5 Quick Fire Facts About Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

The big news over the weekend: Counter-Strike — the quintessential team-based shooter mod — is coming back for PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and Mac! Valve says it's targeting a 2012 release complete with new and updated maps, characters and weapons. Here's a quick look at what we've learned so far.

Valve has been running some CS: GO playtests with pro gamers, and early word includes:

- Weapons: New arms include a new heavy machine gun rifle, pistol, and shotgun. Valve may also be looking at making less popular weapons like shotguns and pistols more viable situational purchases. Valve is also apparently experimenting with new grenade options, including a Molotov cocktail and decoy grenade.

- Visuals: Reportedly based on updated version of the Source engine. Pro gamers are saying that graphics are sharper, animations smoother, etc.

- Gameplay: Inclusion of both casual and competitive games types. Pro players say the pre-beta feels distinct to previous Counter-strike outings, but they're very happy with the movement.

- Development: Co-developed by Valve and Hidden Path, the same crew who worked on CS: Source. It will be released via PSN, XBLA and Steam (PC and Mac).

- What's Next: It's likely that we'll see playable footage coming out of the PAX Prime and Eurogamer Expos in late August and September, respectively. It's looking like we'll see CS: GO before Half-Life 3.

Full details from pro gamer Craig 'Torbull' Levine over at [ESEA New via Kotaku and Valve]

CS: GO features 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.

"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," said Doug Lombardi at Valve. "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."

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