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Valve releases Condition Zero over Steam

Half-Life creator Valve Software has launched the first commercial product over its Steam digital distribution network, with Counter-Strike: Condition Zero appearing as a paid-for download option on the service earlier this week.

The game is being sold online for $29.99 until April 1st, when it will revert to its normal price of $39.99, and can be downloaded directly from Steam - the same system which has been used to deliver recent patches to Half-Life as well as Counter-Strike and other popular mods.

Valve is expected to use the Steam system to sell Half-Life 2 and other future products directly to customers over the Internet, although all of its currently planned titles will also appear in traditional boxed form at retail.

Condition Zero, a commercial "companion title" for the massively popular Counter-Strike online title, has had a troubled genesis - with development starting at Gearbox before being handed to Ritual, and then on to Blue Rock, who created the final product being sold over Steam.

The game has had its mission-based single-player mode removed following critical derision late last year, and now consists of an arena style system where existing CS maps are played with highly intelligent computer controlled "bots".

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Rob Fahey: Rob Fahey is a former editor of who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.