Counter Strike, one of the web's most enduring online shooters, is targeting an early 2012 comeback with the promise of more maps, modes and weapons as well as plenty of old favorites.
The first-person shooter first saw the light of day back in 2000 as a multiplayer mod for 1998's Half-Life and was then remade in 2004.Even now, both versions are consistently high in the Steam Network's charts of most-played games.
Coming to Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac and PC, Counter Strike: Global Offensive will welcome back classic maps such as Dust, Dust 2, Nuke, Office and Inferno.
The graphics have received a significant overhaul, and the developers at Valve (who operate the Steam Network) are repeating a trick they used in Portal 2. Those who play on PS3, PC and Mac will be able to play together, regardless of the machine they use.
PS3 owners will be free to choose between using its traditional controller, the PlayStation Move motion controls, or a mouse and keyboard setup.
While Activision has found great success with the Call of Duty's lucrative annual updates, Electronic Arts has been testing the waters of free-to-play with two Battlefield offshoots for Windows PCs.
If Valve treads a similar path to EA, offering CS:GO for free with various extras available for cash, then it'll be going head-to-head with Dust 514, the Eve Online shooter side-project that's targeting spring 2012.