Counter-Strike was banned from sale in Brazil due to a judge's ruling in October, 2007. This was apparently triggered by the popularity of a user-made map named cs_Rio in which the court claims the objective is for drug dealers to kill police in Rio and that they can also take UN members as hostage. What is not pointed out is that players can play on either side of the two unnamed groups, and that a game company has no control over user-made maps.
The US version of Half-Life is banned in Germany but Counter-Strike is not - which is surprising, because the Counter-Strike version distributed in Germany is basically a cut-down version of Half-Life US with the Counter-Strike mod.
On 16th May 2002, after a long debate, the German authorities came to the conclusion that Counter-Strike would not be banned in Germany. The reasons were stated in the BPjM's opinion, released shortly after the verdict. Key points include "strong strategical elements", "possibility of team communication" and "action scenarios that do largely without sensationalism"
There are two German censored versions: original retail and the Steam version. In the original releases all blood effects were removed, there is only one kind of hostage and killed persons don't die but sit on the ground and shake their head. In the Steam version only the blood was removed.
The version of Counter-Strike included in this package is identical to version 1.0 that can be freely-downloaded; the difference is that it's sold commercially and the mod authors receive a portion of the profits. This mod is officially sanctioned and distributed by Sierra.
References to the game
Half-Life: Counter-Strike was parodied in two episodes of "Die Redaktion" (The Editorial Team), a monthly comedy video produced by the German gaming magazine GameStar. They were published on the DVD of issue 04/2005 and 01/2006 respectively.
The game is referenced in the 2010 Susanne Bier film Hævnen (English title: In a Better World). The boy Christian (William Jøhnk Nielsen) can be seen playing the game on his laptop.
Robert Steinhäuser controversy
After the mass murder in a school in Erfurt, Germany, where thirteen teachers, two students and a policeman were killed by Robert Steinhäuser, an ex-student of that school. In Germany, the waves went high, the politicians wanted to ban each and every violent game and movie, the sooner the better. Many people think that he was an Counter-Strike addict but the only source that he's playing this game was a policeman, telling this right after the incident. At a later press conference policemen said that Steinhäuser didn't even have an internet-connection! And playing Counter-Strike without internet is quite a boring thing. You couldn't even download bots...
- In the map de_dust, there is a smarties pack hidden inside a wall (you can only see it in free-look mode)!
- In as_highrise, in the corridor behind the boards, there is a sign behind a door (it's hidden, you can only see it in observer mode!).
- In cs_office, there is a blow-uppable wall near two boxes. Blow it up and you will find a surprise!
Trademark names and logos
Since version 1.0 (retail), the game replaced many trademark names and logos. Some were crudely replaced (The Beoks neon logo in cs_militia reverts to Becks in software mod at distances, for example).
- Computer Gaming World
- April 2001 (Issue #201) – Add-On of the Year
- November 2002 (Issue #220) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
- Game Informer Magazine
- August 2001 (Issue #100) - #49 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
- 2000 – Special Award for Multiplayer Gaming
- 2001 – #29 Top Game of All Time
- 2011 – #6 Top PC Game of the 2000s
- GameStar (Germany)
- Issue 02/2002 - Special Award as "Best Multiplayer Game in 2001"
- Issue 01/2007 - One of the "Ten Most Influential PC Games". (It is one of the most successful game mods and shows how user participation can keep a title alive for a long time. Because of Half-Life: Counter-Strike, many of today's suitable games can be modded and the usability of most editors improved greatly. This game is also an important step for the electronic sports scene.)