June 15, 2020 | 15:00
Long for the old days of Counter-Strike 1.6? You can now play it via your web browser entirely for free and with no need to sign up.
Available at CS-Online.Club, players are able to join a number of different servers and dive straight into Counter-Strike 1.6 like it's the early 2000s all over again. The web-based game doesn't involve you having to sign up or hand over any money. Simply go to the website and pick a server and you're in. It takes a couple of minutes for the game to load all the relevant assets the first time round but it soon speeds up. If nothing else, the wait gives you time to check the controls and re-acquaint yourself with what you used to do in-game.
The game looks as dated as you'd expect but we'll forgive it that sin given we all probably look rather older than we did 15 or so years ago. Fortunately, it all runs pretty smoothly in-browser and you have plenty of maps to choose from. There's the classic favourites like de_dust2 and cs_office, but there's also room for lighter fare like cs_bikini_map too. It's all pretty well organised and just how it used to be, only in browser form.
It's even possible to rent a server so that you have a bit more control such as the ability to choose and upload new maps and only allow your mates in.
The downside to all this? There's not many, although servers do occasionally go down as you'd expect really with a free service. The key issue potentially is that your productivity will dip drastically, and you may find yourself one of those people that's adamant that Counter-Strike peaked at 1.3 rather than 1.6. Still, 1.6 is a fair bit more enjoyable than many other versions after that time if you ask us, and this seems like a delightful trip down memory lane.
It seems unlikely it'll stick around forever as we're uncertain about legalities, but it's a nice way to remind yourself of more innocent days while it lasts.
Counter-Strike 1.6 is available at CS-Online.Club
July 1 2020 | 17:34