A new version of big web2 game Counter-Strike will be released within months, with a fully playable demo available today for select players.
Valve’s Counter-Strike 2 (CS2) has been built using Valve’s own Source 2 engine – a competitor to Epic’s Unreal Engine 5 – and all skins from Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO) will be fully compatible.
Valve does not allow blockchain games within its dominant game platform Steam. The full compatibility of skins from CS:GO to CS2 can be seen as an answer to some web3 criticisms.
The original Counter-Strike was a mod for Valve’s single-player shoooter Half Life, made more than 20 years ago. It morphed into a standalone game and has been developed over the years, with successive iterations changing the commercial model.
CS:GO is currently free to play, with a paid “Prime Status” upgrade for elite tournament and asset access. CS2 will remain free to play.
Valve described the game as “the largest technical leap forward in Counter-Strike’s history”.
New features include:
- A rejigged timing system that increases precision
- Re-built versions of old maps, with higher fidelity textures and lighting
- Dynamic smoke from, for example. smoke grenades, that reacts to the environment
Gameplay footage shows smoke being blown aside by HE grenades, and bullets making holes in smoke clouds.
Developers have taken a three-pronged approach to the existing map set. Some maps are only being lightly retouched, some are being completely overhauled and some a combination of the two approaches.
Valve also said that Source 2 tools will be available to community mapmakers to help enhance their existing maps for CS2.
Existing players are being selected by Valve for the CS2 demo based on a number of factors, including what it calls a “trust factor”, and also how much time players have put in on official servers.
Steam statistics show that on average 820k people were playing CS:GO at any one time over the last 30 days and that as a trend, use is growing. The all-time peak simultaneous users is 1.4m, and observers estimate monthly users over 10m.
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