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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Series) Review

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Posted: 3 months ago.

Author: @JonahMonaghan and @GeekDadGamer.


Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (commonly abbreviated as CS:GO) is a competitive first-person shooting game. You play either a counter-terrorist or terrorist. The objective changes based on the game-mode you play but generally, game modes are terrorists versus counter-terrorists with a few exceptions.

In the main mode, it is the terrorist's goal to plant a bomb within a certain amount of time, while the counter-terrorists aim to stop the terrorists from planting the bomb or defuse the bomb after its planted. Alternatively, the terrorists may be guarding hostages while the counter-terrorists try to free the hostages. The format of the game changes depending on which map is being played.

CS:GO provides both casual and competitive experiences, however, the competitive game mode is the main appeal to most players. Here, you need to choose and manage resources carefully as funds for weapons and utilities such as flashbangs or smoke grenades are limited.

The game's shooting mechanism has an emphasis on realism and offers no assistance. This means that each gun shoots differently, in terms of reload, range, recoil and damage so you need to learn how each works if you want to succeed.

The game also provides a small scale battle-royale mode for up to 18 players. This mode still uses the same shooting mechanisms as other game modes giving it a large difficulty curve with a focus on precision shooting.

DetailsGame Details

Rating: PEGI 18+, ESRB MATURE 17+

Release Date: 12/08/2012

Price: Free

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360

Genres: Action, Shooting and Strategy

Developer: @ValveSoftware


Duration: It takes between 1 minute and 3 minutes to play a round of this game. In competitive games, rounds can range from a few seconds to up to 2 minutes and 35 seconds. Each game is played best of 30 rounds meaning the first to 16 rounds wins and a tie at 15-15. Since players are penalized for leaving games early it is advised to be prepared to play for up to an hour and a half before starting a match. This time estimate includes warmup, half-time, and preparation time.
Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 10 players online. Competitive games are up to 10 players. Casual game modes can have up to 20 players and custom servers can have up to 255 players at any given time (however this is very uncommon).


This game is free to play. Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience. Some of these purchases (known as 'loot boxes') are for a chance of getting rare/higher-value items although common/lower-value items are more frequent. These in-game purchases also offer a regular subscription fee (known as a 'battle/season pass') to unlock access to reward items and other aspects of the game. CS:GO offers a Prime Upgrade to let players into priority servers with better speeds and more trusted players. CS:GO also provides loot-boxes that can be obtained for free however they require real-world money to be opened. The items provided in these loot-boxes are cosmetic only.

For example, Operation Broken Fang content adds a new competitive mode, a detailed personal statistics display, all-new agents, weapon collections, stickers, and more, available exclusively to Operation pass holders. Additionally, the update introduces the fast-paced Retakes Mode which is available for all players.
You don’t need a paid subscription to play this game online.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Rated PEGI 18+ for violence. Realistic looking violence towards vulnerable characters; it is possible to shoot restrained hostages.

Rated ESRB MATURE 17+ for blood, intense violence.

User-Generated Content: This game includes content created by other players, such as maps, outfits and items, that are not reflected in the game rating.

Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.


Some of CS:GO's accessibility settings are only available from the game console. This makes enabling some settings difficult, although it does offer a high level of customization once settings are enabled.

Depending on your situation some settings may be more convenient to enable through Steam rather than through the in-game console. To make things easier some community content creators have made maps you can play that will do these processes for you. For example, there are maps that let you change UI colours by shooting the desired colour.


How you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.

Competitive Difficulty: Difficulty not adjustable, because you compete against other players.


Rubber Banding: Trailing players are dynamically given an advantage, or the game gets easier if you die frequently.

Practice Area: You can practice freely without opponents or time pressures.

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials, instructions and tips.


How much reading or listening comprehension is required, and how accessible this is.

Simple Minimal Reading: Minimal reading is required.

Any spoken content has subtitles: All spoken content has subtitles, or there is no speech in the game.

All Dialogue is Voiced: All of the game dialogue and narrative can be voiced.


How you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Multiple Buttons & Two Sticks: Can play with multiple buttons and two sticks.

Mouse and Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.

Remap Controls

You can customise the controls for the game as follows:

Remap Buttons: Re-map all buttons/keys.

Swap Sticks: Swap the sticks over.

Remap Sticks: Remap the stick controls to buttons/keys.

Remap Mouse and Keyboard: Remap mouse and keyboard.

Remap One Action to Multiple Buttons: Map multiple buttons to a single action.

Remap Game Menu Access: You can remap buttons to pause and access game menu.

Invert X/Y Axis: You can invert the direction required to control looking and aiming.

Adjust Mouse/Stick Sensitivity: Adjust how sensitive mouse/stick controls are.


How you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

No Screen Shake: No screen shake effect or this can be disabled.

Colour Options

Colourblind friendly: Game doesn’t rely on colour or can switch to colourblind friendly mode.

Colour adjustments: Adjust colours of characters or game elements for greater visibility

Head-Up-Display Visibility

Clear Interface: The game navigation, maps and information are clear to read, large or adjustable.

Adjust Head Up Display: Remove or resize head-up display to remove distraction and make more visible.

Turn Off Blood: Reduce or disable graphic content of blood and gore.


How you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Customise Audio Levels: Control volume levels of specific events and elements in the game.


How you can communicate with other players in the game and what options are available to customise and control this interaction.

Player-to-Player Communication

Preset Chat: Communicate with other players with word-less icons, sounds or preset phrases.

Text Chat: Chat to other players by typing text.

Voice Chat: Chat to other players by speaking with headset.

System Settings

Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators... read more about system accessibility settings.

Supported by PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors: @JonahMonaghan

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