Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Zapping Combine soldiers in with the supercharged gravity gun was a right lark, a fine moment in Half-Life 2. Today I’ve been larking around with a different type of turbo gravity gun in a new mod, and I think I prefer it. See, it lets me ‘rocketjump.’

HL2 mod Transmissions: Element 120 [official site is a short singleplayer mod introducing a new zapgun. It blasts balls of concussive force that send enemies and physics objects flying (and its levels are heavy on blastable props) and, of course, you. Look down, jump then blast a ball, and go sailing through the air like a beautiful murderous butterfly.

… [visit site to read more]

TF2 Blog
An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:
  • Fixed the Strange Dalokohs Bar not counting food eaten
  • Fixed a client crash related to the material system
  • Fixed a client crash related to the control point HUD
  • Fixed a server crash related to the Robot Destruction game mode
  • Fixed name changes not being applied to all panels
  • Fixed a bug with tournaments ending early if the previous round ended in a stalemate
  • Fixed the Australium Scattergun using the fire material
  • Fixed not seeing the particle effects for weapons and cosmetic items in the player model panels
  • Added Gamers Assembly 2015 medals
  • Added a "no hat" style for the Batter's Helmet
  • Updated more sound files to use .mp3 format instead of .wav
  • Updated nav_check_stairs to be marked as a cheat
  • Updated Mann Co. Store prices for foreign currencies to current USD equivalents
  • Updated the localization files
  • Mannpower update
    • Updated grapple model and player animations
    • Fixed not hearing some of the powerup sounds
    • Removed ctf_foundry from the default map cycle to focus on gathering information on the remaining maps
    • Knockout: reduced melee damage multiplier
    • Knockout: max health buff has been reduced for the Heavy and for the Demoman with a shield or decapitating sword equipped
    • Grapple: increased base damage for attaching to a player and increased bleed damage while attached
Product Update - Valve
An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:

  • Fixed the Strange Dalokohs Bar not counting food eaten
  • Fixed a client crash related to the material system
  • Fixed a client crash related to the control point HUD
  • Fixed a server crash related to the Robot Destruction game mode
  • Fixed name changes not being applied to all panels
  • Fixed a bug with tournaments ending early if the previous round ended in a stalemate
  • Fixed the Australium Scattergun using the fire material
  • Fixed not seeing the particle effects for weapons and cosmetic items in the player model panels
  • Added Gamers Assembly 2015 medals
  • Added a "no hat" style for the Batter's Helmet
  • Updated more sound files to use .mp3 format instead of .wav
  • Updated nav_check_stairs to be marked as a cheat
  • Updated Mann Co. Store prices for foreign currencies to current USD equivalents
  • Updated the localization files
  • Mannpower update
    • Updated grapple model and player animations
    • Fixed not hearing some of the powerup sounds
    • Removed ctf_foundry from the default map cycle to focus on gathering information on the remaining maps
    • Knockout: reduced melee damage multiplier
    • Knockout: max health buff has been reduced for the Heavy and for the Demoman with a shield or decapitating sword equipped
    • Grapple: increased base damage for attaching to a player and increased bleed damage while attached
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

It seemed initially like the Source Filmmaker community might be content to make only short and silly videos, but there’s now a growing selection of long> and silly videos starring Team Fortress 2 [official site] characters. The one that’s making the rounds today is The Winglet’s Live and Let Spy, a 20-minute epic that starts out with sneaking but escalates until chaos erupts. Watch it below.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

I always felt a little sorry for Fortress Forever [official site]. The folks behind the Source engine mod started in the long period when Valve had seemingly abandoned Team Fortress 2, with the goal of recreating Team Fortress Classic-y style class-based shooty shenanigans on a newer engine. Then Valve unexpectedly re-announced TF2, and Fortress Forever only beat it to release by one month before attention flocked to Valve’s shiny new thing.

Fortress Forever is a pretty dang different game, though, especially after years of Valve bolting new things onto TF2. If you fancy some good old-fashioned 2forting, it’s easier than ever, as the latest FF update brought it to Steam as a free standalone.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

I know, right? I'm asking you to watch a twenty-minute internet video. Think how many shorter videos you could watch in that time! Think how many gifs you could see! You could watch this video of two geese honking almost 60 times.

Don't though, because Live and Let Spy is a quality Source Filmmaker production. It starts as a heist movie, goes a little bit James Bond, and then ends in all-out cartoon war.

Yes, the animation is a little off in places—the Spy/Heavy holding a broom is a bit weird, and the main Medic's arms are kinda odd. Still, for the majority of the film it's impressively smooth and expressive.

This is the third part of The Winglet's "Fedora Chronicles" series. It's a sequel to The Bolted Behemoth, which you can watch here.

PC Gamer

A while back, I took a look at some Half-Life 2 improvement mods, and ultimately determined that the best way to play Valve's 2004 masterpiece was, well, without any mods whatsoever.

At the time, one of the mods I tried to look at for the piece was called Half-Life 2 Update, created by modder Filip Victor. It had been in the works for a while, but the move to SteamPipe broke it, and there had been little news about it since. Well, it's finally arrived as a free download on Steam.

The Update mod promises a host of visual upgrades to HL2, including detailed shadows, better interior lighting, environmental fog, particle effects, better water reflections, and more world detail. It also fixes bugs and improves scripted sequences and the collision system. The ultimate goal was to improve the look of the game without making any drastic changes along the lines of the FakeFactory's Cinematic Mod.

I downloaded it and gave it a try. It's all a bit subtle—it's not at all like playing a brand new game or anything like that—but definitely noticeable. The game does look better, and crisper. There's more detail, the shadows are definitely nicer, the water looks great, and it brings Half-Life 2 closer to the visual improvements we saw in Episodes 1 and 2.

 It's not something you'll call people excitedly into the room to see, but that was never really the point, and there's only so much you can do with a decade-old game unless you want to completely overhaul it from top to bottom. I'd say, if you've been looking for an excuse to play Half-Life 2 again... well, first, who needs an excuse? It's still fun. Except for the Hoppers. The Hoppers are dumb. 

Also, who wants to tiptoe over the sandy beaches again, really? And Ravenholm has kind of lost it's scariness by now. And the boss fight at the end, where the boss is basically a box you have to knock the sides off... eh, skip that bit.

But otherwise, it's a fine reason to play your favorite parts of the game again.

While Filip Victor is the developer of Update, he wasn't alone in his work. He had help from the Half-Life community, who helped him compile lists of bugs and issues. The mod also includes community commentary: select it from the main menu and you'll find nodes scattered throughout the game allowing you to listen to the musings of several YouTubers and Ross Scott, creator of the video series Freeman's Mind.

You can view a PDF of the changes and the ideas behind the mod right here. And, here's a nice comparison video that probably does a much better job of showing off the changes than my screenshots do.

Or, just download it from Steam and the next time you get a hankering for some Half-Life 2, try the Update version.

PC Gamer

False alarm! Everybody continue about your normal business. This is not some official Half-Life 2 update; this is Half-Life 2: Update. The mod is a community-made attempt to give Half-Life 2 a graphical rub-down—enhancing its ageing visuals with some fancy technical trickery.

A comparison video gives you a look at what's been changed. Er, hopefully your eyesight is better than mine:

What, specifically, does the mod do? Here's the feature list:

  • Complete lighting overhaul including enhanced lighting, more detailed world shadows, and full High Dynamic Range Lighting (HDR).
  • New particle effects and improved fog.
  • Countless bug fixes, correcting both visual and game-based issues.
  • An extensive Community Commentary Mode featuring the voices of well-known Youtubers, including Caddicarus, Brutalmoose, Ricepirate, Balrog the Master, ProJared, and Ross Scott from Freeman's Mind .
  • Retains the iconic Half-Life 2 visual style and gameplay.

Half-Life 2: Update is due out tomorrow. It's free, but downloaders will obviously need to own a copy of Half-Life 2.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

a 620 wide image probably not the best way to demonstrate this stuff, eh?

Oho, ‘Half-Life 2: Update‘ is an extremely cheeky name for a mod. Write it on the internet and a few thousand ears will immediately prick up. “Is more Half-Life? Means Half-Life 3? Check file structure! One file will have a 3 in its name! Is Half-Life 3! Rabble rabble rabble!” So no, this is not an official Half-Life 2 update, but it has got the nod for a free standalone Steam release tomorrow.

Designed to take fuller advantage of what more recent updates to the Source engine can do, this apparently final version of the community-made mod includes graphical updates and ‘countless’ bug fixes, plus a new fan commentary mode. You’re probably going to want it. … [visit site to read more]

Product Update - Valve
An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:

  • Fixed a client crash related to the game UI
  • Updated the localization files
...

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