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Shooters You Should Play Instead of Battlefield 3: Counter-Strike Source

Nowadays, many who consider
themselves hardcore FPS fans cut their teeth on games like Battlefield 1942 or
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. These young pups who consider themselves “hardcore”
should step aside for the multiplayer shooter that the real pros learned the
ropes on: Counter-Strike and its successor, Counter-Strike: Source.

The true ancestor to Battlefield
3
, Battlefield: Bad Company, came out in June 2008. So it has been just over
three years for this current iteration of Battlefield. The original
Counter-Strike came out in June 1999. Not counting the beta phases, it has been
around for 12 years. That is right, if Counter-Strike were a child, he would be
almost done elementary school. Battlefield has not even entered Kindergarten
yet.

What have Counter-Strike and its
slightly younger brother, Counter-Strike: Source done with their years? Well,
they are both still incredibly popular games in the competitive scene and with casual players too. If you can pry your eyes away from watching Battlefield 3 game play
footage and trailers, you might note something interesting in the player
statistics for these games. Steam, the digital distribution service that
handles CS and CSS, consistently rank them in the top 5 games played. In
contrast, Bad Company 2 rarely breaks the top 10, or even the top 20.

What do these statistics testify
to? They show the longevity of this franchise. This comes from a number of
factors. First is the price. You can pick CSS up for $19.99 (even less on
sales). This is a far cry from the $59.99 that will be commanded by Battlefield
3
for the foreseeable future. Next is the requirements. You do not need triple
SLI to play CSS at max settings. You can crank the graphics to max using a $25
video card you got from eBay. If you want the best graphics from Battlefield 3,
your wallet will be crying after you scrape the last dollar from it to grab the
latest nVidia or ATi offering.

The game play deserves mention as
well. CS and CSS provide that perfect mix between frenetic arcade shooter and
skill that keep players come back for more. It is easy to get into, with a very
simple buy menu that lets you pick out your own weapons on the fly rather than
conforming to some specific “class.” It also does not bother with
overcomplicating mechanisms like healing. It hands you money, guns, a bomb (or
a defuse kit) and tells you to go forth and be awesome.

To use another metaphor here,
think of these games as wines. Counter-Strike and Counter-Strike Source have been around long enough to
really enjoy. You uncork them, swish them around in your glass, and savor the
subtle complexities that come with age. Battlefield 3 is like the $10 bottle of
Merlot that you purchased down at the store just to have some wine around.
Sure, it will do in a pinch, but it simply has not been around long enough to
gain any significant depth or flavor.

Also keep in mind that now is a great time to sharpen your AWP and headshot skills. Why? Because soon enough the next iteration of the game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will be released.

This is the third installment in our series on shooters you should play instead of Battlefield 3.  Check out yesterday’s article on Halo Reach, or read to see our views on the ultra-realisitc military sim Operation Flashpoint.

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