Valve has announced that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) will be upgraded to Counter-Strike 2 (CS2) this summer, with the technical switch to the Source 2 engine promised to be the greatest technical advance in the history of Counter-Strike. The game will be available as a free upgrade to existing CS:GO players, with revised maps, new features, and improvements to visual and audio effects.
Valve has not yet revealed the full scope of the innovations in CS2; the upgrades will include audio, maps, and visual effects revisions. In addition, the game will introduce dynamic smoke grenades and gameplay independent of the tick rate. A player’s CS:GO items will be transferred to CS2.
According to Valve, all visual effects have been polished, and new effects such as explosions, fire, smoke, and water have been added thanks to the lighting and particle systems of the Source 2 engine. The user interface has also been completely revised. The sound effects have been retuned to better reflect the physical environment and create a more enjoyable listening experience.
Valve describes the use of the new smoke grenades as a revolutionary change. The smoke can interact with the environment, so bullets and frag grenades can throw up smoke obscuring the player. The smoke also spreads naturally and pulls through broken windows or downstairs.
The tick rate, which refers to the intervals at which the server calculates the game situation, will no longer affect movements, shots, or throws. Regardless of the tick rate, movements and shots will react at the same speed, and grenades will fly and land the same way.
Instead of new maps, CS2 will feature revised versions of existing maps, with changes ranging from new lighting and improved readability to physics-based rendering. “Overpass” will receive a general overhaul with even bigger changes. Comparison images are provided on the Counter-Strike 2 official website.
A limited test phase for CS2 has already started, with selected players able to try out the new game based on criteria such as recent playtime on Valve’s official servers. The testers will be notified via the CS: GO main menu.