In the week just ended, the entire industry experienced two important events – new things for Unreal Engine 5 presented by Epic Games and the announcement of the long-awaited Counter-Strike 2. One of them turned into a huge disappointment in my eyes.
In recent months, we have witnessed a real revolution in the field of a new generation of game engines. Epic Games showcases the amazing Unreal Engine 5 Every now and then, Unity buys new comps for the power to keep up with the competitor. At the same time, Valve is introducing the new generation of its flagship franchise – Counter-Strike. Following the title of today’s article, you can already conclude that I personally am very disappointed with what the Steam platform authorities have given us.
mod to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
My disappointment (and perhaps not only me) is due to several factors that Valve could have easily avoided if it had learned from its history and the actions of competitors. First, let’s look at the history of Counter-Strike itself. As you well know, the series debuted as a simple modification of the already popular Half-Life, which flew on the so-called GoldSrc engine by Valve, which, in turn, was based on the Quake engine. The Counter-Strike mod immediately caused such a stir that Valve themselves bought the rights to it, only to turn it into a full-fledged separate game the following year. This is how CS 1.0 was born – a true legend and undisputed success, appearing on almost every box. Although not always legal. The quantum leap between a mod and a product we can buy on store shelves was huge. For those times, of course. Every element of the game was improved, a number of custom maps were made and the game was developed over the next few years until Legendary version 1.6 from 2003.
Then Valve experimented a bit with the story version formula from CS, which they secretly worked on Counter-Strike: Condition Zero. Eventually, however, as you know, the project was finished by Turtle Rock Studios, and Ritual Entertainment’s work was made available as an add-on called Deleted Scenes for PC and Xbox. Was it a great revolution then? Unfortunately no. Condition Zero looked a little better than Counter-Strike 1.6, but by today’s standards we’d call it more CS HD than a completely new standalone game. However, Valve had an ace up its sleeve.
Just 8 months after Turtle Rock Studios debuted, Gaben employees released Counter-Strike: Source. And yes, it was a revolution. The Americans introduced the Source engine for the first time and showed that its potential would be huge! For 2004 we got great looking graphics, lots of new flavors, effects, improved gameplay mechanics and all in all we felt like CS had entered a whole new generation!
Counter Strike 2? Rather Counter-Strike: Global Offensive HD
For 8 years we have been able to enjoy the great-looking, but clearly aging CS: Source, which also stood in the shadow of the immortal CS 1.6 for a long time. But in 2012, it was time for Valve’s next approach to revolutionize the Counter-Strike brand – Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was destined to do so. Well, what can I say, Steam owners swept away the competition, showing their paw and proving that they can still get a lot of fun from old CS. Of course, the server load of several hundred thousand simultaneous players was not reached immediately, but in terms of technology, we saw a real revolution.
The improved Source Engine has allowed Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment to make a better shooting system and many small changes affecting the gameplay. Graphically, everything was really impressive (although not as impressive as Battlefield or Call of Duty) and showed the power of the next generation of CS. That was in 2012. After 3 years, Gaben and company introduced the Source 2 engine, the first showcase of which was DOTA 2. The second generation of Valve’s proprietary engine is full of great solutions and offers an endless variety of possibilities in multiplayer games. Unfortunately, while this engine debuted in 2015, we had to wait another 8 years for Valve to port Counter-Strike: Global Offensive from the old source to Source 2.
Such a change was absolutely necessary for CS: GO, because the title began to stand out from the competition more and more every year – although Valorant was never able to break the hegemony of the game Valve, although 11 years after the premiere, the cult production began It looks worse and worse. So it was certain that the switch to the new engine had to be done as soon as possible. A few days ago, the day finally came when Valve showed off CS on the Source 2 engine. Unfortunately, that was a huge disappointment to me and many other gamers. Why?
Counter-Strike 2, as Valve calls their new product, is really Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on gentle steroids. The changes introduced in the gameplay are certainly a plus and for that much respect to Gaben, but visually and technically it’s just an update of an existing game with the latest software, which in my opinion definitely doesn’t deserve to be promoted as CS 2. After the title, you should expect Counter – Strike 2 setting and changes worthy of 2023, not 2015 as it was presented to us a few days ago. Every material on which we can see the upcoming game in action clearly shows that it’s still CS:GO, just in a slightly improved version, which I’d personally call Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Remastered rather than CS 2.
This is what competition does!
Therefore, I personally think that the changes that Valve offers us are comparable to the situation from 2004, when CS 1.6 migrated to Condition Zero – it was still the same game, but a little prettier and with a slight modification in the gameplay. However, I myself expected that we would experience something like the transition from CS 1.6 to CS: Source or from Source to GO. In its current state and for the time being, Valve should stick with the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive name and stop pretending to be giving us a new title. We had one example of how this could play out with Overwatch and Overwatch 2. A much better example for Gaben and company is set by the rest of the industry competitors. In the case of great gaming services like Counter-Strike: GO, this mod should look like years ago in the case of League of Legends or World of Warcraft, which received a graphical rework and transition to a better version of the engine, and the creators somehow didn’t pretend that we were getting LoL 2 and WOW 2.
It’s the same now with games moving from Unreal Engine 4 to Unreal Engine 5. The indie company Satisfactory announced yesterday the move to a newer engine from Epic Games and somehow didn’t announce it would be Satisfactory 2.0 – and there will be a lot of changes, because apart from the visual improvements We’ll get a better driving model and change the physics. Epic Games has done the same with Fortnite. In this case, the jump from UE4 to UE5 and UE5.1 is not equivalent to a huge explosion and announcements like “Well, now we bring you Fortnite 2 because we have a new engineYou have to be honest with yourself and clearly show what you want to offer the players.
The evolution of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in Counter-Strike 2 is just a bit of a misunderstanding, but I’m sure the game will be a hit, crossing the player pool at one point from the current 1.5 million to a good 2.5. -3 million players. What do you think that? It’s good that Valve announced CS 2, but after Monday in the name, did I expect much bigger changes?
“Prone to fits of apathy. Introvert. Award-winning internet evangelist. Extreme beer expert.”
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