Counter-Strike 2 adds Wingman mode and 'our first overhauled map'

The CS2 key art.
(Image credit: Valve)

This March brought the moment every Counter-Strike: Global Offensive fan had been waiting for. Following months of frenzied speculation and things like trademarks being spotted, Valve announced the upcoming release of Counter-Strike 2 this summer: a complete overhaul and rebuild of the game, free-to-play, with everything carrying over.

Ever since the announcement a limited test of Counter-Strike 2 has been ongoing, with Valve switching a small number of maps and features around as it fine-tunes the game for public release. Probably the funniest thing about this is that when distributing access Valve deliberately cut-out players with a record of cheating or griefing, but I digress, because now the developer's added two new maps, including one that's a full rework of an existing CS:GO map, and the 2v2 Wingman game mode. Wingman especially is a welcome addition that was first added to CS:GO in 2017, and offers a more bitesize experience as well as one it's much easier to assemble a team for.

The new maps are Overpass (added to all modes) and Vertigo (Deathmatch and Casual only for now), and their arrival sees the gorgeous Nuke and Office removed. Which is kind of a shame, because seriously: this new version of Nuke made me want to work in a fictional power plant.

It's Overpass that's had the big rework here, and I've just had a quick tootle around. This thing is sumptuous, with the new level of detail immediately obvious in things like the corridor interiors and playpark, and while the layout isn't changed enormously there are notable adjustments to some wall bang spots and sightlines. Mostly, though, I just spent five minutes gawping at the water at the lower part of the level, which shimmers and makes me thirsty. Thirsty to score an ace on defence!

"We are excited to ship our first overhauled map into the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test, de_overpass, alongside de_vertigo," said the CS2 dev account. "Vertigo is playable [in] Casual and Deathmatch modes. Overpass is available to play in Casual, Deathmatch, Competitive, and Wingman (new!)."

Alongside this there are a bunch of miscellaneous fixes, and I for one am glad to see the halftime countdown return:

  • Added the "Secondary Fire Hold" option to the input settings menu
  • The halftime countdown timer is now visible
  • Fixed a case where the camera would not interpolate correctly when switching between chase and roaming spectator modes.
  • Fixed a case where the viewmodel weapon would disappear for one frame when switching in-eye spectator targets.
  • Added leading zeroes on StatTrak module
  • Glove patterns and wear now more closely align with CS:GO versions
  • Various improvements to foil stickers
  • Various adjustments to the size of stickers applied to weapons

Valve has not yet announced when Counter-Strike 2 will launch, though it has made clear that the recent Paris Major would be the last official competitive event for CS:GO. Counter-Strike 2's limited test has thrown up plenty to get excited about so far (even a Half-Life reference), from major mechanical changes like smoke physics to silly things like being able to inspect grenades. It's even clearly been taking notes on some of the competition. But that competition knows what Valve has been saying from the start with this: the only Counter-Strike killer is Counter-Strike 2. As for Valorant and its ilk, well, another one bites de_dust.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."