author: Karol Laska
CS 2 Gives Me 3 Reasons to Return to Game That Used to Bore Me
Counter Strike 2 exists and living to see its release suddenly isn't impossible anymore. Charm of memories and a handful of hopes – doubts were not raised. It will be an instinctive return to the game that I love and hate at the same time.
My experience of CSGO was largely about trying to get promoted from the effin abyss of silver while playing inside a slightly rude, but otherwise very friendly team. These were carefree, juvenile years, but they were also intense. It amounted to over 300 hours of lucky headshots, missed grenade throws, and brazenly abused friendly fire and voice chat. I don't regret anything, but since I didn't intend to have a career in e-sports, I finally got bored – free time slowly became a scarcer commodity for myself and others, making the usual evening game more challenging, not to mention finding the time to discuss advanced strategies such as which exact second of the match will be best to give my friend a lift up and help them get on the wall near the spawn at de_dust2.
And so, Counter-Strike became a song of the past, expired, sporadically returning in ephemeral memories. Then suddenly Valve threw a "flashbang" straight at my feet, without any warning. And although rumors had been circulating on the forums, although even pashaBiceps recently discussed upcoming plans of Gabe Newell, I was so oblivious to it all that the news rocked my world. CS 2 becomes a reality. First as a preview, and in the summer as a game/update/reiteration, or whatever else it becomes. Memories came rushing back again and they don't want to disappear. And what I see in the Counter-Strike 2 trailers tells me one thing: "You'll rush B more than once or twice in your life, kid." And there are exactly three reasons for it.
1. God-damn smoke grenades
Sure, I know, it may seem absurd to someone unfamiliar with CS, but it's no coincidence that Valve started promoting the new Counter-Strike with the smokes. I've always hated them because I didn’t know how to use them and felt helpless against them. I couldn't learn the right positions, angles, timing and so on. Now, however, a revolution in the way smoke grenades work will radically change the game from the tactical perspective and make it more pleasant for all slobs like me.
The smoke will obey the constraints of the environment (no more visual bugs), shooting through it will make it easier to see through smoke for a moment, and we'll even be able to stop smoke from spreading by detonating a frag grenade near the smoke grenade. Simple and effective. For me, it's a dream-come-true. For the pros, it's probably the beginning of new strategy concepts.
2. Reflections that will burn computers
After CS 2, no one expects visual bells and whistles. Wrong address, wrong series, wrong valve. But, but... There's no point trying to make a new game look old; there comes a time when the capabilities of the Source 2 engine finally have to be harnessed. With just a few screens of the brand new Overpass and Aztec, Valve convinced me that no fundamental changes were necessary in terms of assets and environmental effects. Nice reflections, tweaked lighting, upscaled textures here and there seem enough to suddenly make all the maps feel a bit more alive, less crude and gloomy, even if the colors may seem a little too saturated.
In the era of ray tracing, DLSSs and other such inventions, the whole thing may look a bit archaic and even silly, but the old guard will appreciate consistency. And let's face it, the oldest, e-sports-oriented players will probably use modded crosshairs in 800x600 resolution anyway. Every millisecond counts, remember!
3. A promise of growth
Life will finally return to CS, and not only in tournaments! Maybe I'm exaggerating, maybe the game was fine, but CS 2 will be played by millions of gamers (including me and some of my dinosaur friends), and of this, I'm 100% sure – just look at the hyper-enthusiastic online response after three short videos. This announcement was indeed hot.
An influx of returning players should also entail, at least I hope so, a creative and extensive post-launch support (slightly less intense, but still spanning many years – that's for sure). It should be fun to revisit the game that, seemingly recently, provided so many extreme emotions. Because you know what? The year 2023, abundant in highly anticipated games, is slowly accelerating, and it looks like the summer may be a time when many people devote their time to gaming again. We will climb space mountains named after Todd Howard in Starfield, and between RPG sessions in the new Baldur's Gate, we will play carefully-planned, economic matches armed with a Glock and wearing a kevlar vest. Although the P90 for just over two K is so tempting...