TF2 Kicks Off ‘Love And War’ Update With… Dancing?

A mysterious countdown? Some teams? A fortress? I’m not sure if there’s a soul in the world who doesn’t know what this means by now: new Team Fortress 2 update. The latest multi-day reveal-stravaganza is called Love and War, and it’s kicked off its grim march not with new weapons or maps or colors other than red and blue, but rather, um, dancing. Also other expressions that will allow you to wordlessly communicate with and/or taunt your fellow players. There’s a new short film below, and it’s Valve’s longest ever, clocking in at a whopping 15 minutes. The topic? Inevitable, creeping death. Cheery!

Here’s one of Valve’s ever-colorful introductions:

“When it comes to the full spectrum of expressing affection for your fellow humans, let’sface it, it’s a pretty thin gruel. We took to the streets and asked a wide sample of strangers to show us affection as a test, and by our final tally the only ways humanity has to tell someone they care are awkward hugs, backing away nervously and administering pepper-spray shots to the eyes.”

“And so, allow us to introduce a variety of new, vastly better expressions, so you can let your fellow mercs know they’ve earned a special place in the rusty gnarl of barbed wire you call a heart.”

Expressions include the conga, square dancing, the rather self-explanatory “skull-cracker,” a flip, and rock-paper-whatever-the-last-one-is-these-days.

I imagine day two will bring more substantial additions, but for now there you go. Those are the things. Do watch the movie, though. It’s quite fun, and as ever, it is likely full of sneaky, sneaky hints about the contents of the update.


  1. Jalan says:

    As everyone’s already said elsewhere, why Valve doesn’t do a proper series or animated film after releasing this is just baffling to the highest degree.

    Sad though that the original voice of the Soldier couldn’t deliver every line and Nolan “I’m in everything, deal with it” North stepped in. Sad in that the reason, according to claims made by others, is that the original actor has throat cancer.

    I wished there’d been more from the Pyro, but I was otherwise entertained.

    • basilisk says:

      As surely someone already said elsewhere, because they’d make two episodes tops before getting bored of it and shelving it indefinitely.

      • Jalan says:

        *insert “Half-Life 3 cancelled” joke here*

      • SomeDuder says:

        While I realise how “incredibly cool and amazing” it must be to work for a company where you can just not do something because “it’s boring and majorly uncool, brah”, I am thinking the reason has more to do with Steam generating so much cash that Valve just doesn’t have to with doing anything new and risky anymore and just rubberstamp the stuff in the approval queue

    • frightlever says:

      I just love that Pyro video they did.

      Would a 70-80 minute feature really strain their resources at this stage? They could even incorporate some of the old footage. How could they not make money off that?

      Oh, oh, the TF2 guys get thrown into the DOTA 2 Universe and have to fight to survive… come on it has crossover appeal!

      • Revolving Ocelot says:

        Would a 70-80 minute feature really strain their resources at this stage?

        Yes, yes it would. This short took several YEARS to make. I believe Ashly Burch (Pauling) said she’d recorded her lines about two or three years ago. Valve Time, etc etc.

        Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Valve never made any more games. Maybe LFD3 if they ever get round to finishing Source 2.

        • Jalan says:

          The beauty of an actual feature length animation is that Valve doesn’t HAVE to do the heavy (no pun intended) lifting on it, they can act as an overseer/facilitator.

    • Frank says:

      Isn’t this basically a series? Sure, each video is stand-alone, but they’ll have enough content for syndication soon.

    • Chuckleluck says:

      The soldier seemed kind of odd in this one. His “I’ve spent 3 days teleporting bread” remarks seem more fitting of the Heavy’s character.

      • Davie says:

        In recent years, the Soldier has gone from the drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket to a paranoid libertarian survivalist to a full-blown moron. Character development!

        • MM1011 says:

          I just want to throw out that Soldier has always been characterized as a crazy idiot. His original appearance had him telling a whacked-out version of history/biblical stories to a group of severed heads.

          If anything Soldier has become strangely more competent. Nowadays, I would best characterize Soldier as a man somewhere between “crazy hobo” and “Forrest Gump”. Incredibly stupid and filthy (in the literal sense), but somehow possessing the luck, skill, and connections to succeed anyways.

          • The Random One says:

            Of course, there’s the fan theory that, as is canon that in the universe that TF2 takes place in a lot of bizarre stuff have happened – like the inventions of Shakespearicles, or how the first Pyro actually was Abraham Lincoln – all the crazy stuff Soldier says in his Meet video are, in fact, completely true.

        • tomeoftom says:

          Did you never watch the original Meet the Soldier?

    • LionsPhil says:

      I thought the voices seemed off. The Engineer in particular.

      But then so is the behaviour, to some extent. It feels more fan-made than official.

      • Tervalampi says:

        Well, they didn’t have the original voice actor for engineer available (I read it was throat problems somewhere on the internet but you can’t really trust those people), so that at least settles that. And comparing the quality of this to the most recent Saxxy winners it seems pretty far from fan-made.

  2. baby snot says:

    I have to try that “We both got buckets of chicken” line some day.

    • S Jay says:

      The only mistake is that both holding BUCKETS OF CHICKEN were thin…

      • Jalan says:

        Yeah, because no one on the entire planet who eats chicken can possibly be thin, right?

    • rexx.sabotage says:

      “Wanna get a pizza and shag? What, you don’t like pizza?!?

  3. Einhaender says:

    Valve manages to draw me into TF2 again for a few weeks every year by doing something interesting with the game.

    That’s exactly how you manage a community game.

    • Chuckleluck says:

      Phew, I thought I was the only one drawn in my this great video. Very clever, Valve, very clever.

  4. Tom Walker says:

    I very nearly uninstalled TF2 recently in a hard-drive-clearing, pre-Steam-sale cull. I didn’t have the heart, though.

    Guess I’d better play it some more…

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      I haven’t played TF2 in a year, but I still keep it installed and favorited.

  5. Krouv says:

    Now I really want Miss Pauling to be a playable character.

  6. Armante says:

    Entertaining 15 minutes. Pity the game isn’t nearly half as much fun.

    • Lone Gunman says:

      You have no soul

      • altum videtur says:

        Nor does anybody, but what’s that got to do with someone not liking the game?

    • Chuckleluck says:

      Whether you love or hate it, you gotta admit they have one of the best F2P business models around.

      • Stellar Duck says:

        It actually has one of the worst, based on gambling, disguised as crates.

        Why people accept that shit I’ll never understand.

        • The Random One says:

          Because outside of the gambling crates, it’d be the best F2P model around.

          It’s like the world’s most wonderful pool, built directly under a sewer outlet. You can’t help thinking of how great it’d be if it wasn’t being constantly shat on, to the point you start to ignore the shit so you can go for a swim.

        • P.Funk says:

          Because none of that has anything at all to do with gameplay.

          Also, who gambles on crates? Nobody, except some crazies. Most people just trade. ZOMG TRADING IS EVIL! No it isn’t. I traded so much stuff that I bought Arma3 for free. I also look swag in game.

        • Deadly Sinner says:

          Because the crates are barely related to the game and are super easy to ignore. I have never felt like my game experience was degraded because I never opened any crates.

  7. phelix says:

    The expression “jumping the shark” comes to mind.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      If you think this is TF2 going off the rails, you haven’t been paying attention.

    • Kollega says:

      Wait, you mean that with THIS TF2 finally jumped the shark? I’m pretty sure that TF2 is the game that made shark-jumping into a profitable business model.

      • Martel says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if they added shark jumping as one of the expressions.

  8. BooleanBob says:

    Well, that was pretty spectacular.

    Anyone else notice the book that said ‘Bonk! Cola’s Dating Guide’ in the training montage? Could that be a possible new weapon for Scout?

    Edit: oh, probably not. Crit-a-cola’s full name is Bonk! Crit-a-cola.

    • Synesthesia says:

      I predict a bucket hat, a debris bat, a derringer for the scout, and maybe a bread monster companion for the medic. I have spoken.

      • The Random One says:

        Greetings from the very near future where items based on the video have, in fact, been added. You were uncomfortably close to the truth.

    • myelbow says:

      I predict Turbografx-16’s Bonk will make a cameo turned permanent appearance as a new class/player model. One can only hope!

  9. Kollega says:

    Well, I’m not sure what to say about this. It’s doubtlessly high-quality and entertaining, with funny lines all over the place, and some parts do fit the Pre-Jarate TF2 world. Plus the whole “unsafe teleporting” thing kind of fits with the 1960s, with The Fly coming out in 1958 (mere 10 years before the game’s events). And yet… it still exhibits a lot of the things that made TF2 jump the shark for me. The Soldier is not supposed to be some crazy hobo, for one. Miss Pauling’s cavalier manner in chopping up corpses also raises some eyebrows, when she’s supposed to be the only sane person on the team. Logically, it’s the Medic and Spy who should be doing clean-up work. And the whole fight with giant mutated bread is, to misuse a good opportunity for a pun, really corny even for the corny spy-fi of original TF2. It’s more “cheesy B-movie” than “James Bond film”. But I gotta give Valve some credit for not bringing in Saxton Hale, at least.

    Overall, though… it’s not half as bad as the comics, but… well… it’s nothing I couldn’t get by playing Ratchet & Clank. So yeah.

    • Coming Second says:

      I have never understood where the “y did they have to make the Soldier whacky :(” thing comes from. His Meet the, released BEFORE TF2, features him describing Sun Tzu building the Ark to a group of severed heads. He has always been and always will be a crazy hobo.

      • Kollega says:

        I still maintain that Soldier is not just a crazy hobo – at the very least, he is a MILITARIZED crazy hobo. His barks in the original game made it clear that he’s a caricature of crazy, militaristic, over-patriotic Americans. So he’s not really supposed to be a crazy hobo – he’s supposed to be something akin to a crazy redneck in the military. And that’s at least somewhat different from his characterization as it is.

        • H H says:

          Except Valve has stated on the wiki many times (and the comics) that the soldier has NEVER ever spent a day in the military in his whole entire life. He’s just a crazy dude who needed the money and started shooting.

        • crizzyeyes says:

          So you’d rather the Soldier spew nothing but military-related jokes and silliness instead of any possible jokes and silliness? I don’t quite understand what your complaint is, here. Is it really so far out of Soldier’s depth to not talk about military-related things for fifteen minutes?

    • MrFinnishDude says:

      It has been established long ago that during the game’s events the Australians are already colonizing space because of an element called australium that makes them super intelligent and muscular moustache wearing super race, and Abraham Lincoln invented stairs. The game’s universe was never a serious at all and doesn’t need to be.

      • Kollega says:

        Note, though, that all this appeared when TF2 already began to jump the shark. Australium appeared in canon right before the Engineer Update, which was the last decent update before Valve decided to turn game into a hat shop. Really, the fate of the game was sealed when Valve turned Saxton Hale from an over-the-top marketing shill who was ridiculous in-universe into the signature character partly responsible for driving the game’s marketing.

        If you look back to when the game’s plot was conveyed through the maps and characters, rather than really crappy storyline comics and over-the-top ARGs, you’ll notice that the game was still silly, but not THAT silly. It was taking after Austin Powers rather than Silver Age comics. And that’s what I miss: the game’s focus, art- and story-wise.

        • H H says:

          I’m relieved to find out I’m not the only one who thinks those “comics” are crappy.

        • Premium User Badge

          Ninja Dodo says:

          The fate of vanilla TF2 was sealed when they decided to turn it into a testing ground for how to make an MMO. I forget which interview this was from but that was literally the reason. I still like a lot of the later TF2 stuff though, especially the shorts.

  10. LionsPhil says:

    “Expiration Date”.

    Well, I haven’t watched it yet, which makes this the perfect time for crack theories: this video title indicates that they are shutting down TF2 at the end of this event. That’s it, game over. Steam won’t authenticate you to play it any more.

    Tell the world. The people deserve to know.

  11. Hydraulic Meerkat says:

    They’re going to have Ms Pauling as a playable class. Calling it now.