Counterstrike: Source

It isn't often a game strikes a chord with the fans of a genre like Counterstrike has. Slightly rebalanced for Valve's Source Engine, Counterstrike: Source (CS:S) is just a small variation o­n a game that has been played for upwards of ten years. A tactical first-person shooter that pits two teams of players against o­ne another in a high stakes shoot out, CS:S is the number o­ne competitive shooting game in the world.

Pitting terrorists against special forces, CS:S uses real life weapons and armaments to create a realistic simulation of a shootout. In addition to weapons like the Desert Eagle and the AWP sniper rifle, players can use smoke grenades and flash bangs to disorient the opposing forces, wire cutters to diffuse enemy bombs, and body armor and helmets to keep safe.

But don't expect super powered heroes who can survive a rocket blast to the head. Armor o­nly protects minimally, and most deaths are the result of a single round of rifle fire rather than a prolonged, bloody shoot 'em out. Although far from a realistic fire fight, the battles in CS:S are a grounded affair that don't forget the reality of warfare: guns are deadly and can cause a lot of damage very quickly.

Private and public servers are prevalent around the world. Players need o­nly log o­nto game developer Valve's strictly monitored anti-cheat servers to ensure a fair gaming experience. Any hours of the day, gamers will find thousands of enthusiastic CS:S players (perhaps too enthusiastic, some might say) at the ready.

Taken o­n its own, CS:S is a fine game that has held up well for over a decade. With its years of history and competitive play, hardcore shooter fans will be remiss to ignore Counterstrike: Source.