Game Analysis:CSGO


  • Counter Strike: Global Offensive is a 5v5 tactial shooter. It uses a very unique spray pattern based shooting system which gives it a very unique feeling, which complimented with valves momentum based movement system compliments each other very well. The goal is to either plant or protect the bomb in each round, which both sides have a economy system that they buy their arsenal for the upcoming round.

Game Play Analysis

Formal Elements

The Basics

Name of the game Counter Strike: Global Offensive
The platform PC
Time played (should be at least 30 minutes) 800 hours
If you could work on this game (change it), what would you change and why? I would change a few little things, such as removing the kick ability in competitive, and balance a few guns


How many players are supported? 10, 5v5
Does it need to be an exact number? yes
How does this affect play? makes it a lot easier for one side to win
Some types of player frameworks:

  • Single Player – like Solitare.
  • Head-to-head – 1 vs. 1, Chess.
  • PvE – Player vs. Environment, or multiple players vs. the game. Common in MMOs like World of Warcraft.
  • One against Many – Single-player vs. multiple (obvy).
  • Free-for-all – Every man for himself (1 vs. 1 vs. 1 vs. 1..). Most common for multiplayer games, from Monopoly to Modern Warfare.
  • Individuals Against the System – Like Blackjack, where the Dealer is playing against multiple players, but those players have no effect on each other.
  • Team Competition – Multiple vs. multiple, i.e. sports.
  • Predator-prey – Players form a circle and everyone’s goal is to attack the player on their left and defend themselves from the player on their right.
  • Five-pointed Star – Eliminate both players who are not on either side of you.


What are the players trying to do?
Some common objectives include:

  • Capture/Destroy – Eliminate all your opponents pieces (Chess).
  • Territorial Acquisition – Control as much territory as you can, not necessarily harming other players (RISK).
  • Collection – Collect a certain number of objects throughout the game (Pokemon).
  • Solve – Solve a puzzle or crime (Clue).
  • Chase/race/escape – Anything where you are running towards or away from something (playground game Tag).
  • Spatial Alignment – Anything involving the positioning of elements (Tetris or Tic-Tac-Toe or that game at Cracker Barrel).
  • Build – Advance your characters or build your resources to a certain point (The Sims).
  • Negation of another goal – The game ends if you perform an act that is forbidden by the rules (Jenga or Twister).


There are three categories of (what the book Rules of Play calls) operational rules:

  • Setup – the things you do at the beginning of a game.
  • Progression of Play – what happens during the game.
  • Resolution – How an outcome is determined based on the game state.


What controls are used? Movement keys, mouse, and certain keybinds that the player can mess with
Was there a clear introductory tutorial? Yes
Were they easy to understand or did you find yourself spamming the controller? Yes

Resources & Resource Management

What kinds of resources do players control? Theres a money system thats called your eco which controls what guns you can bring into the next round.
How are they maintained during play? You get money from winning, and if you lose you still get some but less
What is their role? Very important, if you have a bad eco its significantly harder to win the game
A resource is everything under the control of a single player. Could be the money in Monopoly or health in WoW. Other examples are:

  • Territory in RISK The number of questions remaining in 20 Questions Objects picked up during videogames (guns, health packs, etc.)
  • Time (game time, real-time, or both)
  • Known information (like suspects in Clue)

Game State

How much information in the game state is visible to the player? Not a whole lot, theres a very minimal HUD, it displays the basics, health, ammo, armor, and nades. Plus the minimap
A snapshot of the game at a single point is the game state. The resources you have, the un-owned properties in Monopoly, your opponent’s Archery skill all count towards the game state. Some example information structures are:

  • Total Information – Nothing is hidden, like Chess.
  • Info per player – Your hand of cards is only visible to you.
  • One player has privileged info – Like a Dungeon Master.
  • The game hides info from all players – Like Clue, where no one knows the victory condition.
  • Fog of War – In video games, where certain sections of the map are concealed if you do not have a unit in sight range of that area. You also cannot see other players’ screens, so each player is unaware of the other’s information.


In what order do players take their actions? Both teams start in the buy phase, where they buy their guns and utility for that round, then the round starts, where the t-side tries to plant the bomb, and the ct-side tries to protect the bombsites
How does play flow from one action to another? It all depends on the player, as it is a shooter so they have to think about where they want to go and what kind of execute they want to make.
Some structures include:

  • Turn-based – Standard board game technique.
  • Turn-based with simultaneous play – where everyone takes their turn at the same time (like writing something down or putting a card down in War).
  • Real-time – Actions happen as fast as players can make them. Action-based video games.
  • Turn-based and time limits – You have this long to take your turn.

Player Interaction

Some examples:

  • Direct Conflict – I attack you.
  • Negotiation – If you support me here, I’ll help you there.
  • Trading – I’ll give you this for that.
  • Information Sharing – If you go there, I’m warning you, a trap will go off.

Theme & Narrative

Does it have an actual story structure? No
Is it based on a historical event (or similar)?  No
Does the theme or narrative help you know how to play? No
Does it have emotional impacts? No
Also, look for en media res (does it start in the middle of the game)? No

The Elements in Motion

How do the different elements interact? They all blend into almost an overwhelmingly smooth game, the movement is phenomenal, with a rewarding gunplay mechanic that really rewards using movement to your advantage.
What is the gameplay like? Very fast, gunfights usually end fast.
Is it effective? Yes, even though you die super fast theres lots of rounds which make you want to use different strategies to outmanuver your opponent.
Are there any points where the design choices break down? No

Design Critique

Why did the designer make these particular choices? It’s based off the very old gameplay design of the 90’s
Why this set of resources? It’s a tried and true method and gameplay system.
What if they made different decisions? If they had made the gunplay recoil based instead of the spray patterns it would be a whole different game.
Does the design break down at any point? No

Graphics & Sound

Does the game art pair well with the mechanics? Sometimes players blend into some maps making it hard to see.
Did you find any bugs or glitches? No
What about sound? Very good you can easily tell where people are using sound.
Can you spot any technical shortcuts? No

Various Stages of the Game

To wrap up, some things to keep in mind (as if there aren’t enough already) as you play:
What challenges do you face, and how do you overcome them? Since its a competitive game generally just better players.
Is the game fair? Yes.
Is it replayable? Are there multiple paths to victory or optional rules that can change the experience? Yes, lots of maps, lots of ways to go about taking a site.
What is the intended audience? Older adults, as its a counter strike game that has been around for a while.
What is the core, the one thing you do over and over, and is it fun? The shooting, yes it is fun and rewarding

This analysis form was adapted from

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