Condition Zero is the long-promised single-player version of the multiplayer online classic FPS, Counter Strike. If you’ve never heard of Counter Strike, then you’ve probably never hung out in an online games forum. For many moons, you couldn’t go online without someone mentioning it, defending it, or wondering when the next patch or mod was coming. Counter Strike was just about the most popular title to grace online gaming, which was mighty impressive considering it started its life as a mod to the venerable FPS classic, Half-Life. Since fans can’t get enough Counter Strike, Valve made the decision to build a single-player mission-based version of the game. After bouncing it from one developer to another, Valve settled on letting Turtle Rock develop it. And after years of waiting, Counter Strike fans have their new title, Condition Zero, and frankly…it wasn’t worth the wait.
The gameplay for Counter Strike: Condition Zero follows that of the original Counter Strike. You play as a member of either the terrorist or counter terrorist team. Which side you choose determines the weapons available to you. As you score more kills, save more hostages, and defuse (or plant) bombs, you earn cash to buy weapon upgrades and ammo. It’s simple, tried-and-true shooter action that might not offer the deepest gameplay around, but it still is enough to keep thousands of fans playing each day.
In Condition Zero, you can now play offline in a few single player modes. As with the multiplayer in the original, the single-player isn’t all that deep. It’s a mix of tournament ladders and mission-objectives. The mission objectives are typically simplistic “kill this target” or “kill this target with this weapon” affair, and won’t tax your gaming skills terribly much. The idea behind Condition Zero was to offer a single-player Counter Strike experience, which the developers managed to do, but they didn’t do anything special with it. It’s just extended ‘bot fights with a few additional rules thrown in every now and again. If you enjoy ‘bot fights, well then you’re all set. The ‘bots in this game feature pretty good intelligence, and even play a little like real human players. And each ‘bot has his own skill mix, so some are dumber than rocks, and some are downright hardcore.
For the multiplayer fans out there, you can only play Condition Zero online through Valve’s Steam service, which is more than up to the task. There aren’t any special or new multiplayer maps, however, so don’t expect anything fresh to test your skills against.
Presentation-wise, this is one very dated looking game. It screams late 90’s era graphics and sound, and is sure to make most modern gamers cringe. The only thing going in its favor is that won’t tax your hardware in any way, shape or form.
Like a movie, Counter Strike: Condition Zero comes with a pack of “deleted scenes,” which in this case are a collection of basic missions and deathmatches that were made by other developers. Sadly, these aren’t worth the taking the time to load up, as they are boring with a capital “B.”
If you have some deep-seated urge to play Counter-Strike all alone, well, Condition Zero might be the game for you. Then again, the dated graphics, simplistic level design and basic gameplay probably won’t justify the price tag. It’s most likely worth a purchase only if found in your local bargain bin.
- Gameplay: XX
- Graphics: 6
- Sound: 6
- Replay: 6
- Overall: 6
- A bargain-bin purchase at best.
— Craig Falstaff