Counter Strike 2 – first look and impressions

On 22.03.2023 Valve anounced the successor to Counter Strike Global Offensive one of the most famous shooters all time. Now with the release of the Beta access we can take a close look at what has been changed and what stayed the same.

New elements?

When developing the successor to a game that has such a huge fanbase as CS:GO and is even widely adopted in e-sport one should of course make sure to keep the basic gameplay elements to maintain the fanbase. In general it is a good idea to stick with what worked and only change where its needed.

Upon looking at CS2 it is definitley visible that Valve tried to implement this idea. Most of the key game mechanic elements haven’t changed at all meaning that the old iconic maps are still there as you would expect it and that every weapon you know and love is still at the same place in the buying menu as in CS:GO.

MP7 texture

This of course also counts for skins of various kinds. Meaning you will be able to transfer your bought weapon skins seamlesly from CS:GO into Counter Strike 2 which actually might result in them looking better.

trails left behind by the bullet

What changed though is everything around these crucial elements. Like shooting animations, rendering engine, texture design and much more graphically related.

One of these graphically renewed elements though is the new smoke grenade which has been changed so that one can shoot through it leaving a trail in the cloud behind. This also works with grenades which blast a quite big chunk of smoke away allowing for a more tactical grenade use.

New Graphics!

Even though there are no complety new elements that have been put into the game everything has been graphically overhauled and put into the new source 2 engine as you can see from the many images in this article. This can be seen at some maps which have been completly redesigned (graphically) while others where just ported into source 2.

shiny Desert Eagle in source 2 graphics

Aside from the maps, the weapon textures have also been improved with a more refined look, particularly in terms of surface texture and sheen.

As I already mentioned the grenades also play a vital role in the update by being completly redesigned aswell as remodeled with smokes now creating different shapes depending on their environment room. When shooting through the smoke your bullets will also leave holes behind.

Evolution vs Revolution

As you might wonder while reading this, one wouldnt call this a whole new game worthy of the “2” in its name. Counter strike 2 thought can also just be seen as an “update” to CS:GO which puts the minor differences much more into a resonable frame. As it currently looks Valve will actually treat the game exactly like that and will offer it as a really big “Update” to CS:GO.

Any drawbacks?

Considering the improved graphics CS2 is of course expected to have a lower performance than CS:GO and higher hardware needs. Although the game is still in development and will be improved keep in mind that you will probably lose some fps to the graphics.


All in all I have the impression that CS2 will be a great update to CS:GO. Updating the graphics with the cost of lower FPS might seem like a bad trade in a e sport oriented competitive shooter but it also keeps Counter Strike as a genre alive due to a fresher feeling with a well established game mechanic. It is also not clear which features will stay in the new game. In the end though we will need to wait for the final release expected to happen in summer 2023.

In the meanwhile you can take a look at two other free shooters you can play with your friends or at half life, the grandfather of all counter strike games.

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