Boxes vs Curves: Counter-Strike Goes OSX

Attention, fans of repeatedly shooting men in slightly different-coloured outfits. The controversy-tastic beta update to Counter-Strike: Source (the one with the -gasp!- achievements, -aiee!- stats and – shock! – a killcam) has now gone on general release. As in, if you own Counter-Strike: Source, you’re getting it whether you want it or not. Not tried the update yet, but going on the community response to the beta, it’s going to be messy.

You’ll also be able to kill people on Macs, who can buy the thing for their glowing fruit-emblazoned personal computers as of today. Yes, the hardest-dying of PC gamers can exact bloody revenge on those OSX upstarts. It’s going to be messy.

To celebrate, the game’s been discounted by some 66% – which equates to just £4.76 in UK groats. A few top-of-the-head thoughts on Mac gaming below…

Looking at the update news page, I snigger at the solemness of it. This is a world away from the playfulness and absurdity of Team Fortress 2 or the wry abstraction of Portal: Counter-Strike is serious business.

Its players aren’t here for gags. Its players are here purely to play Counter-Strike. Even the game’s creators know not to get in the way of that. There will be no Saxton Hale for Counter-Strike. There will only ever be the terrorists and the counter-terrorists. Its story will never change.

All this Steam/Mac stuff does, of course, beg the question of to what extent we should be covering OSX games here. Jim and I had a brief chat about it the other night, and the upshot is that it’s still too soon to say whether there’ll really be a renaissance in Mac gaming. Valve are doing it, but who else is? A lot of big-name PC games remain not terribly well optimised ports of console games, and that means they just won’t run well (if at all) on many Macs. To really create a huge Mac gaming scene, publishers will need to invest a lot more in the ports, and that may mean people and resources they just don’t want to spare.

Alternatively, it may lead to a new explosion in both well-optimised ports and even more excellent indie games, as devs both big and small realise there’s a new market out there now, with disposable income and less piratical tendencies/opportunities.

I’m making some wild and sweeping guesses here, I do appreciate. Really must research the state of Mac gaming in 2010 properly sometime…


  1. Vinraith says:

    I do notice that Paradox has taken to releasing on both Windows and OSX, and Gamersgate has picked up Steam’s habit of giving you both versions of a game if you buy one or the other.

  2. Metalfish says:

    I await the update that gives us health regenerating sandviches and jars of piss.

    Although for your serious CS player those things are external aids rather than unlocks.

  3. Kid A says:

    I only bought CS:S for the masses of textures and objects that are frequently used in Garry’s Mod servers, so that I don’t have to wield an MP5 that looks oddly like a giant red ERROR.

    This will not change that.

  4. MasterEvilAce says:

    I just hope that the achievements bring back the desire for servers to host the original official maps. There are so many modified, custom map servers, that the game is not played how it used to be played.

  5. Miko says:

    I’m curious; what’s Counter-Strike’s rep like out there in the great big wide world? Up here in Finland, if you tell people you play CS they immediately assume that you’re 12, wired on energy drinks, and prone to declaring your fellow players homosexual, and they’re usually right.

    • Nick says:

      Pretty much the same everywhere from my experience. Not that I have played it in a long time but I can’t imagine its changed much.

    • Eli Just says:

      I always apply that stereotype to MW2 and Halo 3 players here. When I hear CS I just assume they are asian and far to good at CS for their own good.

    • Thants says:

      I was going to say that I didn’t know if CS player’s bad reputation was justified. Then I read the rest of this thread.

    • Optimaximal says:

      …they immediately assume that you’re 12, wired on energy drinks, and prone to declaring your fellow players homosexual…

      Isn’t that now the definition of Xbox Live?

  6. akbar says:

    I just moved to San Francisco and transferred to Mac. Sorry, everyone. The Valve thing is great news, am v looking forward to Portal 2 and Episode 3 (yes I do have faith). What makes me sad is that I didn’t get around to playing Call of Pripyat before the switch. Anyone tried playing a STALKER game using Windows on Mac?

    • stahlwerk says:

      If you want to play windows games on a mac don’t bother with a virtual machine (VMWare Fusion, parallels and the like). They may claim things like “shader support” but game performance is still an elaborate joke.

    • Frosty says:


      My friend managed to play the first two STALKER games on a Mac using windows and bootcamp.

    • Thants says:

      Windows on a Mac with bootcamp works exactly like putting Windows on any other computer. I play most my my games by booting into Windows.

  7. Karthik says:

    I didn’t know Macs came with graphics cards good enough for the latest games. The new Macbooks have a Geforce GT 330M. Hardly something you can play a UT game on at 1600×900, right?

  8. Bob says:

    It is not so much a Mac gaming scene so much as the Mac Users being brought into line with the rest of the PC Gaming market.

    • TheApologist says:

      Agree with this – wouldn’t you just be covering the same games. The rest is just how well it works technically, which is not really what I come to RPS for.

  9. stahlwerk says:

    I’m a Win7 gamer/worker and Mac drone myself. I really enjoy both platforms for their respective strengths, using kb-shortcuts and gestures in OS X has (scarily) become second nature to me, and win7 has impressive stability and feels just right. I was greatly pleased with Valves effort on OS X, but when I tried it, it only showed the areas where Mac(Book)s are sorely lacking: Decent gpus and drivers. So I went and installed Civ 4, but it refused to run on the integrated gpu. Torchlight stuttered like hell, even in “Netbook mode”.

    Long story short, I’d really appreciate OS X coverage (under the hood we’re all the same ;-)), but as of yet I fear I’m not in the target market for anything more graphically demanding than World of Goo. A target market that may as well exclude 30-50% of the platform’s user base.

  10. Anon says:

    I’ve been playing CS for over a decade. You guys know that this release is just pushing away you’re loyal players. If i wanted the tf2 everything i would play tf2. As it is you have already ruined my opinion of this game being a great FPS when you designed source to allow players to dance and spray for the win. In 1.X I ruled because people knew better than to try and dance while emptying their clip hoping they got at least 4 shots in before the other guy. There used to be consistency, there used to be more skill involved. This update won’t change an already adulterated game.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Some stuff completely ancilliary to gameplay turns it into TF2?


    • Anon says:

      you sure make a name for yourself… wouldn’t it be better if it was a good name, psychopomp?

    • subedii says:

      Hahaha, wow. Leaving everything else aside, you manage to say that with a complete lack of irony whilst brandishing “anon” as your name. Glorious man, you’ve made my day.

      @ Psychopomp: Browsing the Steam forums after the update (a dangerous pastime, I know), it seems that all in all most people don’t mind the changes, just a few guys raging about how the game’s suddenly become TF2 for reasons that most really can’t quite elucidate properly beyond than “change is bad”.

      Which is fairly surprising, I was expecting belligerence, but a lot more of it than what we’re currently seeing.

  11. Wes says:

    Oh god, Apple-tards are going to get brutalized.

  12. No-Name :D says:

    WTF?!?!?!?! Fuck this shit of an Update It suck Masively donkey Balls go back to the regular css!!!…… You can only play regular maps an no other! It Sucks!!!!

  13. tungstenHead says:


  14. Jalick says:

    Some statistics from around this time last year:

    Total Active XBOX Live Users: 20 Million
    Total Active Steam Users: 25 Million

    Wait, that doesn’t make sense, right? But PC gaming is dead or something, isn’t it? (Oh, no it’s not, it’s still a viable market and people who say otherwise have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.)

  15. scud says:

    can we have old css back pls?

    • Chris says:

      I’ve read that all of the new features can be removed with server commands, so yes.

  16. Ryan says:

    why are yall so mad at an update with acheivments to show how good a player is. and tot hat person who said theres no skill involved in source i will own you match after match. if its 10 on 10 you can win the match by not even reloading if your good enough, all head shots baby so stop whining and step your game up!

  17. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    As a mac gamer, I say: as far as I can tell there’ll be not much need to do specific mac reviews as the difference between the two platforms tends to be negliglible (although the method of porting (especially Wine wraps) can negatively affect a mac gamer’s experience.

    But it’s nice to hear you’re looking deeper than simple reviews. Apple’s stance towards gaming, the way porting is done (and why it’s done that way).. and why nobody else but Blizzard ever releases hybrid versions of their games. Etc. etc.

  18. Vanderdecken says:

    Wow, this brought the whiny CStards out of the woodwork. I like CS: S. It’s a fun game. It’s probably the most serious competitive multiplayer FPS I own (UT2k4 being old and less popular these days, UT3 being competitively quite crap and TF2 not being intended to be seriously competitive although a marvellous job has been done of making it so). It’s a more rigid, ‘simple’ competition and has a basic traditional feel about it. However, a loud what-appears-to-be-a-majority of its players collectively define the term asshat. And their reputation is well deserved.

    Rate the damn thing an 18 and enforce game age ratings. My 14 year old self will die of adolescent hatred but we’ll sure have less stigma around. And a chance of finding a non-depression-inducing pub.

  19. Frosty says:

    I love this thread, for the sheer strange diversity. Polite well spoken Mac users contrast heavily with Angtsy not so great at english CS players.

  20. Rost says:

    @ ryan
    the reason we are angry is because modding (AKA what valve is loved for) is not supported in this new patch.

    • Kadayi says:

      I suspect they will address that in an upcoming patch. Seriously guys look beyond the ends of your nose a bit with these things rather than assuming the sky is falling with every update.

  21. wazups2x says:

    Every time I hear the term ‘Mac gaming’ I can’t help but laugh.

  22. Jergason says:

    Here is what I have been playing on a Mac for the past few months:
    Starcraft: Brood War
    Frozen Synapse Beta
    World of Goo
    Marathon (all of them)
    Starcraft II Beta
    Avernum 1 million or whatever it is
    once steam came out –
    Killing Floor
    Half Life 2

    If I had a PC I would have never gone looking for the more “indie” titles on here. Gaming on a Mac made me branch out looking for something besides the super AAA or extra famous games because, honestly, why get my hopes up looking for a port? There isn’t one. However, I enjoyed Aquaria and Avernum immensely, and looked in to Frozen Synapse specifically because I heard it had a Mac version.
    I think your average Mac gamer is much more interested in a game if it has a Mac port than your PC “I can already play a million other games” gamer. You spoiled punks. On a Mac, there just isn’t that much to choose from, and this makes me look harder at anything that has a port. If I had a PC I probably wouldn’t have played Killing Floor, because I would have Left 4 Dead. However, I love it, even after playing Left 4 Dead on another machine.

    • Kadmon says:

      This is in no way intended to be flame-bait, but re: Mac gaming, can anyone who games on OSX enlighten me as to why dual booting with Windows via Boot Camp just isn’t the better solution?

      I mean, I can totally see the attraction of native ports, but what I don’t understand is ignoring the Windows gaming ecosystem if you’re a gamer with an Intel Mac. Surely almost anyone can lay their hands on a Win XP key in this day and age, if they don’t want to shell out for a later version?

      Just curious. On the desktop, I’m mainly a Win 7 user these days, but my laptop is an old(er) CoreDuo MacBook.

    • Mo says:

      Honestly, it’s just a lot of trouble to reboot. I don’t want to have to close all my browser windows, text files with random notes, etc, etc and then wait for Windows to boot up every time I want to play a game. I know it sounds silly, but it’s more hassle than you’d think.

    • ascagnel says:

      Kadmon — Same reason I don’t like to reboot out of Linux to play games — its just a whole lot more convenient when it’s all nice & native.

  23. dillon says:

    i agree

  24. alice says:


    I was wondering about this myself, then I remembered that this post is probably showing up in the Library tab on the Steam client for CSS, meaning anyone going to play CSS will see it.

  25. Daryl says:

    I just started playing CS:S again about a month and a half ago. I am very surprised to see the update going live so quickly. I just checked the forums last night and saw that there seemed to be numerous bugs still present. Not that CS:S didn’t already have many bugs to begin with, but I was under the impression this update was supposed to fix all the bugs.

    Plus, the damn thing is 2 gigs. I’m on a 768k/s connection. This will take hours. A little warning would have been nice. I could have set it up to run overnight or at work. Now I can’t get my CS:S fix tonight, or play any of my other Source games while it downloads.

    The achievement stuff is just useless fluff to me. I don’t care about achievements. The death cam can be turned off apparently. I don’t know if the revenge/domination stuff can be turned off (I don’t think so), but it’s hardly bothersome

    Overall I’m glad they’re fixing the netcode and registration but I have a feeling that they should have given it more time. I’ll wait to play it (which won’t be tonight) to reserve final judgment however.

  26. gerard says:

    Hate the way this goes, but when a player die its not realistic anymore they just keep on putting thier hands to thier heads no sense this stinks big time

  27. Insanity says:

    Downloaded update…got online…played it…liked it…went to go play a Mod [Wcs/surf/bhop/jail altho it sucks/rpg/zombie the biggest mod of them all] Fucking hate it…Regular CS is fun…for about a half hour to a hour. Then you want to mix it up…in source fashion with a good old mod script. To bad there fucking broken. Good game Valve…cause you just lost it.

  28. Homer1338 says:

    Thanks for making a great First person shooter into a load of crap. time to find a new game to play after 11 years.

  29. Nuegen says:

    I agree with gerard. The death sequence is lame. Are they trying to make it more politically correct? Thyre dead, as such they should flop down and be dead. I can deal with the retarded achievements and deathcams but the crappy dying routine has completly turned me off untill they fix it. New patch SUCKS!! Reminds me of Microsoft releasing Vista, and everyone hated it and “upgraded” back to XP

  30. my_fat_monkey says:

    Valve is definitely an above-average game company – I believe they’ll “fix” the modding issues soon enough.

    Have some faith dudes!

  31. SASHA says:

    All of you have spoilt !!!!!

  32. liam says:

    css was better befor…steam was better before… why? this is now like tf2. the main reason why i played css was to not play tf2. what have you done!?!?! what have you done!!!!!?!

  33. Pokey the Penguin says:

    All the high player count servers I join seemed to be lagged to hell tonight. Has the update made things slower in order to be compatible with Macs?

  34. AnonyMoose says:

    Laptops shouldn’t be considering for gaming in my opinion, my Imac does more than well at these games, and it’s an older model. Quite simply, the macs do have the ability to play this, but not anything in the leagues of Crysis.

  35. frost1k says:

    Omg I do not understand why this update?? All this is just spoiled, now is not a tactical shooter, and stupidity, which gathers all of the famous game TEAM Fortess …, I am against this update

    • Dinger says:

      Many of you would discount these posts, but that’s because of cultural differences in punctuation. Consider:

      O, my God
      I do not understand why
      This update — all this Is just
      Spoiled now is not
      And stupidity, which gathers all of the famous.

      There is poetic resonance in our colleagues’ words.

    • Daniel Rivas says:

      I had just assumed it was free verse, myself.

  36. Darthsnipe says:

    Well, here in the US, it depends. Counter-Strike and Counter-Strike: Source are popular games for PC gamers in the US. However, I have noticed that a lot of people over here scoff at you for being a PC gamer in general because they are “not as superior” as consoles. I personally like playing CS:S and it was really my first PC game that I have played that gave me the move from a console.

    • NightKid says:

      What? That’s bollocks.

      It’s the other way around. Where do you think the term PC elitism comes from?

  37. bomj1111 says:

    This update sucks in all ways.I mean, for a serious player, who is going to go far, this sh*t is totally f**ked up.Stats, achievements, all that stuff…Are lame.
    I wish this was a mod.’cuz CS:S is a cybersoprt game too.

  38. savijN says:

    I want to be able to edit demos again so I can finish my movie… good time to ruin my life steam ><

  39. Neut says:

    Can we get some sort of spelling and grammar test as well as a CAPTCHA before posting is allowed? :P

    • JB says:

      @ Neut – That sounds like a plan!

      Also, is it just me or do a lot of the (how can I put this kindly?) “recent arrivals” write as if RPS are responsible for CS:S/this update? Odd.

  40. Ganryu says:

    just played the game after an entire day of debugging my comp. what I have had on my comp for more than 4 months, with many hours of gameplay, has just been uninstalled after 5 minutes of playing this game after the update was finally done. this makes me rather angry, because I can’t okay my favorite servers without problems, and the death animation, followed by the killcam, completely ruined the game for me. this game went from being a 9/10 for me to an instant 2/10. way to go, Valve, you really screwed up this time…

  41. tomeoftom says:

    This thread is solid gold.

  42. rakki says:

    valve i laugh 4 u ! new css fails so fucking hard u will lose maybe 80% from the players g_G

    • tomeoftom says:

      Oh my god YES!

    • Heliocentric says:

      Just like with tf2. When valve screw up a game by adding unwanted features they let you set servers to ignore the new stuff. So, no one has any reason to quit for this.

    • tomeoftom says:

      Helio, please do not make a mockery of this serious situation with reason.

  43. Tei says:

    With a game this old, even the bugs are part of the rules of the game now, removing the bugs of the game is akin to remove the bad parts of a famous city building over these areas a futuristic complex. Somewhat like Robocop 2 script, I think (or whas 3?). Now, where the gansta and the oldbies will move?.

  44. trojan^ says:

    Bring back the old css! This is a mockery of the players! We bought CSS and not the shooter with the title and so on! We wish the old CSS

  45. andrew says:

    If you think this update sucked you don’t know shit. They made the recoil like old recoil. all the changes are improvements. I am just amazed at people not liking it? what the fuck is wrong with you people?

    • itsallcrap says:

      They’re Counter Strike fans. Anything that makes the game more appealing to a newbie is a bad thing to them.

      I *like* games where a beginner can get the odd few kills off me. Otherwise we might as well be playing Top Trumps.

  46. coldwave says:

    Wait, I thought competitive players abandoned CSS shortly after it’s release and returned to CS 1.6 or even CS 1.4?

  47. Chicken says:

    Okay, this thread is absolutely hilarious, and I’m sorry to break the if-you’re-complaining-about-the-update-then-you-can’t-type-English 100-hit combo, but…

    This update is terrible. Why remove modding on an 11 year old game (or 7 years old, if you’re just thinking CS:Source)? What’s with the frankly ridiculous alas-poor-Yorick death pose?

    But, even beyond that stuff, check this out. You remember how, just two days ago, when you clicked “Find Server,” you could order the server list by clicking on the top tabs? So you could put the servers in ascending/descending order by server name, or ping, or number of players, or whatever? YOU CAN’T DO THAT ANYMORE. Seriously! Why do that?! Why take out the incredibly simple and minimalistic Excel-style server list, and replace it with this no-function, alphabetical by MAP piece of garbage? I can’t think of a reason to do that.

  48. Nighthood says:

    All the people that are complaining about the death animation don’t seem to know that it’s the censored version, not everywhere has it. It’s found if you’re Australian, German, or your game has bugged as far as I know.

  49. Salty says:

    I hate new css, and i mean HATE

    • stahlwerk says:

      How can you hate, err HATE it? It makes the web look good in a standardized and open way!

  50. Rodger says:

    Time to waste another 2GB on Downloading this update. Should be done in 9 Hrs, thats Valve.