Counter-Strike 2 official key art for the updated competitive shooter

After spending a fair bit of time in testing, it looks like Valve has decided that Counter-Strike 2 is now finally ready for its big debut. And so, without any prior warning and without much fanfare, Counter-Strike 2 has now been unleashed as a free update to CS:GO!

The Source 2 powered Counter-Strike 2 brings with it greatly improved visuals and audio, smoother online play, enhanced Workshop modding tools, updated ranked play, as well as a whole bunch of gameplay tweaks. The most important of these are the new smoke grenades as they no longer produce simple spheres, but rather dynamically fill the environment with smoke which can be affected by shooting or using HE grenades. Needless to say, it's an incredible change, and one that's bound to shake things up on even the most classic of maps.

As for what all of this looks like in action, that you can check out through the freshly posted launch trailer which, for the first time in quite a while, has been released alongside the game's actual launch! Anyway, have a look:

While Counter-Strike 2 feels and plays somewhat differently than CS:GO, it's important to note that it's essentially the same game. So if you're a fan of the original, or competitive shooters in general, Counter-Strike 2 is definitely worth checking out, especially since it's free-to-play! On the other hand, if the Counter-Strike series hasn't managed to win you over by this point, chances are good that Counter-Strike 2 won't be able to change your mind.

Whatever the case may be, you can learn more about Counter-Strike 2, as well as give it a try for free, over at Steam. Enjoy!