Game developer and publisher Valve revealed Wednesday that the newest version of the Counter-Strike series, Counter-Strike 2, would be released this summer.
According to their announcement, the game will undergo significant changes to enhance the overall gaming experience. On its official website, It has shared three videos showcasing new and updated maps, dynamic smoke grenades and more precise server updates dubbed “sub-tick updates.”
The new game will run on Valve’s Source 2 engine, whose adoption is expected to be the most significant technological development in the game’s history.
Today we're excited to announce Counter-Strike 2. Counter-Strike 2 is an overhaul to every system, every piece of content, and every part of the C-S experience. First, let's talk about smoke grenades: pic.twitter.com/iTtguRHJ0S
— CS2 (@CounterStrike) March 22, 2023
As part of this update, classic maps that have been part of the game for over two decades will undergo a much-needed visual upgrade to enhance the gaming experience.
The updated maps will have improved graphics, brightness and overall appearance. These enhancements are made possible through the latest Source 2 tools and rendering features.
In addition, there will be a major upgrade for smoke grenades. The plumes generated from these grenades will be “dynamic volumetric objects that interact with the environment, and react to lighting, gunfire, and explosions.”
When a smoke grenade is thrown, the particles of the smoke will dynamically curve around objects and change to fill any enclosed spaces. The smoke can be temporarily dispersed by bullets or explosions.
The game will also have “sub-tick updates” that the developer described as the core of Counter-Strike 2.
“Previously, the server only evaluated the world in discrete time intervals (called ticks),” Valve explained.
“Thanks to Counter-Strike 2’s sub-tick update architecture, servers know the exact instant that motion starts, a shot is fired, or a ‘nade is thrown. As a result, regardless of tick rate, your moving and shooting will be equally responsive and your grenades will always land the same way.”
Since Wednesday, Valve has made a limited test available to select Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) players and published an FAQ to guide interested players on how to participate.
More upgrade details
In addition to maps and smoke grenade upgrades, CS:GO players can transfer their inventory to Counter-Strike 2, where they will see their items in a new light thanks to Source 2 lighting and materials.
Counter-Strike 2 comes with updated visual effects, including an all-new look and behavior for water, explosions, fire, smoke, muzzle flashes, bullet tracers and impact effects.
The game’s designers have also focused on improving the critical gameplay visuals to enhance readability. For example, bullet impacts are now more visible even at a distance. Additionally, directional blood impacts fade over time, giving players more information as they move through the world.
The game also features a revamped environmental effects system that utilizes Source 2’s modern hardware. Explosions, fire, C4 lighting and other environmental effects have been improved visually with better consistency.
Moreover, it has undergone a complete UI upgrade, including new visual effects throughout the HUD. These enhancements not only look visually appealing, but they also effectively communicate essential game information.
The series started with the original Counter-Strike, released in 2000 as a mod for Valve’s Half-Life. It was followed by Counter-Strike: Source in 2004 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in 2012.
CS:GO remains incredibly popular, and the free-to-play game is consistently one of the most-played titles on Steam. Earlier this month, CS:GO broke an all-time concurrent player record with 1.4 million players on Steam.