Maybe because it was a community sponsored mod that Counter Strike had the stones to enter the controversial terrorism arena.
The purity of the game was simple. A first person shooter with two sides: terrorists and counter-terrorists. Each side had their own tactical advantages. But more importantly each had their own particular thrilling and tantalising experience.
Let me set the scene; ! stand with five men in pre-game, our objectives clear and familiar, we choose our weapons from the available arsenal, we grab some body armour, ammo, grenades or flashbangs and we’re set.
This is no random match making but a long standing clan, We all know our purpose and we all have a role. Some hang back for covering fire, some push forward with the heavier weapons. Once we have our positions, we wait. Wait for the other team to make their move, to give away their position or blindly run past. Without headsets the preset voice commands somehow added to the tension, ‘stick together team’ “enemy spotted”.
Whether freeing hostages or diffusing bombs, the whole experience is heightened by how easy it is to die. Body armour can help but still a death in counter strike is a quick one without respawns.
The longer you survive the more of the mission falls in your lap alone. You fight on with the rest of your dead team silently egging you on. The sweetness of a miracle victory is never sweet than when you are watched by five of your fallen team mates.
These are the moments that give counter strike a soul. Pouring time into this game never felt like anything but pure value. I still look back with honour that I was part of the Counter Strike world.