Counter-Strike: Condition Zero

2004 installment of the popular war video game franchise

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    7.5 (8553)
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  • Works under:

    Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP

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  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Full version

Counter-Strike: Condition Zero is a first-person shooter and a sequel of sorts to the Counter-Strike modification for the game Half-Life. Although this is the product of an amateur development team, the original Counter-Strike soon became one of the most popular shooters of its day. That left the creators with a bit of a quandary, since so many players were left enjoying their game, without those creators receiving a cent for their efforts. Valve, the creator of Half-Life and the Goldsrc engine it rode upon, had an answer: They would develop a commercial sequel that would, unlike the original, result in revenue.

A developer named Gearbox, already famous at that point for its porting abilities, was given the task of creating the game, although that arrangement didn't last long. After Ritual took over, things picked up some, but it wasn't long before they, too, were found wanting. Their progress was largely scrapped, development was given over Turtle Rock, the future makers of Left 4 Dead, and it wasn't long before the game was finally making good progress. Turtle Rock were able to salvage parts of the earlier developers' efforts in the form of levels that made it into the final release of the game in the end, as well.

The resulting game is unique among the earlier Counter-Strike properties in that it lets players compete against computer-controlled bots. This leads to something of a smoother learning curve, as newcomers to the game don't need to jump into the shark tank that is online multiplayer right away. Unfortunately, many series veterans felt that Condition Zero lacked a lot of what made Counter-Strike great. Critics agreed, giving the game middling reviews, and market response was fairly tepid.

The basic Counter-Strike game flow, where terrorists fight to plant bombs and the like and counter-terrorists strive to stop them, was there, but it was not found in as finely tuned a form as players had come to expect. However, Condition Zero is still a fun game. You could argue that its lack of distinction reflects the quality found in the other games in the series instead of being a result of its own basic problems.

While Condition Zero won't stand out as a high-water mark of the series, it does actually offer some fairly solid game-play. Today, it is probably most of interest to those looking to delve into the history of this important franchise, since other FPS games overshadow it today in most ways, including with regard to its single-player bot mode, by other versions of the intellectual property.


  • An interesting historical curiosity.
  • Single-player bot game-play stands out.


  • Not up to the standards set by the rest of the series.
  • Dated graphics will fail to impress today's players.

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