The history of Counter Strike

Andrew Madsen, Reporter

The history of Counter Strike On June 19, 1999 two university students got together and worked on a modification for the popular game called Half Life. The mod made the game into a First Person Shooter (FPS) and became one of the biggest hits of its time. This mod was called Counter Strike (CS). It was a tactical first person shooter where you would be a terrorist or a counter terrorist. Your goal was to win rounds and eventually win the game by either killing the opposing team, detonating the bomb, defusing the bomb, or if you are a counter terrorist, run the timer out without a bomb being planted. After the huge success of the game, video game cooperation Valve teamed up with the students and would continue working on the game today.

On Mar. 23, 2004 Valve decided to make a new game for the series. This game was called “Counter Strike: Condition Zero.” It was just like CS, but with a campaign. When it was announced, everyone was hyped, but as time went on and setbacks kept getting in the way, the game was released and had little excitement. It would soon be called a failure. Valve was not going to give up, though, and on Nov. 1 2004, CS Source was released. It would become a big hit and was a huge success for Valve and fans of the game. CS Source introduced new gameplay elements, maps, guns, and items. It also introduced new players to the competitive scene, and revived the dying franchise. 

The most recent release in the franchise came out on Aug. 21 2012. Named “Counter Strike: Global Offensive” (CS:GO), it is the biggest, most popular, and longest running Counter Strike to date. Even today it still has tens of thousands of consecutive players. They added one of the most popular maps of all time, Dust II, and continued the traditional bomb defusal mode, and weapon spray patterns. It kept some of the popular maps from older CS,  such as Inferno, and Nuke, while also adding new graphics and character models to make the game look more up to date. But when it first launched, it did not do as planned. It was considered bland and boring. So Valve added operations. This gave players more things to do like giving them more maps, missions, and rewards. Along with this they did something that would change the game forever. It was the “Arms Deal” update. 

On Aug. 13 2013 Valve released the “Arms Deal” update for CS:GO. It was one of the biggest updates that the game would ever get. The update added cases that you could get through playing the game or buying them from team’s marketplace. These cases had up to 20 skins in them and each skin had its own rarity. It would cost $2.49 to open a case or you could buy the skins from the marketplace.  The worst items you get are Mil Specs and the best are knives. What made these cases so big was the ability to make real money off of them. You could open a case and get really lucky by unboxing a knife which could be worth thousands of dollars, or you could be unlucky and get a skin worth 10 cents. This update shaped the game all the way to today, and is the biggest reason why CS still has so much popularity.

As of just recently CS:GO released a brand new operation called “Shattered Web”. It has been the first operation in the past two  and a half years. CS:GO used to have operations almost every six months but as updates for the game started to slow, so did the operations. Operations contained new missions, maps, and rewards, along with a cool collectible coin that you could display in game. Completing missions would give you a reward and if you completed enough, your collectible coin would be upgraded. The rewards could be skin, stickers, graffiti, and now even new player skins. The missions you are given in the operations are usually simple challenges like ‘get five kills with a heavy weapon’ or ‘throw strategic smokes’, but some challenges are full blown missions, like infiltrating a lab and stealing a virus. The missions do not need the operation pass to play but if you want rewards you have to buy it. The passes usually only cost $5-7 but the newest ones cost $15. The first operation was operation payback, which debuted on Apr. 26, 2013. It raised over $150,000  for map makers, and helped raise CS:GOs popularity. Operations, like cases, are one of the biggest reasons why CS gained popularity, and is an important piece of CS history.