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Counter-Strike Source

Developer: Valve | Publisher: Valve
Players: 1 to 16 Player Game | Release Date: 11/16/04 | Genre: FPS

Valve continues to hold their long-standing reputation for publishing quality games, and Counter-Strike: Source is no exception. With the recent gold status of Half-Life 2, Valve has decided to release this ever-so popular mod to their impatient community. Without a doubt, Source builds upon the successes that made the original Counter-Strike mod one of the most played first-person shooters of its time. For those familiar with Counter-Strike on the old and horribly outdated Half-Life 1 engine, you will be in for a great surprise! The masterminds behind Source have created a new engine with superb graphics, sound, and even the beloved rag doll physics. Of course, no game is perfect when it is first released, and Source did and still does have some bugs and performance issues that require fixing. Within this review I'm going to tackle the main points that every game should be graded on, those which include: graphics, game play, sound, fun factor, etc?Ķ

Fortunately, for those who are used to the playing style of Counter-Strike, you are in luck! With the new addition of Source, while the graphics and presentation are remarkably different, the style of play still remains the same. Each map has one of two objectives, either rescue the hostages, or plant the bomb. With these two objectives comes the two teams that you can decide to join ?Äì counter-terrorists or terrorists. Whichever team you select determines the selection of guns that are at your arsenal and ultimately your objective. While there is a broad range of gun selection in Source, it becomes apparent that not all of them are worth your hard-earned money. Many players choose to reside with the sub-machine gun, ak47, m4 assault rifle, or sniper rifle (AWP).

Gameplay is fast-paced and being alert at all times is critical to being able to survive, along with a bit of skill no doubt. Smoke, flash, and frag grenades can all be used as distractions and aids when encountering firefights, but it ultimately comes down to the players skill and the balance of teams. What I found most enjoyable with Source was that the game required a bit of skill and concentration compared to most run-and-gun shooters. Running-and-gunning is not a viable option in Source in most encounters; your guns realistic recoil prevents you from spraying bullets, and carefully planned bursts and aim are required on your side. Overall, Source captures the same fast-paced and still realistic environment that the original Counter-Strike brought to the table, while still improving in some areas.

Simply put, the graphics introduced in Source and breathtaking, especially for those on a higher end machine. The great thing is though, you don't need a top of the line gaming rig to enjoy the game! The Source engine allows even the moderately low and outdated computers to run the game with just some of the settings toned down. The sense of immersion in the game is outstanding, water looks extremely realistic and lighting provides tactical advantages in some cases. Shadows are a new item introduced and the gun models look even better than before. Unfortunately, the one complaint that has been received from the community is the models, due to the fact that there is only two. However, Valve has stated that they plan to release more in future updates, so keep an eye out! Graphics are the strong point of Source, and they provide an immersive environment to play in. I've personally read many accounts of those who became burnt-out on the standard Counter-Strike to only become addicted again after playing on the Source engine!

The sound in Source plays an extremely crucial role in the game for some players. Footsteps are finely tuned with the type of surface a player walks on and each gun has their own unique sound which can alert players of what they are up against. Walking on snow or even tiled floors each has a different and realistic sound associated with them.

Counter-Strike: Source brings a whole new immersion factor to the table with their new Source engine. Players can expect a fast-paced and tactical environment and those who are veterans to the original Counter-Strike will be extremely surprised with what Source offers. Source still captures the same great classic game play that Counter-Strike offered with a few new tweaks here and there. Unfortunately, with the current release of Source there are little map choices and player models, but Valve has stated that they will be releasing more content in future patches, so this is just a temporary problem. I haven't personally encountered any game-stopping bugs in my playing time thus far, although there are a few that could use some work such as the server exploits and other small game play bugs. Valve has most definitely released a polished product that will flourish with the mapping community once the tools are released. Don't be the one to miss out on this gaming experience; it's worth the price of $50 on steam.

I've decided to given this game an A- due to the lack of player models and map selection. As well as some of the game-stopping bugs and graphic issues that some seem to be experiencing. Nevertheless, as Valve releases more bug-fixing patches to the community and more maps are made available, this game will without a doubt reach its true potential.

By Derrick Lewis - 11/10/04
ESRB Details: Blood, Intense Violence
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Screenshots for Counter-Strike Source

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