Counter-Strike: Source (commonly shortened to CS:S or simply CSS) is a PC Game developed by the Valve Corporation. It is a complete remake of Counter-Strike 1.6 using 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 a mission (such as detonating a bomb or rescuing hostages) or by eliminating all members of the opposing team.
inherits characteristics from both Half-Life 2
, through the look and feel conveyed through textures and movement, and its predecessor, Counter-Strike 1.6
, maintaining the gameplay style of its predecessor. The basic gameplay of two teams, terrorists and counter-terrorists, squaring off against each other in a series of rounds in which each team must either complete their objective or eliminate the opposition, has remained unchanged. The two most common types of objectives are bombing and hostages. In competitive play, only maps with bombing objectives are used, since the AI of the hostages has not been improved over previous iterations, and is prone to a number of problems. The weapon recoil has been modified since its predecessor, and is noticeably different from that experienced in Counter-Strike 1.6
. In addition, flash bang grenades have been visually modified to take advantage of the Source Engine, and are typically more powerful and effective than in previous games.
Because of the large fan-base that Counter-Strike: Source
has accumulated, there are 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. However, under the rules of Valve Anti-Cheat
(VAC), models for objects within maps cannot be edited, so that a player using a different model other than the standard does not have an advantage over another person.
There are several types of maps available that come with the game, generally known by their prefix, such as: de_
(bomb defusal), cs_
(hostage rescue), and as_
(assassination). Each type of map has its own goal. In de_
maps, it is the goal of the Terrorist team to successfully plant and detonate the bomb, while the Counter-Terrorists attempt to prevent the detonation of the bomb. In cs_
maps, there are a number of hostages that the Counter-Terrorists must find and lead to the Hostage Rescue Zone
. The Terrorists must then defeat the Counter-Terrorists to prevent hostage rescue. as_
maps, removed in Counter-Strike: Source
, (but you can get servers with and maps with the as mod enabled)featured one Counter-Terrorist who was a VIP
(i.e. the target of the assassination), who had more armor than normal, but no weapons except the Counter-Terrorist starting pistol USP
. The VIP must find their way to an escape zone, while the Terrorists try to kill the VIP.
Maps are frequently made by players for the game, and the easy-to-access Valve Hammer Editor allows anybody to create their own. The number and types of custom maps (and custom map categories) for the game is constantly rising, meaning that most people can find something to their taste.
Like many other modern first-person shooter
games, Counter-Strike: Source has been heavily "modded
" by its developer community. Server-side gameplay customizations are typically implemented using Valve's Source SDK for Server Plugins
, in the form of plug-in
s. Server-side mods like SourceMod
build on to the basic RCON
commands as well as with the gameplay customizations.
The Quake Sound Pack is a popular game sounds pack available with SourceMod. The sounds includes clips such as "First blood!" and "Holy shit!", and are all from Unreal Tournament 2003 (in spite of its name, "Quake" Sound Pack). The only sounds from Quake are "Prepare to Fight!" and "Humiliation".
Unlike the normal game modes which are objective based, Deathmatch (DM) games are exactly as the name suggests - the only goal for the players is to eliminate as many opposing players as possible, although defeated players "respawn" instantly, as opposed to at the start of a new round. Players of Deathmatch maps are given the choice of guns, and can change them once per round.
The ability to add new models and skins using the Valve SDK
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 even maps themselves can be "reskinned" (or "retextured") by anybody. Models
refers to the actual 3D
-elements displayed on screen - VAC
offers a server side variable to ensure only certain models and materials are used (enabled by the console command "sv_pure 1") intending to stop material based wallhacks etc. however, not all servers use these limitations as they are optional.
Models can be changed either by the player by adding files to their cstrike folder, or by the server they are playing on using a server side plugin such as SourceMod. The difference is that if a player changes a model on their own machine, only that player will see the changes; However if the model is altered by a server-side plugin or tool, then the model that the player wearing is seen by everyone on that server at that time but the player can also edit those models too.
was initially released as a beta
to members of the Valve Cyber Café Program on August 11
. On August 18
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
On October 11, 2006, Valve released an experimental update, Dynamic Weapons Pricing. Under this system, item prices are determined based on their demand the previous week. Even before the system was released there was vocal opposition from the community. Other updates, such as an enhanced radar system, have been generally accepted as a positive enhancement.
Counter-Strike: Source has received generally favorable reviews. On Metacritic, the game had an average score of 88 out of 100, based on 9 reviews, and a user rating of 9.2/10. While the game has been quite popular according to the Steam games statistics page, recently surpassing 1.6 in terms of number of players (http://www.steampowered.com/v/index.php?area=stats), it has not been widely reviewed, mostly likely because upon release, it was bundled with Half Life 2 at no extra charge.