Recently, I re-listened to the July 10th 2008 episode of GFW Radio, and after upon hearing the crew discuss the novel, Game Boys, Shawn Elliot brought up an interesting point: Many hardcore Counter Strike players are likely to never switch to another game. I'm certainly no expert, but when you think about it, most of the modern shooters we play today seem to be iterations based on the original Counter Strike formula. And the only way for a modern shooter to stand out these days is to spin the Counter Strike formula in a way that seems believably distinct to a largely civilian audience. For example, Call of Duty 4 has been cited in the past by Shawn Elliot to present the same appeal to its players as Counter Strike did to fresh eyes many years ago. When further examined, Call of Duty 4 may even possibly appear as a reskinned version of Counter Strike with new maps, weapons, a regenerative health system, a running mechanic, and the ability to go prone.
But the strange thing is that to an outsider, any given Call of Duty clearly appears as a war simulation -- whereas Counter Strike is set in a world where all of the commonly accepted rules of soldiers are neglected in compromise for a barbaric, gladitorial-like deathmatch to the death. Maps are not laid out to accomodate modern warfighting tactics, and the weapons handle and respond to continuous fire unrealistically with exaggerated recoil, and the lack of the ability to look down the sight of the weapon, which would inevitably add some depth, be it not welcome in the already tremdously deep shooter experience the game already provides.