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Counter-Strike reaches the UK

GamePlay to exclusively supply retail version of popular online mod

Counter-Strike might have started out life as a simple mod for Half-Life, featuring teams of terrorists and counter-terrorists battling it out with realistic weaponry, but since then it has become the single most popular online first person shooter, boasting more followers than the likes of Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament. It came as no great surprise then when Sierra and Half-Life developers Valve announced that they were going to be releasing a stand-alone retail version of Counter-Strike.

But while the pack was released in the USA, there was no word of any European launch. It seems that once again Sierra had decided there was not enough of a market in the UK for an online-only title, just as they did with Starsiege Tribes a couple of years back. You would think they might have learnt from that mistake, as thousands of hardcore British gamers either imported the game from the USA or simply downloaded pirated copies of it over the internet. But apparently not...

Now GamePlay have announced an exclusive deal with Sierra to distribute Counter-Strike in the UK, through their online store, digital TV, and their eight GamePlay highstreet shops. The game will cost just £17.99, and as well as Counter-Strike itself the bundle includes the multiplayer components of Half-Life and add-on pack Opposing Forces, Valve's own Team Fortress Classic, and a selection of other free mods for the game - Firearms, Redemption and Wanted. If you don't already own a copy of Half-Life it's certainly a good deal, but if you're one of the millions of gamers who has already bought one of the many editions of Half-Life that has been released over the last two years, it has to be said that there's really little point in buying this pack - all of the mods on it (apart from the Opposing Forces multiplayer) are freely available over the internet and regularly appear on magazine cover disks.