PAX 2011: Counter-Strike GO’s Project Lead, Ido Magal Talks about Cross-Platform Play and the Zeus
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was playable at PAX Prime 2011 and fans lined up to try out the follow up to the wildly popular Counter-Strike: Source. If you didn’t make it to PAX you can check out some fan reactions here. The upcoming game will bring Counter-Strike to the masses by allowing cross-platform play on consoles as well as computers. I got a chance to Chat with Ido Magal, the project lead on GO.
GameFront: What new features can we look forward to in Counter Strike GO?
Ido Magal: We’ve overhauled the visuals and audio. We’re putting it on consoles and we’re adding skill-based matchmaking.
GF: Can you tell us about the new grenades?
IM: Yes there is the Molotov, which does damage over time and area denial. And there is the decoy, which is a distraction device to mask your footsteps.
GF: There’s been some debate as to whether or not the Molotov’s area of denial might be overpowered given the narrow choke points on some of the maps. Any thoughts on this?
IM: We had the CSS pros over and they played with it and they liked it. So we think it’s good. When more people get to play it, then we’ll start registering that feedback, but the speculation isn’t as meaningful.
GF: Would you be willing to patch the game to change burn time or amount of damage if the community asked for it?
IM: Yes, we totally expect the game that the game that comes out of beta will be different then the game that goes in. We’re going to start the beta in October and then we’ll go from there.
GF: Can you tell us a specific date in October?
IM: No, we don’t know yet.
GF: How can players get involved in the beta?
IM: Right now we’re giving out keys at PAX and we’ll be giving out keys at the Eurogamer Expo in London at the end of Setptember. Past that we’re not sure how we’re going to give those out. After that we’ll slowly grow the beta.
GF: What’s your favorite new gun so far?
IM: Right now I like the Zeus a lot. It’s an electrocution weapon like a stun gun or a tazer. It’s $1,000 and it electrifies and it has one shot. So really it’s about humiliation. You spend a lot of money just to be able to run up to someone and electrify them and then they fall on the ground and start twitching.
GF: And then you crouch on the body?
IM: If you choose to, yes.
GF: Will there be any new game modes?
IM: There are but we’re not ready to talk about them.
GF: So there will be cross-platform play between PC and consoles. Do you think this will help settle the debate as to who is better at FPS games?
IM: Yes and No. We’re probably going to collect stats, so we’ll know. But players aren’t going to be able to tell because it’s skill-based match making. Only players of equal caliber will play against each other.
GF: So players won’t be able to see what platform other players are using?
IM: No, we don’t have any plans to do that.
GF: Will there be any dedicated servers for PC only or console only?
IM: There might be, but that would be on top of the skill-based match making system.
GF: So when can we look forward to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive?
IM: Hopefully the game will be available early next year. It will be downloadable on XBLA, PSN, PC and Mac.