Genre: First Person Shooter
Release Date: October 7, 2004
Counter-strike is an fps (first person shooter), or also known as a tactical
shooter game, created originally as a modification to the Valve corporation’s
Half-Life fps game, This game pits a group of counter-terrorist organizations
against rival terrorist factions, and is played almost exclusively online. There
are a number of versions to this game including some offline versions, but this
review will focus on the original incarnation.
In early 1999 Minh "Gooseman" Le and Jess "Cliffe" Cliffe, members of the Valve
software team, began creating Counter-Strike and soon their idea had a large
following within the gaming community. In 2000 Valve corporation officially
signed on and Counter-Strike was born.
The games premise is very basic, but addicting enough. You are either one of two
groups the counter terrorists, or the terrorists. Theses teams battle one
another in various exotic locals around the world ranging from German city
streets to sun baked deserts trying to thwart one another’s plans. The
terrorists most notably hold hostages and plant bombs as their modus operandi
while the counter terrorists use their team to try and stop them. Groups buy
their weapons at the start of what are called rounds and usually have a limited
time to do so. These rounds have a time limit associated with them to encourage
faster paced game play and as long as the server, or host of the game, remains
active the game could go on forever technically.
Some servers use a rotation of gaming maps while others use a single map
24/7. Each map has different objectives so it is important to the tactics of the
team if they need to diffuse/plant a bomb or rescue/defend the hostages.
Completing the missions are pretty straight forward in their objectives which
are all of two either rescue/defend the hostages or plant/diffuse the bomb, but
the teams have distinct unit make-ups and unique weapons at their disposal to
Each team consists of four unique members. The counter terrorists employ
assistance from special forces like the British SAS and American SEAL teams
while the terrorists conspire with notorious terrorist organizations that are
fictionalized, but based on real life counterparts supposedly. Like in the real
world terrorism and counter terrorist actions are not played out by solo actors
but by a collaboration of many role players from many different backgrounds.
Although the different unit skins do not alter the attributes of the player they
do offer a nice flare and occasional camouflage in certain maps (i.e the snow
terrorist white would be great in a snow map while the khaki clad terrorist
would be better suited for a desert map) With the different teams also comes
different weapon selections.
The counter-terrorists have a wide armament of modern age weaponry like the M4
rifle while the terrorist use older heavier weapons like the legendary AK-47.
Each team has the same amount of weapons in terms of pistols, sub machine guns,
and rifles, but the attributes for each weapon are slightly different depending
on what group you select. For instance the AK-47 rifle for the terrorists is
heavier than the M4 and the recoil is very strong so the accuracy is not as
effective, but the caliber of bullet is more deadly. On the flip side the M4 has
greater accuracy and is light so one needs to test all the weapons for their
strengths and weaknesses. Weapon weight is actually very important because for
game purposes the characters move faster or slower depending on what weapon is
selected, so be careful.
Another interesting weapon is the AWP or sniper rifle. Most servers have this
weapon either restricted or banned because of its one shot one kill power. It is
hard to use, but many have mastered the trick of its skill. This in turn makes
it difficult for new games because often times they will be killed from a great
distance without ever coming into contact with the other player, hence being
sniped. The M4, AK-47 and AWP are only three weapons out of host of many more so
check them all out to see what you like because when it comes down to it the
type of weapon you select it can determine if you will survive the round and
complete the objective. Another aspect of this game that makes it more realistic
is that who ever drops a weapon you can pick theirs up. This is especially
helpful when your current weapon is out of ammo or as a Counter Terrorist would
like to use an AK-47 for a change. Now team selection and weapons are great but
this is a cooperative online game and those who don’t utilize tactics can get
The most important tactic is probably communication. If you have a microphone or
headset you can talk to your teammates and issue orders. Deciding whether to
wait in the shadows of a wall or charge into a room full of terrorists and
hostages can be the difference between a major victory, or a crushing defeat.
One thing not yet mentioned, but very important to tactics is your equipment.
You have things like grenades, (smoke, frag, and flash types) as well as bomb
diffusing kits and night vision goggles. Using a flash grenade on unsuspecting
terrorists will blind them so you can easily go into a well guarded room and
take them out, while a smoke grenade can hide your position. There are many
options in this regard so choose wisely.
Lastly the best thing a person can do besides these things is to stick with
teammates. You will not survive by yourself and most likely die very quickly
without support from other fighters. A radar is put into the game so that you
can monitor where other teammates are as well as where the battle is taking
place. Counter-Strike is not just about killing and defending but has some
really unique features too.
The most exciting aspect of the game is the customizations you can download. You
can change everything about your character including what he looks like to the
different type of weapons you can carry. Be sure to note that you can only
change the appearance of the weapons not their damage values, but it does add
some eye candy and flavor to your experience. Some skins are also known as world
skins so you can change what other look like as well. Some servers have it so
that you can see cool modifications, but most limit this so that you can only
see your own changes. In addition to this fact some skins might actually feel
and sound better to you then the original which might make you improve your
Unfortunately not everything is perfect with this game, and it needs to be noted
in this section that there are a few interesting glitches and challenges with
this game. The first is when a player comes into view sometimes they will appear
to be doing something that they shouldn’t be, like throwing a grenade. You think
they are doing this action but in reality they already shot you making you think
“how did that happen?” Also bullet registry on some servers is very laggy so it
appears you are firing a boat load of bullets into someone when in actuality you
may have hit them once leaving you most likely dead again from them.
Other issues include latency or ping ratings which I won’t delve into too
deeply here, but for some basic purposes means how many bytes of information the
server is sending to you computer and what you are sending back. In essence it
means that you want to try to find a close server to your home to ensure you
have maximum registry and little interference with lag times which can affect
your overall game play. The last challenge one might face are the occasional
hackers that come on and either play annoying music or have a program that gives
them automatic headshots which they use to kill entire teams by themselves.
My final thoughts on Counter-Strike are excellent even with the setbacks because
there are literally thousands of servers to choose from, excellent customization
options, and a great way for some fast paced tactical competition that is
relevant to our modern times.
9 out of 10
Counter-Strike Video (NSFW)