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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

You can't tell, but they've got Santa hats under those helmets.

It seems like only yesterday that I was writing about development of new maps for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Which is fair but slightly inaccurate, as it was actually Tuesday that I wrote about that. Now the maps are available to play as part of CS:GO’s Winter Offensive update, alongside the first batch of community-made weapon skins to be added into the game. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

INT: Valve HQ, midnight. GABE NEWELL, DOUG LOMBARDI, MARC LAIDLAW, CHET FALISZEK, ERIK WOLPAW, ROBIN WALKER, SAXTON HALE and MR G. MANN sit astride their genetically-engineered red and black-striped lynx, supping liquid gold from goblets carved out of velicoraptor skulls.>

NEWELL: Gentlemen! I have gathered you here today to discuss my gravest concern. The day we have long awaited is here.

ALL: [Anxious muttering, some shouting.]>

NEWELL: [Holds up a hand. The room falls quiet immediately.]> No, please, silence. It’s true. The time has come. We have made… [bows head. In pride? In shame? In reverence?>] We have made enough money. We need no more. There is nothing we could do with more. Nothing is beyond our reach. Our work is done. Complete our last remaining project, and then we shall shut the doors on our mighty empire. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

This is Jim's house, isn't it? Jim! We're in your house!

Dave Johnston is best known for creating de_dust and de_dust 2, but he also made other maps for Counter-Strike. No, I’m not talking about cs_tire, the reddish-brown retirement home which was cut from an early beta. (That’s me establishing my CS credentials). I mean de_cbble, the quaint castle-set map.

Over on the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive blog, the CS:GO team have written about their work in re-creating and updating de_cbble for the new game, alongside an entirely new map they’re adding soon. They say mean things about the old de_cbble. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Rich Stanton)

I have sniped a Terrorist across the full length of A-Long. I’ve hidden behind the squeaky door on Nuke, unmoving, for almost two minutes before scoring an ace with a P90. I’ve won and lost last-minute nailbiters. But until the most recent Dreamhack tournament I’d never staked an AK-47 on a match before and I’d never really got under the surface of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Hit the jump to commit to a competitive game

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Cara Ellison)

Xen is totally rubbish you were all right YOU WERE ALL RIGHTReaders. I crawled to the end. You warned me. After part one of the diary, you really did warn me.

At the beginning, I thought Half-Life was the best game I’d ever played. There were so many finely crafted moments; so many things I learned. I avoided reading the slightest thing on it. I wanted it unsullied. As time went on in Half-Life, I gradually realised that each level is a discrete little chocolate box of incidents, scripted events, little puzzles and touches. There is so much attention to detail in the way that everything is centred on the player’s experience, how to psyche you out, how to spook you, how to mess with you. And then, as each new level drags on, you begin to wonder what it is you’re aiming for. By the time you reach Xen, you’re done. By the time you get to gonad beast, you’re completely, oh so really, done. But wasn’t it something? But wasn’t it really something>? (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

The Airing of Grief-ances?

Valve have learnt their lesson from Diretide: don’t deny the Dota 2 community their holiday celebrations. That means that Frostivus is back. The holiday event is traditionally quite lovely. Last year’s Frostivus started normally before being taken over by The Greeviling, an update and game mode in which players can use their Greevil a secondary hero. At this point, I’d normally make a crack about how I don’t understand any of this and don’t care, but truthfully, I do> understand it. It’s just easier to be flippant than explain all the context. Instead, this time, I’ll take door number three and link to the Dota 2 wiki page about the Greeviling event.

(more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

The witch is dead, League of Legends pros can once again stream whatever they want, and eSports is saved! OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but I really> didn’t like the potential implications of Riot’s decision to contractually forbid its pros from streaming Dota 2, Hearthstone, World of Tanks, and tens of other extremely popular games. Fortunately, after copious uproarious outcry, Riot decided to rethink its portentously controlling decision. Now pros are able to stream whatever strikes their fancy or tickles their murder bones, though certain sponsorships/promotional angles are still off-limits. This is admittedly much> better, but I’m still concerned about Riot’s position near the top of the eSports food chain. Allow me to explain why.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

When I wrote my Homeric epic about attending League of Legends’ Championship Series, one of my biggest fears was that Riot’s stranglehold on its own game’s eSports scene could eventually suffocate pros and the scene itself. A game creator, after all, will inevitably have different priorities than a dyed-in-the-wool sports organization – especially compared to the way eSports leagues currently operate. And yet, here we are. LCS season 4 contracts are now in the hands of pros, and they contain some sticky stipulations. The most worrisome among them? The one that forbids all contracted pros from streaming DOTA 2, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Heroes of Newerth, World of Tanks, and many more for the duration of the season.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

These guys.

The Saxxy Awards are Valve’s annual celebration of the Source Filmmaker community and their efforts to make short films using the Source engine and Valve’s game assets. The community has been producing better and better stuff since the tool was released three years ago, and this year’s winners, nominees and honourable mentions are all worth ruining your productivity over.

Here’s the deserving Overall Winner for this year. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

STOP, in the name of love. Er, sorry. Guns. I meant to say stop in the name of guns.

OK, time for a truth bomb: I haven’t played Team Fortress 2 in age– *KATHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMSPLURSHHHHHH* Oh jeez, wow. That was actually a regular bomb lightly sprinkled with truth. My bad. I’m gonna need to un-bury John and Alec from the wreckage momentarily (Graham was out, and Adam is immune to explosions), but quickly: I haven’t played Team Fortress 2 in quite some time, but I still get excited about updates. Why, you ask? Because Valve always delivers brilliant laughs on top of them. Go below for delightful text and a gruesomely enjoyable video of the new, Medic-immortality-granting Two Cities update.

(more…)

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