Since its release in 2012, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has set the benchmark for competitive 5v5 tactical esports shooters. The Counter-Strike series has a vibrant esports scene that boasts mechanically gifted rockstars, seven-figure prize pools, and dramatic flair to match the cash at stake. Counter-Strike 2 certainly has a lot to live up to; will Valve and its mysterious development team maintain their well-earned status, or be left in the dust by valorant and future competitors?
This fall, Counter-Strike is back with a fresh coat of paint. The game is made with Valve’s Source 2 engine, making it the latest game to use the engine. Despite only still being in limited test, the improvements are very noticeable, especially in maps Inferno and Overpass, which received complete visual overhauls.
For those familiar with Counter-Strike maps, the modern twists on old favourites should keep the banana rushes coming for years to come. If you’re unfamiliar with Counter-Strike, it’s sure to give Valorant a run for its money and put the dreary, old graphics and colours of CS:GO in the bin where they belong.
The near perfect, secret Krabby Patty formula of the gameplay loop hasn’t changed much.The most significant gameplay change is the dynamic smoke grenades. The grenades now behave like a living, breathing entity in the game and seem to pique the curiosity of even the most jaded CS fan.
When you shoot into a smoke grenade, you can now see a pinholetracing your bullet’s entry and exit point through the smoke, giving you a glance into the forbidden world beyond your side of the map. This mechanic looks shockingly realistic and adds another dimension to the gameplay with endless tactical possibilities.
One of the biggest issues with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the outdated matchmaking system, which had no shortage of cheaters and smurfs — which are high rank players who played on low rank accounts, not the little blue guys. The new matchmaking system remedies many of these issues. It’s a lean, mean, transparent system that shows how much of your rank is at stake with an industry-standard Elo rating system (I’m 11,000, by the way). The new ranking system is accompanied by a new version of Valve’s anti-cheat, VAC Live, bringing a new hope to the continuous war on cheating.
If you have free time, I encourage you to gather 4 friends and play together for an evening. Not only is Counter-Strike 2 a worthy successor to CS:GO, but it’ll keep students distracted from the woes of life.
Counter-Strike 2 is a more than worthy heir to the tactical 5v5 FPS throne. By going beyond the graphical update, the new mechanics will be sure to challenge anyone’s old perceptions of Counter-Strike, leaving the FPS esports scene with a new saviour.