Valve Talks Counter-Strike 2 Potential

By Nick Breckon, Mar 01, 2008 12:53pm PST The topic of a full Counter-Strike sequel has been cautiously broached by Valve during a series of interviews with GameTrailers TV.

"We will never abandon Counter-Strike," asserted Valve director of marketing Doug Lombardi, who went on to explain why the game hasn't received a major update since the release of Counter-Strike Source in 2004.

"It's a little bit unfair to compare Counter-Strike, I think, to your classic game that's gonna have these sequels. It looks a little bit more like an MMO where it's constantly [being updated]."

Of course, even the most successful MMOs get sequels eventually, and it appears that Valve is at least tentatively working out the details of a Counter-Strike refresh.

"With Counter-Strike 2, there's a big question between, do we go start over from scratch and build this whole new game, do we do something that looks more like Team Fortress 2 that is rooted in the old game but has a ton of new stuff, or do we just sort of take everything that's new that we've released and put that out in a new box," remarked Lombardi.

"I think we're leaning more towards the two more radical places than just sort of rolling up the new box and reskinning the box and putting out all the new stuff."

But will the game truly go the way of Team Fortress and end up in the new "cartoon shooter" genre?

"Oh I doubt that," Lombardi said, laughing.

"I just don't think that [Counter-Strike 2] would be a good fit [with Half-Life Episode 3]," added Valve co-founder Gabe Newell, noting that the potential game would be a stand-alone product in his eyes.

Newell closed with a dangerous challenge: "But if I get 15,000 emails from customers in response to this interview telling me 'Of course it should be in [the next Orange Box],' then of course we'll pay attention to that."

Click here to comment...


49 Threads* | 182 Comments

  • I think that a new counterstrike is needed. The Cs games are legendary and still running hot but its time to improve some things to keep up with its competitors. Graphics is a must and yes a more destructable enviorment. it would be nice to blow up some stairs or a bridge once in a while also. But the basic you win you get the money works and that is a good way to keep it going. I wouldn't like to see the game become like cod or any of those games. And of course CSS was a fallout many people dislike it due to its bad hitboxes and the movement of the characters. New guns would also be a plus.

  • Why are alot of people comparing this to a PURELY tactical shooter? We don't need another CoD, Rainbow Six, or Ghost Recon. Those are good games, but generally less appealing to the masses. CS:S and CS 1.6 have some of those elements, and can be played as such, but I would love to see better player models, updated levels with HDR and more destructive enviroments. I like the way CS:S and CS 1.6 are now, except for those updates. I'd really like to toss a nade into a hallway in office, and have a player get smashed by a file cabinet as it is blown up...that is a nice touch.

    I don't want to "upgrade" my player. I think having a balanced, straight forward "winning team gets the cash" approach is fine. I like the player modes they have are fine (and I even like the gungame or Team DeathMatch mods they have too), and I like that although it is based on a real world type of model/map, that there isnt a crappy one shot one kill that is so prevalent in tactical/realism based games today. I'd add a few guns, add a few models, update maps, and add some physics.

    No gun jams. No long switches between weapons. No running recovery. No goddamn iron sights. A crosshair, bullets, nades, and fun. Fun being the main focus.

  • Epic late night rambling: A solid tactical MP shooter without the weight and clumsiness of a simulation, I could see their focus being on slight identifiers such as every weapon having a different (slight) firing stance. Animations of tactically correct (if there is such a phrase) movements and procedures of handling weapons and equipment, but with very strong exaggerations on the animation, to give it a good feel that would be unique to the game. For example, running at a high rate of speed around a corner would have a very stylized motion, done so well that a single (potentially abstracted) snapshot of it would immediately communicate a feeling of speed, control, movement, etc.. (just take a look at any master illustrators, painters, design theories etc)

    They could include features such as bullet penetration, but still give it that extra stylized edge, the type of intensity and motion that makes action movies so fun to watch. Bullets may rip through a piece of drywall, and then, in a feeling of the best Japanese animation or any other stylized abstraction of movement, effectively capture the appropriate motions and sounds for bullets ricocheting off the concrete floor and hitting nearby steel girders, triggering dust particle effects from a cluster of aesthetically pleasing barrels nearby... all without actually "realistically" solving a bullet ricochet behavior, or even the initial bullet penetration.

    Then other details such as seeing all equipped gear on the models, down to bullet clips remaining, except these items themselves would have their own easily identifiable qualities to them (almost stylized again), and their own animations (or physics settings is another route), that cause them to add secondary motion to the character animation in a way that works mimicking the effect of an object having trails that allow you to perceive the overall motion over time (not motion blur, more like a squid moving through water, or even more stylized those sentinels in the matrix), this would also allow you slight advantage in visually predicting movement of the enemy you are looking at, that would also aid in placing shots and all that kind of stuff, things which you don't consciously think about in a fast paced game, but likely do have an effect that is added into the overall feeling of movement and feedback in a game.

    they could also do interesting things with voicechat, CS Source includes voice chat and everyone tends to use it. In the real world if you were standing nearby someone talking on a radio you would hear their voice in the area around them (depending how loud), you may also hear replies from their radio. I think that a feature like that would immensely add to the realistic detail of a tactical multiplayer shooter..

    I also think that COD4 has proven that iron sight based aiming can be done in a fun method and also satisfy "realism", or at least add to the overall feeling of realism that a game has. So it would be great to see a CS2 pull from existing things like that, while tailoring them to match it's own very unique style.

    I think an important thing only recently being worked on is how characters are seen in-game touching their environment, I'm not talking being able to pick up and manipulate items, but more about what happens (what feedback) when you see a character go running along a wall, or near objects that are slightly below standing height or provide intermittent cover ( wood slat fence, a shot-apart wilted looking van or larger vehicle) If conditions like those caused animations of observed characters to shift to slightly more low-profile or "aware" stances, it would add a lot. Same with observing characters running along a wall, leaning and turning away from the wall in a recognizable way. You already see that they are by the wall and are getting that feedback, but the added slight characteristics of the animation changing gives more feedback and adds to the overall realism, without having any reliance on hampering fun... It would boost the stylistic, exaggerated motion, and overall sense of purposely directed (or movie-like) action.

    CS Source (and 1.6) already do a great job with the weapon recognition based on sound, a CS2 would have to extend that even further, into characteristics of room by room spaces of the environment, you already, after playing a map a number of times, become familiar with how each space looks. Then a player further identifies that to common behaviors you see others do in those areas.. Having unique audio characteristics (modeled by the environment) would add even more feedback to the multiplayer experience, similar to secondary motion that echos the overall motion of a characters movement in the space, or the characters perceived "awareness" of the surroundings by shifts in animation.

    Another thing that popped into my head is observing another character's clip suddenlygo dry, prior to seeing the character swap weapons, there would be a reaction, based on the current situation (this would be with purpose, designed in a way meant for a finite state machine or whatever you'd call it)... the animation would be done in the same easily communicated, stylized, slightly exaggerated way of the other things I mentioned above, you could think of this similar to how characters in TF2 each have their own unique qualities and also how they act while playing. Of course for a CS2 the amount of comical'ness would be toned down, and more in line with a swift, precise, action movie direction... (the pistol, last stand animation from COD4 comes to mind)

    A CS2 would require lots of spectacle, but all of it would be reactive and not just "noise" without a purpose, it would be a reflection of the player experience, purposely orchestrated to boost up and add to the overall feel and feedback of things, im rambling.

    What I'm thinking is levels designed that give you (As the player) feedback to what is going on inside them, the simplest would be birds flying up due to gunfire nearby. BUT instead of the birds then being expelled from the environment, (adding up to nothing, noise without a purpose), they would settle in another area, an area with the least amount of gunfire (averaged).. only to sit idle until disturbed again.

    hhhhhhhh time to sleep.

  • I'm having a lot of fun with games that are not Counterstrike these days and I'm not looking back. I had been playing it since fall 1999 and finally trailed off in 2005 and haven't played it a single time in over a year.

    All the things that ever needed to be fixed with CS have already been introduced and refined in other games in the genre. Especially CoD4, but also MOH games, R6 Vegas, etc. There are a lot of tactical shooters that left CS looking like a dark ages tactical shooter. Other games moved on, CS never really did. I'm especially loving CoD4. It's pretty much everything CS could have become if it had continued to innovate over the past 8-9 years.

    I certainly can't see this being an impressive standalone game. I had been figuring it would be an Ep3 (or Ep4...) tack-on along with Portal 2 or whatever. I don't know what they're going to do to make this an interesting standalone game. Besides rip off other games wholesale, which never seemed to be Valve's style.

  • Well, they better scrap any idea of making this game anything like TF2. TF2 has it's place but I'm not fond of the game and feel COD4 is more to my liking and closer to CS in gameplay.

    Mmm, well for graphics and sound a even more improved sorce engine would be the way to go as it plays well on almost any PC with gaming in mind and looks good doing so. It could also be made for console if need be. Gameplay wise, polish the hell out of the combat system/physics but leave the core gameplay alone. Maybe tweak granades and things that annoy or make players feel spamed in cirtain ways like getting killed by a nade 3 times in a row ect.. They could add a points system much like TF2 and add some MMO stuff like extra weapons or body armour, They could even go as far as make your character behave diff depending on the gear and or weapons (right down to foot wear changing stance or running speed and amount of noise you make wile moving) they equip. I say dump the money system in favor of challanges/player exp for upgrades.

    If it was me, I would sit down and play COD4, take from that and what is already present in CS, rework the graphics/physics engine and add new features, weapons and gameplay modes. Mix it all together for a kick ass Multi-Player exp. They could even add night /day and weather cycles to each map that are always changing in real time. For instance, you could play a map in the morning and have the map on a mid sunney day with a slight SW wind making things like weapon types/ammo/gear and atmosphere affecting the overall gameplay. Then come home and be able to play the same map at it's night setting making weapon/ammo/gear selection totaly diff esp if on cirtain days you would have a full moon and the next night overcast and rainy. This way you could get 'many diff' maps out of 1. In other words rev up the game play and stick with a nice graphics engine everyone can play on.