Why Counter-Strike 2 must be released

Opinion: Megafan and petition ringmaster Sam England makes his case...

Counter-Strike: Source still retains a retains a significant fan base five years since it was launched. Combined with Counter-Strike 1.6 it has more regular players than the chart-topping Modern Warfare 2 on PC.

Many would point fans in the direction of newer 'mods' like the recently updated Pro Mod, which serves some players of Counter-Strike very well - though it doesn't do anything new on the graphics, game play, game modes, maps or weapons front.

This is not what those seeking a Counter-Strike 2 want. Counter-Strike 2 should be a new mainstream release.

With Modern Warfare 2 surpassing £1bn in sales last month it is clear that FPS gaming is big business. FPS gaming has advanced a long way since Counter-Strike: Source was released five years ago, and many of those advances could easily be integrated in to a Counter-Strike 2.

What needs to be retained in Counter-Strike 2 is realism, and the essence of the game; Counter-Terrorist teams combating Terrorists, which couldn't be more real, and topical. I strongly believe people favour realism in FPS games - which has clearly been demonstrated by the Modern Warfare franchise's success, as opposed to the cartoon-style graphics of Team Fortress, or fighting zombies in Left4Dead.

Counter-Strike is different to most modern FPS games as it focuses on the player's skill and not the amount of time played and upgrades 'unlocked'. This seems to have left a gap in the current chart FPS scene on PC, and players are demanding a game just like Counter-Strike - a realistic and iconic FPS which anyone can drop in and play and pro-gamers can master equally.

Unfortunately, Counter-Strike is becoming less prominent in mainstream gaming culture for the simple reason that whilst game play is still unrivalled, the graphics look increasingly dated, and the game has suffered from lack of updates and innovation on Valve's part.

Unlike games such as Modern Warfare 2, it is no longer guaranteed that your gaming friends will be playing - a big part of what makes the online experience in FPS games so appealing.

If Counter-Strike 2 were released, it would open the game up to an entirely new fan base alongside its original one - perhaps a fan base which wouldn't have considered gaming five years ago, or a fan base too young to remember Counter-Strike in its heyday.

No matter what Valve do, if they do release Counter-Strike 2 it will be a big hit, no matter what the haters say. A complete overhaul with refreshed graphics, new game modes, weapons, features and maps would most certainly do wonders for the franchise.

Counter-Strike is a big part of gaming culture and a seminal FPS franchise which should not be allowed to fade away. The franchise has limitless potential, and ultimately Valve has the resources needed to produce a next-generation, high-definition, clean-cut and well-finished Counter-Strike 2 which will properly reinvigorate the franchise and provoke mainstream interest once again.

It is the one FPS franchise which should be saved at all costs.