Five Reasons We Can't Stop Playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike is the prototypical realistic first-person shooter in the video game world. Originally produced as a modification to Half-Life in 1998, the game introduced players to a slower-paced style of game.

For the first time, players were unable to immediately respawn after dying and a single headshot could frag. The gameplay was infectious, and Counter-Strike quickly became the most-played online game. Modern first-person shooters, the Call of Duty series in particular, tend to adopt the Counter-Strike's slower-paced combat without the nuanced recoil that makes the game tough to play.

Valve finally released the third version of Counter-Strike on Tuesday, and players both old and new will now be able to experience vastly the same unique style of gameplay only available in the first-person shooter.

CS:GO is only $15, and well worth the price in comparison to the yearly $60 Call of Duty releases. Five distinct experiences separate Counter-Strike's wayward son, CoD, from its gun-shootin' daddy.

5. No Ironsight Call of Duty was one of the first games to utilize ironsights, and quickly became a staple of modern realistif first-person shooters. CS:GO will keep players hip firing controlled bursts at eachother. The lack of accuracy utterly changes the gameplay, focusing on reflexive action and removing the number of steps required to pull off an accurate shot. CS:GO's learning curve is much wider than CoD's, as camping is made difficult without conveniently perfect accuracy.

4. Dying Matters Round based shooters, that is the ones without respawns, have recently been relegated to backwoods modes that no one plays. The first thing you'll notice jumping into CS:GO is that dying means you're going to wait for a minute or two for the round to end. Getting better becomes a pavlovian reflex. Dead players have nothing better to do but spectate the rest of the round which actually increases the pressure on anyone left standing because the watchful eyes of epiphet-spewing teens are always on them.

3. A Communal Feeling The most frustrating thing about Xbox Live is the party system. It may be a cesspit of misogyny, homophobia, and some amazing preteen racism, but nothing is more satisfying than destroying a prefabricated bad person with internet headshots. Just as well, nothing is more specific to the internet than a Ron Paul aficionado asking a bunch of people strewn about the country what their take on the gold standard is all about. The PC community (the game is available on Mac and PS3 as well) tends to be a bit more talkative, if not more mature than the folks playing on Xbox Live.

2. A quicker pace Counter-Strike inspired the popular Gun Game modification, which turned from more strategic gameplay to a faster-paced, arena style method of play. Players are rewarded with new weapons for each frag they achieve, forcing them to master every playstyle to become the victor. CS:GO has legitimized the gametype, making it come standard with the boxed game. Counter-Strike is a slow-paced game, but reaction times must be quick and precise to do cool Matrix moves.

1. Developer support Valve Software, developer of Left 4 Dead, Half Life, and Team Fortress 2, is famous for never letting a community die. They've been rolling out updates to both the original Counter-Strike and its 8-year-old sequel on a relatively consistent basis since release. Players can safely expect new maps, modes, and balance updates all for free. Bright eyed development is a rare thing in an Activision-dominated world, and gamers can support it for only $15.

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