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Benny: Counter-Strike - PC

The story of Counter-Strike is a real example of fan power. Originally a fan-created mod for Half-Life that was available as a free download, it grew to become the most popular online first person shooter in the world, and remains so to this day. That’s not bad going.

When Counter-Strike first appeared it really was like no other online FPS. Back then, straight deathmatch ruled the roost. By contrast, Counter-Strike was teamed based. The teams are split into Terrorists and Counter Terrorists, which immediately appeals to your good or bad side. The aim for the Terrorists is to either plant a bomb at one of two possible locations on the map and for the CTs to stop them, or for the CT’s to rescue the hostages and the Terrorists to prevent them from doing so. At the end of each round the winning team is awarded more money, which means that they can afford better weapons. This essentially stacks the odds in their favour for winning the next round, which always seems a little unfair, but there’s more than a little satisfaction gained from winning against better armed opponents.

What was so different about Counter-Strike when it first appeared was that getting killed actually had consequences. Get killed early in the round and you have to sit the round out and watch everyone else play, while you fume and curse. Which is of course, brilliant. Genius, in fact. This made you just want to go straight back in the next time, and nail the b**tard that got you.

The levels were also excellent, with some real classics such as ‘Dust’ being so good that when CS was updated with the Source engine after the release of Half-Life 2, the design was kept exactly the same.

The detail and sounds on the weapons are pretty much perfect. Some prefer the scoped machine guns such as the Bullpup or Krieg, while others would go for a combination of pistol for short range and a sniper weapon for long range.

Of course every player also has the knife at all times, useful for silent, and sneaky kills. Switch to the knife and you can also run faster, as our well adjusted friend, FPS Doug, will attest.

Of course, as with every game, Counter-Strike has to deal with more than its fair share of problems from cheats using the myriad of hacks that have always plagued the game. This can be so rife that it can even put you off the game for months at a time. But after a while Counter-Strike’s addictive charms will have you back in the saddle sooner or later. Lock and load!

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