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News video games 24 November 2023, 07:15

author: Jacob Blazewicz

Valve Accidentally Reveals Left 4 Dead Prototype in New Problematic CS 1.6 Update

Counter-Strike 1.6 has received news in Half-Life's anniversary update. The patch annoys players with bugs, but also includes a secret gift: a Left 4 Dead prototype.

Source: Zombie Army 2 / Rebellion.

Valve has released an update for Counter-Strike 1.6. As a result, the game received many new features added in the first Half-Life anniversary update. This is the first update of this iconic game in more than three years.

Broken CS 1.6 update

However, players are not thrilled with the latest patch. They are not concerned with the changes that should appear in the game, but the sizable number of bugs introduced by the update for CS 1.6. Internet users report the following glitches, among others:

  1. entering options or the scoreboard can cause a forced shutdown of the game;
  2. terrorists can buy weapons of anti-terrorists (AUG, M4A1, etc.), while the latter cannot make purchases at all;
  3. the game icon on Steam is upside down.

At least for some players, some of these glitches disappeared after reinstalling the game and deleting the game folder ("cstrike", location: "Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Half-Life"). However, we do not have enough reports confirming the effectiveness of this method. In addition, it does not enable the owners to restore the old version of the main menu, which is apparently missed by some fans.

Valve Accidentally Reveals Left 4 Dead Prototype in New Problematic CS 1.6 Update - picture #1
CS 1.6 received a lot of new features with the addition of bugs and a hint of zombies. Source: Valve Corporation.

Zombie Strike

In addition, there is another "bug" or rather, an oversight on Valve's part. Fans discovered in the update files a playable version of the project that would eventually turn into the co-op shooter Left 4 Dead.

Until now, we knew that the project Terror was being developed based on Counter-Strike: Source, before it was finally released under a new name. We knew of its existence through the leak of the prototype map "Zombie City" earlier this year (via GamesRadar ).

However - as reported at the time by insider Tyler McVicker - the game began life much earlier, still as a mod called Terror Strike for Counter-Strike: Condition Zero. It is the files of this version that have now made their way into CS 1.6 (with which CSCZ shares some of the code), and fans were quick to run them in-game (via PDylan / X).

We emphasize: this is a very early version of the project. It's missing the zombie models (replaced by anti-terrorists), and it's clear from the "Zombie City" map that it was used for testing (via The Gabe Follower / X). Also, the gameplay is in a crude state - terrorists have to plant a bomb while fighting off resurgent zombies.

Left 4 Dead was so "broken" that it needed a follow-up

Even after the debut of the CS 1.6 update we learned more about the project described above through Chet Faliszek, one of the main developers of Left 4 Dead. The developer shared the information during an interview with Game Developer, revealing, among other things that for the release, the engine of L4D was unimaginably "broken".

Valve Accidentally Reveals Left 4 Dead Prototype in New Problematic CS 1.6 Update - picture #2
The quick abandonment of the first L4D annoyed fans, but the developers had to make this decision. Source: Turtle Rock Studios / Valve Corporation.

This was the reason for the controversial decision to quickly release a standalone sequel instead of an update of the original (after the announcement there was even a group on Steam calling for a boycott).

  1. After the release of L4D - quote - "nobody wanted to touch" this project. Frequent "iterations" and constant fiddling by engineers with the Source engine, as long as they met the goals set by the developers (including stable optimization and up to 30 zombies per map), took their toll at the end of the work, leading to many problems.
  2. Glitches on release included the map loading two or even three times in the background. The developers tried to fix this, but "Source spaghetti" (a term all too familiar to Valve fans) meant that these fixes led to further problems (such as the disappearance of one of the survivors).
  3. Therefore, Turtle Rock Studios quickly took to creating a sequel, and only in it did they introduce, among other things, great support for fan modifications.

Of course, Valve could not say this directly without de facto blaming the developers, who "were killing themselves just to release the game." So the publisher, as it were, took on the role of scapegoat.

Jacob Blazewicz

Jacob Blazewicz

Graduated with a master's degree in Polish Studies from the University of Warsaw with a thesis dedicated to this very subject. Started his adventure with in 2015, writing in the Newsroom and later also in the film and technology sections (also contributed to the Encyclopedia). Interested in video games (and not only video games) for years. He began with platform games and, to this day, remains a big fan of them (including Metroidvania). Also shows interest in card games (including paper), fighting games, soulslikes, and basically everything about games as such. Marvels at pixelated characters from games dating back to the time of the Game Boy (if not older).


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