Critical Ops is a competitive first person shooter (FPS) predicted to be the next breakthrough game in eSports. The game, which has seen a soft launch for Android and iOS, has already achieved massive success via 15 million downloads and over half a million daily gamers.
Critical Ops’ ideological forefather is the hugely popular computer game Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). It is currently the most popular eSports title and playing requires a fairly expensive gaming PC with accessories. Modifying this type of gameplay to suit mobile platforms isn’t without its complications, but Critical Ops has tackled the issue with great success. Its atmosphere and user experience is perfect for competitive play.
The same basic gameplay formula is shared by both Critical Ops and Counter-Strike. Two teams armed with modern weapons battle it out in arenas. Counter-terrorists try to prevent terrorist attacks in realistic present day environments, like cities or airports. The most important distinctions between these two games are the gaming platform, team size and length of the game rounds.
Gamers interested in eSports these days are part of the mobile generation, so mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are more familiar to them than traditional computers. Previously the serious gamers would upgrade their computers each year, but now smartphone upgrades can be implemented with similar frequency. Therefore, mobile gamers have powerful gaming devices in their pockets which they can use to play competitive eSports whenever and wherever they please. At its best, the increased computing power, ever higher screen resolutions and the compelling headphone sound of mobile devices offer a gaming experience on par with PC gaming.
A smaller screen size coupled with touch screen interface introduces a whole new gaming feel to first person shooters. While transitioning from the traditional mouse and keyboard combo feels challenging to some of the older gamers, mobile generation gamers find it the most natural choice for controlling their games. The top Critical Ops teams utilizing mobile devices can not only challenge PC gamers as equals but even beat them.
Tournament rules vary depending on tournament organizers, but it is generally accepted that Counter-Strike is played with teams of five whereas Critical Ops teams consist of only four people. Also, Critical Ops’ playing times are shorter than in Counter-Strike.
Gaming equipment is pretty similar among gamers in PC-based eSports, but Critical Ops is truly multi-platform at heart. Critical Ops gamers may use a reasonably priced Android smartphone or the most expensive iPad tablet. The gamer’s own experience is enhanced when screen size increases, but it will not necessarily affect how the gamer performs in the game. In any case, Critical Ops requires excellent hand-eye coordination and teamwork skills regardless of the platform.