- "The best multiplayer game of 2000, bar none."
- ―Game Revolution
Counter-Strike (originally titled Half-Life: Counter-Strike) is a multiplayer first-person shooter created by Valve Corporation and published by Sierra Entertainment. After over a year of public beta testing, it was officially released on November 8, 2000 for the PC. Since the creation of the franchise, various sequels and spinoffs have been created such as Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, Counter-Strike: Source, and the latest in the series, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
- Main article: Counter-Strike Beta
The game started out as a Half-Life modification, created on the then brand-new GoldSrc engine. It went through seventeen different iterations and was eventually released as a standalone game. Throughout this time, it grew in popularity and became one of the most popular first-person shooters of all time.
- Main article: Counter-Strike patches
On November 8, 2000, the game was ushered out of the beta phase and officially released as a fully licensed product. Even afterwards, development was ongoing and saw the release of several very large patches. The most recent, 1.6, is now used as a title to differentiate the original game from the rest of the series. With the launch of Steam on September 12, 2003, these large patches became unnecessary and were replaced by quicker and smaller updates.
- Main article: Gameplay
Its fast-paced and team-oriented gameplay has stayed relatively the same throughout the years. In it, two teams, the Counter-Terrorists and the Terrorists, fight to complete an objective or eliminate the opposing team. Although basic, it is considered one of the most revolutionary online games of all time. The original Counter-Strike came exclusively with multiplayer, without even computer-controlled players. Over time, however, several server-side modifications have added bots for in-game use.
Counter-Strike has been praised worldwide for its highly rewarding multiplayer. There are three official scenarios (game modes), each with their own teams, objectives, and maps. The Counter-Terrorists ("the good guys") face off against the Terrorists ("the bad guys").
There are three official scenarios in Counter-Strike:
There are 25 official maps in the current version of Counter-Strike.
It also features four Terrorist factions and four Counter-Terrorist factions.
Counter-Strike is considered one of the most influential games of all time. It's the most popular Half-Life mod and is still one of the most popular PC games. As of December 3, 2008, Counter-Strike has sold over 4.2 million retail copies, more than any other Valve game besides Half-Life and its sequel, Half-Life 2. It scored an 88 on Metacritic, based on the reviews of eleven critics.