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 a wide-ranging bunch of questions about the game, its history, and its future: and one of those was about the in-game hardware. Does Valve have plans to introduce new weapons over the game's lifespan?
"Yes," says the CS2 dev team. "It's not the top priority at the moment, but we absolutely plan to introduce some new weapons for CS2. We're always looking for ways to give players more interesting decisions to make in the game, so we'll typically look at cases where players either don't have the right tools to approach a situation, or have only one or two tools available. Where is the gameplay getting stale? What kind of weapon might shake up the status quo?
"Over the ten years of CS:GO we learned some occasionally painful lessons about how to gracefully introduce a new weapon to the game. We think we have a handle on how to approach this in the future, and with the customizable loadouts in CS2, shipping weapons should be even more straightforward."
This is great to hear, though maybe not the most surprising statement of intent after CS:GO, which over its lifespan introduced several new pieces of kit: my particular favourite is the Zeus x27, a low-cost taser that can be an excellent eco investment and doubles as a top-tier trolling tool. I think the majority of players would agree that's been a great addition from the start while, as alluded to, others had bumpier introductions.
"When we launched the R8 pistol it had some significant bugs," says the CS2 dev team. "Those bugs were fixed the next day (and the weapon's damage was lowered the day after that), but because the gun was introduced in every game mode, that period affected everyone and was very disruptive. Among the many things we learned from the R8 was to be more careful in shipping new (or major changes to) weapons, to let players put them through their paces before making them available everywhere."
Funny thing is that, while Valve's obviously correct, the R8 launch has some fond memories for me. It arrived as part of CS:GO's big 2015 Winter Update and was so broken that we had to get a specialist in to explain just how bad things were. But by the same token it was hilarious that this uber-balanced competitive shooter had, for a few days, a totally unbalanced hand cannon that everyone was using exclusively. The speed of the fix is probably why I do remember it fondly, because it made those few days seem almost like a novelty mode. Valve so rarely gets these things wrong that, when it does, you look back on it like a little treat.
Here's the full PCG interview with the Valve CS2 dev team about the game's past, present, and future.