Counter-Strike 2 Surprise Releases, Out Now For Free
Valve's long-awaited sequel has arrived.
The rumors were right: Valve officially launched Counter-Strike 2 today, with very little advanced warning. The company often does its own thing, and launching a sequel to one of the most successful games ever basically out of nowhere certainly lives up to that legacy.
As confirmed by Valve in the video below, the free-to-play sequel to Counter-Strike is now available on Steam. There's no word on a release on other platforms at this time.
CS2 runs on the Source 2 engine and features improved visuals and Workshop tools, overhauled maps, a new ratings system, dynamic smoke grenades, and more. It replaces its predecessor, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Counter-Strike 2 was first announced back in March as a free update to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, with all earned items in CS:GO carrying over to the new game. A limited test was offered to current CS:GO players, with invitations to the test sent to users based on parameters like playing time and Steam account status.
The first announcement also came with three separate videos detailing major upgrades to the game, which were as follows:
- Leveling Up The World, which focused on map upgrades
- Moving Beyond Tick Rate, which detailed new movement and shooting mechanics
- Responsive Smokes, which discussed new "dynamic volumetric" smoke grenades
The latest update for the Counter-Strike 2 limited test was posted to the game's official website on August 31. The post revealed a new map, Inferno, would be coming in the next update, as well as the new CS Rating ranking system.