Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Quick And The Dead

You want reflexes like a jackrabbit and aim like a NASA engineer launching a Mars rover if you're going to be playing either Counter-Strike or Hotline Miami.

I bought into the newest iteration of Valve's classic competitive shooter, CS GO, because it's a simple, quick, no-frills affair that is easy to jump in and out of whenever the mood for a bit of tactical combat strikes. It was also on sale for $7.50, and I couldn't pass that up. I've only played a few short hours of CS: Source, but that along with my brief time with the CS GO beta let me know I'd have fun with the game. And fun it is, if a bit bewildering at times. There are people playing who are amazingly good at the game and will just dominate any match they play. I am not one of those people. I am usually last or second to last in the score rankings.

The Arms Race (AKA Gun Game) mode is the definition of a light-hearted romp in a FPS setting, and classic Counter-Strike modes like Demolition are also here with their discrete rounds. What I like about CS is that it is so immediate. I enjoy Battlefield, but sometimes I want to just jump right into the action without having to find it or find transportation to it, or even deal with vehicles even being a part of the equation. CS is great for a quick 15 or 20 minute hit of FPS play.

Hotline Miami is something else, entirely, if its demands for speed and precision are much like CS's. People make the comparison to the first few GTA games, before that series went 3D, but a bigger point of reference to me is the NES Mission Impossible. That game had the same top-down perspective, and much like Hotline Miami, was incredibly difficult. That said, the game is pretty fun, and I suspect has some surprises in store further in. Some kind of trippy plot is developing between my contract-killer's murderous jobs. It is kind of reminiscent of Drive, though even more sinister, and with an even nastier soundtrack. I like it.

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