For a huge chunk of the PC gaming community, Counter-Strike defined team-based first-person shooters. Now there’s a sequel: Counter-Strike 2, which will debut this summer from Valve Software. You can test it out, too.
The game’s developers describe it as “the next era of Counter-Strike,” and it’s not hard to see why. Counter-Strike 2‘s gameplay video looks up-to-date and that’s saying something, especially for a game that players have valued more for its gameplay than anything else. Counter-Strike 2 will be released as a free upgrade to the current Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).
Counter-Strike 2‘s new features include:
- Upgraded and overhauled maps
- Game-changing dynamic smoke grenades
- Tick-rate-independent gameplay
- Redesigned visual effects and audio
Smoke grenades sound interesting, as they’ll now be volumetric objects that can react to their environments, including being pushed away by bullets and even grenades. You’ll see it expand to fill spaces, as you’d expect it to.
There are also updates for how Counter-Strike 2 manages player interactions. Today, that’s overseen by what’s known as a “tick rate,” where the server “checks” what each player’s doing on a regular “tick.” Now, things are a bit different.
“Sub-tick updates are the heart of Counter-Strike 2,” the developers say. Previously, the server only evaluated the world in discrete time intervals (called ticks). Thanks to Counter-Strike 2’s sub-tick update architecture, servers know the exact instant that motion starts, a shot is fired, or a ‘nade is thrown. As a result, regardless of tick rate, your moving and shooting will be equally responsive and your grenades will always land the same way.”
So, how do you join the Counter-Strike 2 beta? Well, if you’re a frequent player you stand a better chance.
“Players are selected for the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test based on a number of factors deemed important by the Counter-Strike 2 development team, including (but not limited to) recent playtime on Valve official servers, trust factor, and Steam account standing,” the team tweeted.
Talk about a big day for PC gaming. If Counter-Strike was part of your life growing up, then you can revisit your childhood beginning this summer.