Valve has already let a select few elite Counter-Strike players go hands on with its new multiplatform edition, Counter Strike: Global Offensive.
As well as providing feedback to Valve, these players have posted hands-on impressions of what they saw, including a bunch of gameplay details.
"Valve was quick to make clear that this wasn't 'CS2' (or whatever that even really means) but rather a a multi-platform team based FPS similar to its predecessors, Counter-Strike 1.6, Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, and Counter-Strike: Source," said ESEA News' tester (thanks Kotaku).
"It is designed on the updated Source Engine, but is not built off of Counter-Strike: Source and due out in early 2012 with beta access beginning this fall. It will maintain the traditional de_ and cs_ map types and would not include new game modes. Valve was keen on hearing the input from top CSS players to make CS GO an e-sports title and that is reflected by the game featuring both casual and competitive game modes with a built in match making system and support for dedicated servers."
They go on to say that the graphics and animation in the new game have been vastly improved and "look beautiful". "We got to play dust, dust2, inferno, and nuke with confirmation that other CS classic maps such as train and likely some new ones will be included in the release," says the report.
CS players are precious about the game's near-perfect physics, but the report says Valve hasn't hesitated to make significant changes. "It didn't feel like 1.6 and despite being built on the Source engine, it didn't feel like CSS," says the report. "By design, Valve wanted to create a game with a different feel, and overall it was really smooth. The pro players seemed surprisingly happy with the player movement and feel of the game but thankfully they weren't short of feedback and most weren't shy to share it. Tweaks and adjustments are needed, but in my opinion, it was a great sign that it didn't grossly offend anyone."
It mentions some small issues found with the game's weapon balance, with some of the older weapons proving too inaccurate and new ones being overpowered, but Valve seemed willing to react to the feedback.
It details new weapons and equipment, too. "New weapons were added, including a new heavy machine gun rifle, new pistols, and a new shotgun," it reveals, before detailing the Molotov Cocktail and Decoy Grenade items.
"They added molotov cocktails, an expensive $850 item, which can be used to slow down opponents and re-route opponents through AOE damage," it says.
"Decoy grenades are also a new item that can be thrown to emit gun sounds and give the illusion of there being a player."
That's the meat of it but there's a load more through the source link.
The PS3, 360 and PC game is targeted for release early next year.