Any Fort In A Storm: New TF2 Maps Out

The lumber hulk! If you get that joke, grats.

The latest patch for Team Fortress 2 is out, fixing one server crash exploit and added THREE new maps. Yes. But not made my Valve. No. Nightfall (seen above), Lakeside and Frontier are three accalimed community made maps, and if you’ll let me I’ll walk you through all three in turn. Nightfall by Aaron “Psy” Garcha is set in a lumber mill during a storm, just like Sawmill, though unlike Sawmill it’s a Payload Race map. What are the others? Just GIVE ME A MINUTE, wil you? We’ll get there.

Frontier by Patrick “MangyCarface” Mulholland is a single stage Payload map featuring the custom train you see above, which goes by the name of Lil’ Chew Chew. Lil’ Chew Chew is rideable, features a built-in Dispenser, and if at least three players are pushing it then the jaws at the front will instantly kill any players in front of it. Impossible, you say? Hard to believe? Why not give Frontier a try and see for yourself.

Finally, Lakeside by Valentin “3DNJ” Levillain is a King of the Hill map which I’ll just let speak for itself.

In 2630 BC, the ancient Egyptians hauled up massive amounts of stone from this dig site for their pyramid-shaped tombs. Now, millennia later, honor their effort by filling those tombs to brimming with bullet-riddled, shrapnel-filled corpses in this fast-paced King of the Hill map.

Boom! Go forth, children. Go forth and kill.


  1. SquareWheel says:

    I’m tempted to start playing TF2 again. I’d heard things have gone quite badly since they’ve introduced hats though.

    • Moni says:

      I think it depends on who you ask.

      My opinion is the ‘community-created’ weapons don’t add anything gameplay-wise, so it just feels like the standard of quality in updates is lower. The core game is still intact though, so it’s the same as it ever was.

    • Oak says:

      You heard from a fool.

    • MajorManiac says:

      @ Oak:

      Can’t help but read your responce in the voice of MrT.

    • DSR says:

      I feel your pain.
      I’d give money to play “classic” TF2. The one we had before very first class update. Just more polished and balanced.
      All these updates ruined the game for me.
      Well… at least we got BC2…

    • Hideous says:

      Personally, I think the game has improved. While the community weapons aren’t always that useful, they’re always undeniably fun. You don’t have to use them if you don’t want to.

      And what’s wrong with hats?

    • Monchberter says:

      It’s the same as it ever was, just more silly. And despite a large number of very well practised players, it’s still accessible.
      Hats; i’m not so bothered. Community Weapons; it all fits together nicely.
      700 hours in 3 years and still counting…

    • airtekh says:


      TF2 is still brilliant fun; as Moni says, the core game hasn’t changed at all, except when they add a new game mode. (The most recent ‘Medieval Mode’ – basically, melee weapons only – is a riot!).

      For me, the hats and stuff are nice bonuses that I get while I play TF2. If you make the extra items and hats the focus of your playtime, then you will not enjoy the game, and it will become a grind. (This seems to have happened to a lot of people recently, hence the increase in TF2 hate).

    • My2CENTS says:

      How hats can possibly affect the game-play. I own 2-3 hats, nothing Vintage, nothing really worthy. But i enjoy playing the game cause i play in servers where there are no constant trade spam. Also hats or no-hats its still a good game

    • LionsPhil says:

      Problems with the new kipple they’ve been layering on:
      * The original TF2 was designed with a very clean, gameplay-oriented graphical style. Every silly hat and gaudy pair of socks chips away at all the clever work put into making classes, weapons, and teams easily and reflexively identifiable at a distance.
      * The same goes for the gameplay itself to some extent. TF2 was TFC cut to the essentials and those elements worked well. By now they’ve added so much “bloat” to this that they may as well put grenades back in. Some of the classes have had some really questionable focus widening, like turning the demoman into a melee charger, and the heavy is getting hinted that way too with some of his loadouts. Some new weapons end up being completely dominant over alternatives and basically become a way to make players who haven’t had them drop yet feel cheated: the Brass Beast minigun is currently terrible for this, and medics with no items are completely useless in medieval mode. (The Amputator is a straight upgrade from the default bonesaw, too, eschewing the usual “balancing” penalty for having something nonstandard equipped.)
      * All these new items mean more and more models and textures to keep loaded, which is a pain if your machine is on the low end of the specs. Until recently they didn’t even have LOD/low detail versions, so you were burning thousands and thousands of polys on a slightly different rocket launcher! Valve have been working on performance, though.
      * Some of the polycount set bonuses (e.g. the soldier one) are just complete bollocks. “Buy this hat and get a bonus with no drawback”. Sure you can craft it—if you melt down 73 weapons. And this also undermines the idea that hats are a little bit of MMORPG-y personalisation, because now half the spies out there are all wearing the same fez combo!

      I mean, it’s still fun, and I still bought and play it. Some of the new stuff has been very cool, and leads to interesting new gameplay dynamics (minisentries are lovely, and the ability for engineers to move gear up has really made them much more helpful because there’s no excuse not to have a dispenser and tele exit moving with the frontline). But it’s not correct to dismiss all complains as sourpusses who hate change. It can be quite refreshing when a server loses its Steam connection and everyone starts respawning with default-only loadouts: the game noticeably tightens up. Valve could really do with making it easy to host and find servers configured to run stock-only because that would nicely sidestep these complaints. There’s some item-whitelisting stuff but, AFAICT, no big “stock game” host/filter tickbox.

    • Oak says:

      I remember reading somewhere or other that Robin Walker isn’t interested in adding the Vanilla Option, which is depressing to hear. It’s not like it’d hurt the game.

    • squareking says:

      @ Oak: Good gods, why?!

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Because if you want to play the version of TF2 where nothing ever got updated, you can find it on the Xbox just fine.

  2. Oak says:

    Frontier is great, and I’m happy to see it finally getting its due. Easily one of the best-looking customs as well.

    • itsallcrap says:

      TBH I thought it was already an official map.

      Oh well, good to see it in there.

      Also good to see a comment about TF2 that isn’t part of an argument about customisation.

    • tomeoftom says:

      Frontier! The one reason I’ve had to go back to TF2 in aaaaages.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      YAY! Frontier is great, and yeah, it’s been on the rotation of every customs-having server for so long that, um, I’ve played it so much I kind of thought it was an official map too. So maybe a lowercase yay. In any case, yay for new maps!

      But where’s plr_panic, dammit? That’s easily the best TF2 map, including officials. Maybe a joint first with cp_steel.

    • Oak says:

      Oh man! I don’t like Panic at all!

      I do like Cashworks, though, and I hope Valve does too.

    • DanPryce says:

      I hear that, Oak – Cashworks is the tits. And I do enjoy a bit of ctf_steamroll as well, but that hasn’t got a hope in hell of going official

    • alice says:

      I am very happy Frontier got an official release. In addition to killing people in front of the train if you jump into Lil’ Chew-Chew’s mouth you get spit out the front at a high velocity. Lots of fun in setup time!

    • Davie says:

      Ah, I love Panic! They should put that in. That and ctf_aerospace, but it’s 40 megs and poorly optimized, despite being a totally awesome map.

    • The Dark One says:

      Frontier was always a poorly optimised map and my frame rate seems to have worsened with this latest version.

  3. Down Rodeo says:

    I think Frontier was on the RPS server actually – folks are right, it’s fun. Not played it for a while so hopefully some of the really “chokey” bits have been smoothed out.

    • RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

      It was indeed, and it was fun to play. Good to hear its now in TF2 by default. The server emptied every time a custom map was running.

  4. Marshall Stele says:

    Yes yes but do they come with hats

  5. McDan says:

    I got the joke…yay

  6. Bungle says:

    TF2 has the most skilled player base in the world of online gaming. We’ve been playing that work of art for over three years now and it’s beautiful to watch all the players in action.

  7. cytokindness says:

    Having pl_frontier as official is beautiful.

    I’d love to see Cashworks as official next, or perhaps Great Heights once that gets sorted out.

  8. Madlukelcm says:

    So, this is probably a stupid question, but will it be on my Xbox 360 orange box version too?

    • Leelad says:

      The Xbox360 that valve wanted to give free L4D and L4D2 DLC for but where forced to charge?

      ‘fraid not.

      Big hopes for the steamworks/PSN mashup though.