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Counter-Strike

Counter-Strike photo
Counter-Strike

Valve isn't planning an International-style event for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive


Despite it being its second biggest game
Aug 11
// Joe Parlock
Here’s something I never even thought of until today: Dota 2 is a huge eSport. The International is one of the biggest annual events in gaming, and this year had a prize pool of over $18 million. It’s by far the m...
Adios adderall photo
Adios adderall

No more Adderall abuse for players in one eSports league


ESL bans performance enhancing drugs
Jul 23
// Jed Whitaker
Abusing drugs to enhance performance isn't just a thing that happens in professional sports, but up until now they haven't been tested for in eSports. Coming just a week after professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive&nbs...
eSports photo
eSports

DreamHack is coming stateside


And it's a pretty big deal
Jul 12
// Ben Pack
The "world's largest LAN party" is coming stateside. DreamHack, founded in 1992, was established as a festival for online gaming fans to gather with their own computers. But since then it has also become a powerhouse in the e...

Review: Shooter

Jun 02 // Nic Rowen
Shooter (Book)Released: June 2, 2015MSRP: $5.00 Shooter is a collection of essays from recognizable names in game criticism speaking on a wide range of topics related to games that involve some kind of gunplay. Some chapters take a deep dive into the mechanical and technical details that make shooters what they are. Steven Wright's “The Joys of Projectiles: What We've Forgotten About Doom” for example, laments the rise of “realistic” modern shooters and how their largely interchangeable hitscan assault rifles have abandoned many of the mechanics that made early FPS games so pleasurable and skill testing. Others are more personal, such as Gita Jackson's touching reflection on how Counter-Strike could be seen as a microcosm of the (seemingly one-sided from her self-deprecating perspective) sibling rivalry she shared with her brother. Shooter strikes a great balance, it never gets so bogged down in technical minutia that it feels like a lecture in game design, but has enough mechanical grounding that it doesn't just become a series of anecdotes either. The games Shooter examines are varied and numerous. Of course genre forebears and trendsetters like Doom, Half-Life and Call of Duty are discussed as you would expect, but there is plenty of attention paid to less bombastically popular titles as well. Genre-defying shooters like Red Orchestra 2 with its brutally unforgiving depiction of realistic combat, and the insidious darkness of Far Cry 2, which sets aside the typical rationales for heroic violence to make the player complicit in something unsettling, get entire chapters dedicated to them. It's a great technique. By examining the few games that step outside of the bounds of typical FPS conventions and power fantasy dynamics and figuring out why they feel so different, it is easier to pinpoint the standard tropes and expectations of the genre that have become so ubiquitous that they are nearly invisible. Perhaps the greatest praise I can give to Shooter is that it made me reexamine and reflect on my feelings about a few games. When a piece of criticism grabs you by the collar and demands you take a second look at something, you know its doing it's job right. Filipe Salgado's chapter on the intentional ugliness and barely contained chaos of Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days almost made me want to play through the game again with a fresh set of eyes -- eyes more willing to see past the clunky mechanics and thoroughly unlikable protagonists to scan for deeper meaning. Almost anyway (this is still Dog Days we're talking about). At its best, Shooter feels like a lively conversation with some very smart people who enjoy, but expect more from, their trigger happy games. Its snappy, intelligent, and occasionally funny. At it's worst, the book veers into the pretentious. At times, it feels less like a conversation and more like an awkward dinner party dominated by a lecturing windbag everyone is too polite to interrupt. Thankfully these rough patches are few and far between. The rest of the book is well worth putting up with the occasional eye-rolling turn of phrase. Mostly though, Shooter feels important. The industry needs more “capital C” Criticism to unravel the subtext and ideas behind the games we love. Games mean something. They impart messages, communicate ideas, either by conscious choice on the part of their developers or by the assumptions they make -- the casual omissions and things taken for granted. We have to start examining these ideas in a mature, intelligent, and yes, academic way. Shooter isn't the first example of this kind of criticism in games writing of course; there have certainly been other books written, and articles penned (on sites like Destructoid, I might add) that dive into these waters. But, it is still very much a nascent field. Video games are a young medium, and we haven't had time to establish a critical tradition like film and literature has. We need to cultivate these voices; the generation of writers that will talk about games in a serious manner in the coming decades. What better way to stake a claim in this new field than to gather a variety of exceptionally talented voices to talk about and critically examine what is generally considered gaming's dumbest, most developmentally arrested genre? The thrill of shooting a Cyber-Demon with a rocket launcher may be obvious and simple, but there is a lot to unpack when you take a closer look.
Shooter Review photo
Looking at life down the barrel of a gun
Shooters seem simple. You step into the shoes of your typical tough guy space-marine or mercenary and empty clip after clip into the faces of Nazis, or aliens, or alien-Nazis from the vaguely disembodied gun bobbing up and do...


Steam photo
Steam

There's more people on Steam than there are in Belarus


Steam's coming for you next, UAE
May 11
// Joe Parlock
Yesterday, May 10, Steam hit a new record for highest concurrent players. 9.5 Million People were logged in at midday PST. That’s more than the population of Belarus, and it’s rapidly catching up to that of the Un...
Birthday prank photo
Birthday prank

Sibling rivalry: Recruit a Counter-Strike pro to embarrass your brother


He did it out of love
Feb 23
// Brett Makedonski
On any ordinary day, streamer Kyente would have obliterated his brother at Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. But, his birthday is not just any other day -- it's the day that his sibling decided to strike back in the most cre...
ESL retracts CS:GO ban photo
ESL retracts CS:GO ban

Valve and ESL retract ban on ex-ESC Gaming CS:GO team


With so much drama with the iBP, it's kinda hard bein' ex-ESC
Feb 08
// Jason Faulkner
Last Friday, Valve and eSports League Europe, issued tentative bans on three Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitive teams. Epsilon eSports, the former ESC Gaming team, and WinneR had players who were accused of match fi...
CS:GO photo
CS:GO

Gambling, match-fixing scandal rocks highest level of competitive Counter-Strike


Bans handed down
Jan 27
// Brett Makedonski
The world of eSports has a Pete Rose-style controversy on its hands. Yesterday, Valve levied a series of bans against Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players that were found to be involved in a gambling scandal that inc...
Counter-Strike Zombies photo
Counter-Strike Zombies

Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies hits Steam


Time warp
Oct 07
// Jordan Devore
This trailer, haha. Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies would get a trailer like this. After a short beta, the free-to-play game is out now on Steam. It's like Counter-Strike 1.6 with a bunch of crazy, cobbled-together modes and, ...
Counter-Strike photo
Counter-Strike

So, Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies is happening


On Steam within the next month or so
Aug 07
// Jordan Devore
Based on the name alone, Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies doesn't sound like a legitimate, officially-licensed game, but it is. Valve's okay with it! And, actually it's not too far-fetched when you recall that Nexon is responsib...
CS:GO photo
CS:GO

Counter-Strike: GO's Operation Breakout breaks out new maps for everyone


And a bit more if you feel like paying
Jul 02
// Brett Makedonski
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players just got a few new playgrounds to get offensive on, courtesy of the players themselves. As part of CS:GO's Operation Breakout initiative, six user-created maps have been promoted...
 photo

Super Source Bros. Melee


What if?
May 28
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
What if Valve made their own Super Smash Bros. game, but with characters from Dota 2, Half-Life, Portal, Counter-Strike, and Left 4 Dead? What if?!
CS: Go update photo
CS: Go update

New CS: GO update lets you toss grenades in a new way


Also introduces Sticker Capsules
Feb 07
// Harry Monogenis
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has received a rather sizeable update, which includes the introduction of Sticker Capsules, a secondary firing option for grenades as well as a behemoth of map and gameplay changes. Stick...
de_cbble in CS:GO photo
de_cbble in CS:GO

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive sees improved de_cbble


de_dble the de_trble
Dec 20
// Darren Nakamura
No map is more iconic of the Counter-Strike franchise than de_dust, with its multiple paths through its tan and brown desert marketplace. Another classic map is making a comeback in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but not w...
Counter-Strike photo
Counter-Strike

Earn Counter-Strike: GO drops by watching Twitch


2013 DreamHack Championship
Nov 07
// Jordan Devore
As of this week's update for Counter: Strike: Global Offensive, players can now link their Steam accounts on Twitch. This is something you'll want to do if you're planning to catch the 2013 DreamHack SteelSeries CS:GO Champio...
CS: GO gets pretty photo
CS: GO gets pretty

Counter-Strike: GO adds weapon finishes


And tells you how to make them!
Oct 25
// Patrick Hancock
It looks like Valve is starting to really pour the same love and care into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive that it has continuously poured into Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2. First, we get weapons and the almighty crates, ...
Counter-Strike photo
Counter-Strike

The latest Counter-Strike: GO update is for spectators


More resources to improve your skills
Oct 11
// Jordan Devore
If you dig Dota 2's in-game spectator options, you're going to want to revisit Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. This week's update adds the WATCH menu, which is where you can view live streams featuring high-ranked members o...
CS:GO major update photo
CS:GO major update

Counter-Strike: GO gets new weapons, skins, and CRATES


And more importantly: keys!
Aug 14
// Patrick Hancock
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has just received a huge update which includes two new weapons, a lot of new weapon skins, and even crates and keys. The crates contain only skins, some of which will track the ...
Counter-Strike photo
Counter-Strike

Operation Payback rewards Counter-Strike: GO map makers


Give back, if you want
Apr 26
// Jordan Devore
Starting with Operation Payback, Valve is putting together a series of limited-time updates that intend to help out Counter-Strike: Global Offensive map makers. This $2.99 pass (regularly $5.99) is available until July 31 and...
CS:GO photo
CS:GO

Play Super Mario Bros. within a Counter-Strike map


Now this is the sort of crazy mod hack I've been waiting for out of CS:GO
Apr 19
// Allistair Pinsof
Sometimes you need to put down the AK-47, pause the terrorist hunt, and play Super Mario Bros. Using a server plugin, a clever modder that goes by the name skwumpy created the Sourcemod Entertainment System or SMES, which le...

Review: Tactical Intervention

Apr 05 // Allistair Pinsof
Tactical Intervention (PC)Developer: FIX KoreaPublisher: OGPlanetRelease: March 14, 2013 (Beta), March 28, 2013 (full release)MSRP: Free Tactical Intervention is everything I love and hate about the early days of Counter-Strike, before it became a Valve brand and major entity in the eSports realm. It is completely nuts and busted, but I can't bring myself to stop playing it, during its open beta, because it's fun. It's the type of fun Minh 'Gooseman' Le, co-creator of Counter-Strike who infamously left Valve to pursue his own vision of a follow-up, is known for. But now that I spent more time with the full release, the lack of depth and polish is leaving me wanting something more. In a recent interview with Joystiq, Le stated his main reason for leaving Valve was that he favored fun design over technical stability which clashed with Valve's SOP. This ideology is written all over the Tactical Intervention. At times, it's some of the most fun I've had online since the release of Battlefield 3, but with the code and level design held together with duct tape and rubberbands, the fun didn't last as long as I'd like. Now that we have the full release to evaluate, I am further concerned with how developer Fix Korea can ever repair the faulty code, dress up the ugly UI, and find a F2P approach that isn't a nuisance. [embed]248795:47606:0[/embed] TI runs on Source engine so some of the similarities are obvious: font choice, general aesthetics, HUD elements borrowed from other Valve releases (Left 4 Dead), etc. Upon booting up TI, its CS roots shouldn't be lost on veterans but a lot has changed. In the age of Call of Duty, CS's pace of action crawls with all the fury of a snails' velocity. Instead of making a paper crown replica of Activision's behemoth, Le and developer FIX Korea have found their own unique ways of making tactical combat exciting again. As mentioned at the top of this review, opportunities for action are fairly straightforward these days. TI changes this by introducing a variety of game mechanics; some feel like a stroke of genius, while others are superfluous nonsense and poorly implemented. TI's mission mode, in the open beta, is like a beefed up hostage match in CS, except maps are half the size and hostages operate in a completely different way then you may be accustomed to. Almost but not quite like Condition Zero, hostages are unruly NPCs that hilariously FREAK THE FUCK OUT! As a terrorist, you'll need to contain them by slapping them with the back of your pistol and herding them into a corner. Watching teammates perform this role can be hilarious at times, disturbing at others. Instead of guiding hostages to an exit, the opposing team only needs to hold the action button on them until they are rescued. This is a very quick action which makes the low round timer (~2 minutes) reasonable. To further complicate things, mission mode alternates between two playstyles: One where a team must contain hostages in a defined area (exiting it means sniper fire/quick death), and another where hostages are points to be claimed, by both teams, in the middle of a map. Both of these can be fun when teams know what they are doing (i.e. not ending a match by killing hostages). The real thrill of TI comes from the crazy acts you can perform with and without hostages. You can pick up propane tanks, throw them, fire a bullet, and watch it go spiraling across a map. You can rappel down an elevator shaft, roll across to cover, jump out a window like John McClane, and reenter a floor below via an open window you shot out. You can grab a hostage, use him or her as a human shield, gun down two enemies, kick the hostage into the third, and exit with a flashbang. You can hire a fat ass doberman who does your bidding long after you died in a match. All of these things are awesome when they work. All of these things rarely work, in this beta, making me wonder why release the game so ... soon. From the aiming to the many graphical glitches, TI is a mess of a game in its current state. The full release contains a meager five mission maps, most of which are utterly forgettable. I'm also bothered by the free-to-play elements that require players to constantly repurchase weapons, which expire over a couple days (or months, if you pay more). The open beta gifted players with more money than they know what to do with, so having to unlock guns and hire dogs in the shop wasn't much of a fuss, at first. But now, it's an unncessary bother that keeps me from wanting to revisit the game. I want to jump in and have fun, and the thought of needing to constantly buy, equip, and customize loadouts each week is a bummer. It doesn't help that TI's menus look and function like a botched weekend development attempt. Last but not least, I must mention mis_highway. I'm making a snap judgement but: This map is an instant classic that needs to be put in the hall of fame ASAP and merits a weekend spent with TI on its own. Highway, unlike the other missions, revolves around driving a computer controlled VIP to a helicopter on the other side of the map. Each team has three cars with drivers that can wield a pistol or SMG while steering. Passengers can lean outside windows and unload at other cars. Every time I play, chaos and laughter ensues until the map changes. Some rounds will offer a mad rush to the VIP drop off, where the real fire fight will occur. Other rounds will revolve around a planned blockade that brings an emergent Heat-esque fire fight. Rolling between cars, picking up the briefcase from the disposed VIP, and driving like a mad man to the helicopter pick-up is amazing. Some day soon, I have no doubt I will enter TI's lobby and find the majority of servers are mis_highway-only servers. If TI had more maps like this, I'd be more forgiving of its many shortcomings. Though mis_highway feels like a random aside, it perfectly encapsulates TI. While Valve turned Le's baby into a stagnant game for the sake of eSports, TI continues to design like a mad man who cares only about immediate enjoyment. Does it work? Who cares. Is it fun? YES! If only for a short while, but that's more than many of CS and CoD's copycats can claim. For those of us who remember the days of hostages falling down canyons and giant APCs glitching through walls in Counter-Strike, Le has made a game for you. It's unfortunate then that the game is buried under a myriad of problems, from dated, ugly presentation to shooting that feels clumsy. With how Le has talked up the game over the years, it's not a surprise that it's so ambitious. And with the many delays and last minute open beta, it shouldn't be a surprise that it's a total mess.
Tactical Intercourse photo
Terrorists win
[This post originally ran as impressions on the open beta and is now updated to reflect the full release, which came two weeks later.] Call of Duty has dumbed down the modern shooter to being about planting bombs, capturing p...

CS:GO photo
CS:GO

Checking out Counter-Strike: GO's new hostage mode


cs_militia is now in the game and all is right in the world
Mar 23
// Allistair Pinsof
Despite loving Counter-Strike: Global Offensive upon release, I had concerns that Valve wouldn't give it the same loving updates that Team Fortress 2 received over the years. Well, they are finally proving my concern wrong wi...
Open Beta photo
Open Beta

Tactical Intervention now in open beta


Full game launches March 28
Mar 14
// Keith Swiader
Tactical Intervention, Counter-Strike co-creator Minh "Gooseman" Le's free-to-play first-person shooter, is now available to play in open beta, with the full game to launch March 28. No keys are required to participate in the...
Linux photo
Linux

Counter-Strike: Condition Zero is Valve's 5th Linux game


Pushes Steam's running total to 80 Linux titles
Mar 07
// Jordan Devore
Following last month's beta release of Counter-Strike: Condition Zero for Steam on Linux, the game has officially launched -- for real. Not the most thrilling news of the day, I'll agree to that, however the brief announcemen...
Tactical Intervention photo
Tactical Intervention

Counter-Strike successor Tactical Intervention out Mar 28


Open beta from March 14 to 28
Feb 28
// Allistair Pinsof
Update: I just received a press release announcing a March 28 release. I guess Gooseman is trying to poke fun at the skeptic in me or make my dreams come true. One of the two. Hurrah? A year ago, Counter-Strike creator Minh '...
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Counter-Strike: GO gets new mode, maps, and map tools


Still waiting on hats and microtransactions, Valve
Feb 07
// Allistair Pinsof
Valve, apparently too busy at DICE to release a press release, put out some new images and info on some very welcome Counter-Strike: GO updates. The most significant addition is Map Workshop, a new extension of Steam that let...
CS 1.6 photo
CS 1.6

Counter-Strike 1.6 now available on Linux and Mac


Linux and Mac users win!
Jan 26
// Harry Monogenis
Following the initially quiet release of the original Half-Life on Mac and Linux the other day, Valve has decided to follow it up with the release of Counter-Strike 1.6 for both platforms. Much like with H...
CS: GO Workshop photo
CS: GO Workshop

Deathmatch comes to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive


Kill your friends for fun and profit!
Jan 25
// Joshua Derocher
Good news, everyone! A new patch has come out on PC for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive adding a deathmatch mode as well as the usual weapon balances and bug fixes. Deathmatch will be available for matchmaking and offli...
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CS:GO, Dota 2, and LoL part of MLG's GameBattles


Oct 01
// Patrick Hancock
GameBattles, which allows users and teams to sign up and compete in tournaments, is adding Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, and League of Legends to its fall lineup of online ladder tournamen...
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The DTOID Show: The Border Lands, CS:GO, and Dishonored


Aug 24
// Max Scoville
Hey gang! It's that time again. Today, we've got a great video showing off Dishonored's stealth kills, some more Grand Theft Auto 5 screenshots, showing off cropdusters and cars and stuff, a review of Counter-Strike: Global ...

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