Counter Strike is a first-person shooter with a realistic gameplay produced by Valve that spawned a franchise immensely popular among eSports players.

    Counter Strike was first released as a mod for Half Life by Minh "Gooseman" Le and Jess "Cliffe" Cliffe in 1999, later acquired by Valve Corporation and it remains one of the best first-person shooters of all time. It sits at the cornerstone of a franchise that brought FPS games in the spotlight and elevated them to eSports status. The game features an impressive arsenal of real-life weapons and can be played on dozens of perfectly balanced maps. Many more were added in the subsequent patches.

    Counter Strike Gameplay

    Counter Strike had humble beginnings and was initially nothing more than a Half Life mode with news weapons, maps and skins. Its gameplay is centered on realistic urban warfare, with players choosing a team between Terrorists and Counter-terrorists. The former try to plant the bomb, kill the VIP or prevent the police squad from rescuing hostages. The Counterterrorist unit is doing the exact opposite, by defusing the bomb, protecting the VIPs and rescuing hostages.

    Each team has access to the same number of weapons, which are completely different from what their enemies are wielding. Pistols, submachine guns, automatic weapons and sniper rifles closely resemble their real-life counterparts. Developers made sure that they even have the same firepower, recoil and the ability to penetrate different types of armor. Players can wield one main weapon and a pistol, but their gear also includes body armor and different types of grenades.

    With a total of 8 default characters to choose from, it’s worth mentioning the fact that the differences are largely visual. At the end of each round, players receive money based on their performance and whether the team won or not. These resources can be used to purchase new weapons and gear, which in turn improve their odds of winning the next round. In Counter Strike, players start from predefined landing areas and need to take advantage of terrain and the various obstacles on the map.

    Counter Strike Graphics and Sounds

    Counter Strike was developed with the intention of being a steep departure from classic Half Life visuals. The emphasis was on making the videogame as realistic as possible and each patch added a new layer of authenticity. Weapons look and feel like their real counterparts and produce the same sounds. As a game mode for Valve’s main title, it doesn’t have a single player and as a result no main theme or soundtrack. Little customization is possible, but players have the option of using spray graphics and modified skins.


    Counter Strike 1.6 frequently ranks at the top of the lists celebrating the most successful first-person shooters. Its tournaments emerged as flagship competitions at eSports events and brought the entire FPS genre in the spotlight. The game has the merit of attracting people who wouldn’t normally play the genre due to its realistic gameplay. Back in 2000 it was a revolutionary game and it keeps exercising the same fascination upon veteran players 17 years later.

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    AKA: CS
    Release Date: 06/19/99
    Series: Counter-Strike
    Studios: Valve Corporation, Hidden Path Entertainment, Turtle Rock Studios, Gearbox Software, Ritual Entertainment, Nexon
    Publishers: Valve Corporation, Sierra Entertainment, Namco, Nexon
    Genre: First-person shooter
    Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer
    Games in Series: CS GO
    Image credit: Valve Corporation

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