Counter-Strike 2

Some games stand the test of time. But we don’t often see an explosion in growth nearly a decade after a game’s release. Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO) has been on an absolute tear regarding player growth over the past several months.

CS:GO’s last notable player count surge happened during the onset of the COVID pandemic. This most recent bump can likely be tied to the hype around the next entry into the 20+ year franchise. The latest all-time concurrent peak was hit yesterday at 1,519,457 players.

Last week, Valve officially revealed Counter-Strike 2 with a trio of videos showcasing some of the changes coming to the game. But it’s also Counter-Strike. Valve isn’t about to shake up the formula too much. But don’t worry fans, the game will be free-to-play, and all the skins you’ve picked up over the years will carry over. 

In last week’s reveal, Valve teased how they are “moving beyond tick rate.” Now, their server architecture will know the exact moment you side-strafe, throw a grenade, or shoot.

Smokes also get an upgrade as they are now “dynamic volumetric objects.” That means they interact with the environment and can even be manipulated by explosions and gunfire.

And it wouldn’t be a new game without a fresh coat of paint. 

As the games industry continues to hunt for the next big thing (or chase trends), it’s great to see games like Counter-Strike continue to thrive and grow with essentially the same gameplay for two decades. 

Not every game needs to be a Battle Royale or riff on whatever genre is hot at the moment. Great gameplay will always find an audience. Even the classic RTS Age of Empires 2 will soon get one of its biggest patches ever.

Right now, the folks at Valve are holding a limited test for Counter-Strike 2. You can check out the FAQ for more details on that. As for an official release date? No specific date just yet, but the game is expected to ship in Summer 2023. 

Shooters are my jam, but I like to dip into story games from time to time as well. You can reach me at [email protected]

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