Valve’s Biggest Game Is Finally Getting A Sequel

Counter-Strike 2 is scheduled to release in the Summer of 2023.  

By Jason Collins | Published


Valve’s biggest game ever—no, not Team Fortress 2, but the one investigated by the FBI—is finally getting a sequel, more than a decade after its original release in 2012. The announcement of Counter-Strike 2 came just last week after the fandom discovered references to the game inside NVIDIA Control Panel. Numerous online sources subsequently confirmed the sequel’s existence, and many have since speculated that the game would launch in March or April.

However, according to the game’s official website, the official release window for Counter-Strike 2 is Summer 2023. The previously mentioned March release date actually refers to the game’s closed beta testing, with Valve handpicking and inviting gamers privileged to see and test the new game on Valve’s secure servers. Current closed-beta testers can play Deathmatches and Unranked Competitive matches in the Dust2 map, with all of their CS: GO items readily available in the sequel and the accrued XP gathered during testing transferring to the official release.

The handful of players given a chance to test the game will also witness Counter-Strike 2’s newest features, and one of those is the significantly improved smoke grenade effect, which is now a dynamic volumetric object that interacts with the environment and reacts with gunfire and explosions, which can be used to briefly clear sightlines. The way it expands and fills the space looks rather realistic, and the fact that it reacts with the improved lighting only attests to the fact.  


But smoke effects are only minor improvements Valve brought to Counter-Strike 2, the first major gaming title developed by Valve in the past decade. We’re not saying that the company hasn’t developed or published any gaming titles; we’re saying that none of those are as prominent as 2012’s CS: GO and 2013’s Dota 2. We previously discussed the possibility of Valve developing Portal 3, which is apparently already on the way, but there hasn’t been any news about that particular game in quite some time now.

Well, at least Counter-Strike fans are happy, and to be honest, the sequel has been long overdue. CS: GO was a competitive shooter, and Counter-Strike 2 will likely continue down the same path, and there’s nothing more annoying for competitive gamers than lag. Valve finally decided to remove tick rates in the new game, which were known to cause slight input lags in the original, resulting in plenty of missed shots that would otherwise hit the target and even perhaps decide the match.

By eliminating tick rates, the servers will immediately register player action, which drops input lag.  

It’s also important to note that nearly all the prominent game maps from the original have made their way to Counter-Strike 2, and Valve recreated each map using its proprietary Steam 2 engine. This leads us to our closing point: the core gameplay mechanics of Counter-Strike 2 are pretty much the same as CS: GO, with only a couple of new features that make the gaming experience feel more realistic. We don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, but this feels more like a remake, something along the lines of a 10-Year Anniversary Edition, than the actual, separate game.

Please note that we actually weren’t invited to play the closed beta, so we might be in the wrong here. But considering that live service games, such as Overwatch 2 and the controversial Warzone 2, actually retain core gameplay and launch new content and features, this isn’t all that surprising. Counter-Strike 2 is scheduled to release in the Summer of 2023.