Counter-Strike is the most popular online game in the world at the moment. How long that will last is anyone's guess, but Valve have definitely sat up and taken notice, as a retail version is scheduled for release soon so that people who don't own Half-Life can buy it as a standalone unit. This move was originally frowned upon, until it was learned that 1.0 will also be available as a free download. The modification is currently at version 7.1 for the public, and features new skins, maps, sounds, real-life weaponry and even an advanced HUD with radar system. Although gamers were recently angered by changes to the netcode which favoured high pingers (to the extent that gamers with high pings could theoretically kill people through walls), it remains the most popular team-based online game for the time being, and version 1.0 will herald an exit from the mod's "Beta" stages. Full details of new additions to the game (for it really should be described as a game rather than a modification now) have not been publicly released, but today's update at the official website includes pictures of a new weapon, the SIG SG-550 sniper rifle. Fans trying to find something new within the game to occupy themselves until then could do well to check out the progress of the officially-backed "Real Bot", a mod for the mod, as it were.
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