Before running away for a few days of competitive eating and cooperative gaming, Evan, Cory, and Tyler gathered to reflect on the most memorable victories, losses, and stories they virtually experienced in 2013. Watch the whole five-video series on the PC Gamer YouTube channel, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more regular content, gameplay footage, and conversations.
Rounding out its set of living room-centric announcements this week, Steam Controller has been revealed by Valve, a 16-button, haptic-driven gamepad that Valve says is hackable, includes a touch screen, will feature sharable configurations, and has the ambitious goal of “supporting all games in the Steam catalog.” No price was announced for the controller, and it doesn't appear to feature motion control.
The Arms Deal Update for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is live, adding in a Team Fortress 2-style system of random drops, over 100 new weapon skins, two new stock weapons, and a purchasable item that helps fund competitive play.
Operation Payback has paid out for Counter-Strike: GO's top mapmakers, who have earned a fantastic $150,000 between them. Payback, you'll remember, is Valve's attempt to 'pay back' the game's dedicated community by offering unlimited access to seven of its best user maps, and dedicated servers on which to play them, for a flat $5.99 fee. Considering the creators of those seven maps now have around $150,000 to share between them, I'd say it's proved rather successful.
Before we knew what to name them, we called them “Doom clones.” id Software’s seminal work sparked a phenomenon when it began to circulate as shareware 20 years ago, and since then shooters have propagated through mods, experimentation, LAN parties, co-op, eSports, and big-budget masterpieces. Guns and enemies are their bread and butter, but we don’t think of our favorite shooters as outlets for simulated violence. We celebrate the way they test our minds and mouse reflexes, the personal stories they generate, the captivating worlds they’ve founded, and the social spaces they provide for lighthearted bonding or hardcore competition.
We recently set up a ridiculous number of servers for the latest and greatest games—plus a few classics. To celebrate, we want you to play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with us tonight!
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is quickly becoming the go-to source for round-based shooting action, replacing both Source and 1.6. This might be because of the growing tournament scene associated with CS:GO, but it could also be because of the ample developer support.
The latest patch for the game has brought de_mirage into the map pool, added a “sv_grenade_trajectory” console command and fiddled with Overwatch and the UI. Operation Payback Passes are also on sale for $0.99 until Monday.
The team known as "Ninjas in Pyjamas" has a made a documentary showing off its bomb-planting tactics in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive at Copenhagen Games 2013. Well, it's not so much a documentary as it is a well-produced video of pro players laying down the heat against other teams, but it's still a pretty good way to spend 18 minutes.
Valve are beta testing a community-run self-regulation system for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. It will allow certain experienced players to review reports of "disruptive behaviour", watch replays, and issue temporary bans where necessary. Naturally, Valve have called this program "Overwatch", which was also the title of the transhuman Combine soldiers of Half-Life 2. Not that there are any parallels. This is just an enforcement squad, working under a larger body that has ultimate power over... Oh...
Whenever a new first-person shooter releases, we pick up our conversation around PC Gamer HQ about what video game guns we love most. How did Far Cry 3’s bow compare to Crysis 3’s? Which game has the best Magnum-style revolver in a game? We’re continually interested in the design of the ballistic and energy weapons we bring into shooters—the mechanics they’re imbued with and the particle effects and animations that express their personalities.
As celebration of the inventive designs and as a representation of our collective tastes, we’ve assembled a list of the best video game guns. See the criteria list below to get a sense of how we judged; if your favorite rifle or SMG isn’t here, lobby for it in the comments. We’ll update this list over time as we encounter guns we like in new FPSes, or as we revisit old games that spark new opinions.
Opportunities for misdirection maneuvers are less common in multiplayer shooters, so I'm compelled to highlight this absurdly creative flashbang feint I spotted on the ESEA YouTube channel from last weekend's ESEA S13 LAN in Dallas.
Valve has sent out a patch for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive that focuses on tweaking Hostage Rescue rules for stronger balance and to entice players away from the long-favored Bomb Defusal. Most notably, CTs have now adopted the tactical doctrine of draping hostages across their shoulders like a squishy scarf, and only a single rescue is needed to secure a win for the good guys.
The CS community took out their knives and eagerly sprinted forward to the hundreds of user-made maps filling Global Offensive's Workshop since last month. We've got a nice stack of them running on our own server, and Valve is evidently looking to copy that setup on its own servers. Data-divers of reddit have found mention of a "Support Pass" in the next patch for players to purchase and access a pool of community maps soon to join the official server rotation.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has a lot of custom maps. Seriously, browse its Steam Workshop page and see for yourself. We've talked about some of our favorites (all of which appear in our CS:GO sessions on our server), but a classic map layout we've yet to see a worthy update for is de_rats' bomb-defusal play in an oversized kitchen. DJ PC820 and TastySlopsicle's de_dolls_csgo is perhaps the best spiritual iteration we've spotted yet.
Here's the good news: Tactical Intervention, the free-to-play FPS from Counter-Strike co-creator Minh Le, is launching on March 28th. It will be preceded by an open beta starting March 14th, and a closed beta kicking off this coming Monday. The bad news is that, until they find a European publisher, the game will only be launching in the US. Booooooo. If only there was a way to pretend to be from another country on the internet - but alas, no such thing exists. Rappel beneath the break for further game details (the word 'rappel' was a devastatingly subtle clue).
As I hoped, CS:GO’s appearance on Steam Workshop eased the map drought irking Global Offensive players since launch. About 700 Defusal, Hostage Rescue, Deathmatch, Arms Race, and other maps now populate Steam Workshop, and all are available for easy download (and auto-updating) through Steam. I’ve played a bunch of them with our community over the past week.
In a first for the company, Valve let go an unspecified number of employees across multiple teams including hardware and Android development, according to a report by Gamasutra.
The Steam pages for Valve classics Half-Life and Counter-Strike have been updated with small, penguin-shaped icons. No, they aren't unsubtle emblems of a secret flightless waterfowl cabal, but they do signify newly added Linux support for both FPS games as part of Valve's compatibility push.