each version of Counter-Strike and you'll find that not a whole lot
has changed since the game's inception as a mod for Half-Life back in
2000. Sure, things like hit boxes, recoil, and aesthetics vary between
1.6, Source, and Global Offensive--but the core, minimalistic gunplay
remains intact. And that's one of the beautiful things about this
hardcore, competitive shooter: It hasn't changed much in over a decade
because it doesn't need to, making it one of our top 100 games of all time.
is brilliant in its Terrorist vs. Counter-Terrorist execution, as each
objective-based match comes down to teamwork, strategy, and pure skill.
There is no regenerating health. There are no persistent equipment
unlocks. If you die during a round, you stay dead until the next begins.
Hell, even being dead in Counter-Strike can be intense when you watch
the surviving members of your team rush to plant a bomb or rescue a
hostage, knowing they're about to walk into an ambush. More importantly,
it's usually during death's spectator phase where your teammates will rally and come up
with a new strategy for the next round.
pacing of its matches not only makes for quick games (unless players
whip out a tent and camp their own spawn to ambush enemy search
parties), but also promotes teamwork in ways few other shooters do. Take Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, for example. There, as long as you
score high, you unlock Perks, Killstreaks, weapons, and equipment,
becoming a more efficient killing machine. As a result, players get
obsessed with accruing points, even if that means taking an "every man
for himself" approach to team-centric games.
Counter-Strike is chess with guns, a level playing field where every
player is an integral piece on the perfectly balanced board. Though
there are some team-specific weapons (such as the Terrorists' powerful
AK-47 or the Counter-Terrorists' M4A1), every firearm is so finely tuned
that each side has an equally powerful arsenal. Using an assault rifle?
You'll need to learn its firing pattern and burst capabilities. If you
pick up an AWP--Counter-Strike's infamous one-hit-killing sniper
rifle--you better make that shot count, because an enemy could knife you
to death by the time your next bullet enters the chamber. This balance
makes it so a player with a pistol could be just as deadly as one with a
submachine gun. Learning the strengths and weaknesses of each weapon
was (and still is) critical to your CS career. The best part? Even if
you're an amazing shot, you probably won't last long without some
backup, which brings the experience back full circle.
blossomed in Counter-Strike's well-designed maps. Admittedly, they
weren't all balanced at the start: de_dust was often regarded as a
one-sided map that gave Counter-Terrorists the advantage. But as the
game evolved, maps like Aztec, Nuke, Office, and Dust2 became the
definitive battlegrounds for matches. Every map in Counter-Strike offers
a bevy of choke points as well as multiple approaches to any objective,
allowing players to plan and execute tons of different strategies. Even
years after the game's release, players are finding new ways to take
down the opposition.