Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Beta Begins

By John Walker on November 30th, 2011 at 4:58 pm.

This is what we aren't playing.

If you were lucky enough to receive a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive beta invite (and we weren’t) then you’ll be pleased to learn the beta has just begun. We don’t care, because we don’t have an invite, so it’s pretty irrelevant to us. The beta, that arrived via Valve Time a touch late, will scale up (when perhaps we’ll be invited, maybe), aiming for a release “early 2012″. Which could mean any time between now and the eventual entropic destruction of the universe. Apparently it’s only a teeny weeny bit of the game, so doesn’t even require a pre-load for excited people who are able to play it, which we aren’t.

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66 Comments »

  1. 4026 says:

    Bitter much?

  2. Echo Black says:

    I was checking out some screens/videos of this and wow, Source looks so aged by now. The game being on a light engine is probably a plus for popularity, but damn, are these visuals dated or what? Some of the assets look even worse than CS:S ones!

    • Moni says:

      It’s not that bad. Look at that screenshot, see how those phantasmal men realisticly don’t have shadows?

    • HothMonster says:

      They both have shadows in that screenshot, although it did take me a minute to find the guy in fronts shadow, its pretty faint.

      Source is modular Valve will probably never have a game that isnt on the Source engine. However the same version of the source engine is never used on seperate games. Its always updating and evolving.

      Oh yeah and; OHS NOES graphics on early restricted beta are not crysis like!!! If only they would just use the MW engine from 2007!!!

    • wssw4000 says:

      MW looks awesome compared to this.

    • Thants says:

      Portal 2 looks great, I wouldn’t blame Source.

    • EmS says:

      the source engine may be aged by now but valve still knows best how to make a better looking game then a lot of games that are released on more powerful engines
      its just the typical aesthetics > graphics thing

  3. Real Horrorshow says:

    Still so underwhelmed by this game.

    When it was first announced I was expecting an epic actual sequel that would give Call of Duty a black eye and show people how it’s done.

    And then…the trailers. Counter-Strike: Source – HD Remix

    • Stupoider says:

      I don’t think anyone should be disappointed. It’s effectively Counter Strike on consoles, that’s what Valve are going for. And sparing themselves the prospect of raging fans angry that they didn’t get the game, Valve release it for PC too.

      It’s not the sequel, it’s just the Counter Strike for this generation of consoles. We’ve been playing it for yonks, so Valve might as well spread the love a little. There’s little point in getting worked up about it if you look at it like that.

    • Fierce says:

      Agreeing with Stupoider above, I’d also like to add that it’s a slippery slope to equate “beating” CoD with looking as good or selling as much. While those things would subjectively help, it wouldn’t be the areas one would focus on if they wanted to avoid failure.

      The community for CS is incredibly strong and they (Valve) understandably can’t change much without rocking the boat of everyone with oversensitive, Twitter and Trending exacerbated, seasickness, not to mention the threat of ruining the secret sauce that makes CS work.

      Simply expanding the audience and maintaining quality is more than enough for now. Not every evolution has to come with a newer and bloomier graphics engine or multi-spagillion dollars in sales.

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      Yeah. I often lament that they haven’t released a new engine by now. I know they’ve regularly updated it, and it’s miles ahead of where it was in 2003, but it’s really showing it’s age by now. I have a theory that Source Mk.II will be released with Half Life 3, which is one of the reasons (besides Valve being Valve) it’s taking so long.

      But as much as I like state of the art graphics (and my brand new computer REALLY likes state of the art graphics), the fact it, I still play CSS every now and then, and there really is a reason why so many people still play it and 1.6. I’m happy that it’s just being renovated, and that they haven’t succumbed to CODitis. Graphics are second to gameplay. By a long shot. Plus, the Source engine is really accommodating to people with older computers ( I played Portal 2 at a very reasonable quality on my previous computer, which was thoroughly average 4-5 years ago), and I personally know a good few people who had abandoned computers to consoles who are still going to buy this game on PC, and if it required a more powerful computer to play, then they wouldn’t be able to.

    • Vagrant says:

      This ‘engine is old’ complaint has always bugged me. Portal 2 looked as well as any other game, and ran quite well on most PCs. As long as they keep working on the engine and updating it, there’s nothing wrong with continuing to use it. There may be certain things the engine can’t fully handle, but Source is totally different now than it was in 2005.

      On that note, 2005 was a long time ago, but the industry standby, UE3, is from 2006. I seem to recall that even the primary competition (Modern Warfare 1) was build on top the Quake 3 engine. The last Splinter Cell looked rather stunning, and was still running UE2.

    • LaunchJC says:

      I was a bit confused, but I do see where they’re going with it now after watching the video below. Seems like they weren’t so happy with CSS and want to rectify it by making the best mixture of that and 1.6, while trying to attract new players.

      Really don’t think they’ve made that clear enough though so everyone is expecting CS2.

    • Shooop says:

      If they did that all the CS players would call it treason.

      All they want is the same game, much like CoD. Even the graphical facelift made a few of them punch their monitors in incoherent nerd rage.

  4. Stylosa says:

    I have beta access, however there is no option to download the game client via steam at all. In fact the game is grayed out all together in my games list.

  5. ResonanceCascade says:

    Alright Valve, you’ve rarely done wrong by me, but I gotta say…I don’t really see the angle here. This still just looks like a glorified graphics update that doesn’t even get the good graphics part right.

    • Premium User Badge jezcentral says:

      I know. Between this and Dota 2, Valve really aren’t doing anything for me at the moment.

      Valve, I want something with a 3 after it. L4D, Portal, Team Fortress or Half-Life, I don’t mind which.

    • DrGonzo says:

      This isn’t developed by Valve.

  6. loGi says:

    Just the 5v5 matchmaking is enough for this new release. Add to that crossplatform, competitive gaming focus etc and we should have a winner. Really need a key for this!

  7. sneetch says:

    I can still remember the precise way they say “the bomb has been planted” in the original CS game, the exact intonation and pacing has been completely and utterly engraved into the pathways of my brain and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. Kinda like how whenever I see a flicking light down a corridor I mentally reload my shotgun due to Doom. Or how I hear the Zelda discovery chime when I open a cupboard…

    I think I need help.

    • Real Horrorshow says:

      I once got the urge to quick save my life before I did something risky in real life.

      I’m serious.

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      I still try to press ‘e’ to open doors.

      My friend who plays Call Of Duty actually can’t open doors at all. Someone else has to do it.

    • The Pink Ninja says:

      I’ve completely forgotten everything about my time with CSS

      Probably supressed the memories : /

    • Brun says:

      When I go running, I always take a knife. Everyone knows you run faster with a knife.

    • The Pink Ninja says:

      “I once got the urge to quick save my life before I did something risky in real life.”

      I often used to think this ¬__¬

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Once, after a long session of Jedi Knight 2, I unconsciously tried to force pull the tv remote into my hand. I didn’t play JK2 again for a while.

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      ‘When I go running, I always take a knife. Everyone knows you run faster with a knife’.

      Correction, when you have a knife, everyone ELSE runs faster.

      Now, if you REALLY want to run faster while out exercising, equip a Scout.

  8. The Pink Ninja says:

    Since more people still play the original Counterstrike than they do CSS why is this nesscessary?

    • Premium User Badge jezcentral says:

      Because they are not on console.

    • Untruth says:

      I played CS since the very early betas through to and past Source, and have fond memories of it. Though I rarely play it now and am much less precious about what they do to it, I feel like this is the way Valve SHOULD be experimenting. After all, 1.6 is still popular because “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, so why not try it elsewhere. I was massively surprised to discover that Left 4 Dead 2, a PC game through and through – or so I thought – was actually a hugely enjoyable game on Xbox.

      I’ve slunk myself off the PC update wagon these days and moved towards consoles. Between screaming NO to playing a precise FPS on a console and feeling my CS-faithful-fan amulet glow, I secretly love that they’re trying CS on consoles. I WILL buy CS on my Xbox, and I will see if it still holds what is good about the game to me despite all the flaws I know it will have.

      The idea of sitting on my sofa and turning on CS for 30 minutes seems like too good a chance to miss.

    • EhsanKia says:

      Technically, they’ve actually took a lot more care asking professional 1.6 players (and CS:S players) about feedback, and will still keep doing so during the beta. 1.6 competitive scene is dying, really, and they’re hoping to make something that will please the old school. Yet, they’re adding some new game mechanics that will change the strategies too.

  9. Kent says:

    Very pretentious to expect a free invite to CS:GOBB RPS. Go sign up like everybody else, you freeloaders. :P

    • ZimbuTheMonkey says:

      How do you even sign up?

      I’d be interested in doing that.

  10. Beelzebud says:

    Someone needs to make a mod where when you put your cursor over a team mate, it says “Follow”.

  11. GenBanks says:

    How does RPS not have an invite, or at least a code? I know you guys were at the Eurogamer Expo, all you had to do was play CS:GO at the Valve booth. (On the PS3, I know *shudder*)

  12. Suits says:

    RPS probably made a weight joke

  13. CommanderZx2 says:

    They’re probably only inviting people who are actively playing counter strike.

  14. diamondmx says:

    Hmm, hadn’t noticed this last time I watched the video – “cross platform play”

    Interesting, will be watching to see how that goes.

    • subedii says:

      Cross platform between PC and PS3 (and Mac I think? I presume there’s a Mac version as well). The 360 naturally doesn’t get a look in (separate playerbase from the rest) because Microsoft would never allow Steam on the 360 when they’re still pining for you to use GFWL instead.

      In any case, the gameplay and balance will be the same. The key thing is that this also means that CS:GO is going to be one of the very few console FPS’s (really, the only modern one that I can think of) without some form of aim assist.

      The player pools aren’t going to be separated by platform or controller choice IIRC. Matchmaking is going to be working by general skill rankings. The PS3 version will support KB&M as well.

      The upshot of all this is that in all likelihood, most of even the higher tier gamepad players are probably going to be playing with the worse mouse players.

      In general, I imagine different playstyles in general will dominate depending on platform, which could be another issue. I could see the possibility for far more campy / defensive play in the version where you can’t aim as well. To be honest, with that in mind, I don’t see that CS:GO is actually going to do all that well on the consoles. But you never know.

      Not to bring schadenfreude into this, well, not TOO much, but it will be nice to finally put paid to the more hardcore fanboys who keep insisting that the gamepad is just as effective as a mouse for FPS’s, and “you’re just not used to it which is why you suck with it”.

    • diamondmx says:

      I think, reasonably, that it should be possible for people to choose PC-only and Console-only servers (As a built in option), because there is (in my opinion) a real difference in ability to aim quickly and accurately. It might be punishingly unpleasant for console players if they simply do not get a choice but to play with the PC-gamers.
      I am glad, however, that there is definitely going to be the option to play cross platform. Time to bring down some more of these artificial borders.

    • EmS says:

      its really improbable that ps3 players will play together with the more seasoned cs community from the pc
      and i just can’t think of a way how you could balance the problems associated with having an analog stick for rotation compared to the direct movement of the mouse
      its just unfair
      but pc and mac will probably work on the same servers

  15. nimzy says:

    Crates in promotional material? Gasp! Scandal!

  16. actcrooked says:

    The beta hasn’t started yet…
    It’s supposed to launch sometime later today.

  17. Premium User Badge Joshua says:

    Pity I do not have a kay, I really like the basic gameplay of counter-strike.

  18. karumpa says:

    Was a CS1.6 fan, CSS fan. But it seems we’ve been too spoiled by recent games. Nowadays you either need to be a sleeper hit (all the great indie games that came out recently), or a full-blown AAA game. This market segmentation is actually good for us customers, but this title needs A LOT of work.

  19. Bungle says:

    Valve must know what a CS fanboy I am. How is it possible that they could skip me when handing out beta keys? I’m crushed.

  20. thelastlambda says:

    Still at 4:15 EST, the “beta” is not live as I and the rest of the group from Podcast 17 still do not have access even though we have beta keys. Once it becomes live though, we will be discussing it on our new podcast

  21. zeroskill says:

    Why would Valve hand out free keys to one of their closed betas to a casual gaming site? This isnt the free demo kind of beta. There is real feedback given here. The time alot of people considered this site as Valve territory is long gone.

  22. Flukie says:

    I got a key from Eurogamer, Chet was handing them out aswell as T-Shirts.

    Pretty funny guy, surprised RPS didn’t visit the Valve booth there.

    I played it this morning, why on earth would any game have mouse acceleration enabled by default I haven’t ever seen anyone who likes it.

    • Vagrant says:

      I was a big fan of mouse acceleration for Quake 2, but that was before the days of gaming mice & multi-mode DPI switches.

  23. Crainey says:

    So mad, jelly and hungry. This looks dilcious and I want me some.

  24. Kadayi says:

    Enjoyed the few years I put into CS, but tbh I’m struggling to see how Valve expect CS:GO to build upon their current player base, let alone carve a successful space in the console market Vs the MWs & BF3 style games tbh. Albeit I’ll likely give it a fair shake when I get the chance. I can’t help but feel that this might well be turn out to be CS:DOA

    I think that years of gushing praise from the press, coupled with the financial freedom provided by Steam has led to a degree of ‘can do no wrong’ complacency at Valve. The continued non appearance of ‘Episode 3′ 5 years after the release of The Orange Box. A time period between which countless other AAA developers have managed to announce, deliver and iterate upon full and enthralling games is heading deep into DNF vapourware parody territory. I can’t help but feel that just as when Duke finally emerged and was greeted with faint bemusement by all and sundry as some archaic throwback, similarly the next installment of the Half-life franchise might well suffer the same fate unless Valve step up to the plate a deliver in the next couple of years.

  25. mikekrusty says:

    My opinion is this will be a worthy continuation of the series as both cs 1.6 and CSS great games

  26. genocode99 says:

    got cs:go beta key from http://counterstrikeglobaloffensive.org