TF2 Aussie Christmas Upate Is, Er, Medieval

By John Walker on December 18th, 2010 at 10:59 am.

My brain hurts.

As I wake up to a thick blanket of snow that I’m too ill to venture out in, and curse the skies for their endlessly cruel mockery, I do spare a thought for the Australians. In fact, a good half of the planet lives under the hegemony of the romanticised “white Christmas”, as their Peanuts cartoons and idyllic snowglobes contradict the lovely sunny day outside. This plight is also seemingly recognised by Team Fortress 2, which has just released an updated entitled, Australian Christmas.

I think what I like best about Valve is their complete lack of interest in researching anything to do with the various nationalities they depict in their games. Relying instead on imagination and misheard archetypes, they create not a stereotype, but a faintly insulting lunatic version of reality. Such it is that the Australian Christmas update features mutilated reindeer, child abduction and festive crates. Except, only sort of.

This really is bizarre. So the revealed new feature is, of course, a Medieval Mode. It’s a “Controlle Pointe” map in an ancient Scottish castle. OF COURSE IT IS. That’s the only thing that makes sense. Why are they in 10th century Scotlandshire? The Soldier angered a magician. So you’re playing with medieval weapons.

There’s also these festive crates, opened with festive keys, for whatever it is that TF2 is now, which apparently is something slightly closer to Barbie’s Occasionally Violent Dreamhouse than the FPS I once played.

And, er, nothing whatsoever that I can see that has anything to do with Australia nor a sunny Christmas. So 86 that opening claim – the Australian sunshiney seasonal plight remains ignored.

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46 Comments »

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  1. Tei says:

    Woa… Woah WOAH!!

    • NeonBlackJack says:

      Actually, John Walker, Australia and its sunny Christmas IS addressed in the origin story:

      On December 18th, 1788, less than a year after the first settlers colonized Australia, an old cutthroat named Nicolas Crowder arrived on a boat with some other new settlers, took one look at the heat and privations, said “screw this,”

      Just thought I should point that out. This is historically grounded!

  2. JackShandy says:

    Spare a thought for the australians because we get charged twice as much for games even though our dollar is above america’s, or because of our ridiculous rating restrictions. Not because of the snow thing.

    • vanarbulax says:

      I can’t remember the last time I bought a game from Australia, certainly not one at full price, import or digital for me. Sure it takes some time to arrive, but it’s a great way to take advantage of strong dollar. Plus retail have pretty much forced it upon themselves with their ridiculous prices and they’ll soon learn their lesson as a large chunk of customers abandons them (though I guess they can rely on less knowledgeable/patient customers).

    • JackShandy says:

      Yep, steam satisfies my game needs nowadays.

    • HeavyStorm says:

      Don’t complain about prices… I can’t even explore “strong currency”, since mine is, well, not.

      However, I do feel sorry for stupid ratings. :)

  3. Premium User Badge

    Schaulustiger says:

    Say what you want about the updates and the item store, but TF2 never fails to grab my interest after all these years. And no matter what it is, it is funny as hell. Well done, Valve.

  4. Lipwig says:

    It was 33C in Cairns today. Going to the beach tomorrow, Merry Christmas.

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      You bastard, it’s raining and miserable here, and that windy that a big majority of the Asian population has been blown away.

      Radalaide, not quite so now.

    • wcaypahwat says:

      31 here… cold day for darwin.

    • chopsnsauce says:

      I don’t care.

      Hot Christmases are SHIT.

  5. Ethyls says:

    “As I wake up to a thick blanket of snow that I’m too ill to venture out in, and curse the skies for their endlessly cruel mockery.”

    Looks like I’m not the only one in such a case.

    Snow had been avoiding my town for weeks. A couple of days ago, I caught a pretty bad flu, and I had to go back to my parents’ sooner (last thursday) than expected (next sunday). Apparently, the town I left a couple of days ago is now completely covered in snow.

    Why do you hate me so much, O white queen ?

    • John Walker says:

      We are brothers in misery.

      Snow cruelly avoids me. You can often see the border of the town I live in by the wall of snow’s ending at that exact point.

      This time it spotted that I’m barely able to walk, so decided to go crazy.

    • The Tupper says:

      Feel better

    • jmikelittle says:

      Might as well just move to Canada if you’re going to get snowed in anyway. At least we have the means to get rid of it

  6. Premium User Badge

    Biscuitry says:

    Well, that made for a thoroughly surreal read.

    • John Walker says:

      Yes – I am a little concerned this may be my flu-brained version of events, when in fact it’s really an update where they’ve added Santa hats or something.

    • Rich says:

      *shudders* “Uuuuuggghhh… *shakes* “Brrfffffaaaaggh… MEDIEVAL!” *passes out*
      Poor John, there he goes again.

  7. Navagon says:

    I’m disappointed by the lack of corks on his crown.

  8. Spacewalk says:

    This is pretty accurate or at least it was during my childhood.

  9. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    I saw this in the update that rolled out last night.
    Valve are introducin items named “The Boston Basher”, “The Loch-n-Load”, “The Amputator” and something called “The Claidheamohmor” (what?)

    also at some point it just says “added 20 hats” to remind you that this is TF2

    I still haven’t really gotten into TF2 and i suspect i never will, but just these batshit updates do enough to amuse me.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Those updates are mostly what keep me from the game. Well, not the stories, but the way the game gets more and more ‘collect the items’ instead of, well, just being a good fps. It may be silly, I mean, the game’s already there, but the collecting part can very easily detract from the gameplay.

      -edit- Get well, soon, John! If you haven’t recovered already, that is.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Stense says:

    I believe Valve have been at the dodgy egg-nog again. Bravo. Looks amusingly insane.

  11. Tom OBedlam says:

    I tried going back to TF2 recently and didn’t recognise it anymore, which is a real shame. Though all is completely forgiven as their press releases are so damn good.

    .

    “Are you drunk?” asked Tom Bui, taking Robin’s special car keys away from him.

    “Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha!” Robin agreed.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      He’s drunk because he’s depressed. Depressed that no one will sing serenades for him, rather than Tom Bui.

  12. The Hammer says:

    Am I dreaming? I’m not totally sure that I woke up this morning…

  13. Premium User Badge

    Alabaster Crippens says:

    So, the marketing stream for TF2 is one of my favourite things about valve. To the point where I bought the orange box (on sale) despite owning pretty much all of it already.
    It’s doubly ridiculous as I’m dreadful at multiplayer fps and I suspect my computer won’t be able to keep up with it anyway.
    So I just bought it out of support for the amount of giggles they’ve given me?
    Apparently.

  14. Brumisator says:

    Living in the cold wastelands of the great northern Europe has it upsides. We’ve been covered in snow for months. On the other hand, 12 minutes of sunlight per day is a bit miserable.

  15. westyfield says:

    So, go out and frolic in the snow, or play TF2?

  16. man-eater chimp says:

    So its essentially a Pvk2 update for TF2…

  17. Tom OBedlam says:

    Do you have Christian Louboutin shoes? I NEED CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN SHOES!

    • Dozer says:

      I feel very sad.

      I was about to reply to that shoe spam comment, saying how sad it is that my day will no longer be enlivened by their tenuous grasp of English, now that we must register to comment.

      “Service is our Lift!” – how can anyone read that and not feel a little less depressed?

      But some enterprising RPS partner has gone and deleted it in the two-minute interim between me opening the tab and writing the reply.

  18. Blackberries says:

    Oh Valve. With one hand you continue your endeavour to sully Team Fortress with ENDLESS HATS, while with the other you give us witty updates and fun new games modes. What is a fan to think.

    I’m supposed to be going out with friends I’ve not seen for a couple of months tonight. Part of me wishes I could stay in and play TF2 instead.

  19. Kadayi says:

    Upate?

  20. BooleanBob says:

    Well, that’s awesome, and utterly bewildering. About par for the course with TF2, which is slowly losing its (figurative) sanity.

    Melee only, though? Then what’s with the crossbow and the flaming Huntsman?

    • MikoSquiz says:

      It’s more “period technology only” – melee weapons and pre-gunpowder projectiles. This doesn’t explain why the Spy’s cloaking device works, though.

      I’ve got three problems with it:

      1) TF2 is not well balanced for melee as it is, some alterations to the available weapons would not go amiss

      2) The map is a tiny, cramped, chaotic clusterfuck with any more than 6 players a team

      3) There is not separate “medieval mode” loadout, so whenever you go onto that map you have to sit around changing your equips every time you play a new class, and when you go off that map you have to do it again the other way around.

  21. Rakysh says:

    They’re coming in the forthcoming “Fashion Update”, which also includes all the hats.

  22. Pijama says:

    30 degrees Celsius outside. Fuck that white Christmas, South America gets HAWT

    (and there are still stupid motherfuckers who dress in a Santa outfit? WHAT THE FU)

  23. BarerRudeROC says:

    Pffft shirts.
    Call me when you release some HATS.

  24. Blackberries says:

    Hmm. So it appears that all the new hats, and a few of the new weapons (excluding the ones which are part of the three new items sets) are only available via the Festive Crates, which must be opened by a paid-for Festive Key. This will hopefully change after Christmas, but it’s nevertheless a poor show on Valve’s part. When the Item Store launched they claimed that everything bar a couple of unique cosmetic items would still be obtainable through the normal routes of drops, crafting and in some cases achievements. Most-of-a-new-update’s items being restricted to microtransactions doesn’t really square with this.

    Sigh.

  25. the_fanciest_of_pants says:

    Ugh. Summer Christmas is not something to envy.

    It’s flesh-searingly hot down here, it’s not something any sane person would enjoy I PROMISE YOU. The joys of a nice warm house with the snow and ice outside (when you want it- which I always do :<) trumps hiding in the air conditioning (if you're lucky) for months on end.

    But hey! New tf2 stuff! That's always welcome news.

  26. Basilicus says:

    This makes it officially official (if it wasn’t already): Valve is the best developer around. I can’t wait to get home and play this tonight. HATS!!!

  27. agent47 says:

    Speaking as an Australian, this is quite accurate .

  28. gwathdring says:

    The spam bots evolve yet again.

  29. RMPR says:

    I pray for the day somebody at Valve hits the reset button on TF2. I appreciate the new maps and the new weapons (the balanced ones anyway), but I cannot stand hats. Every single update has more damn hats!

    I love TF2, but I find it infutiating these days and I have much more fun on CS:S.

  30. Tommo says:

    Thanks for your sympathy for us Aussies not having a white xmas. I will be surely missing it on xmas day when i have a BBQ at the beach watching all those girls in bikinis. damn i wish it would snow just to see some hibeams!