Counter-Strike began as a popular mod of the game Half-Life, originally called Half-Life: Counter-Strike. First released as a beta on June 19, 1999, this game offers Terrorist versus Counter-Terrorist gameplay over the Internet. An updated version, Counter-Strike: Source, is available for the Source Engine. Over 85,000 players can be found playing Counter-strike at any particular time.
Counter-Strike is a multiplayer game that features two sides; Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists. These different sides form the two distinct teams that usually start at opposite sides of an area, or map. There are objectives for both teams, usually to fulfill a mission objective, such as placing a bomb, rescuing hostages, or eliminating the opposing team in a deathmatch.
Gameplay usually starts after the player has connected to the game. The gamer begins with a small amount of money, from which he can accumulate by killing enemies and fulfilling objectives to buy more advanced weapons. A freeze-time in the beginning is used by players to buy equipment, usually with shortcut and hotkeys. By pressing a preset key a gamer can view the Scoreboard, where the name, score, kills and ping can be viewed. After dying in a round a gamer will automatically become a spectator for the rest of the round, until that particular round has finished. Boasting fast-paced gameplay compared to the large amount of shooters out in the market, its simplicity has made it one of the premiere games of this generation. Head-shots, a major theme of CS culture, are usually a one-shot kill and what separates good players with amateurs.
There are two types of players: The Terrorists and the Counter-Terrorists. These are also separated into 4 types of each, which apparently have no difference in armor or statistics. These include the Terrorists' Phoenix Connexion, the Elite Crew, Arctic Avengers and Guerrillas, and also the Counter-Terrorists' SEAL Team 6s, GSG9s, SASes, and GIGNs. Other types include VIPs and non-player Hostages.
- SEAL Team 6 - First appeared in initial CS beta - "ST-6 (to be later known as DEVGRU) was founded in 1981 under the command of Lieutenant-Commander Richard Marciko. ST-6 was placed on permanent alert to respond to terrorist attacks against American targets worldwide."
- GSG 9 - Added in CS beta 6 - "GSG 9 was formed out of the tragic events that led to the death of several Israeli athletes during the 1972 Olympic games in Munich, Germany."
- SAS - Added in CS beta 5 - "World-renowned British SAS was founded in the Second World War by a man named David Stirling. Their role in WW2 involved intelligence gathering behind enemy lines and executing sabotage strikes and assassinations against key targets."
- GIGN - Added in CS beta 3 - "France's elite counter-terrorist group, the GIGN, was designed to be a fast response force that could decisively react to any large-scale terrorist incident. Consisting of no more than 100 men, the GIGN has earned its reputation through a history of successful ops."
- Phoenix Connexion - First appeared in initial CS beta - "Having established a reputation for killing anyone who gets in their way, the Phoenix Connexion is one of the most feared terrorist groups in eastern Europe. Formed shortly after the breakup of the USSR."
- Elite Crew (L337 Krew prior to CS 1.6) - Added in CS beta 3 - "Middle Eastern fundamentalist geeks bent on world domination and various other evil deeds."
- Arctic Avengers - Added in CS beta 6 - "Swedish terrorist faction founded in 1977. Infamous for their bombing of the Canadian embassy in 1990."
- Guerilla Warfare - Added in CS beta 2.5 - "A terrorist fraction founded in the Middle East, this group has a reputation for ruthlessness. Their disgust for American lifestyle was demonstrated in their 1982 bombing of a school bus full of Rock and Roll musicians."
- VIP- Used in assassination maps in which he is armed with a pistol only and must be exracted by the counter-terrorist or killed by the terrorist.
- For main article see Counter-Strike maps
Besides the default maps, maps can be made using Valve's Hammer Editor.
Equipment & Weapons
Cheating used to be a major problem in Counter-Strike, from aimbots, to speed hacks and everything in-between, players could get their hands on anything which made finishing objectives and killing other players easier. Valve released an anti-cheat system, Valve Anti-Cheat (commonly shorted to VAC). Players cheating on servers that are VAC enabled run the risk of having a VAC ban placed on their account.
Counter-Strike is a popular game in the world, especially when found in Internet Cafes and Gaming Bars. Professional gamers and leagues form the hierarchy of the CS world, and skilled players with a name are feared and are respected around the world. Tournaments are hosted frequently and players often hone their skills to compete with friends or against online players. Extremely powerful factions of the game such as Team 3D can make a living out of CS. Teamspeak and Ventrilo are used by players to give out instructions and to give orders. Many Mods have been created to expand the gameplay of Counter-strike, and its versatility to create maps and mods have contributed greatly to its overall success.