Counter-Strike is one of the most successful series in the gaming industry. The first game was released in 1999 and it defined the very genre of team-based shooters. Its most popular iteration is CS: Global Offensive, and it is an absolutely insane phenomenon – how on earth does a game from 2012 remain the most playable on Steam in 2020?
There are quite a few reasons for this. “It’s just a great game, so people love it” – this might be the easiest answer but it explains nothing. Many other games use the same formula of dividing players into two teams that fight each other while achieving specific goals. You’ll find many shooters with battles on limited maps, lots of available weapons, and various modes. Gamers tend to enjoy them for a while but then get bored and move on to something else, looking for a fresh experience. So, what is the master secret of this seemingly repetitive yet still so amazingly exciting CS:GO?
1. The game is straightforward, easy to understand
While competitors come up with multilayered stories surrounding the virtual world, heroes, and their unclear goals, CS:GO invites players to a super simple scenario. Here are terrorists, they want to explode a bomb or do harm to hostages. Here are counter-terrorists, they want to stop terrorists by killing them, defusing the bomb, or saving the hostages.
Almost nothing prevents new players from jumping into the game and enjoying it from the very start. “Take this weapon, shoot these guys”. Somehow people just naturally feel what to do and how to do it.
2. The gameplay is much deeper than you would expect
The first impression of simplicity is a nice illusion to motivate players to move deeper into the game. Beginners in CS:GO start by running around the maps, shooting everything, and throwing grenades all over the place. Then they start wondering – how do some other teams play so effectively, leaving almost no chance to the opponents? Thus an impressive abyss of possible strategies and endless skill improvements becomes obvious to them. Boys grow to men as they taste sweet, sweet victories. They are hooked by the depth of CS:GO, and the better they play, the more possibilities for improvement they see.
Each location is unique, so you can use different strategies in them. Each weapon is unique, so you should learn which gun to pick with the limited in-game money and how to shoot nicely with it. Team communication, proper usage of grenades, employing deceiving actions on the maps and attitudes to the economy plus many other aspects make CS:GO one of the deepest gaming experiences over there. Players just can’t get enough. Maybe this is a proper answer to the question “Why is CS:GO so popular?”
3. The power of esports
Millions of viewers enjoy CS:GO esports tournaments. The straightforward gameplay makes the matches entertaining for the mass audience. The depth of team strategy and personal skills makes the show unforgettable for players – they feel how awesome those moments are and how strongly they could improve their own playing style. Specific features make the game a perfect one for esports, and then powerful competitions boost the overall attention to CS:GO.
4. Social experience
In the game, you can shoot terrorists or counter-terrorists, plant or defuse the bomb. You develop various skills to be a successful player and get the highest rank. Everything in this makes total sense only if there are other players to interact with and to be appreciated by.
CS:GO has a specific community. It lives by its own rules, and being amongst these people is an exciting feeling. Though it’s not like all of them are friendly and spread positivity around the world. Quite often their behaviour is the total opposite, but it is OK for such a game. Everyone accepts this style – many people love to return to this environment, and this is a significant power that helps to support the extraordinary popularity of the game.
5. Excitement of skins
A significant part of social experience in CS:GO is the usage of cosmetic items to customize in-game weapons. Still, this phenomenon goes far beyond social interactions, and many experts consider it a moving power to keep the game popular throughout the years.
CS:GO skins have no effect on actual gameplay. They are just images that can be added on to your default weapons. This seemingly impractical thing allows players to express their real-world personality, demonstrate their unique style, and emphasize their gaming skills. It turns out that this role is of the same significance as the global ranks. If you appear in front of teammates and opponents with a rare and cool skin, it changes their attitude to you and even your own general mood in the game. Thus skins affect match results, and players want to have them.
Skins were introduced in 2013 with the Arms Deal Update. Since then, people return to the game more often to try their luck at getting free skins. Many prefer to buy CS:GO skins because the chance of receiving something valuable from the random drop is quite low. Adding skins of your choice into the inventory motivate players to delve into the game again and again – so that friends can see your style. The possibility to sell skins for real money perfectly supports this hype around CS:GO.
6. Many maps, many modes
The game doesn’t let you get bored with repetitiveness of matches – even if you’ve mastered CS:GO well. It continues to offer something new and interesting each time you play it.
The overall experience changes drastically when you start the match in a new location. It’s not only about the visuals but also about team actions and strategies. Then, you can try out new modes – with fresh goals and different maps. Don’t want to plant/defuse bombs? What about rescuing hostages, landing at the Battle Royal location, or rushing into a chaotic Deathmatch? There is a lot to choose from that should suit your current mood!
7. Regular updates
CS:GO has been here for eight years, but practically it’s a much different game than it was in 2012. Of course, the basis is the same, but all the layers over it are much more polished, and updated to standards of the modern industry. Visuals look better – especially on powerful gaming PCs, and the whole game feels better balanced and optimized.
Technical updates wouldn’t be a sufficient answer to the question “Why is CS:GO so popular?” so developers provide players with regular waves of new content: maps, modes, weapons, and skins. It is an ongoing game that still keeps up with the time.
Reasons for a game to be mega-popular are not necessarily the reasons why you personally will enjoy it. CS:GO offers special entertainment for a lot of gamers, and if you like shooters, you definitely should give it a shot. Since December 2018, the game has been free. You can play it even on outdated computers through the cloud service GeForce Now. Maybe, your own participation in the multiplayer matches will strengthen the phenomenon of CS:GO popularity in 2020 and for many years to come.
If you enjoy games and gaming and want more NEWS from the Gaming World Click Here