Released in March 2004, Condition Zero is widely considered a failed attempt at VALVe to milk even more money out of the legendary Counter-Strike. This mostly amounted to a poor skin and sound update, with a handful of interesting gameplay features, arguably more bad than good. The "deleted scenes" however, was almost a mini-expansion to CZ: a single player campaign where you take the point in the war against terror, saving the world from hijacked icebreakers and stolen nuclear weapons.
Individual-levels run in 1:21:42:
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|Counter Terrorist Training||0:07:12||2012-10-07||Albin 'quadrazid' Sigby|
|Recoil||0:05:07||2005-05-14||David 'marshmallow' Gibbons|
|Lost Cause||0:02:12||2012-09-28||Max 'coolkid' Lundberg|
|Secret War||0:05:36||2005-05-14||David 'marshmallow' Gibbons|
|Building Recon||0:09:33||2005-05-19||David 'marshmallow' Gibbons|
|Drug Lab||0:02:51||2012-10-01||Max 'coolkid' Lundberg|
|Motorcade Assault||0:01:51||2012-09-29||Max 'coolkid' Lundberg|
|Thin Ice||0:02:13||2012-01-14||Albin 'quadrazid' Sigby|
|Downed Pilot||0:08:45||2005-04-16||David 'marshmallow' Gibbons|
|Hankagai||0:02:48||2012-10-07||Max 'coolkid' Lundberg|
|Turn of the Crank||0:03:05||2005-05-17||David 'marshmallow' Gibbons|
|Alamo||0:04:24||2005-05-15||David 'marshmallow' Gibbons|
|Rise Hard||0:05:56||2012-10-02||Max 'coolkid' Lundberg|
|Miami Heat||0:03:46||2012-10-07||Max 'coolkid' Lundberg|
|Truth in Chaos||0:03:07||2012-10-10||Albin 'quadrazid' Sigby|
|Run!||0:01:16||2012-09-30||Albin 'quadrazid' Sigby|
|Sandstorm||0:01:42||2012-10-04||Albin 'quadrazid' Sigby|
|Pipe Dream||0:04:12||2005-05-17||David 'marshmallow' Gibbons|
|Fastline||0:06:06||2005-05-17||David 'marshmallow' Gibbons|
David Gibbon's comments:
Where do I start...? I have so many things to talk about I'm not sure if I can form a cohesive, non-rambling wall of text. Be prepared: most of this will be a rant. And I know two different companies worked to make CZ, but this is supposed to be VALVe's baby.
For one thing, I suffer similar problems recording here as I did when I did Half Life 2: relatively low frames affect my playing ability along with autosaves (which usually involve a large graphical skip -- I can't seem to turn them off like in HL2). Also, unlike in HL2, I do each level single segment, so the loading times and the massive stuttering are very painful.
The fact that I get low frames is strange. It seems VALVe has slowly destroyed the CS engine over the years with bad programming. I remember in 1.5 when I played on a sub-1000 mhz computer with, by today's standard, a bargain bin graphic card and got perfect 99fps even in a field of smokes. After steam, 1.6, and now apparently CZ's campaign mode (with dialogue, large levels, and many scripted sequences) I barely eek out 50fps while recording this speedrun! I got higher on HL2!
This is all the more ridiculous when you consider the dilation of the crosshair is correlated with the client's fps; the higher the fps, the faster it returns to normal, meaning your ability to reliably and accurately burst and spray gets worse as your fps drops (as an aside, I usually still get 99fps in normal 1.6 CS, although this required many PC upgrades; considering how outdated CS really is, this is confusing to me -- and if you add a smoke or two it plummets to the mid 60s).
The loading times during mini-level transitions are brutal. They get worse during the demo playback, where it will often skip up to a good 10 seconds of action. Usually it gets less painful if I play the demo a couple times before recording with FRAPs, but it always seems to miss at least five seconds. It would not affect the timing, though, since the larger the skip, the longer the load time goes.
Another funny thing that VALVe did is neglect to set appropriate rates for both singleplayer modes (the bots and this, deleted scenes). This engine relies on your rates so when you start with default rates...I can only imagine the frustration of the casual player who gets this out of the box and wonders why people take so long to die or why bullets seem to go through people.
Sv_maxupdaterate 100 --> definitely the most important command you can set, followed closely by cl_updaterate 100, cl_cmdrate 100, and ex_interp 0.01. They got everything else right, as far as I can tell.
Even with LAN rates (well, we are on our own computer...) the single player AI has some...interesting hitbox properties. For one thing, if the AI is running at top speed laterally to your view you may as well not even shoot at them because bullets won't register on them. Also, sometimes a sniper (scout, mostly) bullet will go through an opposing sniper's head with no damage. The dot can be directly on their forehead; nothing again and again. Pretty funny, really -- and really random, and led to much frustration, and eventually more of a reliance on the rifles.
Some specific soldiers in the game are FUBARed as far as I can tell. I'll get to those later.
There are several types of guards:
1. Suicide bombers: Strapped in a belt of dynamite, these maniacal zealots will take themselves out as long as you die with them. Contact is fatal.
2. Machetes: These guys blindly run at you but do a LOT of damage if they connect.
3. Pistols: Fodder.
4. Awpers: The laser sighted soldiers; usually bad aimers but when they headshot you at the last moment as you round the corner to freedom it's fun.
5. Riflemen: These guys are dangerous because they can do actual damage; as in multiplayer games, if they hit you in the body your aim will be affected dramatically. These guys get a lot of headshots.
6. Machine gunners / Para Wielders: Paras are mobile; the former man stationary machine gun nests. Both are odd in that they can either kill you almost instantly or let you linger. Para wielders, though, are EVIL -- they usually take you down with lightning speed from crazy distances. Grenades are usually saved for both.
7. Runners: Their job is to distract you with their invincibility while other normal soldiers step up and kill you as you spray into the lagging/wrong hitboxes of the runner...such cunning on the developer's part.
For the purposes of this campaign, HE grenades were made extremely potent. Any guard caught in its considerable radius will be gibbed in a satisfying rain of organs. Flash grenades are rather useless -- even beneficial to the AI! They tend to stun the AI for only a moment before they suddenly gain perfect, almost hacklike aim. Smoke grenades are the payoff -- these totally screw up the AI for extended periods of time. They usually either choke on it and don't pay attention or they run/turn around like chickens with their heads cut off and don't even look at you. If only it worked that way online...
I won't bore you with the details, but I am sorely disappointed with the way the video's audio turned out. In some levels it sounds ok; in others, holy moly! Ear plugs, please! It's beyond my control. In desyncs a little sometimes, just enough to make you want to stab yourself. Dialogue almost disappears, for whatever reason, if I face slightly away from the source, even though this doesn't occur when I play the demo.
I had to use the lowest graphical settings to get an acceptable video recording with FRAPS. I blame my computer.
Unlike normal CS, the guns do not affect your running speed. The only exception is the shield.
On to the level commentary, and a new opportunity to whine and complain!
Command and control, we have a major malfunction -- hostages are dumb! OK, so this guy isn't technically a hostage, but he operates under the same AI. They like to get stuck! Or not follow your commands...why? I don't know. It seems to happen with great certainty when I record, almost never when I just play normally. A speedrunner's curse, if you may. Believe it or not, this was my best run in terms of the hostage being smart. You should see how many different ways he screwed me over (especially when you first meet -- there's a reason why I stay and kill two soldiers before opening his door, otherwise he goes loony and usually ends up killing himself!).
I love the snow! Anyway, the guy that's supposed to open the door kinda freaks out sometime...but the door opens anyway. I like the effects of the door crushing the boxes, something new in the CS engine...the grenade usually kills everyone in that room but it only got one that time, oh well.
The trick to the helicopter is to duck when it starts shooting at you, otherwise the bullets will tear you apart.
Check out the groovy effects of the paper going over the canvas! Wow!
There's a lot of dialogue in this level...after about five minutes the actual action starts. "This organization revolves around being unethical!" Ho, ho...ho? Terrible laughter! The guard by the tank is a freaking hacker and can kill you really fast if you just run out into the open. I like throwing the grenade into the door and watching the eruption of bouncing organs. Then there's the guy that you shoot in the head a couple times, grab the AK, turn around, and then you see him roll, stand up, and then die.
This is quite a lengthy stage. The area near the beginning with the RPG launcher, mines, and awpers is quite frustrating. Something else that rubs me the wrong way is the long reloading time of the famas/clarion (seems to take an extra 2 secs after the animation before the game registers the fact that you did indeed reload it!).
I throw a grenade at the guy behind the table because it seems about 2/3 the time he is invincible to bullets. After that, I was somewhat sloppy with the scout...eww.
Turn of the Crank:
I thought this gang dealt in cocaine but apparently crank is actually something else -- thanks a lot urbandictionary.com. A lot of illegal immigrants die in this level!
This is a tough stage due to the high density of guards in each room and the seemingly random helicopter rescue objective at the end. If the helicopter blows up then you fail -- simple enough, there is a door where RPG soldiers come out and I keep an eye on it (as well as a variety of grenades) yet the chopper will still magically blow up sometimes. I've scoured the area and there's no other explosive source I can see...color me confused.
I like the room where the organs spray out after the explosion. Mmm boy!
I think this was supposed to be a beta level or something because it has the CZ title logo after the opening action. There are lots of strange posters on the walls...and the goofy background noises are too syrupy sweet.
Killing people while running forward with the AK is fun!
There's a glitched guard after you blow up the wall with the RC bombs. He opens the door and runs out but if you attempt to go past or kill him he'll freak out and start spinning violently in place a la the Freeman model glitch in old CS demos.
I don't think it's possible to jump the gap in the water room, but I could be wrong. I throw a grenade at the machine gunner but he died in the previous explosive barrel blast, which is unusual to say the least.
I'm going to have to raise a furor over the incident with the sig rifle towards the end of the stage. Watch the spray on the wall and I clearlyturn the guard into lunchmeat as I lower my aim to compensate for the recoil...but it seems to go through him.
Albin Sigby's comments:
Counter Terrorist Training
Pretty annoying map with lots of waiting. But also tons of small tricks and good movement. I didn't wanna memorize all the targets at the shooting range. So I made two screenshots and marked each target with a number. So I could easily look at the screenshot in the background. The timing between the targets is hard to get perfect though. This is probobly the place where I restarted the most. One of the biggest savers was found by coolkid. He found out that you could keep the smoke and flash-grenade. With those you can speed up two objectives later. The area where I passed the guard was always exciting. You never knew if he would sound the alarm before I reached the new map or not. In the nightvision room is a jump that saved plenty of seconds as well. Overall, I like this run.
Truth in Chaos
Pretty cool level after all with a different type of structure. Timing the laser cycles in best possible way. The freezing after using the radio is avoided by instantly switching to another weapon. There is two noticable hiccups though. I was standing just outside a radiozone without noticing it. And all the hostages didnt get into the rescue zone immeadietly. Except these two minor mistakes I was pretty satisfied with this level.
Short and sweet. Lot of zig-zag strafing. Really satisfied with this one. The scout headshot made me reset the most.
One of my least favorite levels. One HEboost and using HE rather than RC-bombs to save quite some time. The first RC-bomb skip is very hard to survive at all due to the random damage. We also had another route that would skip the HEboost and take out he first RC-bomb target from distance. Then the RC-bomb would then be used as intended on the last objective.
Max Lundberg's comments:
This is actually one of my favorite levels in the game despite what marshmallow thinks of it. Switching to a different weapon after using the Blowtorch makes you able to start moving again faster. I doubleduck instead of jumping over the tripwires which is noticeble faster but also riskier. Doing a nuke with the HE Grenade blows up the explosive barrels through the ceiling (explosives normally can't do that) and skips going upstairs in the second building. There's a soldier behind the wooden boxes who gets scared by the Smoke Grenade which makes him run into a tripmine. This skips getting the RC Bombs which saves a big chunk of time. You could walk to the end of the level from the rooftops but in order to complete the last mission you need to trigger and kill every enemy in the final dock area. If you skip to the very end you will get stuck. I messed up in the final part of the level but fortunately I got help in an unexpected way =)
Nice run! I do get stuck a few times but this is a hard level. The final fight and RC bomb gave me a lot of grief in my past attempts but it went surprisingly well this time (you can't move out until the soldier has done his wave motion or else the hostage will block them). The scout makes you move faster than normal walking speed eventhough marshmallow denied that guns affect your running speed, oops. I skip planting one RC bomb by jumping over the ledge and no, you can't jump down to the hostages without breaking the stairs because if you do the game won't spawn the soldiers on the next map which makes the level unbeatable.
Annoying level, cool skips. Most of the resets came from the first part of the level where sometimes a soldier wouldn't appear at all, wasting up to 30 seconds. The LAW glitch is very useful in this level Smiley
This is a fun level for sure! It's not the most clean looking demo but the enemy boost skips went much better than usual. Getting the boost by the vent within just two tries is rare. There's a faster skip in the beginning of the level where you shoot the soldier so that he stops which lets you run past him, however I couldn't get it to work at all for some reason during my attempts. The way I do it here is barely slower so I'll take it.
Oh man, I actually managed to get a decent run of this level before Recoil and Building Recon? I was definitely not expecting that. This could potentially be 10-15 seconds faster or so but it's extremely hard to even finish a run. In fact, I believe that this is the only time where I actually managed to complete the level in one go. The first indoors area was definitely where I reset the most (usually by dying). I blow up the turrets by throwing smoke grenades at 'em instead of using RC bombs. The most random part was at the helicopter area; there's an AWP guy on the upper ledge who killed me in about 95% of the attempts after the boost. This level much harder to run than what it might seem! If you lower your framerate (fps_max 30) you'll skip the freeze trigger before the knife duel, very useful! I sort of choked at the end of the level but I'm just glad that I managed to finish within a good time range.
This level was surprisingly fun to run. The gas skip saves about a minute compared to marshmallow's route. Normally the guard will alert his friends if he sees you at all but if the guard spots you from a certain distance you can just run past him! Lovely AI. I believe the way I manipulate him in this demo is the most optimal way of doing it. I lost two seconds at the very end due to me not reloading my TMP before I engaged the "boss", doh!
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