As rumoured this morning, there really is a new Counter-Strike coming. And it's not some side-project: this sounds like a major sequel-come-relaunch of Counter-Strike for a new generation of manshoot fans. Valve have just solemnly and officially declared its existence to the world - Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, aka CS: GO, is indeed its war-lovin' name. It will feature new maps, modes, weapons, characters and social gaming features such as matchmaking and leaderboards, on top of assorted updates to tried and tested stuff like de_dust.
It's due on PC and on the two fatter consoles. Which, I think, means this is Valve looking Call of Duty square in the eye and telling it to step outside.
Not too many details beyond that, but here's a quote from Valve's Doug Lombardi:
"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.
"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."
Valve are recruiting Hidden Path Entertainment for CS:GO, who you'll know from the rather good tower defence game Defense Grid: The Awakening.
It's due in 2012, and the world will get to clap eyes on it at PAX Prime and the
London Games Festival Eurogamer Expo later this year.
This, in essence, is Counter-Strike 3, and the first news of it this morning was a huge surprise. It is, it's safe to say, going to be enormous - but will it be free to play as TF2 now is and Dota 2 is rumoured to be? Mysteries!
There's a Steam store URL with, basically, this information in a different format, but keep an eye on it for updates.
(Man, that's kind of bombshell you don't need just at the very moment you're about to go make dinner. Goddamned timezones)