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Taking The Piss? TF2's Jarate Is Real

The Hivemind keeps muttering to itself “let’s not give each of the TF2 sniper/spy updates its own post, but instead do a round-up of the lot once it’s all been revealed.” No other game gets this kind of treatment from us, after all. Annoyingly, Valve seem to have read our cynical minds, and have ensured that each and every info-drip is too significant or rampantly hilarious to ignore.

Like today’s Jarate reveal, turning a former April Fool’s gag into foul-smelling reality. Perhaps the Sniper being able to throw a tub of wee that temporarily increases the amount of damage his enemies take isn’t all that big a deal in the grand scheme of gaming, bar the initial hilarity/disgust of the concept. But the accompanying comic – oh, now that’s something that deserves a dozen posts all of its own.

Here’s a teeny, compressed version, but you really should go look at the super-sized version on the TF blog for maxi-fun.

Veteran comic readers will quickly spot it’s a frame-for-frame homage to the old Charles Atlas muscle-building ads – inadvertently hilarious at the time, but gutbustingly so now it’s about jars of piss. “Boy! Those Jarate pills tripled the size of my kidneys! And thanks to my Saxton Hale pain tonic, I can barely even feel my organs shutting down!”

We forget, these days, that hyper-zeitgeisty, 21st century Valve were once only the guys behind beardy old Half-Life. It’s been an incredible reinvention, really, and I’m excited for the prospect of their eventually truly inserting their impeccable humour into the core of a videogame. TF2 is pretty funny in and of itself, but most of the best gags happen outside of and around it. Portal and L4D are part way there in some ways, but I can’t help but wonder if a full-on comedy opus is on the distant horizon.

Anyway: Jarate. I wonder which element of it will prove most successful – that 35% damage increase, temporarily breaking Spys’ stealth, dousing enflamed allies, or simply the horrifying humiliation of drenching someone in urine before killing them? The open crassness of Jarate is likely to be divisive, but hey, what’s a little toilet humour between friends?

More details here, including a list of Sniper unlocks.

I imagine we haven’t seen the last of Saxton Hale, either. Someone else for you conspiracy theorists who read far too much into the cameo by the Scout’s mother to run off and make crazy about, perhaps?

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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