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

Counter-Strike 2 liquid in bottle shader

(Image credit: Valve)

It looks like Counter-Strike 2 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. 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 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.

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


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Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog from his hometown in Wales in 2017. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, where he would later win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Nowadays, as senior hardware editor at PC Gamer, he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. When he's not writing about GPUs and CPUs, however, you'll find him trying to get as far away from the modern world as possible by wild camping.