Team Fortress 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Matt Cox)

The thing about special Halloween game modes is that they’re fun for a round or two, then the novelty wears off. The thing about Team Fortress 2‘s Halloween mode is that there are 18 of them.

Ok, so only 5 of those are new – but you can also play the 13 previous Halloween events, which would be enough to last you all year if the event didn’t end on November 14th. Valve have turned to their community for the new stuff in Scream Fortress X (not a sex thing), introducing five maps with their own game modes. I’ve spent the morning fuelling ghost ships, resurrecting corpses and running away from skeletons.

It is hot messy nonsense and I’ve enjoyed myself considerably. (more…)

Team Fortress 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Matt Cox)

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of Team Fortress 2 jumping. It’s a lot like normal TF2, only rather the shooting people the goal is to propel yourself skywards using explosively powered movement techniques on custom designed maps. Yeah, it’s nothing like normal TF2.

Jumpers have tournaments too though. They’ve spent the past month hopping through three separate events in the Beginnings 5 competition. With the competition now over, they’ve settled down again – and left us with some impressive aerial highlights. I’ve gathered the victors’ videos below, and got a couple of the jumpers to sit still long enough to tell me about why they do what they do.

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Team Fortress 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Matt Cox)

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There’s a ‘this is the pinnacle of esports’ joke right there on the table, but I’m gonna say straight up that Ready Steady Pan is an absolute mess to spectate. But what a spectacularly daft mess it is.

This is 6v6 Team Fortress 2, where everyone is only allowed to attack with frying pans and food. And urine, for some reason. The community-run “semi-competitive tournament” is nearly done accepting sign-ups for its fourth annual competition, which kicks off at the start of next week. (more…)

Team Fortress 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Matt Cox)

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I love discovering subcultures that occasionally spawn from videogames, and trickjumping is a wonderful example. Give Quake players the ability to propel themselves through the air by firing rockets at their feet and a momentum-building jumping bug, and what do they do? They make custom maps and challenge each other to perform feats of aerial ballet, of course. Delightfully, that scene is still going strong nearly 20 years on in Team Fortress 2.

The Beginnings 5 TF2 jumping competition began last week, and features three different events. There’s a speedrun competition on set maps, a trickjumping competition that involves doing something impressive on any map, and – perhaps most excitingly – a live race. (more…)

Team Fortress 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Matt Cox)

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Ready Up opens with a shot of the CS:GO grand finals at ESL One. The size of the stadium dwarfs the players on the stage, who all wear deadly serious expressions. There are thousands of people in the audience, many of them frantically waving inflatable tubes covered in sponsorship scrawls. A member of one team makes a clutch pistol play, and the room erupts in a roar of screaming and thunderous chanting. The player solemnly acknowledges the applause with a showboating chef kiss, but he doesn’t look like he’s having much fun.

Then, we change rooms. A few dozen people are sitting in front of a screen, watching their friends compete at a Team Fortress 2 LAN event. The players seem focused, yet relaxed. “Ah, I’m dead” says one of them, half-grinning at his misfortune. At the heart of the competitive TF2 scene, it transpires, is a community with bonds that transcend the tribalism you might see in other esports. I spoke to Alex “Dashner” Pylyshyn over email, who co-directed Ready Up alongside Ness Uberchain Delacroix, about the past, present and future of competitive TF2.

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Team Fortress 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Matt Cox)

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As if the hordes of pyros weren’t scary enough, Team Fortress 2‘s Halloween event launched on Friday. Instead of doing something new, they’ve chosen to make every previous Scream Fortress – going back to 2009 – playable once again. Get your spooks in while you can, because the event ends on November the 8th.

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Team Fortress 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Matt Cox)

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The match seems to be going terribly. My teammates don’t appear to be interested in defending the capture point, and about half of the enemy team have dominations – meaning they ve killed the same player multiple times without that person getting revenge. Yet weirdly, the game continues.

I m dead, tabbing through the viewpoints of everyone who s alive, when I realise why. One of our Red pyros is dancing with six members of Team Blu, keeping them occupied through the use of a taunt.

Team Fortress 2 is weirder than ever.

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Team Fortress 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Today the Pyro will get a chuffing jetpack in Team Fortress 2 as part of the ‘Jungle Inferno’ update. This is a big’un, bringing one new Valve-made map, five new community-made maps, and the long-promised Pyro class update. All flamethrowers are being improved and the Pyro is armed with four new weapons too, from a beefy single-shot flamethrower to a cheeky slap (hey, it worked in Absolver).

The update was expected to launch last night but Valve delayed it for a little more testing, so it’ll now hit today. (more…)

Team Fortress 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

The Team Fortress 2 [official site] gang are off to a lush tropical island to fight around the remains of Saxton Hale’s failed theme park Yeti Park in the next big themed update. The Jungle Inferno update will re-open Yeti Park as Mercenary Park, where mercenaries fight mercenaries (for control of capture points). Psst, that’s us. Five tropical community-made maps are coming too. As is TF2 tradition, Valve are counting down to launch day-by-day with collected teases, so more is to come. Dare I dream for the promised Pyro overhaul?

And yes, of course this means we have a fine new TF2 animated short to watch: (more…)

Team Fortress 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Rich McCormick)

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Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse.>

This is RPS, so let’s get literary. Team Fortress 2 is the game version of the Picture of Dorian Gray but in reverse. (more…)

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