Valve have launched the second community map event for CS:GO, after the first - Operation Payback - proved hugely successful this summer. Once again, eight locations have been chosen as this season's must-visit destinations for the discerning terrorist. For a $6/£3.50 downpayment, you'll secure official server access to each user-made map in casual, deathmatch and - for the first time - competitive modes.
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.
The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive cinematic is just under four minutes long. It's easy to forget how much time goes into making these short teaser videos, so Valve have released a behind-the-scenes montage showing mo-cap actors performing military manoeuvres on a mat in a warehouse, a full orchestra recording the backing track and tiny details being tweaked in the Source Filmmaker. The video editing tools Valve released recently really are the same as the ones they use in-house. I can't wait to see some of the community entries for this year's Saxxy Awards.
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.
The appearance of a little silver plaque on the front page of the Counter-Strike site indicates that we'll be able to pre-order CS:GO later today ahead of its release in a couple of weeks August 21. It'll cost just $15, too, which is a good price for a modernisation of the classic shooter, which will come with extra game modes, new weapons, more maps and shinier graphics. If you're looking to buy early, keep an eye on the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Steam page.
Add Defense Grid: the Awakening developers Hidden Path to the pile of game creators diving into the scrum for a piece of the Kickstarter pie. They're looking to raise a full million as a stretch goal, but have milestones at every quarter-mil that will allow them to deliver at least part of the DG2 experience. They've also partnered with AMD to give away up to 565 Radeon HD graphics cards to contributors above the $225 line, which is certainly a unique incentive for PC gamers.
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Glados has escaped the confines of the Aperture Science testing facility, and has decided to spend a bit of time tormenting tower defence gamers instead. You Monster, the new expansion for Defense Grid, will add eight new maps and 35 challange missions, in which Glados will challenge you to hold back another alien invasion, noting your progress all the while and designing new tests for you to complete. The DLC is set to come out on Steam on December 7. Check out the Defense Grid site for more info.