Since its inception in 1999 Counter-Strike has become almost synonymous with first-person shooters, especially those of the competitive variety. To celebrate its 20th birthday, Valve have made the classic Dust II available in CS:GO.
Counter-Strike launched as a Half-Life mod into beta way back in June 1999 and was officially released in November of the following year.
Valve have added a retro version of Dust II to the Casual Dust II map group for commemorative purposes, so anyone feeling old and nostalgic can relive the glory days and lament their age-induced loss of reflexes.
Personally, we would have preferred revisiting retro versions of cs_mansion or cs_assault, as those were staples of a healthy CS diet at our local LAN haunts, but de_dust2 is likely the more widely popular choice.
The CS:GO team also decided that this would be a good time to nerf the AUG's effective range and fire rate, probably aiming to provide an authentic salty old school Counter-Strike sensation.
There's no word yet on how long the retro treat will be around, so taking some time for a trip down memory lane in the coming days may be a good idea. Especially since you can now get a feel for CS:GO after a longer hiatus for free against bots before deciding to go up against a horde of toddlers who have yet to discover the merits of push-to-talk.
Since we wouldn't even have CS:GO if it weren't for modders, Valve have also fired up an anniversary workshop event themed around "Counter-Strike itself, including all things CS-related".
There's no denying that Counter-Strike in its many iterations remains a global phenomenon registering over 16 million unique players just over the past month. It would be hard to imagine Steam's most played list without it being somewhere in the top 5 and it's one of the few true hard-core esports shooters out there.