Counter-Strike 2 Confirmed – Global Offensive In Source 2

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We’ve been all waiting for this, we felt it under our skin, and on Wednesday Valve Co. has confirmed our greatest hopes – Counter-Strike 2 is coming soon.

After a couple of months of foreshadowing, cryptic social media posts and reactions, the Counter-Strike fanbase finally got the news it was waiting for. CS:GO will be moved to Source 2 this summer, and the limited test started just now, with more exciting news to come.

Join us for a quick overview of the big info dump provided by the publisher and let’s try and answer some burning questions about the Counter-Strike Source 2 update. Honestly, we were a little wrong in our previous predictions, but that’s not the most important thing now!

What is Counter-Strike 2?

CS 2 is the follow-up to the original Counter-Strike, which was released in 1999. The game was developed by Valve Software and first published by Sierra Entertainment. It quickly became one of the most popular multiplayer first-person shooter games in history. It spawned numerous competitions and became an esport in its own rights. In February this year CS:GO broke the franchise’s all-time record with 1,3 million simultaneous players online.

Its newest iteration aims to update the gameplay to the changing industry standards and switch to a newer version of Vavle’s Source engine. To everyone’s sigh of relief, Counter-Strike 2 has been confirmed to be published as an update for the good old CS:GO – and a free one, for that matter. This fact comes with one very big advantage on our turf.

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Skins in Counter-Strike 2

Anyone who’s been worried that CS 2 will feature a different skin ecosystem, you can relax now. It’s now official that the item system remains the same. The only thing that changes is that the whole catalog of skins gets a visual update suitable for Source 2. Due to corrected models and a better dynamic light system, even the legacy skins will look much better.

Also, some people started digging through the beta’s files. Apparently, if the devs are not trolling us, we’re getting two new knife models soon – Kukri and Twinblade.

With our hearts (and wallets) at peace, what else can we find in the awaited successor to the franchise and its new tricks.

CS Source 2 Engine Update

The whole point of the new release is to switch the game from a now dated original Source engine to its newest version, Source 2. Up until this point, the most prominent game showcasing the advancements of both the physics engine and the lightning models was Half-Life: Alyx. However, since it was a game published for VR headsets, not many people had the opportunity to experience the changes themselves and had to rely on YT footage. You can see this comparison of similar scenarios in Half-Life 2 and Half-Life: Alyx sandboxes below.

Overall, Valve’s Dev Blog gives a list of key features that differentiate Source 2 from its previous iteration (and many other competitive engines, for that matter). These include:

  • physically based rendering support,
  • new authoring tools,
  • improved audio and voice processing,
  • Lower latency and more responsive input.
  • a new in-house physics engine called Rubikon,

and many others.

What does it mean for the Counter-Strike gameplay? Valve wants to showcase the changes step by step, and it promises a lot. For now, we can mostly speak of three big differences to the visual and mechanical aspect of the game: dynamic lighting, responsive smoke and registering sub-tick events.

New Brilliance For CS Maps

At first glance, the screens of refreshed maps provided on the release’s official announcement website might just strike you as brighter and influenced by modern shooters. However, there’s more than that.

The new lighting system is much more natural when it comes to the depth differences. The shadows don’t have to be fixed steadily, so the surfaces react to both stable and temporary light sources better. Below you can see an example of refreshed Nuke.

For Now, the only playable map in Limited Tests is Dust 2, and there’s plenty of footage from it on Twitter and Twitch. Can’t wait to see other maps in action!

Everywhere Is Smoking Zone

The feature that the developers are (rightfully, most likely) putting on the forefront of the update’s promotion is the reworked smoke engine. Long gone are the days of ninja bomb defusions and spraying half your clip into the unknown just in case. New smoke physics make it react to all kinds of kinetic force – be it explosions, bullet trajectories or just a bunch of people going in and out of it. You can see it in the official promo video below.

Suffice to say, it has a drastic impact on the tactical usage of utilities and enforces new strategies.

No More Tickrate Differences

This will probably be the most important news for the competitive players. With all the flashy and visual updates comes a technicality that is probably the biggest revolution below the surface. From now on, events will be registered in decimals of a tick, not only on full ticks. Together with a system of dependencies, this means that calculating actions both on LAN and online games is getting as close to being real-time as it can possibly get.

What’s Next?

This, among some other features, is the beginning of the revolution coming to CS:GO. More and more people are accepted into Limited Tests, the next batches of features will be published in some time, and the game will at some point enter the open beta mode.

There is, however, still a lot to talk about, so we’ll surely come back to analyze certain features of CS2 and how it compares to the classic CS:GO. Hear you soon!