‘Counter-Strike 2’ Has Officially Released

Update: After an 11 year run, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has been properly succeeded by Counter-Strike 2. Following its limited test period that ran for six months, Counter-Strike 2 ushers in a new era of CS. Backed by the long-awaited Source 2 game engine, the title builds upon the success of its predecessors with a range of quality of life adjustments joined by several key new features -- new smoke grenade interactivity, revamped matchmaking options, enhanced lightning and more. It has effectively replaced Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as the latter is no longer playable, rather, all of its data has been brought over to Counter-Strike 2. For those looking to dive into the fun, you can play Counter-Strike 2 now for free via Steam.

Original Story: Counter-Strike (CS) has long been a staple of the first-person shooter genre, captivating gamers around the world with its intense gameplay and tactical mechanics. With the release of the original game back on Windows in 1999 the series has since gone on to become a household name in the gaming community, spawning the sequels Condition Zero, Source and Global Offensive.

Rumors have been circulating for years about the possibility of a new installment in the franchise, but it wasn't until recently that gamers received the first glimpse of the next chapter in the Counter-Strike story: Counter-Strike 2.

Announced by Valve today, CS2 will run on Source Engine 2 and is billed as “an overhaul to every system, every piece of content, and every part of the C-S experience.”

Three videos preview various aspects of CS2: new maps, smoke grenades and sub-tick upgrades, the latter of which refers to a revamped, more responsive version of the game’s server.

CS2 will also apparently feature an overhauled graphics engine, improved physics and animations and a host of new weapons and game modes. Perhaps the most exciting addition, however, is the introduction of advanced AI technology, which promises to revolutionize the way players interact with the game. The new system, developed in-house by the CS2 team, will allow for more dynamic and unpredictable gameplay, with enemies using AI to react to player movements and tactics in real time.

On top of the single-player campaign, CS2 will have a reworked multiplayer mode, with new maps, modes and gameplay mechanics. Solo-player fans of the franchise can expect the same level of intensity and strategic gameplay in the multiplayer mode.

While there is still no exact date for CS2, the game will arrive sometime in summer 2023. A limited beta for the title is available beginning this week rolling out first to select CS: GO players.

In other gaming news, a Counter-Strike: GO skin has sold for $160,000 USD.