After 11 years of the release of the most popular CS:GO game, Valve has announced Counter-Strike 2 will be available in Summer of 2023 for free. This is the largest technical leap forward in Counter-Strike’s history, ensuring new features and updates for years to come, said the company.
Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test has started for select CS:GO players. During this testing period, the company said that it will be evaluating a subset of features to shake out any issues before the worldwide release.
Highlights of Counter-Strike 2
- Gameplay: Smoke now has the ability to interact with other gameplay events, creating new opportunities. Bullets and HE grenades can push smoke to briefly clear sight lines or expand occlusion.
- Reacts to Lighting: In Counter-Strike 2 smoke particles work with the unified lighting system allowing for more realistic light and color.
- Full Overhaul Maps: The overhauled maps have been fully rebuilt from the ground up, leveraging all of the new Source 2 tools and rendering features.
- Upgrade Maps: These are maps that use new Source 2 lighting, including a physically based rendering system that produces realistic materials, lighting, and reflections.
- Touchstone Maps: Classic maps with solid foundations that players can use to evaluate gameplay changes from CS:GO to Counter-Strike 2. These have improvements to lighting and character read, but otherwise haven’t been changed.
- Source 2 Tools: The Source 2 tools and rendering features will be available for community mapmakers to make it easier to build, experiment and iterate. And stay tuned for the Source 2 Item Workshop, which will be available later on in the limited test.
Your items in a whole new light
Bring your entire CS:GO inventory with you to Counter-Strike 2. Not only will you keep every item you’ve collected over the years, but they’ll all benefit from Source 2 lighting and materials. In addition to supporting legacy models and finishes, all stock weapons have been upgraded with high-resolution models, and some weapon finishes take advantage of these new models.
HI-DEF VFX and Audio
- Visuals: All the visual effects have been updated in Counter-Strike 2. With Source 2 lighting and particle systems, there’s an all-new look and behavior for water, explosions, fire, smoke, muzzle flashes, bullet tracers, impact effects, and more.
- Gameplay Visuals: In Counter-Strike 2 the most critical gameplay visuals have been redesigned with readability in mind. Bullet impacts can be easily viewed at a distance, and directional blood impacts (that fade over time) give you more information as you move through the world.
- Environment Effects: Experience completely reauthored explosions, fire, C4 lighting, and more. Leveraging the Source 2 Engine and modern hardware, environmental effects in Counter-Strike 2 feature improved visual fidelity and greater consistency.
- UI Enhancements: The UI in Counter-Strike 2 has gotten a complete overhaul, including fresh visual effects throughout the HUD. Not only do these improvements look nice, they also communicate important game state.
- Accurate Audio: Counter-Strike 2 sounds have been reworked to better reflect the physical environment, be more distinct, and express more game state. They have also been rebalanced for a more comfortable listening experience.
Value said that the Limited Test only evaluates a subset of Counter-Strike 2’s features, so that major issues can be resolved before the summer. In just a few months, more details will be revealed.