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Tis the season for games to get some kind of pumpkin-flavoured update (or to prompt outrage by dealing in precisely zero pumpkins/ghosts/costumes). In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Hallowe’en means Valve will have done something utterly adorable to their map chickens. And by map chickens I don’t mean those losers who mill about accidentally falling victim to my friendly fire*, I mean the actual chickens.
And in “Well this is a nice idea but it would involve me not playing Jason Derulo on repeat while headshotting Ben so you can count me out” news: there are now Counter-Strike: Global Offensive music kits.
What that means is when you have a music kit equipped it replaces the in-game music with music from your kit. That covers *deep breath* the main menu, round start, round end, bomb planting, bomb warning, round won, round lost, round end warning and death camera bits of a match. For extra RUB-IT-IN-YOUR-FACE-ness there’s also a special MVP anthem which plays to everyone when you’re MVP.
One mode in the free-to-play Counter-Strike Online 2 sees players turn into a deadly cartoon pig. Another gives terrorists cloaking devices, and of course the game does zombies too. The original CS Online has an event starring giant bug men. In Japanese arcades, Counter-Strike Neo had sexy cyberbabes. The straight-faced man-shooter lives a fabulous double-life thanks to Valve licensing it to Asian developers, who rebuild in weird ways we don’t usually see. But!
Later these year we’ll all get to coo and prod at one of these oddities when Nexon bring Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies to western players through Steam, free-to-play.
At the time of writing, there’s eight days, eighteen hours, two minutes and thirty-five seconds until the ESL One Cologne Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament kicks off. In the tournament, happening adjacent to this year’s Gamescom, the sixteen best CS:GO teams will fight for a $250,000 prize pot.
As a reader of a PC games website, it’s 50/50 about whether you’re more interested in this or the sticker-betting Pick’Em Challenge Valve just launched for CSGO in support of the event. More details and a wub-heavy trailer below.
How long is it before everyone copies Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive update structure? The latest addition to the venerable multiplayer shooter is called Operation Breakout, and it adds six new maps for everyone to play for free. For those willing and able to pay $6, you then get a now-familiar bundle of upgrades including access to mission drops with the chance to unlock “45 exclusive weapon finishes”, a Challenge Coin which tracks your achievement-y ‘mission’ progress, and a new weapon case containing new community designs.
Given how most other games split their multiplayer communities by selling the maps directly, and given how that split is bad even for the developers, surely it’s only a matter of time before we’re covering our Battlefield and Call of Duty weaponry with paid-for and unlockable stickers and baubles. More details on the update and its maps below.
Valve games have become more and more dependent on the Steam Workshop for introducing new content and fuelling play. That’s never more the case than in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which is as much about unlocking, buying and trading gun skins as it is familiar CT vs. T battles. So it’s interesting to see how Valve deal with copyright infringement within that community. After receiving a DMCA takedown notice about two items, the M4A4 | Howl and a community sticker named Howling Dawn, those items have been swiftly removed from the store and action taken against its creators.
One problem with using Let’s Plays and livestreams to fill video game-shaped longings in my life when I can’t summon the will to actually play one myself–and there may be several problems with this–is that so many are terrible. While good players or good performers can be genuinely entertaining, if they’re not I can’t pretend I’m not trying to fill a gaping emotional hole with ‘content’ and human voices. So huzzah! Twitch is tapping its Steam connection to use magical metadata so viewers can find the good stuff, starting with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
I used to review Counter-Strike maps as a teenager, for free, for fun, for fansites. If you’d have told me then that thirteen years later, I’d still be writing about them for fun, but as a career, I’d have said, “Well, obviously.” What else was I ever going to do?
Counter-Strike is a lot like high school. There are a lot of cliques. Fights break out in the hallways. Everybody is concerned with looking cool. And now, with Global Offensive’s latest update, people are able to decorate the covers of their books (guns) with stickers.
Let’s imagine that my time here at RPS thus far can be split into The Wire-style themed television seasons. The first season was all about FIFA and Football Manager and foot-to-ball related things. This second season is all about Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. It’s not my fault; I just find it really interesting.