I had the opportunity to to sit down with the good folks at Valve to talk about the upcoming Counterstrike: Global Offensive. Many people know about Counterstrike, and it already has a huge following in spite of it being a 12 year old game. However, even with that loyal fanbase, there hasn’t been any significant growth in quite a while, making this an opportune time to reintroduce the game to an even bigger audience.
Counterstrike: Global Offensive will be launching as early as Q1 2012 on Xbox, PS3, PC, and Mac simultaneously, and it will support cross platform play on all platforms except for the Xbox. Yes, the mouse and keyboard crowd will be playing against the gamepad crowd (CS:GO is also planned to support the mouse and keyboard on the PS3, if that’s your preference). It’s unknown at this point if CS:GO will use the same PS3 Steam interface as Portal, but I think smart money is on that being the case.
Valve was focussing on accessibility when they planned to launch across all platforms — no one who wants to play CS:GO will be left out. I think its kind of a shame that the Xbox folks won’t be able to play with the rest of the community, but it’s not really surprising given Microsoft’s history regarding such things. That said, the XBL community is probably big enough for that not to be a huge problem; also, the fact that the Xbox 360 does not support mouse and keyboard would potentially put them on uneven ground when pitted against the other platforms, regardless of which input system you think is the best. It’s important to note that the console players will not be cut any slack in Counterstrike: Global Offensive, meaning that there will not be any aiming assist or anything like that to tip the odds in their favor. So, we’re finally going to get a definitive answer to which input mode is better: kb/mouse or gamepad. Let the battle begin!
During my demo, I played in two different modes: Casual and Competitive. At the end of each round, you earn money for your efforts which can be applied to improvements in your loadout. The better you do, the more money you get — that’s Competitive mode. In Casual mode, you can pretty much but whatever you want at the beginning of each round, regardless of how much it costs. There are currently no plans for a campaign, but there is the option for single player games to be played with bots, so you’ll be able to enjoy CS:GO even if you don’t like playing with other actual people.
CS:GO looks and plays amazing with a fluidity that I’ve rarely seem anywhere else. I’ve never been a huge Counterstrike player, but I can’t deny the addictive nature and player satisfaction of CS:GO. If you enjoy fast-paced shooters this needs to be on your radar. And if you’re a Counterstrike fan, CS:GO is sure to be worth the wait. Like I said earlier, Counterstrike: Global Offensive is scheduled to launch Q1 2012, but that may change due to the input they receive from the extensive planned beta.