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Have You Played... Counter-Strike: Source

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every weekday of the year, perhaps for all time.

Not the original mod. Not Global Offensive or Condition Zero. I'm talking about Counter-Strike: Source, the remake that brought terrorists and counter-terrorists to the Half-Life 2 engine - and for some reason, was never fully embraced by the audience.

At the time of writing, CS:GO has 260k players, the original Counter-Strike standalone release has 11,399, and Counter-Strike Source is last with 7,141. That's maybe a measure of the original running better on older computers and laptops, but it's true that Source was never as embraced by the competitive scene as CS:GO has been. There were complaints over recoil and gun feel, and protestations from Valve about them being identical to the previous game, but still much of the audience remained for a long time with the original.

For me, who was only ever a casual player, I liked Source because it smartly updated the maps I already liked and because the introduction of physics to a multiplayer game was novel. Even if the latter was functionally useless and often laggy, I liked being able to shoot and knock around the scattered filing cabinets of cs_office.

Otherwise, to me, it was much the same Counter-Strike as always: tight, exciting, and compulsive.

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