This article is written by Alex Miller, founder of CS:GO Review
“Classics never age,” I tell myself while looking for my Original Counter Strike CD presented by a friend for my birthday. “My Gawd, I’m old, that was 12 years ago,” I think as I go through dusty shelves at my secret box of junk too precious to throw away, but too old to even look at, and then I realize it was 17 years ago.
Some History Facts You Probably Already Know
It’s crazy how such a massive franchise with professional tournaments and millions of fans everywhere started as a Half-Life mod almost 18 years ago. The mod was developed and released by talented enthusiasts, Minh “Gooseman” Le and Jess Cliffe in 1999, before they were hired by Valve, and the intellectual property rights for the game were acquired. This version of the game often referred to as Counter Strike 1.6, as this was the final distinct software update before the remastering as CS Source, and then, initially, the insanely popular CS:GO.
Upon the official release in 2000, the game received mostly praising reviles, because it was already widely popular. There were problems with distribution in Brazil, but soon the restrictions were lifted.
It’s a first person shooter that offers only a multiplayer option. I mean, offered back then, now you can play one-on-one, but this is mainly pointless and, it seems to me, serves for either settling the differences without physical violence or training. After you choose a team, Terrorists or Counter-Terrorists, you are automatically spawned to a map with a wide variety of weapons at hand. The default view is first-person, and you can’t switch to third-person without a mod. I’m not even sure the mod is accessible for this version of the game.
To win, you need either to slaughter all the enemies from the opposing team or to reach the objectives of the game (flag capture, bomb defusal or hostage rescue). The game was a hit of its time and one of my favorites for the simple gameplay and captivating thrill of performing in a team. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it was one of the first online shooter multiplayer releases at that year. At least it was the first one that caught my attention. At the very first years, there were problems with cheating, with allegedly 10,000 cheating attempts during a single week!
Soon after, Valve has introduced its Anti-Cheating system, and so far it has been quite successful because several years later CS made it to professional eSports league (or better to say started it?).
Sound & Graphics
It’s rather unfair to judge a game that’s almost 20 years old for its visuals from the perspective of today’s more-real-than-the-reality projects and VR. The one thing I remember about CS is that it was relatively lag-free compared to other games. Of course, there have been some lags that gave you an in-game advantage, such as seeing through fog after a smoke grenade was defused, if you stand in a certain position, but Valve is actively working on it. The regulations are pretty strict on VAC servers, and even more so at the tournaments.
As for now, I play the game mostly for nostalgia, obviously not for an eye-candy. But still I believe the game had pretty nice graphics considering the time of release, or maybe I’m just biased because it’s one of my all-time favorites.
One of the perks of the game I like the most is that it became heavily customized on behalf of the player in the subsequent series, probably because it was born as a mod.You are allowed to buy and install skins, spray graphics, head-up displays, sound effects, and sprites. If you are skilled enough in design and modding, you can even create your unique content. The trend has become so popular that markets with such customized items are blooming, and it seems they won’t become less popular any time soon.
Since then the franchise has survived several makeovers until it became the CS:GO we know and love (or hate, it depends). But still when I feel particularly nostalgic, I invite my old friend, and we play a few rounds just for the sake of the process and a long lost feeling. All in all, where would we be with our fancy-schmancy skins and item crates if it wasn’t for the first mod?
I’m Alex Miller, founder of the https://csgoreview.com/ and, as you have probably guessed it, a computer gaming fan to the marrow of my bones. Video games and eSports are my calling, hobby, and job, and I consider myself to be very lucky for being able to connect all that. I also study gaming industry and write articles about it on a regular basis.