Latest Team Fortress 2 Comic Tells Origins Of Sniper

“Hey, remember Team Fortress 2?” I think to myself, sometimes. I played that game every day for months, squeezing rounds into lunch breaks and evenings till eventually I lost interest. “The big updates slowed,” I explain to myself. “The steady stream of community content made each release feel like less of an event, and eventually time moved on and everyone’s focus moved elsewhere, right?” Right.

What definitely didn’t happen is that the game continued to grow in popularity indefinitely. It certainly didn’t become the third most played game on Steam, with tens of thousands playing it at any moment. Absolutely there is not a regular and regularly excellent series of free comics about it, with a fourth part that went online earlier this month. That’d be mad.

Sometimes I think this is bizarro world. Good thing it is though, because the Team Fortress 2 comic is great. The latest chapter is 113 pages long and continues to expand the TF2 universe in surprising directions. I’m pretty sure that even if you’ve read all previous comics so far – and watched the short films, and played the game – that there’ll be moments where you’ll turn a page and go, “Whuh? Wait, what’s this about?”

It’s sort of about the origins of the Sniper. Sort of. Saying more would be spoilers, so just roll with it, it’s funny. The comic is available as a PDF or CBR file too.

18 Comments

  1. DThor says:

    About 6 months ago I was in my biggest TF2 dry spell ever – seems like I hadn’t touched it for almost a year. This prompted me to fire it up again prior to wiping it and now I’m back to around 4 sessions a week. I’ll never delete it until the servers dry up (which show zero signs of abating).

    • Cinek says:

      I got something quite similar, yet: opposite. I keep TF2 on my PC, and get pissed off each time I have to download an update to it (which feels like every other day) but every attempt I make to return back ends in a failure. Last time, roughly 2 months ago, I played 2 matches and couldn’t stand it any more. Even my favourite engineer didn’t feel as fun as he used to. I don’t know… every single thing in this game shouts “been there, done that” to me in a very discouraging way.

      • untoreh says:

        I would return in a heartbeat if there was ranking and match making like csgo, tf2center just doesn’t cut it. But contrary to csgo and dota2 90% of the weapons are banned in tf2 competitive so… That’s never gonna happen

  2. shinkshank says:

    I used to be a massive TF2 fan, but what eventually got to me was that at one point, I just felt that there was too much. Too many guns, too many hats, too much nonsense going around. It stopped being the game I knew and loved and become a weird, twisted image of it. This is not to say that I hate it now, I still hold it high as one of the best examples of a team-based shooter game ever, it’s just that it’s become too different from what it once was for me to be able to fully enjoy it anymore.

    • kylharrt says:

      Try 6v6 or highlander. They are pretty much devoid of every annoying weapon in the game, and the gameplay is much more methodical, while still maintaining the true spirit of TF2.

  3. LuNatic says:

    I wouldn’t call anything about Valve regular. As a company, they need more fiber in their diet, if you know what I mean.

  4. Kollega says:

    I’m sorry, but calling this comic “great” is like saying “Seltzer and Friedberg comedies are great”. Like with those two, I’m not sure that Valve understand the distinction between “parody” and “reference” anymore. Considering that half the thing is dedicated to a retcon that turns Sniper’s backstory into a whole plot reference to Superman, I don’t really understand how anyone, even the modern Homo Interneticus, could find it good. Funny in places – maybe, since the jokes sometimes made me crack a smile. But what substitutes for “plot” here is so goddamn awful I can’t even begin to believe it. Since about the Engineer’s Update, the game’s story is a mess. A horrible, horrible mess.

    To sum it up, I don’t understand what was wrong with Sniper being a talented hunter from the Australian Outback situated in the world like ours except with the Cold War being fought by construction companies, rather than someone from Australia full of moustachioed supermen ruling the world’s scientific scene thanks to some sort of mysterious element, who is considered the odd one out because he DOESN’T have a moustache and huge musculature.

    /rant

    • balculum says:

      I am just like you, I used to love studying the tf2 comics back before it got all messed up. It was very unique in a way that it it was weird, yet realistic enough for you to take it seriously. Now, nothing in the tf2 storyline can be taken seriously.

    • tumbleworld says:

      I’ve never played TF2. In fact, the last time I played some sort of networked “Shoot Other People” thing, it was Marathon, back in ’95, and I was absolutely dreadful at it.

      So with that disclaimer, and having just gone and read the entire Valve comic backlog… You wot, m8?! It’s all utterly insane, right from the get-go. The recent stuff isn’t the least bit kookier than the early bits. It’s just a bit more stylishly drawn. The whole thing was entertaining, though — exactly the sort of over-the-top parodist lunacy I’d expect to see in a game which features anyone looking like that Heavy guy. If immortal gravel-baron ghouls were ever a measure of sanity, I missed the memo…

      • hotmaildidntwork says:

        I second this, the “backstory” of this match based arena shooter is and has always been taken precisely as seriously as appropriate.

      • Kollega says:

        Yes, it is utterly insane. But it’s only half the story. You haven’t been there when TF2 was just released, before it started building up its… bleugh… “lore”. I recommend you watch these videos. They show the original direction of TF2, and I’m more than willing to make a claim that this original direction was far more intellegent than what the game has eventually become. Depending on your tolerance for nonsensical elements, the game started degrading either at the Sniper Vs. Spy update (which introduced Saxton Hale and throwable piss jars), the WAR! update (which made Hale an actual character and turned Demoman into a Swordsman), or the Engineer update (which introduced the whole “Australian supermen” idiocy). And putting the event horizon of bad worldbuilding anywhere after the Mann-Conomy update would be a huge disservice to what TF2 used to be.

    • Gog Magog says:

      “If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I’d say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do pal, because he invented it! And then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor! Then he bought two of every animal on Earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one! And from that day forward, anytime a bunch of animals are together in one place, it’s called a ZOO!”

      These are the words that introduced TF2 to the world. Severed heads and rocket jumps were involved.

      Are you fucking high, man.

      • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

        I like the theory that Soldier isn’t spewing gibberish, but rather everything he says is true in the TF2 universe, where rocket jumping was invented before stairs. A theory that makes sense when you discover Sun Tzu did actually say that.

      • madeofsquares says:

        “UNLESS IT’S A FARM!”

  5. Dances to Podcasts says:

    All the qualities that made the game good in the first place are still there. It’s a bit like that other older game one post down. Just because it’s not new or newsworthy anymore and the hipsters might sniff at it doesn’t make it suddenly a bad game. I still play them and still love them both. Screw the haters.

  6. welverin says:

    Damn you Graham, for making me think there was a new comic!

  7. Stellar Duck says:

    I detest all this back story nonsense they insist on pushing. It’s useless and detracts from the game I think.

    I much preferred when it was just RED and BLU fighting because, well, that’s what they did. To me, it got cheapened by “lore”. Saxton Hale is shit and it’s not funny.

    And hats. And guns. And all the other crap they littered the game with. :(

    And yes, this was me uttering a cry of regret that the game I loved is gone. And yes, I’ve heard all the arguments. It’s just not a good game any longer.

    Edit: oh, and the gambling crates. Valve should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Marley says:

      You want to know what tf2 would look like if it was exactly how you want it?
      there would be 20 empty servers worldwide, and one lone sever with 3 players on it complaining to each other about how valve ruined the game by never adding anything too it.
      It would be a graveyard, and if the “lore” offends you guess what? You dont have to read it!
      As for hats and guns theres a no-hats mod you can install and you can host your own vanilla tf2 server which has all unlocked banned, and so if there is as many people like you as there seems who always cry about how valve ruined tf2 by adding things to it and making it popular it shouldnt be hard to find players for your server.
      People like you irritate me because valve have gone to great lengths to ensure anyone who doesnt like something about the game can easily change it, but all you people do is complain and never actually try to fix things you dont like about the game