Today Valve surprise released Counter-Strike 2 following a few months in limited testing after the announcement of the game back in March 2023.
The game is now available to download on Steam for free, albeit a paid option to acquire Prime status is available, similar to the game's predecessor, CS:GO.
Prime members are matched with each other and will receive exclusive souvenir items, item drops, and weapon cases.
While the game is basically considered a new one, you could also see it as an upgrade for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
For those who aren't familiar with the early test version of the game, it comes with the following goodies:
- All-new CS Ratings with the updated Premier mode
- Global and Regional leaderboards
- Upgraded and overhauled maps
- Game-changing dynamic smoke grenades
- Tick-rate-independent gameplay
- Redesigned visual effects and audio
- All items from CS:GO moving forward to CS2
To celebrate the release, Valve also released a trailer showing some gameplay and celebrating the franchise's competitive eSport roots.
Valve calls Counter-Strike 2 "the largest technical leap forward in Counter-Strike's history" and promises updates for years to come.
It'll certainly be interesting to see if this new iteration will manage to match or surpass the success of its predecessors, which basically shaped the competitive shooter genre over many years since the release of the original Counter-Strike in 2000.
Some may not know that the series actually saw its debut in 1999 as a mod for Half-Life before becoming its own independent product the following year.