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Counter-Strike 2 Is Real, Coming Summer 2023

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Counter-Strike 2 is not only real, but it's going to be here by this summer. That's according to videos just posted to Valve's official YouTube channel explaining some of the new Technology coming in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive sequel.

The first video discussed Counter-Strike 2's "new Game engine" that allows it to create dynamic new smoke grenades. The new smoke grenades produce "volumetric 3D objects that live in the world," meaning every player sees the same smoke and that smoke can react to lighting and even the passing of a player's bullets.

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Counter-Strike 2's second video discussed the "new look" of maps coming to the sequel. Some maps will remain entirely the same in terms of layout but will receive minor improvements to textures and lighting, while other maps will receive more impressive upgrades thanks to the Source 2 engine. These include new lighting that produces realistic reflections depending on the material the light is reflecting off of. The oldest Counter-Strike maps, however, will be completely "rebuilt from the ground up, leveraging all of the Source 2 tools and rendering features."

Finally, Counter-Strike's netcode will be improved to "move beyond tick rate." The original CS:GO measured time intervals in terms of "ticks"--tiny increments that determined when things happen. Normally, this mechanic produced seamless Gameplay, but every so often a conflict would arise where two actions happened on the same tick and the Game has to figure out which action takes precedence. That changes with Counter-Strike 2 thanks to "sub-tick updates" that provide each action with a specific time stamp. Tick-rate still exists, but it no longer matters in determining who fires first. Or as Valve describes it, "What you see is what you get."

The news comes after years of rumors that reached their peak starting earlier this month when sources said that CS2 was "right around the corner." Following that, files leaked online that referenced CS:GO 2, Source 2, and even Left 4 Dead 3, although that last one was likely a holdover from before Left 4 Dead 3 was canceled years ago. Counter-Strike 2, however, stayed in development, with Valve filing a trademark just a few days ago. Today's announcement confirms that not only does Counter-Strike 2 exist, but each video says the sequel will be coming to Steam later this summer.

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