Counter-Strike 2's release has brought with it some much-needed changes

Group of characters together
(Image credit: Valve)

Counter-Strike fans have finally received some good news as Valve officially launched CS2 last night for all to enjoy, and luckily, the release comes with some much-needed changes. 

For those who don't know, CS2 is now available to download for free on Steam. Unfortunately, this does mean that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is no longer available to play. While this is undoubtedly a sad notion, it's fair to say that players have been itching for some serious upgrades for a while now. 

Playing CS2 is a breath of fresh air, not only because Valve has managed to stay true to the DNA of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive while polishing it up for new audiences. From my time playing, even simple features like the movement as you bunny hop around the Dust II feels exactly like it should. 

While it's nice to have some similarities with CS:GO, this is technically a sequel, so it's equally as important for players to get some serious upgrades with the new FPS. Otherwise, it could trap itself in the same pitfalls as Overwatch 2, as a sequel that some players feel isn't pulling its own weight. 

Luckily, there are a few fun upgrades that make matches at least slightly more interesting. The way in which you can interact with smoke grenades will surely make for some engaging match fights, as you can temporarily disperse the cloud by spraying bullets or using a HE grenade. 

There's also the brilliant introduction of a refund option when choosing your loadout. Now, at least, there's a sliver of hope in convincing that one stubborn teammate to go eco (not spend their money for a round) so the whole team can full-buy (spend all their money on weapons) for the next round and mess up the opposition. 

Besides this, it's nice to see a visually sharper and more vibrant Counter-Strike, especially as many players have invested heavily in skins. Now, with the graphical upgrades, you can admire these in better detail. It'll be interesting to see how the community bears with these changes, no matter how small they may seem. 

For the time being, check out these fantastic Steam games and FPS titles that are available to play right now.

Elie Gould
Features Writer

Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for their student publications. 

Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokémon but they've taken the natural next step in the horror genre. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on their list to play - despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased.