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Good news: Valve are working on a new “major update” for their free-to-play FPS Team Fortress 2 [official site]. Bad news: it’s not a Halloween update. This new update has left the TF2 team too busy to create another all-spooking, all-devilling spectraltacular (boo!) so they’re turning again to the community.
This year’s Halloween update will largely be pieced together from spooky maps, weapons, items, taunts, and so on submitted to TF2’s Steam Workshop.
I haven’t played Team Fortress 2 [official site] in almost a year, Steam tells me, but by gum! I haven’t stopped caring about the goofy world have created for their free-to-play FPS. Valve have some of the funniest fun in games, and I don’t especially mind if the yaks come through webcomics rather than computer games.
While we were on holiday on Monday, Valve released the fifth issue of their free TF comic, a mere eleven months after the last. In case you can’t remember, the TF2 gang’s quest for Australium metal had taken to the undersea dome where Sniper’s parents lived in some odd Superman pastiche, when the squad ran into their counterparts from Team Fortress Classic. And… action!
I have just booted up Half-Line Miami [official site] – a mashup of Hotline Miami and Half-Life as created by student Thomas Kole.
As someone who has never really played Half-Life 2 or Hotline Miami (I did about one level of Hotline Miami at a demo booth one time and apparently own it on this here PC – who knew? As for the Half-Life games, I played the original until a bit where you have to climb into a ceiling vent which you reach by dragging a box over. I’d killed something directly below the vent and their corpse became an immovable object so I couldn’t put the box in the right place to climb up. After trying all the solutions I could think of I gave up rather than restart at my last save which was ages away. I tried the second game as part of the Orange Box on XBox 360 and got as far as Water Hazard.) I feel well placed to explain Half-Line Miami.
Isn’t it nice when companies become friends? Valve and Bad Robot, J. J. Abrams production company responsible for TV shows like Lost and movies like Super 8, have teamed up to produce a new mode for Team Fortress 2 [official site]. It’s called PASS Time and it blends Team Fortress 2 with the “fast-paced sports of soccer, hockey and basketball.”
Level 28! No, the other kind of level. The type that you run around in, shooting people or jumping on their heads and that sort of thing. Adam, Alec, Alice and Graham gather to discuss their favourite levels and/or maps from across the vast length of PC gaming, including selections from Deus Ex, Call of Duty and Quake III. Someone even makes a case for Xen from Half-Life, and means it.
You might have forgotten Team Fortress 2 exists, but the same can t be said of the 50-odd-thousand people that are playing it as I write this. Last week Valve rolled out the games 33rd(!) major update, Gun Mettle bringing a new comic, new maps, balance changes and a 3 month long event. I spycrabbed my way back in to check it out.
I am fascinated by how Valve apply lessons from one game to another, building on ideas or outright copying bits from one game to another. Team Fortress 2 [official site] fed Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with ideas of cosmetic customisation bits, CS: GO built on them and tied them into its Operations, and now those expanded ideas are returning to TF2.
Today will see the launch of the Gun Mettle Campaign in TF2. For $6, players will get challenges offering the reward of new weapon skins and mores. The update will also bring new maps and big balance tweaks and more that’ll be free. Also, NEW COMIC!
That rag-tag gang of mercenaries from Team Fortress 2 are at it again, “it” being “appearing in other games made by other people.” This time they’ve popped up in Dungeon of the Endless [official site], the really very good roguelikelike tower defence game by Amplitude Studios.
The free Australium update launched yesterday, adding the TF2 Pyro, Medic, Heavy, and Engineer to Dungeon’s lineup of playable characters. But wait, there’s more! It also added five new TF2-y items. The game’s on sale too.
It takes a very special something to make me excited about a pinball game. I played Pokemon Pinball to death, way back when, but very few pinball games since have really captured my attention. Until now. Until the Aperture Science Heuristic Portal Pinball Device. It s a Portal themed table for Zen Pinball [official site] and it looks fantastic. See for yourself in the trailer below the cut.