With little more than a slight tease beforehand, Valve just launched Counter-Strike 2 on Steam.
Counter-Strike is Valve’s long-running competitive multiplayer shooter series. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has stayed near the top of Steam’s player count charts ever since it launched in 2012. After over a decade of dominance, Valve first announced Counter-Strike 2 as a free, sequel-level upgrade to Global Offensive earlier this year. After some slight teases earlier in the month, Valve finally decided to surprise launch the game on September 27.
Counter-Strike 2 builds upon Global Offensive in Valve’s newer Source 2 game engine. Outside of the obvious visual upgrades that change brings, Counter-Strike 2 adds to its predecessor with a new CS Rating system, overhauled maps, and tweaks to core mechanics like smoke grenades and the tick rate at which the first-person shooter operates. Valve also promises that the game features “upgraded Community Workshop tools,” so we should get some entertaining Counter-Strike 2 mods.
Valve intends for players to smoothly transition from Global Offensive to Counter-Strike 2 as the game has simply updated to make the transition, and all items players obtained in the former work in the latter. Hopefully, this approach works out better for Valve than it did for Blizzard with Overwatch 2 last year.
Counter-Strike 2 is available now on PC via Steam. It’s a free-to-play game, although players can buy a Prime Status Upgrade for $15 that grants buyers the titular moniker. Having Prime Status grants exclusive items, item drops, and weapon cases and makes the game more likely to matchmake you with other Prime Status Counter-Strike 2 players.
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