It's widespread knowledge that Valve are on the verge of releasing Half-Life version 22.214.171.124, and getting in just before the act with their own updated release is the Counter-Strike team. There are all sorts of changes to this version that will have Counter-Strike addicts reeling and roaring in unison, so lets address them one by one:
"Terrorist bomb backpack re-added" - this is great news for Counter Terrorists sick of having no inkling as to who on the Terrorist side harbours the bomb. With the pack firmly locked onto the shoulders of whoever carries it, the CTs should find it easier to deal with large Terrorist forces on maps like Dust, Nuke and Prodigy.
"CT defuse kit pack re-added" - similarly this will allow Terrorists to single out who on the CT side is carrying a defuse pack and to deal with them foremostly. This will prove incredibly important in heavy fire situations once the bomb has been planted, since Terrorists will know which enemy to concentrate their fire on first.
"Upgraded player models to 512X512 textures" - the difference between standard models in Half-Life / Counter-Strike and these new high resolution ones is said to be startling. You can have a look at the before and after shots of just one model that's been given a going over with this new technique. Swimming animations have also been added.
"Made jumping while shooting more inaccurate w/ submachineguns" - a small thing, but one that will please quite a few people who have suffered at the hands of maniac jumpers with MP5s!
"Took out sniper crosshair when zoomed out" and "AWP leg shots now non-lethal" - changes made in an effort to combat the almost immovable snipers that entrench themselves on maps like Italy and Dust. A very welcome change too, since previously "AWPing" wasn't a terribly difficult art, it just required you to stand firmly on the spot and line up your sights. Any part of the body took out the enemy, but not any more.
"Added cs_thunder, de_vertigo, de_inferno, de_dust2 & de_rotterdam" - Thunder has been doing the rounds on a few unscrupulous websites for a while now, but Vertigo, Inferno, Dust2 and Rotterdam are largely new. Dust2 is actually a forerunner to our classic Dust, which remains. The maps "de_dust de_cbble, de_vegas, de_aztec, cs_office, cs_siege, & cs_italy" have been upgraded in certain ways too, to iron out previous issues.
"Fixed many cheats" - although cheating is less of an issue now that the "Speed Cheat" is well known and workarounds exist, every so often someone with an unfair advantage wanders onto the server to act as a painful reminder that some people enjoy spoiling the game for others. The chaps at NextWish.org are constantly working on hacks and workarounds that can isolate cheaters and keep our games clean, and they should be commended for it.
Elsewhere, a few bits and bugs have been given the boot, and generally the code has been cleaned up. It is thought that this will be the penultimate if not last release of Counter-Strike by the original team, bugs-withstanding. It can be downloaded as a 19.5Mb upgrade from version 1.0 or an 87.3Mb full version which incorporates everything from 1.0 and 1.1. Linux versions and server releases are also available, and a patch to upgrade people who own retail copies of Counter-Strike (i.e. the boxed version Gameplay have been selling in this country) will be available shortly from the official downloads page. You can download the various files from the following URLs:-
1.0 - 1.1 Upgrade Patch (19.5Mb)
1.1 Full Release (87.3Mb)