Counter Strike: Global Offensive, the sequel to one of the most popular first person shooter (FPS) games Counter-Strike, is all set to release tonight. According to the store page for the game on Valve’s Steam, the game is all set to be launched in roughly 12 hours from now. The game, highly anticipated by professional gamers, has seen some great changes from its predecessors in terms of gameplay, although not too many changes so as to not make the game imbalanced.

One of the biggest aims of the newest iteration of Counter-Strike was to add more variety to the choice of weapons in the game. Veteran players will tell you that the only weapons worth buying in the original Counter-Strike, as well as Counter-Strike: Source, were the M4A1 Assault Rifle, the AK-47, the Desert Eagle pistol, or the AWP Sniper Rifle. Developer Hidden Path has set out to change that with major rebalancing of the weapons as well as additions of new, more viable weapons.

It's GO time

Almost time to play!

Last week, Valve had released a trailer for the game made in the Source Film Maker, which was released last month. The trailer more-or-less works as an introduction to how the team-based tactical shooter works, without actually showing any gameplay. It shows two teams, terrorists and counter-terrorists. The terrorists attempt to plant a bomb to blow up a place and the counter-terrorists have been handed the task of stopping them.

Steam is still offering a discount on the pre-order of Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Another big advantage of pre-ordering the game on Steam is that exclusive access to the beta of the game is available since August 14. Beta access won't be available for those who pre-order the game from elsewhere, so there is an incentive to paying slightly more to pre-order the game off Steam. Though, the beta access would be pretty pointless since you can just get the game at the end of the day anyway.

The game will be available for the Xbox 360 via XBLA, the PlayStation 3 via PSN and the PC via Steam. The price for the game on all three platforms is set to be $14.99 (around Rs. 825), but the pre-order on Steam is available at a 10 percent discount, which makes the price $13.49 (around Rs. 740). The price of the game will go back to $14.99 once the game is officially released.

The game features new maps, characters, and weapons and delivers updated versions of the classic CS content (de_dust, etc.). In addition, CS: GO will introduce new gameplay modes, matchmaking, leader boards, and more.

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,” said Valve's Doug Lombardi. “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“.

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