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Counter-Strike (CS) is a Realistic modification of Valve's first person shooter Half-Life. It is the most widely played Half-Life modification. It is a team-based game; the two sides are called Terrorists (T) and Counter-terrorists (CT). The two teams spawn simultaneously; they have a certain amount of time (usually 0-15 seconds) before the round starts in which they can buy equipment. They can usually buy more equipment for 0-90 secs after the round starts provided they do not leave the "buy zone" (see Counter-Strike equipment). The most common way to play is to kill all the other Team while trying to carry out the objectives. The round ends when the map's objective has been completed, all of the other team is killed, or when the round time ends. Both teams receive additional money at the beginning of the next round, with the winners of the last round receiving more money then the losers. Surviving players retain their equipment. Those who have died must buy new equipment.

Any players killed before the round is over become "ghosts"; their chat/voice messages cannot be seen/heard by the players still alive. They cannot change their names (in early versions, dead players could communicate with the living by changing their names, i.e., Mr_He_Is_behind_you). They are invisible and become spectators. Depending on server configuration, they may or may not have possibility of floating freely through the map. The default in early versions was the former behavior (i.e. dead players were able to float freely) but this default was changed later due to the fact that the free-float configuration allowed for abuse. The players could communicate through alternative media (most notably voice in case of internet cafes) and thus, spy for their team's advantage (often referred as "ghosting"). The restriction of dead players' movement did not solve the problem once and for all but it largely limited it.

There are three main types of maps:

cs_ maps: these are based on a hostage rescue situation. 4 Hostages (computer-controlled) are located near the terrorist spawn; the counter-terrorists must take them (walk up to them and press the "use" key) and lead them to the rescue zone, which is usually near the counter-terrorist spawn (note: some maps have more than one rescue zone.) If the counter-terrorists rescue all the hostages within the timelimit, they win the round. If a player on either side kills a hostage, (s)he loses money. Killing the entire enemy team also ends the round. If the time limit is reached and the hostages have not been rescued, the terrorists win (even if the hostages have all been killed.) Some of the most popular cs_ maps:

  • cs_assault
  • cs_backalley
  • cs_estate
  • cs_italy
  • cs_militia
  • cs_office
  • cs_thunder

de_ maps: based on a bomb-defusing scenario. One of the terrorists starts out with a C4[?] bomb, which can only be planted at bomb sites; usually there are two bomb sites on the map, one of which is near the counter-terrorist spawn. Once the bomb has been planted, the counter-terrorists have to locate and defuse it before it explodes. On de_ maps a special defuse kit can be bought to decrease the time it takes to defuse a bomb. Killing the enemy team ends the round if the bomb has not been planted; if the bomb has been planted, terrorists win if they kill the counter-terrorists, but the counter-terrorists must defuse the bomb even if they kill the terrorists. If the round ends and the bomb has not exploded (or been defused) the counter-terrorists win. Popular de_ maps:

  • de_aztec
  • de_cbble
  • de_dust
  • de_dust2
  • de_inferno
  • de_prodigy
  • de_survivor
  • de_vegas

as_ maps: based on an assassination scenario. One of the counter-terrorists spawns as a VIP (Very Important Person). The VIP can't buy equipment, but starts out with 200 armor (the normal maximum is 100). The VIP must go to a rescue point; this is usually a helicopter or APC. The counter-terrorists win if the VIP makes it to the rescue point or all the terrorists are killed while the VIP is still alive. The terrorists win if the VIP is killed or the time limit is reached and the VIP has not yet made it to the rescue point. as_ maps are much less popular than cs_ and de_ maps. Popular as_ maps:

  • as_oilrig
  • as_tundra

See also

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