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Counter-Strike 2 is the CS:GO killer you've been waiting for

By Hoots the Owl - on 24 Mar 2023, 1:06am

Counter-Strike 2 is the CS:GO killer you've been waiting for

Image Source: Valve

The next Counter-Strike game is just around the corner. Valve has announced Counter-Strike 2, the next generation of its tactical FPS, set to arrive in the summer. 

Described as the "largest technical leap forward" in Counter-Strike history, CS2 promises new features and updates for years to come. The game is also billed as a free upgrade to CS:GO, so players will not have to pay a single cent to jump on board.

Thanks to Valve's new Source 2 engine, CS2 features multiple gameplay and graphics updates. This is the best-looking version of CS yet, with responsive smoke grenades that act as dynamic volumetric objects. Smokes can now interact with the environment, and react to lighting, gunfire, and explosions, creating new opportunities. Bullets and HE grenades can even briefly clear sight lines within the smoke or expand occlusion. 

Smokes will even seep out of opened doorways and broken windows, go down and up stairs, and expand in long corridors. They will also combine with other smokes.

On top of that, CS2 is moving to "sub-tick updates," where the tick rate no longer matters, according to Valve. "The server will know the exact moment you fired your shot, jumped your jump, or peeked your peek," said the developer in an update video.

In theory, this is an even more responsive system than the 128-tick servers used in Valorant and FACEIT servers, where the server will calculate your precise actions between ticks. Previously, the server only evaluated the world in discrete time intervals that varied according to the tick rate.

This means that moving and shooting will always feel equally responsive, and grenades will land the same way every time.

The game's graphics and visuals are being cleaned up as well. CS2 looks cleaner and brighter than ever, and enemies are easier to spot. Maps are also being upgraded to use new Source 2 lighting, including a physically based rendering system that produces realistic materials, lighting, and reflections.

Players will also be pleased to learn that the skins they have painstakingly accumulated over the years in CS:GO will not be going anywhere. They can bring their entire CS:GO inventory to CS2, and items will all benefit from Source 2 lighting and materials. All stock weapons have also been upgraded with high-resolution models, and some weapon finishes take advantage of these new models.

Finally, 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.

Valve is currently offering selected players access to the ongoing CS2 limited test. Players are selected based on factors like recent playtime on Valve official servers, trust factor, and Steam account standing. More players will be added to the limited test over time, and they will be notified via the CS:GO main menu.

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