The Counter-Strike fanbase makes Twilight look like an unpopular advertisement for pile cream. Players spend far longer on CS servers than even the moon-iest eyed teen shutin can spend fantasizing about not-vampires, and are almost infinitely more likely to actually make something to show their affection. Because, you know, they can actually operate computers instead of tubs of Ben & Jerry’s. Here we see work from those who took time off from deagling to digitize some CS cinema.
1. GBA Counter Strike
Counter-Strike as played by a Terminator built out of Game Boy parts. And we’re not talking DS, this is an ultra old-school love letter to both retro hardware and software combined and shoved further back in time than either imagined. Obviously the designer had to take some liberties: it’s monochrome, runs about one frame per second, it would be impossible to aim that well on such hardware and – most impossibly of all – the video clearly shows a grenade actually killing some people at the end.
2. Counter-Strike for Kids
A little slow-starting, but stick with this machinima for a fun reinvention of your favorite game. It also disproves claims that gaming makes people less intelligent – anyone who can compile Counter-Strike with water-pistols and the terrorist delivering a “birthday present” to B has a better understanding of parody than Jonathan Swift buying a box set of Monty Python.
3. Televised Championships
Counter-Strike has been elevated to the status of sport by many, with the advantage that years of play aren’t instantly rendered worthless if you happen to turn your hamstring half a degree too far. Whether you agree that cross-map headshots are really athletic endeavors, technology companies have been funding Championships for years – and even televising the results like real-life events. Then the only real question is “Is it fun to watch?”
The answer is hell yes, whether you’re entertained by the amazing play or the even more amazing player facial expressions. The above video features a nail-biting bomb/defuse battle decided by the barest razor of milliseconds, and is well enhanced by commentators who both know what they’re talking about and are able to talk about it. Also: funny faces.
4. The Noob’s Guide
Anyone on any Counter-strike server ever has to read Something Awful writer Psychosis’s excellent guide to the game, an essential explanation of everything you need to know. Or, thanks to Xanatos, you can YouTube it – just skip past the first minute, which suffers the usual fan-video failing of a solid sixty seconds of pointless credits intended to make sure the viewer doesn’t forget the maker’s name (and usually results in the viewer not watching the actual video.)
5. Counter-Strike for Real
Ah, taking Counter-Strike from the server to the real world and uploading it! Such a fun idea, so many many many people try it, and – unfortunately – not one worth actually linking up to. Most remember the main parody points:
- have players drop onto the ground at beginning
- guns suddenly appear with the reloading noise
- remember to swivel your head with the gun in all directions!
Unfortunately, most also include:
- a paralytically slow two minute introduction for a one minute video
- attempting to stretch thirty seconds of ideas into ten minutes plus credits
On the opposite end of the cinematic spectrum is Fragstorm, a tightly tuned Counter-Strike experience. Game montages set to music are usually less entertaining than a day at a sleep-deprived dentist’s, but STVmovies understand that FPS films are for the watcher, not the maker. The result is an adrenaline-soaked four minute film without any wasted time, no stupid in-jokes for the filmmakers, it actually matches its music (which even more amazingly doesn’t suck), and is genuinely entertaining to watch.
Some scenes might be more obviously staged than a production of Hamlet (no-one walks out a door after seeing the three previous people get headshot), but there are still real skills on display – from deagling that would make Riggs squint with envy to no-scoping the likes of which a blind ninja would envy. So you can at least pretend to know what it’s like from that side.