Final Combat: Team Fortress Too

By Alec Meer on June 20th, 2011 at 7:08 pm.

Wow! Wherever did they come up with the idea of using Rockwell-style art?

Whether or not there’s any weight whatsoever to the theory that Team Fortress 2 might turn free to play, it appears someone else got there first. You might find Final Combat to be just a little bit familiar. Just a little. Or a lot. Yes, an awful lot.

This video? This is quite the video.

Microtransaction-funded free to play shooter Final Combat hails from China, and I have a sneaking suspicion its creators might also have played a round or two of Battlefield Heroes at some point.

Here’s the video, which should ring at least a bell or two. But if that’s not enough… well, meet me back here in a minute and I’ll show you something even more brazen.

Imagine if a team-based multiplayer shooter had some funny introductory videos introducing its various classes. Go on, imagine. I know, it’s very hard to imagine it because no-one’s ever done it before. Fortunately, Final Combat has ingeniously come up with such a thing:

Well. Well then. Well then. Only the Soldi….. uh, Rocket has been revealed so far, but here’s the game’s site, if you want to a) check that it’s real and b) admire some also rather recognisable silhouettes and c) try and work out what else it might have been inspired by.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in. YOU ARE THE REAL HEROES.

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113 Comments »

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  1. Antsy says:

    Does it have hats?

    Also, why are they dressed like firemen? Does China have irony now? Send in Hans Blix, I need to know!

    • AlexW says:

      They’re dressed like firefighters because they’re having a firefight, obv.

    • kwyjibo says:

      You know Robin and the team at Valve will just rip this back off too, this is how they roll. We’ve been in Bizarro land for a while now.

  2. Anarki says:

    So weird, I recognise that level as well, pretty sure they stole it from Battlefield Heroes?

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      Carra says:

      Ah… And there I was thinking “sure they copied the class from TF2 but the levels look authentic”.

    • Milky1985 says:

      Phew I thought I was going mad when I recognised that level :P

    • crainey92 says:

      Yeah the textures on the fences and what not looks dangerously like Battlefield Heroes, which to be fair wasn’t all that bad though I didn’t bother much for it.

  3. simoroth says:

    Team Fortress of the lost.

  4. Premium User Badge

    samsharp99 says:

    *awaits troll response from valve*

    or

    *awaits lawsuit*

  5. Serious J says:

    Is this made by the same guys that made the Counter Strike ripoff for the Chinese market? If I recall correctly, it had something to do with Valve not wanting to play ball with the esports scene over there or whatever, so they went ahead and just made a knockoff game that they could use. Perhaps the same story with this?

    • YourMessageHere says:

      I read that as saying that Valve ‘refused to play ball with the escorts scene’…that would be interesting PR for Valve.

  6. Alphabet says:

    Wow, the Team Fortress 3 ARG is starting early.

  7. Walsh says:

    They even stole the font!

    WHY GOD WHY

  8. Premium User Badge

    Daiv says:

    Glorious Chinese Revolution does not recognise your imperialist “copyrights”, “patents”, “trademarks” or “blatant rip-off shame”.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Man Raised by Puffins says:

    Well, I suppose if you are going to thieve you might as well snaffle the assets wholesale. That literally is the rocket launcher from TF2.

    • Premium User Badge

      Man Raised by Puffins says:

      Heh, they even pinched Ellen mcLain: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngDVbt0rq_Q#t=23s

    • Premium User Badge

      HermitUK says:

      And the killfeed. In fact, I’d say this is nothing more than a reskinned TF2. With a map stolen from Battlefield Heroes.

      Not only thieves, but lazy thieves. At least Limbo of the Lost made an attempt to hide its crimes. Not a particularly good attempt, mind. But an attempt nonetheless.

    • Bhazor says:

      And Limbo went to the trouble of creating it’s own theme tune.

      Altogether now!
      OOOOOOOooooooh the king a limbooooooh

    • MrTambourineMan says:

      @Bhazor – and I thought that Still Alive was a great piece of videogame lyrics and music, LOtL definitely beats it, they deserve a god damn MTV award or some shit like that not a lawsuit.

  10. ArtyFishal says:

    Gotta love China!

  11. jti says:

    Why are they dressed as firemen?

  12. man-eater chimp says:

    Wow, even the guns sound similar!

    • Mutak says:

      If, by similar you mean, copied directly from TF2 just like almost everything else in the game, then yes, they are similar.

  13. Daniel Rivas says:

    Well, I don’t see what the issue is. Stuff and nonsense, Meer.

  14. Devec says:

    Why copy two games when you can just combine two recipes into one, right?

  15. Froibo says:

    Wasn’t there something else like this from Korea a year or so back?

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      Keymonk says:

      Microvolts wasn’t really similar. It was only the cinematic trailer that was sort of like TF2’s, but nothing else was like TF2.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Also known as “H.A.V.E. Online”, apparently. I wonder how much damage they did themselves daring to use some of the same dramatic editing in their trailer as TF2. And to not look like a po-faced military or marines brown-fest.

      From the other gameplay vids it actually looks more like a (relatively inoffensively!) third-person Unreal Tournament.

  16. Anton says:

    Do the Chinese Censorship allow Steam in China?

    If not, I guess we can’t blame them. =P

    • ArtyFishal says:

      Yes, Steam is available in China albeit with a culled catalog. The real issue is education- many Chinese do not know that infringement is a crime. From Wikipedia:

      “The enforcement of protection of intellectual property rights is particularly difficult in the PRC. Without adequate education with regard to IPRs, there is little awareness that infringement is a crime. For example, though the first intellectual property law was drafted in 1982, the first IPR training centre wasn’t established until 1996.”

    • Rii says:

      ” many Chinese do not know that infringement is a crime”

      Ah, the sweet innocence of childhood.

    • Bhazor says:

      …. sure.

      It’s some quick money with little real chance of prosecution. Prosecution would require extradition from a infamously corrupt government with an almost third world infrastructure. It would cost more getting them to America than you’re likely to get in a successful prosecution.

      They’ll probably get shut down in a couple of months with a cease and desist with only a few of their gullible investors being out of pocket.

    • Anton says:

      “They’ll probably get shut down in a couple of months with a cease and desist with only a few of their gullible investors being out of pocket.”

      I’m quite skeptic about that. I’m pretty sure EA & Valve will try, but there will be a whole lotta red tape. =P

      Across various product types, there are always Chinese knock-offs. Cellphones, TVs, cars, bags, clothing, etc. It just so happens that THIS knock-off has high visibility since it runs on the web. It just surprises me that this is such a blatant copy.

    • ArtyFishal says:

      As a person who lived in China, the Wikipedia description matches my experience pretty well. Their is a lot of ignorance of the world at large there.

    • Anton says:

      “Their is a lot of ignorance of the world at large there”

      Really? That’s quite fascinating. Hmmm… seems to make sense since China is practically enticing rural folks to get into the new large cities. They say “ignorance of the law excuses no one”, but it seems if the majority of the population is in the dark, that might not hold water.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Putting it down to ignorance or somesuch strikes me as a bit naive. The Chinese really are culturally a lot more malicious and unscrupulous than westerners. They’re only one step short of the typical African scenario (that scenario being tribe A takes power, immediately systematically massacres tribe B).

      I say this as someone whos Chinese great uncle screwed over and damn near bankrupted his own brother (my grandfather).

    • Quxxy says:

      As someone who has worked as a tutor, I’ve noticed a really weird (from my perspective) attitude the Chinese students seem to take towards copying other people’s work: they simply don’t see the problem.

      I’ve had so many plagiarised assignments submitted by Chinese students over the years and their response when called out is almost always the same: “what’s wrong with that?” I actually had one student recently tell me that he didn’t plagiarise from another student as I believed he did: he’d merely copied it from a website, so it was OK.

      I’m not an expert on Chinese culture, so what follows is speculation: I assume they ascribe less than we do to creation of ideas or art. If someone else came up with something before, there’s no reason not to just steal it.

    • JackShandy says:

      No, says the man in china: It belongs to everyone.

    • Anton says:

      For a country that has evidences for being the inventors of a lot of what we thought were western inventions, they sure are naive about plagiarism. Makes you wonder if they were the “first” inventors of fireworks, astronomy, etc.

    • Starky says:

      Shady Jack wins the thread for that excellent use of a Andrew Ryan quote.
      Bravo.

  17. Dana says:

    The funniest thing is that China dev deems their product original and Valves TF2 plagiarism :D

  18. clive dunn says:

    Maybe copyright infringement isn’t a crime after all….

    • Anton says:

      The tough thing about such crimes is that infringement laws are generally passive. If the affected party does not file a lawsuit, then the thief is free to operate…

      Hopefully a consumer groups or a copyright activist groups will take action.

  19. Rii says:

    Heh, that’s pretty brazen. Beyond that, though, who cares? I hope the Chinese have fun with it. Who knows, maybe they’ll improve upon the original?

    • FakeAssName says:

      +1

    • SaVi says:

      I doubt that, though maybe they could come up with (get inspired by) a few things that work with the game, and Valve can implement it in ways way more awesome than the creativity lacking man in china ever could.

  20. chickdigger802 says:

    TF2 played on battlefield heroes maps. Delicious.

  21. Teddy Leach says:

    I saw this several days ago and it was a matter of great amusement to me. I especially like the fact that the rocket launcher is identical to the one in TF2, right down to the bouncing sight.

  22. Bilbo says:

    Damn RPS, this is old news – I watched the “Meet the Soldier” video like, two years ago, or something. They’ve done a Medic and an Engineer one since then!

    …wait… what?

  23. CTRL-ALT-DESTROY says:

    What the frack?

  24. subedii says:

    The thing I don’t get is why you would pay for a crappy imitation, microtransaction based shooter, when you could simply pay for the actual game instead. I mean even beyond its current price point, it’s certainly been sold at even cheaper still plenty of times over the years.

    I mean you’re paying money either way, at least THAT way you get a game that doesn’t have the animation quality of a flip book. And hey, if you still crave the microtransactions, they’ve totally got you covered anyway.

  25. Premium User Badge

    hexapodium says:

    I’m pretty sure I remember the layout of the map in the first video from Day of Defeat Source (the very first release, even, before they added Defuse maps by another name). Might be dod_flash.

    • westyfield says:

      Yeah, lots of people saying it looks like a BF Heroes map but my first instinct was that it looked like a DoD:S map, _flash sounds right.

    • PickyBugger says:

      As someone who plays a lot of DOD:S it’s not from that and it certainly ins’t Flash.
      The layout isn’t correct from what I can tell and it doesn’t resemble the map layout with regards to DOD original or DOD:S. The art style is also completely different as DOD:S isn’t cartoony and came out quite a while before Valve designed TF2.

    • Premium User Badge

      hexapodium says:

      Oh, art style and all that are clearly different. But the two-U-shaped-fences-in-a-pocket-next-to-a-street, and some of the turns and sightlines in the video, give me a very strong “I have shot bazooka rounds down this street” feeling nonetheless.

    • PickyBugger says:

      I’m almost 100% sure it’s Battlefield Heroes. The map is way too large for Flash, the main street with the fountain looks almost as big as the whole Flash map.

  26. edwardoka says:

    I wonder if they went to the trouble of asking Muse if they could use their song.

  27. xcession says:

    So how does this work then? Does China have companies devoted to reverse-engineering western software? This looks so similar to one or more existing games (TF2 obviously, BF:heroes etc) do they really have the manpower to make these games from scratch themselves but just borrow artistic styles from other games or are they, as Occam might suggest, ‘borrowed’?

    What do people think? It looks so obviously stolen I don’t see why they wouldn’t be shamelessly stealing it – I mean its not like they’ll acknowledge western law so it makes little difference to them whether they stole it either way

    • subedii says:

      Personally, I don’t see it as offensive or anything, just kind of sad.

      TF2 is practically built off of parody stereotypes. You’ve got the Russian, the Texan, the German, the Scottsman… All sorts, but nobody from China.

      This would’ve actually been a good opportunity to showcase people what they’re really capable of and make something funny but more based around the local market. The fact that they’ve simply ripped it off without even the minimum changes to show they’re different just strikes me as a serious dearth of even the most basic creativity. And that’s sad. About the biggest thing they did seems to be giving the Soldier a fireman’s hat and made him (at a guess) an official member of the PLA instead of the US Army.

    • Anton says:

      “Imitation is the best form of flattery” – Confucious

    • subedii says:

      “If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight!”

      – Sun Tzu, inventor of fighting. Once beat up every animal on earth. Twice.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      And then he used his prize money to build an arc, and put two of every animal he beat up on it. And thats why whenever you get lots of animals together it’s called a Tzu.

    • LostSoviet says:

      Unless it’s a farm.

  28. noobnob says:

    Uh, is it just me or the explosions have no knockback effect at all?

    Way to ruin the soldier’s trademark rocket jump.

  29. Tei says:

    China, heres a challenge for you.

    Make me a good ripff of Skyrim.

  30. Premium User Badge

    amishmonster says:

    Perhaps the strangest part is that the “jokey” intro video comes off as kind of sinister instead of particularly playful.

  31. testman3 says:

    BattleTeam Heroes, Fortress!

    How is this legal?

  32. Premium User Badge

    Rinox says:

    That salute on the stand when he’s giving his speech looks uhhm vaguely familiar, let’s say. Prolly isn’t nearly as offensive in China as it would be in the West, what with Adolf and his merry band not doing much there during WW2. It’s kind of like we flinch at references to nazism but are far less offended by imagery of stalinism or maoism, even though they were all certified mass murderers. But reverse.

  33. nyck says:

    Heroes of the Fortress: Battlefield
    Those guys who made such a copy deserve to be taunt-killed in real life, or at leat being hit until they get unconscious

  34. kikito says:

    LOCKET LAUNCHEL.

  35. Torgen says:

    From a large bit of ancedotal evidence, it seems the Chinese look upon copyrights and such as signs of Western decay. The also seem to look down upon those that play by the rules (I read one story where a Chinese man explained why he left his former company with a sneering “They were too American” regarding legalities.)

    Anything and everything, up to repeatedly used poisonous substances in baby formula, is acceptable until you get caught. And then, you were stupid for getting caught.

    • Berzee says:

      So a bit of “The Appetite of Tyranny” going on there? “Do what he will, he cannot get outside the idea that he, because he is he and not you, is free to break the law; and also to appeal to the law.”

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Sounds a bit like an ‘ends justify the means’ kind of philosophy, which I’ve always associated with Italy.

  36. Berzee says:

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha there was a bee on his nose look at it.

  37. PopeBob says:

    Chinese companies plagiarizing someone else’s work and producing it at 1/10 the cost for a huge profit? Unthinkable. I am wholly disgusted by this article, RPS! To slander the Chinese in such a way. Harumph.

    • Tei says:

      The good news is that salaries are getting high in china, seems. Hope the bubble don’t destroy everything.

  38. Sajmn says:

    Bugger TF2, they butchered MUSE! As if twillight vandalising it wasn’t enough!

    (it’s the song supermassive black hole by Muse)

    grrr

  39. Mr E Meats says:

    This just makes me want to play some TF2

  40. aldo_14 says:

    It’s sad that a country with thousands of years of history and culture seems to have lost any sense of originality and resorted to making cheap, inferior copies of anything vaguely admirable – be it this or copying an entire Austrian (UNESCO site) village.

    But that’s the Cultural Revolution for you.

  41. int says:

    Throwing a fire axe? I’m sold!

  42. bleeters says:

    Well on the bright side, the Sniper appears to be one of those sexy lady types now. So that’s one up on Valve right there.

  43. Premium User Badge

    Petethegoat says:

    The funny thing is, I would probably actually enjoy this more than TF2.
    It really isn’t funny how hat-based TF2 has become. :/

  44. Premium User Badge

    Stellar Duck says:

    If they leave out hats, store, crafting and all the other crap I’d consider it a better game than TF2 by a wide margin.

  45. fuggles says:

    No worse than this, which was on RPS before:

  46. My2CENTS says:

    After that CS:Online bullshit i think Valve really wants to infiltrate the zombie-fied Asian players.

  47. Jambi says:

    Interesting they chose to use supermassive black hole, mygamingedge.com has already been using that one to introduce their TF2 tutorial videos for about 6 months.

  48. zeroskill says:

    Lol looks terribad, I like how they ripped the rocket launcher straight from TF2 including sounds. So funny.

  49. Tei says:

    This is how “Fahrenheit 451: The Videogame” would look if where created in a totalitarian regime. Firefighters fighting fire with FIRE!.

  50. Dworgi says:

    Yes, yes, it’s plagiarised, we get it, but you’re all missing the most important thing:

    …why are they dressed like firefighters?

    • Anton says:

      LOL! Yeah made me wonder too!

      Probably because they use their rockets in “fire fights” =P