Counter-Strike, perhaps the most successful “mod” of a game ever made is getting a high-definition makeover as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and had it’s first showing at the Penny Arcade Expo 2011 in Seattle. Newsarama found a semi-quiet corner of the show’s raucous floor to talk to Valve’s Ido Magal the Project Lead for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, to talk about brining the game to a new generation.Newsarama: For the uninitiated, what is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive?
Ido Magal: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is our ‘refreshing’ of Counter-Strike. It’s based on Counter-Strike Source, and it’s everything that good about Counter-Strike plus new weapons, new visuals, matchmaking and console support.
Nrama: Console support is new for the series, which console will it be available for?
Magal: [The Xbox] 360 and PS3, both.
Nrama: Counter-Strike has maintained it’s popularity to some degree over the years, why should fans switch to this new version?
Magal: We hope they switch over because what we are adding has a lot of value, and that is skill-based matchmaking and, if you’ve played Counter-Strike Source, we don’t run the servers, the community runs them, and there is no fixed Counter-Strike experience. So one of the things we are addressing is guaranteeing some solid rule set for Counter-Strike, being able to rank people and match them based on rank. It’s really about finding people of equal skill as you. That’s really difficult in Counter-Strike Source, [there] you have to do all the hunting on your own.Nrama: The ability to further mod Counter-Strike Source was one of it’s greatest appeals, will that option still be available on the new title?
Magal:That will not change. It is still the Source engine, it will still be possible [to mod]. Our servers are going to run straight Counter-Strike, but there is no reason you can’t open up your browser and connect to mods or community sites.
Nrama: If you have put the work in on some Counter-Strike Source mods, how will be to transfer them to Global Offensive? Are they compatible, is there going to be some way to bring those across?
Magal: I don’t know, we haven’t done that analysis.
Nrama: On matchmaking, is it going to cross the console/PC divide, and will it use the existing PS3/Steam connectivity?
Magal: Yes, were are definably doing PC/Mac cross-platform, and we intend and hope to do PC/Mac/PS3 cross-play. We are going to support mouse and keyboard [controls] on the PS3, and controllers on the PS3.Nrama: Any of the original Counter-Strike developers involved with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive?
Magal: Yes, Jess [Cliffe] is still working on it.
Nrama: On release, what will be the initial load out of maps, and how many players can play at a time?
Magal: We are doing five on five, that’s the way the pros play, that’s the way you play competitively. We feel that that is the best experience for a tight group of friends to play. We are shipping seven maps including: de_dust, dust2, nuke, inferno, office and Italy. We are also going to have more game modes we’re not talking about yet.Nrama: Any single player campaign?
Magal: No, you can play offline with bots, but I wouldn’t call that a single player campaign.
Nrama: Any speculation about the intended price and release date?
Magal: No price set, but it will be downloadable and priced accordingly. Were are working to get the game right, the beta is going to launch hopefully in October, and the beta is going to drive the release date, once we are happy with the product, hopefully early 2012 we’ll release the game on all platforms!