Valve is starting to invite select players to a limited test from today.
Valve has announced Counter-Strike 2, and a beta version is available to some members of the game’s community. The studio promises to update every aspect of the Counter-Strike experience with better graphics, sharper textures, more realistic lighting, and additional geometry by moving the game to the latest version of its in-house Source 2 engine.
Valve’s Counter-Strike 2 team will use a three-tier approach to level design. The team will leave the “Touchstone” maps, like Dust 2, almost unchanged, except for some lighting and readability tweaks. The team will also upgrade “Upgrade” maps to take advantage of Source 2’s improved lighting pipeline. Lastly, the team will fully overhaul some levels, making use of everything the engine has to offer.
Valve will bring gameplay enhancements to Counter-Strike 2 with the move to Source 2. Smoke grenades will now exist as volumetric 3D objects in the game world, making them responsive to other gameplay elements. Players can momentarily change sightlines with bullets and explosions.
Valve is also revamping the game’s server architecture with sub-tick updates. The new feature will allow servers to track player movements, weapon fires, and grenade throw instantly. This update should make Counter-Strike 2 the most responsive game in the series to date.
When the full version of Counter-Strike 2 arrives in the summer, it will be a free upgrade to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Players’ cosmetic items collected in CS:GO will carry over to the new game and look even better. Valve will invite players to the limited beta based on various factors, including recent playtime and their Steam account standing. The studio will share more information about Counter-Strike 2 closer to its release.