Counter-Strike 2, the first direct sequel to one of the most important games in PC history, released on September 27 after roughly six months in a limited test period. PC Gamer recently had the chance to ask the Counter-Strike 2 development team at Valve wide-ranging questions about the game, and one of those was about the modes CS2 doesn't have.
The CS2 release focuses on the competitive side of the game, which is obviously the most important thing to get right. But ever since Counter-Strike's earliest days, fans have played this game in countless non-competitive ways: there's most notably the whole surfing scene, as well as other community modes that eventually found their way into the game proper with modes like Arms Race. But certain community modes brought-in to CS:GO proper haven't yet made the transition, so we asked Valve what the plan was.
"Those modes haven't been forgotten! We have plans to re-introduce popular game modes and explore others," says the CS2 dev team. "That being said, all game modes, regardless of their rules, fundamentally depend on solid core gameplay. So in the short term we have been keeping our development focused on the spaces where players spend the overwhelming amount of their collective time.
"It's a trade-off, and understandably frustrating for players who primarily enjoyed other game modes, but we believe this is the best approach for the long-term success of CS2."
So watch this space. It's hard to argue with Valve's reasoning here, and also easy to forget that CS:GO itself didn't launch with many of the ways to play that later became hugely popular. I suspect a lot of the grousing is also down to player habits: there's much complaining about the absence of Arms Race, for example, which many myself included used as a warm-up before plunging into the brutality and precision of full-on competitive.
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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."