Given that you’ve paddled your browser over to this isle of the vast Internet ocean, I feel fairly safe in assuming that you’re a PC gamer. Therefore, you have – presumably, in some form or another – played Counter-Strike at some point in your life. But maybe that was back in ye olde futureyear of 2000, or perhaps you gave Source a go around the time Half-Life 2 came out. So along comes this newfangled “Global Offensive” thingamawhatsit, and naturally, you’re suspicious. I mean, what if they replaced all the guns with bottles of Mountain Dew? Or maybe Valve turned the series into a piece of postmodernist art, with us taking the role of a deeply contemplative bomb forced to witness the futile conflicts of man. These are very legitimate concerns, but this weekend, you can find out whether or not they hold any water. For free!
Valve’s holding the promotion in celebration of the ESWC Finals in Paris, and it’s already kicked off. From now until 1PM PST (9 PM GMT) on Sunday, CSGO will be free of charge to everyone. Just download it from Steam, and you’re set.
If you’re a fan of pro Counter-Strike, you can also watch the finals inside CSGO. And if not, well, there’s still kind of an entire free videogame for you to play. Granted, CS isn’t known for being the most newbie-friendly series, but Valve assures that matchmaking won’t throw you in with the sharks unless you make some serious progress in your skill group. There’s also Casual mode for those who want to avoid the deeper waters altogether.
Oh, and there’s Arms Race mode too. Valve recommends that pretty highly for newcomers as well – so much so, in fact, that it’s congealed all of its excitement energies into a bouncing baby visual form. And that, boys and girls, is how videos are born.