Counter Strike History

A Brief, Probably Opinionated, Possibly True Story of the Tree Counter Strike came from

The year is 1998, and Quake 2 is the successor to Quake 1 (duh), but the mod scene, a big component to both games, was still unmatured.  I personally bought Quake 2 for Team Fortress 2, but then Valve games had bought TF2 and we were left with some weird class based ctf mod with jetpacks.

One mod rose particular, Action Quake 2, which had well over 300 clans in its prime (back in the day most people joined clans, it was more enjoyable).  Action Quake 2 had a sort of Hollywood Theme, lights camera action, you were jumping off of buildings doing many tricks throwing knifes maybe kicking people in the head, and it was mostly round based TDM.  Sound familiar?  It probably doesn’t, but it had one thing that stood out.  There was a tactical aspect to its trick jumping high speed madness, there was bleeding if you got shot, and the biggest: the guns were highly inaccurate for the most part if you were moving around all crazy.  So I might trimp (google it) an edge and jump at you 300mph just to duck and try to burst you down with an M4.  This game was really difficult to play, but really awesome, and it still has a few players today if you want to learn your nostalgia.

 “Frag videos, who remembers those”

The year is 1999, and outcomes Half-Life, which is actually based off the Quake 2 engine, and has one really popular early beta mod out.. Counter Strike.  Some of us remember the old Counterstrike, it had a lot of similarities, the weapons were similar, and it had BunnyHop just like Action Quake 2.  One of the biggest differences however, is that 75% of the community couldn’t bunnyhop (Half Life bunny hopping is a messy flailing of mouse as opposed to strafe jumping).  What this did was separate the community really, as two teams racing out to the middle on CS_Siege or other maps in that early beta the bunnyhop team would get there 2x as fast literally.  Members of the Action Quake 2 team actually are part of the people who worked on CS, so the similarities were there it was just more consumable for the masses.  

But the non bunnyhop (probably noobs at the time) were on to something, and really changed the game.  Slowly they restricted the bunnyhop (TFC still uses it), and it matured into what it is today.  CS was bought by Valve and continued to mature, and actually scaled down in features to the less is more approach it is today.  

Later on, games came on to take on the Action Quake 2 persona, first there was Urban Terror ( ) which is really popular and fun and a lot more accessible, as it is a slowed down (has stamina), but still really fast and accurate (bleeding and such), interpretation of Action Quake 2.  

There was then Reaction Quake 3, which had a short but notable following and from the looks of it might attempt to come back?  This was a very accurate but not as fast (due to engine) version of Action Quake 2, and many of the top clans ended up moving from AQ2 to RQ3, as it was awesome.  Then there was action half life, which wanted that general theme of lights camera action that AQ2 strived for and had a pretty cool dive feature with the dual akimbos like you were Max Payne online: Action Half Life also has a sequel for source which was equally as good and you might get spin kicked.

Action Quake 2 might have been the most influential mod to ever be released in the FPS, ever.  And yet I would imagine very few people left have actually experienced it or something that mimics its experience.  So I challenge everyone to download Urbanterror, try a pub, and understand smidge of what led to CS and a buncha other cool games.

1996 - infinity. The ringer in every spades tournament.


  1. Nice article, it’s about time someone got it right. I can tell you all were around back then. Good stuff, keep it coming!

  2. +1 Never here about the true origins in those “History of _____” videos. Looking forward to CS being supported by the in-game launcher.

    • hear*

  3. The only issue I have with the article is that the Half-Life engine is not based off Quake II. Although it does reuse code and snippets from Quake II and other Quake titles, the majority of the engine, called Goldsrc, is created created by Valve and is still majorly Quake I (one).


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