An intrepid Reddit user has released a screenshot of Counter-Stike: Global Offensive as seen from inside Unreal Engine 4.
With all the rumors of Source 2 floating around, the screenshot is bound to raises some eyebrows, especially as Valve has seen fit to update other games including Dota 2 and Half-Life: Alyx, ahead of their flagship first-person shooter’s presumed upgrade.
Porting CSGO Maps into other engines isn’t anything new. There have been several times over the years when CSGO maps have made it into other, more impressive engines. Even the leaked Source 2 port of Dust 2 has been around for years. Unfortunately, the engines that CSGO is based on, Source and then GoldSource, are pretty old. Their origins stretch all the way back to the days of Half-Life 2 in Valve’s catalog.
The most striking differences in the screenshot are just how good the textures look in Unreal Engine 4. Colors pop much better in the screenshot than they do in the base game. And the lighting and shadow effects that Unreal Engine 4 can produce are simply jawdropping.
Hidden code in DotA 2’s Battle Pass update points to some sort of upcoming lighting improvements in Counter-Strike, and those will most likely come when CSGO’s renderer moves to use the Source 2 engine. But even after this upcoming lighting update, the graphics won’t look qutie as good as this. As far as what effect a full implementation of Source 2 could have on CSGO, players will just have to wait and see. Recent signs point to the potential for Valve to be updated CSGO to its new engine sooner than later, but nothing is guaranteed.
Meanwhile, if CSGO looks this good in Unreal Engine 4, fans have to wonder what kind of beautiful visuals the newly-announced Unreal Engine 5 might one day create.
Half-Life: Alyx is poised to bring big new content to CSGO