It’s official: Valve announces Counter-Strike 2 as a free successor to decade-old CS:GO

Let the games begin!

CS 2

The time has arrived, after much speculation and a juicy leak, Valve has officially debuted the successor to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Enter, Counter-Strike 2.

Confirming what we already know and then some, the official CS:GO Twitter page says the game is a complete overhaul to every system and piece of content, from graphics, to gameplay, and fully updated maps. Counter-Strike fans will find a new home on the Source 2 engine.

There’s a limited test currently underway featuring all the classic maps. For starters, everything has been built from the ground up, leveraging the visual goodness Source 2 has to offer. Maps get a brand-new coat of paint, and are brought to the modern era with advanced physics-based rendering. While the original Source engine’s ‘baked in’ lighting did a pretty fine job at mimicking real light sources, the Gen 2 engine produces realistic materials, shadows and reflections. We need only look at Half Life: Alyx as a perfect example of what’s to come.

Visual effects have been dramatically enhanced and improved thanks to new volumetric and particle effects. Blood realistically splatters, smoke bombs create beautifully rendered clouds and plumes, while water shimmers and explosions wreak havoc, creating debris and deadly dancing flames.

CS 2 Maps

Every piece of content including skins and weapons has gotten the same treatment, including UI enhancements, animations and the like. Audio, too, has been reworked, rebalanced, and reverbed for accurate environment-based audio cues and easy listening. Death never sounded this satisfying.

One thing sorely missing from the initial press reveal is detail on the multiplayer aspects including any word on the rumoured upgrade to a 128-tick multiplayer server architecture similar to Valorant, or a supposed new match-making system. Though the makers have promised that there is still more to come.

CS 2 Maps 2

Counter-Strike 2 begins today as a limited test for select CS:GO players to evaluate all the subsystems and iron out any major issues. Unfortunately for us regular folk, the official release is mentioned as being a few months away. Roll on the summer.