Counter-Strike: Source (CS: S) is a multiplayer first-person shooter developed by Valve Corporation as a complete remake of the original Counter-Strike on the Source engine. As in the original, Counter-Strike: Source pits a team of Counter-Terrorists against a team of Terrorists in a series of rounds. Each round is won either by completing an objective (such as detonating a bomb or rescuing hostages) or by eliminating all members of the opposition.
During the initial production of the Source engine, Team Fortress 2 was to be the first multiplayer game to be released on it. After various development issues, TF2 was eventually delayed until long after the release of Half-Life 2. Wanting a multiplayer component, Valve decided to create a remake of the popular Counter-Strike with help from Turtle Rock Studios, who were also developing Counter-Strike: Condition Zero at the time. Many of the features in Condition Zero, including bot AI, were implemented from the start. Maps started as basic layouts of the originals that were redesigned with help from concept art and 3D skybox technology.
It's interesting to note that Ido Magal, one of the mappers, created an in-house test map known as Rockworld, based on "everyone's favorite fragfest" Iceworld.
Counter-Strike: Source was initially released as a beta to members of the Valve Cyber Café Program on August 11, 2004. On August 18, 2004, the beta was released to owners of Counter-Strike: Condition Zero and those who had received a Half-Life 2 voucher bundled with some ATI Radeon video cards. The game was then bundled with Half-Life 2 in October 2004 for an official release.
On October 11, 2006, Valve released an experimental update, Dynamic Weapon Pricing. Under this system, item prices are determined based on their demand the previous week. Even before the system was released there was opposition from the community. Other updates, such as an enhanced radar system, have been generally accepted as a positive enhancement.
On March 5, 2010, Valve announced the release of its entire first-party library, including Counter-Strike, on the Mac OS X platform, for release in April 2010.
On May 7, 2010, Valve released an update, in the form of a beta, that includes new features and functionality developed in collaboration with Hidden Path Entertainment. These include 144 new achievements, a new domination and revenge system, similar to that of Team Fortress 2, player stats, engine upgrades from The Orange Box codebase, and more.
On June 23, 2010, Valve closed the beta and released the update to everybody who owns Counter-Strike: Source. With this update, Counter-Strike: Source was made available to Mac users via SteamPlay.
The beta was re-opened later in 2010, and Hidden Path Entertainment continues to release updates for it, some of which have been added to the retail version of Counter-Strike: Source. It has since been shut down.
Counter-Strike: Source content is accessible in another Source engine game known as Garry's Mod.
On launch Counter-Strike: Source had a total of nine official maps:
- Aztec (Defusal)
- Cbble (Defusal)
- Chateau (Defusal)
- Dust (Defusal)
- Dust2 (Defusal)
- Piranesi (Defusal)
- Havana (Hostage rescue)
- Italy (Hostage rescue)
- Office (Hostage rescue)
Since release nine other official maps have been added to the game:
- Prodigy (Defusal) on the 17 Dec 2004
- Tides (Defusal) on the 18 Jan 2005
- Compound (Hostage rescue) on the 25 Feb 2005
- Train (Defusal) on the 25 Feb 2005
- Inferno (Defusal) on the 13 May 2005
- Port (Defusal) on the 13 May 2005
- Assault (Hostage rescue) on the 7 Jul 2005
- Nuke (Defusal) on the 2 Dec 2005
- Militia (Hostage rescue) on the 19 Jan 2006
Counter-Strike: Source is a remake of Counter-Strike, and consequently retains its team-based objective-oriented first-person shooter style gameplay. The aim of playing a map is to accomplish a map's objective. There are many types of objectives that a map can have, but the ultimate goal of the game is to win more rounds than the opposing team, which is accomplished by fulfilling the map's winning conditions. Some winning conditions include defusing a bomb, planting a bomb and preventing it from being defused by the other team, rescuing all the hostages on a map, preventing the hostages from being rescued, and defeat all the members of the opposing team. When playing on a server without modifications, if players are defeated during a round, they do not respawn until the next round, unlike in many other first-person shooter games, where players respawn on a set timer.
Moving and shooting also differs noticeably from many other first-person shooters. Shooting while moving dramatically decreases accuracy, and holding the mouse button down to continuously shoot will generally produce severe recoil. Recoil can be difficult for beginning players to compensate for because the player's reticle does not correspond with where the bullets actually hit during continuous fire, so beginning players may aim too high during automatic fire. The amount of damage done by a bullet varies dramatically depending upon the body part the bullet hits, with great emphasis on shooting the enemy in the head, which is almost invariably lethal.
Aspects of the game that have changed from Counter-Strike include the behavior of the grenades, the physics engine, and the weapons' recoil. The smoke grenades in Counter-Strike: Source spread much more slowly than the ones in Counter-Strike, and the flashbangs, which now utilize DirectX 9 effects, have a much more pronounced effect, and bounce very differently from the ones in Counter-Strike. Counter-Strike: Source also implements physics objects, such as filing cabinets, which the user can interact with while playing. The recoil in Counter-Strike: Source differs from the recoil in Counter-Strike in that while Counter-Strike had perfectly consistent recoil, the recoil in Counter-Strike: Source is much less precise. Furthermore, the addition of ragdoll physics marks another difference between Counter-Strike and Counter-Strike: Source.
Additionally, there are 144 achievements in Counter Strike: Source.
Differences from Counter-StrikeEdit
- Main article: Counter-Strike & Counter-Strike: Source differences
In addition to changes in graphics and sound, other aspects of have been modified, mostly related to gameplay. For example, the weapon recoil has been modified since its predecessor, and is noticeably different from that experienced in the original Counter-Strike. In addition, flashbangs have been visually modified to take advantage of the Source engine, and are typically more powerful and effective than in previous games. AI has been improved as well, their attacks considerably more accurate, and they will "read" the tactical map. Once they are alerted to the player's appearance, they will engage faster than in the older games. AI will attempt to retreat if they spot snipers.
Because of the large fan-base that Counter-Strike: Source has accumulated, there is a wide variety of different customizations and add-ons that can be used with the game. There is a large fanbase for the game that creates customized sounds, textures, weapon skins, and player skins, though many servers disable the use of custom textures/skins because of cheating concerns.
Like many other modern games, Counter-Strike: Source has been heavily modded by its community. Server-side gameplay customizations are typically implemented using Source SDK. Server-side mods like SourceMod, and EventScripts build on the basic RCON commands as well as gameplay customizations.
Skins and modelsEdit
The ability to add new models and skins to Counter-Strike: Source allows for a large amount of customization. Skins refers to the actual images applied to parts of the game. The player models, weapon models, and maps themselves can be "reskinned" (or "retextured") by anybody. Models refers to the actual 3D-elements displayed on screen. Available is a server side variable to ensure only certain models and materials are used, intending to stop material-based wallhacks. Not all servers use this limitation as it is optional.
Models can be changed either by the player adding files to their cstrike folder, or by the server they are playing on using a server-side plugin. The difference is that if a player changes a model on his or her own machine, only that player will see the changes, but if the model is altered by a server-side plugin or tool, then the model that the player is wearing is seen by everyone on that server at that time. Also, the server can choose to force a "skin-consistency", meaning that any custom skins that any players may have will appear as the default model.