Counter-Strike: Global Offensive hostages piggyback to safety

For umpteen years now, the fundamentals of rescuing hostages in Counter-Strike have remained the same. From the original mod, through the commercial release, the revamped Counter-Strike: Source, to the new CS: Global Offensive, you'd head to where they spawn, then lead all the idiot AIs home. But that young upstart shook things up in a patch yesterday, switching to randomised hostages you need to carry.

Hostage maps now have only two hostages, spawned in locations randomised each match, and teams only need rescue one to win the round, Valve explains in a blog post. However, they're now bound and cannot walk. Counter-Terrorists will need to untie hostages then sling them over their shoulders and carry them to the rescue point, moving slowly under the weight of their orange freight. Picking a hostage up does extend the round timer, so time's not too much of a problem.

"You'll need to strategize and protect if your CT team wants to get a hostage to the Rescue Zone unscathed," Valve said. "And remember: hostages can’t get hurt in a firefight, but stray bullets that hit a hostage will cost you."

The full patch notes also reveal that bomb defusing is stopped if you turn too far away when working on it, so you may want a buddy to watch you back there too.

Valve's been quite experimental with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, by the conservative standards of CS anyway, introducing a Molotov cocktail which lets players block routes, messing with the hallowed weapon balance, and introducing deathmatch-y modes based on community-made mods, but the hostage changes are perhaps the greatest yet. It'll be interesting to see how it all shakes out.