Valve Announces Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

BY Andrew Miesner / August 12, 2011

Today, after a long period of silence, Valve Software finally released some information on where the Counter-Strike franchise is going. Dubbed Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the new game will be released early 2012 on the PC via Steam, as well as on the Xbox 360 and PS3 as a downloadable title.

CS:GO will feature “new maps, characters, and weapons and delivers updated versions of the classic CS content (de_dust, etc.). In addition, CS: GO will introduce new gameplay modes, matchmaking, leader boards, and more.”

According to Valve’s Doug Lombardi:

Counter-Strike took the gaming industry by surprise when the unlikely MOD became the most played online PC action game in the world almost immediately after its release in August 1999. For the past 12 years, it has continued to be one of the most-played games in the world, headline competitive gaming tournaments and selling over 25 million units worldwide across the franchise. CS: GO promises to expand on CS’ award-winning gameplay and deliver it to gamers on the PC as well as the next gen consoles and the Mac.


Anyone who is familiar with eSports knows just how important Counter-Strike is to the movement. For years, CS was the mainstay of Western competitive gaming. While it has died down in the U.S. there are still plenty of European and Asian teams keeping the scene alive. With the announcement of CS:GO, it’s hard not to get excited about an eSports resurgence of the franchise.

To add to the excitement, former CS progamer Craig “Torbull” Levine posted an article on ESEAnews about how he and several other CS progamers were invited to Valve’s HQ to provide input on CS:GO. According to Torbull:

[CS:GO] is designed on the updated Source Engine, but is not built off of Counter-Strike: Source and due out in early 2012 with beta access beginning this fall. It will maintain the traditional de_ and cs_ map types and would not include new game modes. Valve was keen on hearing the input from top CSS players to make CS GO an e-sports title and that is reflected by the game featuring both casual and competitive game modes with a built in match making system and support for dedicated servers.

Torbull also remarked on the movement feel of the game, saying

It didn’t feel like 1.6 and despite being built on the Source engine, it didn’t feel like CSS. By design, Valve wanted to create a game with a different feel, and overall it was really smooth. The pro players seemed surprisingly happy with the player player movement and feel of the game but thankfully they weren’t short of feedback and most weren’t shy to share it. Tweaks and adjustments are needed, but in my opinion, it was a great sign that it didn’t grossly offend anyone.


The most important part of any Counter-Strike title is the arsenal. According to Torbull,

[t]he weapons were one of the areas that in the group’s opinions still needs the most work. Valve wanted to create a more balanced weapon system that would expand beyond the main four weapons (AWP, M4, AK, and Deagle). They wanted shotguns and sub machine guns to have situational value and so they really took some “creative liberties”. They wanted sub machine guns to be good mid-distance alternatives and for shotguns to provide a unique close range use. The AK and M4 rifles felt weak and inaccurate while sub machines like the P90 were overpowered and soon became the weapon of choice during some casual pugs.” But don’t let this news get you down. “The developers eagerly listened to feedback, prying for explanations and more information to improve. They informed us that the game is built to have adjustable weapon variables and made it seem that everything the group was pointing out could presumably be tweaked based on our feedback before launch and even before beta.

On top of reworking the old favorites, Valve will also be adding some new weapons. In particular, a new heavy machine gun rifle, new pistols, a new shotgun, decoy grenades and Molotov cocktails.

[M]olotov cocktails, an expensive $850 item, which can be used to slow down opponents and re-route opponents through AOE damage. Molotov cocktails could be used to slow down T rushes through the tunnels into B on Dust2 or by Ts to slow CTs on retakes. Molotovs are currently stackable and bounce (versus an instant break), which might need to be revisited. Decoy grenades are also a new item that can be thrown to emit gun sounds and give the illusion of there being a player. The decoy grenade currently produced an AK / Glock when thrown by Ts and M4 / USP when thrown by CTs.

It is important to note that CS:GO is still a ways off and Valve has plenty of time to rework and balance everything. Be sure to keep an eye on PAX Prime and Eurogamer Expo 2011 as there will be a playable demo available there.