The successor to one of the best online first person shooters in years, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is sure to garner a large fan base when it makes its release in 2012. Once Counter-Strike: Source released, fans of the franchise were treated to a graphical overhaul of the game’s assets, along with some game design changes. Developer Valve hasn’t forgotten about the mod-turned-juggernaut’s place in many a gamer’s heart, and is working on bringing the game back on a much larger scale.

Obviously any news regarding Half-Life 3 would be even more extraordinary, but Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is still a big deal to many who will be waiting patiently for the game to be shown off at PAX Prime 2011. Eschewing the more traditional standards of regenerating health and having to save money to buy better weapons, CS:GO is definitely for the more hardcore shooter fans.

Pro-gamer Torbull has provided plenty of gameplay details to give a sense of the areas that Valve will be improving for CS:GO. The game itself will be an important one in the history of Valve and Sony, since it has recently been confirmed to incorporate cross-platform play with PC, Mac and PS3 gamers. So Xbox owners will be left to play amongst themselves, but so far it looks like their version of the game won’t be lacking.

The newest screenshots below immediately show off the cosmetic changes to both character models and locations. The popular map ‘de_dust2’ has been redesigned with a darker color palette, but retains the same layout for CS fans to run their scrim strategies and location call-outs. Check them out now:

As you can see, the Counter Terrorists have been given a makeover into a more US Military look, with woodland camo. The Terrorists have been given a bit more variety in appearance, but still retain the same elements of recognition from the original game.

No word yet on whether or not CS:GO will merely retain the original bomb defuse and hostage rescue modes of the original, or if it will include a form of deathmatch that has since taken over the online multiplayer arena. As the months progress, more information will certainly become available.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will be available in 2012 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and Mac.

Follow me on Twitter @TrungleFever