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We've dug into Valve's sorta-sequel Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to try and gather some data on the only question we (and probably you, too) care about—what's different? Within, we compare map segments, weapon animations and audio, smoke grenade opacity, bomb planting time, and other elements from all PC versions of Counter-Strike. Tell us what other aspects of CS you'd like to see scrutinized, and we'll get crackin' on them.
In the middle of a thread on the Steam forums speculating about the possibility of a new Counter-Strike game, Valve employee Cliffe dropped two lone words "Global Offensive." Elsewhere, CVG report that anti-cheat providers ESEA post on their Facebook page with another simple message "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive... More info in the morning." Just below the post there's an image of ESEA man Craig Levine turning the gigantic valve in the lobby of Valve's headquarters in Seattle. Finally, ESL Pro manager Bastian Vieser tweeted saying "Just spend all day playing the new Counterstrike Global Offensive #CSGO at the #Valve HQ ! God I love my job." These strong hints appear in the midst of a sea of rumours suggesting that Valve have been flying out top Counter-Strike community members out to their HQ over the course of the past month.
Valve updated Counter-Strike: Global Offensive today with two additional maps and a refit of the Classic Competitive matchmaking system. Vertigo, a classic Defusal map, returns with a Source facelift to its multi-leveled mayhem and shadowy camping nest corners, while Monastery chills things out with an Arms Race among the snowy promenades of a windswept temple.
Pro gamers and invited guests will make it onto the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive closed beta early in October. Valve's Chet Faliszeck told The Reticule that they're planning to grow the beta in the coming months, and he hopes everyone will have a chance to play by the end of the year. Counter-Strike pros have already had a chance to go hands on with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive when they were invited to Valve HQ for testing earlier this year. A Counter-Strike: Global Offensive hands-on account from one of those testers uncovered new weapons like the molotov cocktail, and a tweaked and updated version of the Counter-Strike classic, de_dust.
As rumor confirmations go, this one's pretty quick. Valve just issued a press release announcing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a standalone release that seems to be a full update of Counter-Strike: Source with new weapons, maps, matchmaking, leaderboards, and more. No screenshots have been released, but from Valve's language, it seems like more of an "anniversary edition" of CS:S that dresses up the existing content than a full-on sequel. CS:GO will also be released on Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network. Read the full press release within.
The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive beta has sprung into action after a quiet couple of months. Last week the CS:GO website updated with the announcement of the addition of "more maps, more weapons, and most importantly more players." A massive patch added three new maps, Inferno, Train and Nuke and the weapon selection has been expanded with the addition of the Nova shotgun, Bizon and MP7 SMGs. 7,000 beta invites were also set out last week, with another 2000 planned for today. Valve say that they're sending out invites to active Counter-Strike community members, and are running contests on big CS sites like Gamebanana. "We will also have a survey up in the coming weeks that can help you get your name on the list for a key," they say. The new Counter-Strike blog also mentions Valve's plans to balance the game based on feedback from top CS pros. Their main focus at the moment is on weapon recoil, which is essential to the feel of Counter-Strike's finely balanced guns.
Here's an hour of competitive action from the recent Extreme Masters Global Challenge Counter-Strike: Global Offensive contest between Europe and the USA, spotted on VG247. The contest takes place on Counter-Strike classic, Dust, showing off the updated Source engine and some of Global Offensive's new gadgets, including taser guns and decoy grenades. The decoy grenades do very little to fool these seasoned vets. There's a moment where one backs off and looks it it, puzzled for a moment. Then he resumes his kill streak without hesitation.
Valve are incorporating the immensely popular Gun Game mod as official modes in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Arsenal: Arms Race and Arsenal: Demolition are the two new modes. They'll be playable across eight new maps created with help from the creators of the original mod. Gun Game replaces Counter-Strike's cash-for-guns system with a kills-for-guns system. Everyone starts with a pistol and gets a new weapon for every kill. Those unfamiliar with Counter-Strike might recognise a very similar mode appearing in Call of Duty: Black Ops, but the original CS mod was the real deal, and it will get official backing when CS:GO is released early next year. Valve have sent over nine new screenshots, showing some lovely jungle areas. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive doesn't seem to be pushing the Source engine especially hard, but it's a significant step up from Counter-Strike: Source.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has been out for a couple of days and has vaulted into Steam's top ten most played list behind three other Valve games, team Fortress 2, Dota 2, and, amusingly, Counter-Strike 1.6. To celebrate the long beta bloodbath that preceded this week's launch, the Counter-Strike team have posted an inforgraphic full of rather large figures. The maps in particular took a battering, of 1,949,433,676 shots fired, only 1,557,281,878 hit their target. Find out which map was most popular and discover beta testers' favourite guns below.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive trailer reveals cross-platform play, Valve to host official servers
The first trailer for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has landed on Gametrailers. In between messages mentioning the new weapons, maps and game modes, one pop up confirms that CS:GO will have cross platform play, giving us an opportunity to playfully shoot Playstation 3 and Mac players in the face. Kotaku have spent some time with CS:GO, and can confirm a few new facts. Global Offensive will have a "casual mode" which will give players funds to buy whatever they like between rounds. This mode will also support cross team chat and let you spectate enemy team members. "Competitive mode" will provide a more traditional Counter-Strike set up.
CS:GO should be with us come summer, according to Valve, giving us a bit of time to train our mouse hand muscles and hone our twitch headshot skills before inevitably suffering repetitive death at the hands of seasoned CS 1.6 pros on release. Those pros can't touch console bros, though. Valve's Chet Faliszeck yesterday told Joystiq cross-platform play is gone from CS:GO. Awww. There's a good reason, though. "The beta has proved we want to update not just the beta, but the game itself post-launch frequently on the PC," Faliszeck told Joystiq, "To do that we need to separate the platforms so one doesn't hamstring the other. So for that, we have removed the idea of cross-platform play -- essentially make all platforms stronger by not mixing them." Seems fair. It'll mean more updates for us PC players, most likely. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is currently in beta. You can complete a Steam survey for a chance to claim a spot ahead of release. Meanwhile, let us introduce you to our Counter-Strike comparison video, which shows off how Global Offensive differs from the previous two, and some new CS:GO screenshots. I'm sure you'll get on like a house on fire.
Released yesterday, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's latest update adds Sticker Capsules to the game. Each capsule contains one sticker out of a series of sticker designs. The Sticker Capsules are dropped at the end of matches, and are opened with a Sticker Capsule key. The stickers can be applied to any gun in the game. You can also apply multiple stickers to a single weapon. They're a little like Team Fortress 2 hats, only for your guns. Gun hats!
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is out in just six hours, giving us the chance to jump into a buffed and polished rendition of a classic, which is nice. A beta patch arrived yesterday adding a zombie model that will be used in the Zombie mod, which will be playable with CS:GO later today. It also added a weapons course, which provides basic training in CS:GO's guns and gadgets. The patch also cleans up the UI a bit and fixes a few bugs. Check out the patch notes and the cinematic trailer Valve released at Gamescom last week below.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has received a plump post-E3 patch today. The unerringly accurate bots have been stupidified a little to make things a little easier, the UI has been reshuffled to make things clearer, disappearing props have been bolted down, holes in reality plastered over, grenade arcs tuned and "hostage pain reaction voice overs" adjusted. This patch is laying the groundwork for some bigger patches further down the line, according to the latest post on the Counter-Strike blog. "Over the next few weeks we will be releasing a major audio update, play with friends, new characters, and of course more beta keys." The devs also say pre-order customers will be able to get into CS:GO "about a month before release" and confirm that there will be an open beta period for everyone to try "sometime between the pre-orders and release." At E3 Valve announced that CS:GO will be coming out on August 21 at the budget price of $15, which is nice. Here are the patch notes in full from Steam.
I’ve determined that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is from another dimension. It’s a game that doesn’t need to exist. PC gamers (thousands of them, according to SteamGraph) are perfectly served by Counter-Strike: Source and CS 1.6, content with the decade-something of tuning and attention those games have received. But here’s GO: full of doppelganger Desert Eagles and de_dust déjà vu, quantum-leaping from some parallel timeline whose game industry briefly intersected with ours. Playing it is like running into a college crush at the supermarket. You immediately notice differences. Oh, you’re married? Your hair looks different. But that experience of reconnecting is pleasant—they’re mostly still the person you admired during geology.
This preview originally appeared in PC Gamer UK issue 233. Since shortly after its first beta release back in 1999, this tactical, team-based Half-Life mod has dominated the competitive firstperson shooter scene, while countless hours of community yelling have made it a tight, balanced experience. A brief foray onto consoles in 2003 failed to expand the audience away from its PC home, so why are Valve attempting to create what they’re calling the ‘definitive’ version of a game that people like just fine as it is?
A Steam page has popped up for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and it's full of new screenshots. It looks as though CS: GO has received quite a substantial visual upgrade over its ageing predecessors. Head below for shots of men, often holding guns, standing and shooting each other in some reworked versions of classic CS maps. If you'd prefer some moving images, check out the first trailer.
The Global Offensive closed beta was to kick off with 10,000 participants this month, but CVG report that Valve have pushed it back a while after criticism from the pro players they have testing the game. "They gave us a lot of feedback on things we should get in the game before we release it, otherwise we're going to be getting a lot of bug reports or a lot of feedback and it would just be redundant," said Valve's Chet Faliszeck.