DevelopmentThis game has had a unanimous history for switching between four different developers (five if you count Valve's contributions).
Between April and July 2001 it became known that Rogue Entertainment was working on content for Half-Life on what would become Condition Zero, a single-player experience of Counter-Strike. Rogue's director of content however left without telling Valve, so they took over development and then handed it to Gearbox Software, who already had a proven track record with the official expansions Opposing Force and Half-Life: Blue Shift. According to CS-Nation:
Gearbox's version of CS:CZ looked more like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater rather than a normal first person shooter single player experience.The release date was pushed back several times until the project was eventually dropped in July 2002, after a year of work. In December of the same year it became known Ritual Entertainment had taken over development. All the work was scrapped and redone as a more conventional first-person shooter. It had a more linear approach with 20 separate missions, each with their own story and objectives. Due to negative feedback of review copies, the project that had already gone gold switched companies again in the summer of 2003 and it was eventually handed to Turtle Rock Studios, who worked on the Counter-Strike bot for this game. It was finally released on 24th March, 2004.
CZ was non-linear and let you go back to previous levels to improve your score. If you scored well on a mission, you'd earn special bells and whistles, such as a new weapon or an added skill for your teammates. Your performance in the first missions affected how well you could equip your team for the second mission and so on.
Each mission included around nine objectives that you were to meet to get to the next level. If you completed the objectives in a shorter time, you were awarded more money or extra bonus items. Other aspects included in Gearbox's CZ were an improved AI coded by the creator of PODBot, enhanced graphics, a few new weapons and a couple pieces of equipment. Among the new weapons were a LAW, a disposable, single-shot rocket launcher, and the M60 machine gun. A riot shield and chemical gas grenade were added to spruce up the equipment department. To pull it all together, they used prominent members of the CS community, such as DaveJ, Hobbit, and narby.
The work by Ritual Entertainment was not lost however and 18 missions are included in the final game, as Deleted Scenes. The game also is the first to revolutionize Valve's Steam client, for people could buy the game from Steam and play immediately. The game was preloaded to everyone, regardless if they were intending to get the game.
- Golden Joystick Awards
- 2004 - Runner-up to Battlefield Vietnam as Online Game of the Year