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Overview


Counter-Strike 2 (CS2) is a first-person shooter video game developed by Valve Corporation which is a part of the Counter-Strike series. It was announced to the public on March 22, 2023 with an tentative full release for Summer 2023 and a limited test beginning the same day[1]. It was officially released on September 27, 2023.[2]

This is the first game of the Counter-Strike series which utilizes Valve's Source 2 game engine and features major technological advancements since Global Offensive such as "sub-tick" net-code technology[3], new voxel based volumetric smokes[4], and a new toolset for developing maps[5].

Gameplay

Almost all gameplay aspects in CS2 remains similar, if not the same to its predecessor, CS:GO; while features some changes, ranging from minor to drastic, to fully utilize the most out of the Source 2 Engine. Some of which include:

  • Graphical updates:
    • Better texture and light reflections across the surfaces of the maps, which helps improves visibility without external workarounds (e.g. increases monitors' color profile or use 3rd party software to boost shadows/eliminate dark colors, etc.).
    • Support for real-time ray-tracing technology in the Source 2 tools
    • Addition of NVIDIA Reflex
  • Smokes are now volumetric, with the ability to adapt and interact with the surrounding environment:
    • Lighting - spot lights are no longer visible through the smoke. Environment lighting is able to illuminate and cast shadows on certain parts of the smoke.
    • Bullets - create small holes for the player to locate enemies in the smoke. This creates new, unique gameplay opportunities and adds risk when spamming smokes.
    • HE Grenade - Explosions briefly dissipate smokes, allowing players to see what's behind them. Players can throw an HE Grenade from afar to assist teammates or go for a well timed underarm throw for a brief, risky window of time to shoot through the gap themselves.
  • Features "sub-tick" technology, designed to relay information happening between distinct ticks to the server as a time value to be interpreted.

Weapons and equipment

All weapons that are used in the competitive and deathmatch mode in CS:GO have been transferred to the new game with more detailed models. Along with them, CS:GO's cosmetic items such as skins, stickers, and other types of knives were ported, though they still use the older versions of the models.[6]

Game Modes

Counter-Strike 2 contains several multiplayer game modes.

  • Classic Casual and Classic Competitive: Classical game modes of Bomb defusal and Hostage rescue. Casual and Competitive have different rules to better suit casual players and competitive players.
    • Bomb Scenario: The Terrorists must plant C4 at a bombsite and the Counter-Terrorists must defend the bombsite.
    • Hostage Scenario: The Counter-Terrorists must rescue the hostages and the Terrorists must defend the hostages.
    • Wingman: 2 versus 2 matches on small bomb defusal maps.
    • Premier Competitive: A version of Competitive where the players select Active Duty maps to play through a veto system.
  • Deathmatch: Respawning deathmatch.
  • Arms Race (added in update): Respawning deathmatch where players must progress through a list of weapons.

It has been confirmed that more game modes will roll out in future versions of the game.[6]

Maps

Map Updates

Counter-Strike 2 maps are classified in three distinct categories. The wide array of maps are designed to give the players some familiar maps like Dust II and Mirage to evaluate new gameplay changes, with others providing the player with entirely new experiences such as Overpass and Italy:

Touchstone

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.
―Counter-Strike 2: Leveling Up The World

Upgrade

These are maps that use new Source 2 lighting, including a physically based rendering system that produces realistic materials, lighting, and reflections.
―Counter-Strike 2: Leveling Up The World

Overhaul

The overhauled maps have been fully rebuilt from the ground up, leveraging all of the new Source 2 tools and rendering features.
―Counter-Strike 2: Leveling Up The World

Bomb Defusal

Active Duty Pool

Reserves Group

Hostage Rescue

Wingman

Arms Race

Factions

Unlike Global Offensive, Counter-Strike 2 does not feature map-based factions, instead only two factions appear on all maps by default - SAS for Counter-Terrorists and Phoenix Connexion for Terrorists. However, it is possible is to replace the default faction models with the Agents.

Agents are the custom character models that often include more complex details and accessories, and may also belong to a different faction, as well as have a different gender and voice.

Counter-Strike 2 features a total of thirteen unique factions:

Terrorists

Counter-Terrorists

Videos

Counter-Strike_2_-_Launch_Trailer Counter-Strike_2-_Beyond_Global Counter-Strike_2-_Responsive_Smokes Counter-Strike_2-_Leveling_Up_The_World Counter-Strike_2-_Moving_Beyond_Tick_Rate

See Also

References

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