Counter Strike: Red Team Go is a Facebook Bastardization

counter strike on facebookCounter Strike: Red Team Go takes its name from the popular Half Life mod, Counter-Strike. This game too features guns, terrorists, and counter-terrorists and battle against anonymous strangers. But while Counter-Strike relies on tactics, skill, and teamwork that allows for a balanced, fun, and exciting first person shooter experience, Counter Strike: Red Team Go is a cheap knock-off and cash in that rips the soul out of game and puts it in an easily accessible web format.

I don’t normally hate on social games for taking a popular console or computer game and “porting” it to Facebook. There are several games out there that are worthy adaptations and utilize the social context of the Facebook Platform to create something better than the original. Counter Strike: Red Team Go is not one of these games.

counter strike on facebookThe game play is similar to Armies, a game I reviewed a few weeks ago. Like Armies, you need to buy equipment, raise your rank, and attack other people in order to get points. Invites help you get credits, as does fighting. But unlike Armies, every time you are killed in combat, you lose all of your weapons. You also aren’t very likely to kill the higher ranking general who has a minigun with your Desert Eagle – so get used to getting killed a lot initially.

The tabs for the game are pretty standard – you can attack and taunt your friends or random people, you can recruit people, you can buy equipment, you can see your medals, the leaders, and go on missions or partake in the arena.

The latter two features are unique to CS: Red Team Go, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. You can jump into a battle between counter-terrorists and terrorists and respawn when you are killed, but there is no Flash animation, no skill, and no fun to these battles. They are very similar to single “attack” missions, but are instead loosely based on the actual CS experience.

The developers get kudos for trying to integrate the system into Facebook, but at the same time the creation is awkward and confusing. You only know you’re in combat because a scroll of text updates you that you’ve killed or been killed. If killed, you can respawn a few times. Yay! The “mission” option is basically a way to earn medals by telling you that you should go kill a lot of people and then you’ll get credits AND a medal icon. You can join a clan, and thus establish some network of people to combat other people/boredom with.

counter strike on facebookI guess a more pressing issue, other than the bastardization of a classic game, is the fact that the existing game is poorly developed. The economies of health, weapons, credits and combat are not well-explained in the two-page long “how to” guide. The “under the table” system for determining who wins a given battle is mysterious, and if you’re going to create a combat game that relies on text rather than animation, you need to make sure the players understand how they can “win.” Your economy needs to be well-defined and your system needs to be pleasing both to casual gamers and the more experienced crowd. Neither is really satisfied here. As a social gamer I couldn’t understand how the game was going to help me meet people and as an experienced gamer I was frustrated by how boring this was.

The real Counter-Strike can still be downloaded for free in many places, includes live texting and social-networking, and is actually fun. Go play that instead.

Gameplay: 2

Development: 4

How much I hate these people right now: 9