"Dust II", also known by its file name de_dust2, is a map featured in the first-person shooter series Counter-Strike. Dust II is the successor to "Dust" and was developed by David Johnston prior to the official release of the original Counter-Strike. It was first released in March 2001and received a major overhaul in October 2017.
Dust II was created to be the sequel of the original Dust. Originally dubbed "Dust 3" by Johnston and later renamed to Dust II prior to its launch, the map was created with simplicity and balance in mind. During the initial development of the map, "Long A", a long pathway that leads towards the "A Site", wasn't supposed to exist. But because of world space limitations, it remained in the map. It was even planned that the area was to be built out further. Other scrapped features of the map were caverns, which would've provided cover, the removal of the window in "B Site", and a longer ramp in the Counter-Terrorist's Spawn to A Site.
After its first release in Counter-Strike 1.1, the map received minimal changes through the rest of the original game, with slight graphical updates and lighting changes. It also received graphical updates in Counter-Strike: Condition Zero and Counter-Strike's Xbox release.
Counter-Strike: Source was allowed to take advantage of Valve's new Source game engine and changed some of the physics. Dust II received a graphical update and new objects were added that would affect game play. New doors were implemented and a crate at "Middle" was made easier to climb.<ref name="ign">Template:Cite web</ref>
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive featured more graphical updates and changed all of the doors from wooden doors to metal doors, making them much more difficult to penetrate through. In an update on February 3, 2017, Dust II was removed from the Active duty map pool in the competitive game mode. It was instead replaced by "Inferno" and, at the same time, given its own exclusive map group in the Casual and Deathmatch game modes.
On October 10, 2017, Valve released a beta remake of Dust II. The updated map improved upon player readability, visuals, and movement. Eight days later, the updated version was made public.
There are two objectives, or sites, that the Terrorist side must get to gain control and plant the bomb. These two sites are easily accessible for the Counter-Terrorist at the beginning of the round. There are a few choke points in the map, "Long A", "B Tunnels", and "Middle". David Johnston simplifies it, explaining that Dust II in its most basic form, "was little more than a figure-of-eight that had grown a pair of arms and legs, centralizing the battles but providing tactical wiggle room."In the main choke points, there are other important positions and places. In Middle there are the following:
- Short, an elevated path way that leads to Catwalk on the A site.
- Lower Tunnels, a tunnel leading to B Tunnels or Upper Tunnels.
- Middle Doors (Mid-Doors), the set of two doors open at Middle.
- "X-Box", the box by Mid-Doors (not to be confused with the gaming console).
Long A's areas are:
- Long Doors, the set of two open doors that lead to Long A from the Terrorist's spawn.
- Pit, a sloped area where the player can hide or use for cover near Long Doors.
- Back Platform, a platform next to Pit. Also used for cover and combat.
- Counter-Terrorist spawn, right in front of Long A. There is a corner you can hide behind and have full body cover. You can watch Catwalk and parts of Long A from the corner.
- Car, a car in front of the Counter-Terrorist's spawn. Used as a point to see Catwalk, A site, and Long A.
B Tunnels only has two main positions, Upper Tunnels and Lower Tunnels. Upper Tunnels leads to the B site or Terrorist spawn and Lower Tunnels leads to Middle or Upper Tunnels.
Since the latest major updates to the map, Dust II continues to receive positive reception from mapmakers and players alike. Shawn "FMPONE" Snelling says that Valve has given the map a very cohesive and tactile look, making it easier to get a read on your surroundings. Mitch Bowman of PC Gamer praised the 2017 update, stating the change produced visual clarity.