On Friday, Valve officially announced plans to release Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the next game in its hugely popular multiplayer shooter series. Valve's press announcement didn't have a lot of details but now more info on the game has been revealed on the ESEANews.com web site. The info comes from Craig "Torbull" Levine of the ESEA who was invited to see an early build of the game this week along with pro gamers from the UK, Germany and other countries.
According to the article, Valve is not calling this game "Counter-Strike 2" but rather is making as a companion that won't replace the original Counter-Strike or Counter-Strike: Source. However Global Offensive will be built on Valve's updated Source Engine and according to Levine, "I was surprised at how visually polished the game was." The group got to play several classic Counter-Strike maps that have been remade in the new game including de_dust, de_dust2, Inferno, and Nuke.
The article goes into quite a bit of detail about what the group got to play during the visit to Valve. Global Offensive is still in pre-beta and as such there's a lot of tweaking that needs to be done, according to Levine, especially in terms of weapons balancing. New weapons like a new heavy machine gun, pistols and a new version of the shotgun will be put into the game and new items such as molotov cocktails will be added. Another new grenade will be used by players to emit gun sounds that could hopefully fool the enemy. Every player will also get kevlar armor when multiplayer matches begin.
While the game isn't due out until early 2012, the article said that a beta test for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is scheduled to begin sometime this fall. The game, which will be co-developed by Hidden Path Entertainment, is scheduled to be released for Xbox Live Arcade and the Playstation Network in addition to the PC and Mac via Steam.