When I think of Counter-Strike, I immediately think of one of its oldest maps, Dust 2. As far as online gaming goes, it’s nothing short of a fucking institution. Valve recently unveiled a reworked version of the map which, visually, is pretty substantial.

The game’s latest iteration, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, is updated fairly frequently, but overhauling a map with as much prestige as Dust 2 is a pretty huge deal. Considering every piece of geometry in the game is important, whether it provides cover or just an edge to bounce a grenade off, even small changes can sway the balance of a map entirely.

While the layout is essentially identical, the aesthetic has been changed completely. “We wanted to honor its pure form while buffing away the jagged edges,” Valve said, noting their desire to modernise the map visually while refining player movement around the space.

“We set out to refine it further rather than performing a wholesale redesign,” they added. On top of the map itself, the player models have also been enhanced.

Straight off the bat, you can see how much lighter the new Dust 2 is, which minimises the darker patches players used to camp in the previous version. While most players are welcoming the changes, those with older PCs are noticing a drop in performance due to the higher details.

Some are just bummed to see the Dust 2 we’ve known for so long disappear.

And others don’t really see the big deal.

It’s still in beta at the moment, but you can opt-in to give it a whirl right now if you’re keen. Suss out some more visuals over on the Counter-Strike website.

Source: Polygon
Image: CS:GO / Valve