Counter-Strike: The eternal shooter that continues to mark an era 23 years later

In it In 1999, the video game industry was very different. to the one we have today. We probably came from one of the best years in the history of the sector and the Internet was beginning to take its first steps on a large scale, becoming increasingly popular either in homes or thanks to the now almost forgotten cybercentres, meeting point for those of us who want to dive on the net or play some games with our friends.

It was just at that moment, 24 years ago, when Counter-Strikea mod for half-life created by Minh “Gooseman” Le and Jess “Cliffe” Cliffe who were betting on a more realistic approach in which two teams faced each other, one made up of anti-terrorists and the other made up of terrorists who must fight to plant or defuse a bomb or to rescue or hold hostages hostage on various maps.

Was a simple concept but with unusual points for the time, such as the permanent death of each round (automatic resurrection was the most common), the purchase of weapons that was different for the two teams and all kinds of micromechanics that made the mod something so special that It didn’t take long for Valve to arouse interest, which a year later ended up buying the rights of the brand and launching Counter-Strike as a completely independent game that became, on its own merits, a one of the most important competitive shooters in history of video games with a reign in the genre that is still valid 24 years later.

From Counter-Strike 1.6 to CS:GO

As we say, the first to arrive was Counter-Strike, popularly known among the players of the saga as “the 1.6” nickname given by its last major playable update. It is the title that started it all, in which we played for the first time on such emblematic maps as Assault, Inferno, Nuke, Dust, Dust 2, Cbble, 747, Prodigy, Tuscan or Aztecwith many of them (in fact most) traveling through time with the various games having versions that have been updated both graphically and playably to offer us a great gaming experience.

Though rarely played now due to being so unbalanced, Assault was one of the first maps in
Although rarely played now due to being so unbalanced, Assault was one of the first successful Counter-Strike maps.

Not counting the spin-off and the console versions that have never caught on too well, Counter-Strike has a total of four main gamesthe mentioned 1.6, Counter-Strike: Condition Zero developed by Turtle Rock Studios (yes, the creators of Left 4 Dead, evolve and Back 4 Blood) that never achieved great popularity, Counter-Strike: Source which was released to debut the Source engine of half life 2 in this saga and, finally, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive either CS:GO what is the last installment that was launched in the year 2012 officially and that continues to triumph on Steam, breaking its absolute player record 5 days ago with 1,378,447 souls playing simultaneously.

A unique gameplay that makes you always want to play and have something to learn

Without insulting the two installments that are in the middle (on a personal level I played Source a lot too) the most important games in the saga are the first and the lastwith 1.6 giving us all the playable bases that have characterized Counter-Strike and CS:GO polishing them and adding certain characteristics to improve the formula and take it to the next level (something that, by the way, cost him a lot during his first months of life).

But, what does Counter-Strike so special? For us, your apparent simplicity and accessibility that actually hides one of the shooter more complex and difficult that there is on the market that is tremendously easy to play, anyone can do it, but it is also extraordinarily difficult to master in all its mechanics and always, regardless of the number of hours you have played, games that you have won or defeated, you will to have something new to learn.

The apparent simplicity of CS, an accessible game from the start, actually hides an immense complexity.
The apparent simplicity of CS, an accessible game from the start, actually hides an immense complexity.

Many of you already know what kind of games we are facing, so we are not going to stop here to review each of its mechanics, but To decide the course of a game there are many important factors such as knowledge of the map in which we are playing, the ability to read what the rival team may be doing, good management of the economy of the game round by round, the use of the so-called utility (smoke grenades, stunners or cocktails molotov that facilitate the defense or attack of a point) and, of course, the aim or mechanical ability of each player.

Here there are no very cool powers at the graphic level with super powerful heroes or powerful killstreaks that from time to time stand out above average and can be used to explode a game, here what there are two teams on equal terms on a mechanical level where winning or losing depends on your knowledge and skills, just that, and this makes it tremendously addictive, it makes when we played our first games on the cyber with our friends it was incredibly satisfying to win and learn, and it continues to do so. that, today, CS:GO I caught the player with the same ease as the first installment did.

The satisfaction
The satisfaction that comes from knowing that you improve as a player or rank up is practically unmatched by other titles.

And it is that, if you ask us, for us Counter-Strike has managed to be a benchmark for more than 20 years due to the possibility of growth that a player can havebecause of how satisfying it is to learn to play, not only improving your aim (for us with the best shooting system that exists in a competitive shooter), but also understanding, little by little, game by game, how to read your opponent, how to properly throw a smoke grenade to get through a place, to dominate the map, to look for new “tricks”, advice or new positions in which to take advantage and realize how little by little you become a better playerwith a feeling of incredible satisfaction that, moreover, in CS:GO It is increased by the rank system in its competitive facet, which is worth the fact that it needs certain improvements, but that makes it even more addictive and pushes us to play one more game.

In addition to all this we must add the work of the community and third-party companieseither by adding all kinds of mods to try new experiences Counter-Strike such as deathmatch, gun game, surf, hunger games and many other modes, or to start creating independent game platforms from official servers such as ESL, ESEA or Faceit who bring their own experience to the overall set of the game.

Esports, a key in Counter-Strike

In addition to its great playability, Counter-Strike has also known how to carve out a path for become one of the most important esports in historya path that began in cyber centers and local competitions in the year 2000 and that gave qualitative leap in 2001 with the Cyberathlete Professional League Winter Championship to which little by little larger and larger events have been added, two major (top level tournaments) annually and events as emblematic as the IEM Katowice.

Counter-Strike has always had something special within esports, forging legends that have withstood the passing of the years such as the SKGaming of Heaton in 2004, the NiP of Geth_RiGhT from 2014, the Astralis of device in 2019 or the Natus Vincere of s1mple in 2020 and even in Spain we have had examples of success with the emblematic x6tence of Flip1n and Musamban1 or more recently we have enjoyed Movistar Riders shining internationally to reach the TOP 10 of the world ranking in July of last year.

These teams and figures that have had the players glued to the screeneither checking tournament results in the extinct ClanBase in the early 2000s or vibrating with the live broadcasts via Twitchwith a peak of 2.7 million viewers at the 2021 PGL Major Stockholm Grand Final between G2 and Na’Vi. Spectators who on many occasions also play CS:GO and that, in many cases, they dream of becoming the player they see on the other side of the screen.

Source 2, the future of Counter-Strike

Counter-Strike It is a game that has known how to stay not only alive, but also being an example of success for 24 years due to its gameplay, its community, its success in esports… but also because of its success. know how to reinvent or update at the right time to continue capturing the interest of his community, something that curiously has been his Achilles heel in recent years, in which despite the success of CS:GO players have requested more changes to improveespecially as a result of the launch of Valorant and after seeing the involvement of Riot Games with its shooter competitive.

We wrote these lines precisely when the rumors about the update of CS:GO to the Source 2 engine are more intense than ever, appearing mentioned in the NVIDIA drivers, with an imminent beta according to several insiders and with references to an update in the Files of DOTA 2.

That is where the future of Counter-Strike. The change to the Source 2 engine will serve to give a facelift to the game on a technical level (do not expect it to be a revolution either since the priority is still to work on a large number of teams) and it can also tweak a lot of things at the playable level like the physics of the grenades or the shots themselves that come to make us have to reinvent ourselves as players.

From here it will be what Valve wants, from the outset we would like to see a change in competitive modeto which it would be great to be divided by seasons and with a better adjustment in the rank system to make it more fair, fun and addictive for the players.

Also, after this update, which in principle is not going to be a new game as such, it is probably the name of CS:GO disappear to be renamed, simply, Counter-Strikewithout last names, without nicknames, maintaining its essence and becoming a game as an infinite service that will last, at least, 23 more years.

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