I’ve always wanted Counter-Strike to get a proper visual refresh, but since Global Offensive launched in 2012 it doesn’t seem like Valve’s too keen on changing things up. Fortunately, modders are more than happy to fill the void, and I so deeply wish I could play official maps on the Cyberpunk 2077-themed neon spectacle that one Aussie has created.
The reworks of competitive Counter-Strike maps are part of the 2077 Collection, a Steam Workshop creation from Australian modder Luke Millanta, one of the more famous CS:GO skin creators and the brainchild behind the Steamdex arbitrage tool. Millanta has created cyberpunk-themed versions of Counter-Strike maps before: the first map in the series was first called Dust 2 Future, which added a ton of neon and effects to the legendary level.
At the time, I asked Millanta whether he’d give other maps a touch of Blade Runner. He didn’t commit to anything at the time, but he didn’t believe Cache, Nuke and Inferno were well suited. But only just yesterday, Nuke was officially released as part of his Cyberpunk 2077 inspired retexturing, while versions of Mirage, Overpass, and Train were already complete.
Holy shit does Overpass look fantastic with the added light. How much fun it would be on a competitive level is another matter entirely, because the darkness raises question of visibility with different models. The darker counter-terrorist skins could be really difficult to spot in some scenarios, for instance.
Mirage looks amazing, too, and I love the work done with the inner hallways, bombsites and crevices of Nuke. For transparency, here’s what these maps normally look like:
You don’t have to pay anything if you want to add these re-textured maps into CS:GO: you simply have to subscribe to each map individually, and they’ll be available in-game as a Steam Workshop map. There’s also a link here if you want to support the collection being “officially accepted and supported” by Valve, although who knows whether that would actually prompt any action from Valve’s part.
What’s interesting here, too, is that all of the maps have had some official backing from other Counter-Strike affiliated organisations. ESL and ESEA have used the reskinned Overpass for official exhibition matches and community matches. Both those organisations have roots going back to the days where they would create their own in-house maps for their online leagues, after all.
It makes me wonder when we’ll see Valve shake things up with some of the existing Counter-Strike maps or levels. The game is in a good competitive state right now, and the community is certainly healthy enough, still hitting over a million peak concurrent players most days. But Global Offensive‘s 10th anniversary is coming up pretty fast. And if Valve isn’t going to do something, highlighting alternative takes on the classics couldn’t hurt.