Modern Warfare and Battlefield 3 may be near-constantly forced into the colossal, cyclopean public eye these days, but make no mistake: Counter-Strike is still huge. Competitive gamers, especially, perform the eternal dance between terrorists and counter-terrorists with the lithe grace of swans. Swans with guns. And bombs. With CS:S recently reaching the ripe old age of seven, though, it's even getting a bit creaky in Valve Time. Enter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. It's new and different – but, er, not. In a good way!
After a brief announcement last week, pro gamers started speaking up about their hands-on experiences with Global Offensive. In a nutshell, it doesn't feel like Source or 1.6, but it didn't “grossly offend” any of the particularly picky pros either.
Beyond that, maps include dust, dust2, inferno, nuke, de_train, and a revamped version of Dust specifically for competitive players. New guns – like a heavy machine gun and a tiny truckload of pistols – will also be on hand, but modes' modus operandi is classics-only for now. Meanwhile, Valve's also tossing in all the modern shooter standbys: leaderboards, dedicated server support, and the like.
Now, the possibly bad news: Source Engine is once again on eyeball stimulation duty. And while this is the latest version of Valve's always-in-progress pet project, we fear it's only a matter of time before we're creeping around corners on de_dust-and-cobwebs-everywhere-ewwww. This wouldn't be the first time Valve's worked a technical miracle, though, so we'll see.
Global Offensive's closed beta test is set to kick off later this year, with a full release currently slotted for “sometime in 2012.” In other news, Half-Life 3 was recently seen standing next to Big Foot in an incredibly blurry photo that may have also been a piece of toast that proves the government faked the moon landing.