Are you ready for the new and upgraded Counter-Strike 2 (CS-2)? For decades Counter-Strike has ruled over the world of FPS gaming and pro scenes. Recently many players moved from CS-GO because there were no upgrades to the game and other games looked more pleasing visually and in mechanics.
Valve has finally decided to take the big leap in upgrading and evolving the CS-GO and introduced the upgraded CS-2. Valve introduced the new CS-2 in the most flashy way by showcasing all the major changes and upgrades compiled in videos. CS-2 will have better visuals, more accurate audio, and upgraded game mechanics.
If you are Curious to know more about CS-2 then you have arrived at the right place. This post will cover all the changes and upgrades to CS that you will witness in CS-2.
Release Date and Pricing
Valve has not announced an exact date on when they will launch their CS-2. However, they have announced that the CS-2 will be released in the summer of 2023. Currently, the game is available in a limited test phase. Where only selected players can download and play the upcoming CS-2. CS-2 will also be available as a free game. If you have CS-GO then you can upgrade it directly from there.
What’s New In Counter-Strike 2
The major upgrade by Valve is in the lighting, visuals, audio, and the implementation of the source 2 engine. All maps are reworked and many are overhauled and built from scratch. The gaming mechanics and physics are also upgraded introducing, upgrades to items to environment interaction and responsive smoke. Let’s dive into the upgrades and understand them one by one.
Source 2 Engine (Lighting and Visuals)
The CS-GO was built on the source engine and showed many improvements from the old CS 1.6. However, the new CS-2 is made with the Source 2 engine loaded with the Rubikon physics engine introduced by Valve.
Source 2 engine has opened up a new doorway for CS to move forward. It works on a physical material rendering system to produce more realistic reflection, light source, and materials. The maps are now brighter in the places where they used to be dark. It has also upgraded the physics and audio of the game. You can call CS-2 a completely transformed game instead of just calling it an upgrade. The current Source 2 engine is also used in the top hit titles like Half-Life: Alyx and Dota: Underlords.
Maps upgrading and reconstruction is the biggest change in the new CS-2. with the new lighting and visuals, the maps are now brighter and more attractive. However, Valve has not done a huge change in competitive maps as this can affect the fan- base, and tournaments of CS.
The maps are divided into three different categories for upgradation, Touchstone maps, Upgraded maps, and Full overhaul maps.
These are the competitive and tournament standard maps that have received more love from the CS fans. These maps have not been changed; they have just received upgrades in lighting, visuals, and new gameplay changes. Other than that they are still the original maps they used to be. The biggest example of these maps is our favorite map DUST II.
NUKE is the example shown on the CS-2 website. Nuke and a few other maps have received major upgrades and they are shifted to the physical rendering system of the source 2 engine. This has not just improved the lighting and visuals but also changed the material and aesthetic looks of the maps.
Overhaul maps are made from scratch as the other two maps are using old architecture from the source engineer. These maps are completely reconstructed by utilizing the Source 2 engine. The OVERPASS is shown as an example of this map reconstruction.
Responsive smoke is one of the major features or game mechanics upgrades in the upcoming CS-2. Previously the smoke was covering a specific area with a gray fog and it was impossible to remove that smoke or peak in it without going across. The only way was to wait until the smoke timer ended. However, the new smokes are totally different from the previous ones.
The smoke visuals are now upgraded and they are not gray fog anymore. Another major upgrade is the new smokes are volumetric in nature, they work like actual smokes and expand in the surrounding area covering objects around it. These smokes are the same from all player’s perspectives.
Now you can peak in smoke which was impossible with the last gray smoke. The new smoke is also responsive to gun fires and explosions you can peak in it by shooting. Detonating a HE grenade next to the smoke will clear out the smoke for a few seconds before the smoke recovers the area. This creates so many new opportunities for players to maneuver around smokes.
New Sub-Tick System
The major problem with every FPS game is no bullet registration on the server due to poor network connection. Games can’t ensure the network stability of all players and their system works on bullet registration. Even if they categorize the players based on their ping, there can be fluctuations and inconsistencies due to different latencies. It has been a major issue that affected a lot of gamers including me.
Apparently, Valve has announced a major change in their net code by introducing the new sub-tick system. CS was previously using the 64-tick server. Which identifies the movement, crosshair placement, and firing in a discrete-time span and registers a player’s movement after that time. However, there was a bit of delay in it and this delay can cause you to miss shots in critical situations.
According to Valve, in the new sub-tick system these time intervals are so minute that they are nonexistent. The players will enjoy a better responsive system, where your shots will register on the server without a delay. your clicks will register instantly and there will be no delay to cause you to miss shots.
Audio, Environmental, and Visual Effect Upgrades
The new CS-2 comes with high-definition visual effects that will blow your mind. They have made the in-game items interact with the environment in a more realistic way. Where the new motor oil and incendiary grenades explode when they land and their visuals are more pleasing to the eyes.
In visuals, another major upgrade is the redesigned bullet impact and directional blood splattering. The details of the game are so improved that the bullet impact direction can be seen from a distance. The UI of the game is also improved and additional effects are added to the HUD.
Valve has also introduced a visual audio radar in the mini map that shows the range of the noise of your footsteps. CS-2 has finally evolved its sound engine and introduced a 3d audio system. Now you can hear the enemy walking and reloading. In addition to that, the gunfire sounds also changed significantly. As seen in the clips shown by Valve and invited players in the testing phase.
Valve has finally presented the most awaited upgrades in Counter-Strike 2. These new updates are more focused on making the game look aesthetically pleasing to CS fans. The new Source 2 engine has provided the perfect combination of visuals and physics to the CS-2. The maps are also upgraded or redesigned while keeping the pro scenes and competitive tournaments in mind. The upgrades in the game physics and audio engine have unlocked new possibilities for CS to grow further.