Valve has continued to unveil features and screen captures from the upcoming Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in its bid to drum up excitement around what promises to be a massive update and extension to one of the most popular FPS titles of all time.
The game is intended to update and extend Counter-Strike's classic formula, with new versions of classic maps and a 'Casual' mode in which weapons are all free and anyone can watch the actions of another player. The idea behind Casual mode is to give brand-new players a way to jump into the game, learn the ropes, and have fun. At the same time, ranked matches and an emphasis on weapon characteristics are meant to ensure that the game's accessibility doesn't come at the expense of veteran-level game play.
Valve is also promising true cross-platform play, with gamers from Steam (on both the Mac and PC) facing off against PS3 players. That's a promise we've heard before from other companies, but Valve insists it'll ship the feature, along with support for the PS3 Move controller as well. There's a PC-only beta scheduled for an October debut, so look for more details closer to that time. Early reports on game play are quite good, and the developer has announced that while it will host the formal ladder servers as well as a collection of other types, players will be free to host their own as well. The company is also introducing a new, skill-based matchmaking system, the details of which are still forthcoming. The game will ship for PC, XBox 360, and PS3, but the XBox 360 players will apparently be sandboxed in their own multiplayer universe without cross-matching between themselves and other players.