Counter-Strike 2 comes with Half-Life: Alyx’s most needlessly impressive graphics quirk

I’m liking the look of Counter-Strike 2 already. Mostly because of the bottles.

Counter-Strike 2 liquid in bottle shader

(Image credit: Valve)

It looks like Counter-Strike 2 (opens in new tab) comes with one of our favourite graphical quirks from Half-Life: Alyx, namely extraordinarily realistic liquids in bottles.

We’ve spoken before about our love of realistic liquids in Half-Life: Alyx (opens in new tab). The feature was patched in after the game’s release and immediately became a fan favourite. I remember thinking at the time that it’s the most realistically sloshy bottle I’ve ever laid my mortal eyes on. In a game, that is.

In Alyx, it was all made possible by a shader that cleverly makes a bottle appear as though it’s both translucent and filled with liquid, but the back-end of the engine isn’t actually running any sort of liquid simulation (opens in new tab) to do it. Clever stuff. That was intended to take some of the performance hit you might expect out of something looking like this, which could be surprisingly demanding if done with genuine fluid dynamics.

Both Half-Life: Alyx and Counter-Strike 2 share the same graphics engine: Source 2. And it looks like that’s how this popular graphics quirk has made the leap from Alyx’s grubby booze bottles to molotov cocktails in the competitive FPS. 

Take a look at it in action in the short video from the official CS2 website (opens in new tab).

Counter-Strike 2 will launch as a free upgrade to CS:GO this summer, and in the meantime there’s a limited test (opens in new tab) ongoing right now.

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