Counter-Strike 2 comes with Half-Life: Alyx's most needlessly impressive graphics quirk

Counter-Strike 2 liquid in bottle shader

(Image credit: Valve)

It looks like Counter-Strike 2 comes with one of our favourite graphical quirks from Half-Life: Alyx, namely extraordinarily realistic liquids in bottles.

We've spoken before about our love of realistic liquids in Half-Life: Alyx. The feature was patched in after the game's release and immediately became a fan favourite. I remember thinking at the time that it's the most realistically sloshy bottle I've ever laid my mortal eyes on. In a game, that is.

In Alyx, it was all made possible by a shader that cleverly makes a bottle appear as though it's both translucent and filled with liquid, but the back-end of the engine isn't actually running any sort of liquid simulation to do it. Clever stuff. That was intended to take some of the performance hit you might expect out of something looking like this, which could be surprisingly demanding if done with genuine fluid dynamics.

Both Half-Life: Alyx and Counter-Strike 2 share the same graphics engine: Source 2. And it looks like that's how this popular graphics quirk has made the leap from Alyx's grubby booze bottles to molotov cocktails in the competitive FPS. 

Take a look at it in action in the short video from the official CS2 website.

Counter-Strike 2 will launch as a free upgrade to CS:GO this summer, and in the meantime there's a limited test ongoing right now.


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Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would go on to run the team as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top staff as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industries and testing the newest PC components.