We all know how the Counter Strike versions and releases went. Pre 1.6 was cool but buggy, 1.6 was god, Condition Zero was trash, and Source was ok, long story short at least. And Global Offensive well, we’re living it…
But how many people have even heard of Day of Defeat? Ricochet? Deathmatch Classic? Better yet, how many people have played them? Who still plays them?
I decided I wanted to know the answer of the last question earlier this week and put some of the first PC games I played against the test of nostalgia.
Some fared better than others…
TLDR? : 10/10 performance 10,000fps,Variable ping from US but the games are smooth and (mostly) bugless. Most remaining servers for these games are based in Europe.
So if you’re willing to sacrifice a tenth of a second, a lot of these are worth giving a shot or revisit. If you don’t expect much going in you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Even the newest game I visited “Day of Defeat: Source” has been out for almost 11 years now so you can expect for these games to be well patched.
I remember using steam for the first time, just after release. I also remember accidentally calling it “stream” a few too many times. The beige box under the desk whirred and clunked while reading the “Counter Stike/Half Life” CD. Little did I know that CS and the other games on the disc (DM Classic, Ricochet, and DoD) would be entertaining me for years to come. I still play on the same Steam account today. But I almost lost it once. Getting it back involved 6 months worth of emails with Gabe Newell himself, several calls to Comcast, and 3 felonies. But it all started with a trip to gamestop.
It had been a few years since I’d bothered to play on steam. It wasn’t a full blown game platform in 2005, so I had forgotten the password and login in the dark years of CS: Condition Zero. But that didn’t stop me from picking up The Source Box at gamestop. It didn’t even start as a trip to there. Just a tag along to Target with my mom. Ended up wandering into gamestop while cutting through the mall. Then I paid $20 of my own hard earned 8 year old slave labor money. That’s like, a couple grand in 2016 money. That $20 got me a fat ass plastic box with 5 DVDs inside.
The power of DVDs… They sure gave me enough time to get call Comcast and get the login for that old email back. But it didn’t save my Steam account. That took another 6 months of emails. I was young, and impatient, and made the mistake of registering these games under another account. Eventually the accounts were merged and the problem resolved.
But in the meantime I played these Source games. Half Life 2 was okay, but the story didn’t stick with me as a kid. Most of my time was spent surfing in CS or playing engineer in Team Fortress. I dabbled in DoD, but found it too difficult with my lackluster PC and shoddy connection.
Review – Day of Defeat
But, 10 years later, I’m kind of in the same spot. I can’t play the best of games on this computer, but I can play most. These classics run especially well, made even better by modern internet and servers. I’ll start with DoD. If you can handle 120ms and don’t care to talk to your team(Unless you speak German), Day of Defeat Source is definitely worth checking out. To give an idea of what the game is like : It’s as if you tried to build Red Orchestra/Rising Storm on the Source engine, combined it with Battlefield 1942, and made it play like a hardcore version of Counter Strike where you can use iron sights. You take more damage, and you have stamina. Instead of bombs, you worry about flags and objectives, although getting there sometimes requires a bomb or two. The older DoD doesn’t fare quite as well as Source, it has the same type of servers and objectives, but plays MUCH more like CS than it’s later Source counterpart. You can’t aim down sights, and the guns are less predictable, along with stranger controls and movement.
Review – Team Fortress
This one would probably be quite the shock for someone who has only played TF2. If you think DoD is simple in comparison to Source, you probably think Team Fortress was made on DOS. Finally peace and quiet ,well, aside from the screaming, gunfire, and explosions. But at least I don’t get picked on by 12 year olds who don’t like my hat, and barked at by 40 year old men who like to pretend they’re George Washington and try to lead a 11 boy strong force to victory against the red menace. In gameplay though it is by all means the same game as TF2. The graphics have aged of course, but the physics where extremely quality for their time, and assuming you can find a server, you will likely find a good time.
Let’s not pretend Valve is the best developer of all time. They cant count to 3 and have had more than a couple hiccups and questionable games over the years. Most have never heard of Ricochet, Deathmatch Classic, Blue Shift.. Jumpy frisbee fun? Quake Clone ? NostalgiaDLC.exe? Are they worth trying too? The games not listed on Valve’s Wiki? The games not mentioned in the nostalgia circlejerks online? Maybe, maybe not, your expectation going into any game is generally what ends up shaping your opinion. If you own them but haven’t played them, might as well give them a shot. If not I wouldn’t be adding funds to my steam wallet unless I really needed my nostalgia fix or unless I suddenly plunged into hopeless poverty and could only play at the local library on a stolen Windows Vista era laptop. But I can definately see myself playing more DoD: Source, and I would love a modern rendition of this wonderful game. Unfortunately I feel it may fall into obscurity before that happens.