Yesterday we had a LAN party at the office and played Counterstrike all day. It had been about 3 years since I last played and my skills were definitely rusty. My "ownage" ability had definitely taken a few steps down.
But it was still a blast. Though, it is always interesting to see a bunch of 30 somethings revert, just for an instant, to being a teen whenever someone makes a mistake (myself included). We had friendly fire on and I don't think there was anyone who didn't kill their own teammate at least once as well as get killed by their teammate. I tallied killing my own teammate 4 times in the 12 hour marathon and being killed by teammates 7 times. And boy were people mad when they got shot by a teammate. Ironically, out of the 8 people playing, my 4 friendly fires involved only 2 people so it wasn't spread out.
Note to selves: Turn out friendly fire damage for next time.
But the game itself is still just great. And on the latest machines, 100+ frame rates are no sweat at all making the entire experience smooth. There was much praise of Valve's "Steam" technology which let us easily get updates and stay in sync. Though, all bias aside, Stardock Central (www.sdcentral.net) is far superior as a technology for getting updates and dealing with retail installs. But I digress.
I wonder if Half Life 2 will be able to have anywhere near as good an experience as Counterstrike with HL1 has. I think much of the enjoyment is the incredibly good performance. The graphics are dated but the massive framerates, excellent play balancing, and flawless play make the game just incredibly enjoyable.