In conclusion I can easily recommend Counter-Strike: Condition Zero for anyone looking to get into the FPS or CS scene, it will easily give you a worthwhile experience, giving you the opportunity to learn all of the CS maps, guns and game modes in a pressure free environment.
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