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Those, who have been waiting for years impatiently for the Half-Life 2 to arrive should probably wait some more time till Valve Software releases its most-anticipated title ever, but this week Valve makes available its long-awaited Counter Strike: Source game to the masses after months of beta-testing. The game is here and we are here to evaluate its performance on different graphics cards that do or will render the CS picture on your displays.

The basic opinion about the game could be formed in mid-August, 2004, when the beta version of the remade Counter Strike hit the web. The game did not revolutionize much from the original version: it has the same objectives and the same means of their achievement. The most-significant changes are, of course, new graphics, physics and audio engines. Other Counter Strike-specific parts remained unchanged.

ESRB, Terrorist Training and Counter Strike

It is not a secret that we live in the world of iniquity; some blame television, the Internet, computer games and cinematography for massive outbreak of violence during the recent years, some say that various types of media just reflect the real world, which is times more dreadful than any computer game or movie.

In order to protect youth from sexual or violent content nearly all games, movies and other content types are shipped with a special ratings that reflect possible audiences for the content. Currently the original Counter Strike is rated as – “M” – Mature by Entertainment Software Rating Board, ESRB. Titles rated Mature have content that “may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain mature sexual themes, more intense violence and/or strong language,” according to ESRB.

In order to pass the ESRB tests and not to be banned by certain stores, like it happened to the Manhunt game, game developers have to restrict realism of their titles and cut-down all potentially questionable content. As a result, loads of games lack involvement of extreme and/or realistic blood, gore, weapons, and depictions of human injury and death. No games after Soldiers of Fortune offered extreme violence with excessive realism. Today’s Counter Strike: Source can boast with the fact that shooting in the face causes marks of blood on that face and… no death. Since the game positions itself as a kind of realistic one, this part worth a regret, as realism definitely suffered from this decision of the game makers and we would suggest that the game would had different settings of realism/violence, as additional realism clearly gives you more portions of adrenaline.

Another thing that Counter Strike game developers had to keep in mind was a possibility to train potential terrorists, hostage keepers and attackers using a realistic game. Probably this can be the only excuse for not including any modern types of terrorists attacks, like plane or train hijacking, massive amount of hostages taking and so on. Even Soldiers of Fortune and Unreal Tournament games presented kinds of train assaults and battles on the streets flooded with civilians, but the new Counter Strike: Source does not have any answers to these pretty valuable types of gameplay.

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