CS2 has been out for two weeks now, and the reviews have been really critical. CS2 is Valve's worst rated game out there. The surrounding hype has been enormous. Yet, Valve couldn't deliver, and the community has a multitude of reasons for giving CS2 a bad review. From missing game modes, a broken hitbox, server issues, plenty of cheaters and the evergreen topic being tickrate. Let's take a detailed look at what the community dislikes about CS2.
In the first-person shooter community, there was no bigger game to be released this year than CS2. CS:GO was the pinnacle of FPS's, and not even Riot's Valorant could dethrone Valve's legendary game. So the hype regarding CS2 has been gigantic. You could say it was too big to fail and too big to succeed at the same time.
The release has been a disappointment for casual players as well as professionals. But, according to SteamCharts, CS2 is the most played game on Steam, always having between 500k and 1.3 million concurrent players. And whilst the game is really popular, the reviews aren't as positive as you would imagine with such high player numbers. CS2 is Valve's worst rated game on Steam. Let's take a look at some reasons for it.
CS2 Is Valve's Worst-Rated Game - Here's Why
If you take a look at the overall reviews, they seem fine. If you look at the recent reviews, so the ones where CS2 has been released, the reviews are pretty even. The first big red line is from September 28, so the first full day of CS2's release. Since then, 73 thousand reviews were sent to Steam about CS2, with only 49% of reviewers giving a positive review, with filters set to people with more than 100 hours in the game.
When you include positive troll reviews and positive review botting, it looks pretty bad for CS2. The game has worse reviews than Valve's Artifact, which was called out for pay-to-win from day one. Even Valve's president Gabe Newell said that the want-to-be Hearthstone competitor was a “giant disappointment” in an Interview with IGN.
So let's take a look at why CS2 is so badly rated.
Counter-Strike and Cheaters: A Never Ending Love Story
As long as a Counter-Strike game existed, Cheaters were there. Starting when CS was a Half-Life mod, Cheaters are plaguing Counter-Strike. And with the rise of the game to the #1 in FPS games, Cheaters found a target. Valve tried to address the problem with their Valve Anti Cheat (VAC), implementing an AI-based anti cheat called "VACnet" and an anti cheat that detects cheats mid-game called "VAClive" for CS2.
Yet, CS2 is still a cheating paradise. This issue occurs in every Elo. There are cheaters in Silver, and there are cheaters at the top of the Leaderboards in Premier. For years now, players asked Valve to do something better, even professionals are now tired of it. There has been one smaller ban-wave in CS2, but the problem doesn't get resolved like this.
For years now, players are asking Valve to implement a kernel-based anti cheat, like Valorant has it. But this seems really unlikely, since Valve doesn't like to leave projects behind, although there are smarter and simpler ways.
CS2: Why Would You Release An Unfinished Game?
When CS2 was announced in mid-March, it was said to release in "Summer 2023", we got our hands on the game at the start of Fall. And when we could finally play some CS2, a lot of game modes and features that were loved by the community weren't there. No Community Servers, no Workshop Maps, some maps were missing and even some game modes for beginners didn't make their way into CS2. There were also some major Bugs with weapons, grenades, viewmodels and maps.
For a lot of people, CS2 looks and feels unfinished. Yes, it's a good game, for sure, but it feels like it needed another couple of months to live up to the hype it created.
CS2: Let's Talk About Tick Rate Again
For those unaware of what tick rate is: The tick rate is the amount of updates a server does per second. In each tick, each player sends information to the server. The server will update the game state and send this information back to each player. The higher the number, the smoother the game (until a certain mark). For CS:GO, the tick rate sweet spot was 128. Valve's official servers only had 64, whilst third-party hosts like FACEIT and ESEA had 128.
Hopes were high, that CS2 would feature 128 tick servers. But no, of course not. Valve made it their own way and implemented a "sub-tick" method, where crucial information (i.e., movement, shooting and throwing nades) get send to the server immediately, not waiting for the next tick to come.
And whilst the comments on YouTube are quite positive, the reviews from players aren't. FaZe player Robin "ropz" Kool said, that sub-tick feels more like 64 tick than 128 tick. For a lot of people, the spray felt random and the movement incredibly inconsistent. Some went so far and found a way to de-sub-tick movement and jump binds. This way, movement buttons were back in the 64 tick pattern and felt more like CS:GO.
And due to the sub-tick method, you could get killed while being behind a wall on your screen. Here's an example:
This is the worst so far. CS2 experience is very frustrating with this stuff happening.
by u/neznam_us in GlobalOffensive
Like with the anti cheat, Valve have overcomplicated stuff once again. To the dislike of plenty of players.
MacOS? No, Thank You
When CS2 released, macOS users wondered why there wasn't any support for their operating system. Whereas it was unclear, whether Valve are still working on it or not, we now know, that there is no CS2 version for Mac in the making.
CS2 Hitbox: Is It A Headshot Or Is It Not?
CS2's player models were absolutely ridiculous at release. Take a look at the following clip. Headshots weren't headshots.
This has been fixed btw, but honestly, this can't happen for such a big game. In a Beta, yes, but not after launch.
To add to all of that, multiple bugs, server issues and other stuff occurred for players when playing CS2.
The negative reviews don't come from nowhere. CS:GO was an amazing game with only a handful of issues, players wanted to have resolved. The community wanted a better anti cheat, didn't happen yet. The players wanted 128 tick servers, not happening. We asked for a new engine and new graphics, that's the thing we got.
But besides that, CS2 has been a disappointment so far. Of course, being a successor worth the name of such a legendary game like CS:GO is incredibly difficult. Yet, it feels like Valve didn't address, what the community asked them for.
Yes, CS2 is a great game and a pleasure to play. And I truly feel like Valve can turn it around and make CS2 better than CS:GO could ever be. But at the moment, the reviews are justified. Players got hyped up by Valve, and the company couldn't live up to the hype they created.
Valve, plz fix.