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Counter-Strike has characters now

(Image credit: Valve)

For 20 years, Counter-Strike players have worn generic character skins into their minutes-long matches. In-game terrorist factions like the "Phoenix Connexion" or "Elite Crew" have fought spec-ops groups like GSG-9 and the SAS. Through the immeasurable repetition of CS, these drab default outfits embedded themselves in the identity of the game. With Operation Shattered Web, that's changing.

"For the first time in CS:GO, unlock all-new T and CT-sided characters equippable on any map," writes Valve on a microsite announcing the update. "All-new CT Operators and T Agents are available as mission progress rewards. Complete missions and earn Stars to unlock them and equip them for deployment. Or equip the default Local Agent or Operator to use the pre-existing map-based characters."

The new characters are unlockable, equippable skins, essentially. There are 22 of them, and Valve uses rarity-like descriptors like "Superior Agent" and "Exceptional Agent" to distinguish them. The highest tier are "Master Agents," like Lt. Commander Ricksaw or Special Agent Ava of the FBI. These four characters come with special voice lines and animations (presumably third-person, end-of-match celebrations, not first-person animations). 

Shattered Web, CS:GO's first operation in two years, is $15. That's a bump from the $6 that operations like Hydra (2017) and Wildfire (2016) were priced at. These earlier operations mostly introduced new maps and modes to CS:GO, which Shattered Web also includes: Studio, Lunacy, and Jungle, each available in different modes of play. A package of new skins, stickers, and cosmetic graffiti are also available.

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(Image credit: Valve)

(Image credit: Valve)

(Image credit: Valve)

(Image credit: Valve)

(Image credit: Valve)

(Image credit: Valve)
Evan Lahti

Evan's a hardcore FPS enthusiast who joined PC Gamer in 2008. After an era spent publishing reviews, news, and cover features, he now oversees editorial operations for PC Gamer worldwide, including setting policy, training, and editing stories written by the wider team. His most-played FPSes are CS:GO, Team Fortress 2, Team Fortress Classic, Rainbow Six Siege, and Arma 2. His first multiplayer FPS was Quake 2, played on serial LAN in his uncle's basement, the ideal conditions for instilling a lifelong fondness for fragging. Evan also leads production of the PC Gaming Show, the annual E3 showcase event dedicated to PC gaming.