Reports of an upcoming and as-yet-unnannounced Counter-Strike game have appeared around the Internet within the last hour. Posts on Facebook and the Steam forums — with input from confirmed Valve employees — join Twitter rumblings, eSports discussion and a Reddit thread from playtesters in a frenzy of as-yet-unconfirmed information and discussion.
It is not yet known whether the game will be released on console, or will be a PC exclusive. More information about the game will reportedly be released tomorrow.
Update: The news is now being reported on Kotaku.
The news so far:
* The game resembles Counter-Strike: Source more than the original Counter-Strike. This presumably refers to graphics and visual style rather than gameplay.
* After some confusion on whether the game is titled Global Operations or Global Offensive, a Valve employee called Jess Cliffe has lent weight to suggestions that the title is Global Offensive.
* The game's planned release is the first quarter of 2012.
* The game has some small changes in gameplay: there are 'a few new weapons', and two distinct new grenades (a molotov cocktail and a audible distraction grenade).
* Graphics have been improved since CS:S — you'd hope so — but a forced DirectX 9 mode means Crysis-level prettiness is unlikely. The forced DX9 is apparently to reduce any possibility for graphical differences (and possible exploits) on machines of different specs.
* Several classic maps have been confirmed — de_dust, de_aztec, de_inferno and de_nuke. An unfinished de_train was also played by testers.
* The game will have an integrated matchmaking and ranking service, which will only operate when playing online in Valve-sanctioned servers.
* One playtester has shared his thoughts on Valve's mindset for CS:GO. Interestingly, no professional players of the original Counter-Strike (1.6) were at the playtesting session.