Team Fortress 2 Marks Halloween With Alien Invasion

As the march towards Halloween gains pace (seriously, where has this year disappeared to?!), Team Fortress 2 [official site] has launched a month-long Invasion event, spilling its community-curated guts in the form of new maps, weapons and items.

The launch trailer is typically TF2 in its spectacle and flair and can be viewed without the use of 3D glasses inside.

The Invasion event adds four new maps to proceedings, the first of which is 2Fort Invasion. This is the enduring, classic TF2 map amid an extraterrestrial invasion. It’s business as usual, though, as the aliens are “taking over but the teams are too busy to figure out better ways to kill each other with alien artefacts.”

The Watergate map is an old-fashioned brewery with high walls and low courtyards. This makes for a good battleground because, apparently, “science has shown [the aliens] react violently being force-fed beer.”

Probed starts out as a standard farmhouse map and winds up aboard an alien ship. It’s in the name, but it looks like there might be some sort of probing machinery in place here:

Last on the map front is Byre – an unfinished barn with an ominous laser/death-ray cannon protruding from its roof:

Besides the maps, there’s also a host of new weapons – such as the Batsaber, a baseball bat-cum-lightsabre and The C.A.P.P.E.R. ray gun – and a host of Cosmic Cosmetics for your cosmonautic cupboard space.

Oh, and there’s this guy:

That’s Chester, an “adorable little scamp will immediately find its way into your heart – literally!”

“Show off your parasitic pal in this taunt for all nine classes!” We’re told. “The taunt also has a rare chance of being Strange, having an Unusual effect or *both*.”

Find full Invasion details here.

33 Comments

  1. Cantisque says:

    Bit of a disappointment compared to Merasmus’ carnival last year.

    • zind says:

      I feel like I’m the only one that thought that the carnival was the worst Halloween TF2 thing yet. I pretty much fell out of TF2 around the time the second set of extra gear for each class was coming out, but the Halloween events would consistently draw me back in… until last year.

      Luckily the community I’m part of has a super-sweet Halloween Warpath, so I’m not dependent on Valve’s offerings for Halloween goodness.

      • Cantisque says:

        The mass of hilarious Merasmus quotes (mostly the ones revolving around him being broke and being hunted by the Japanese mafia), coupled with the fact that the carnival map was based on Doomsday which is one of my all-time favorites, made it a lot of fun for me.
        Only topped by 2013’s Helltower when spells were introduced.

  2. Hideous says:

    FYI, they aren’t “marking halloween” – the upcoming Halloween update is a separate thing from this.

    • Hideous says:

      Also (stupid lack of edit button) of note is that the entire update, website, weapons and everything is created by the community!

  3. Not_Id says:

    Is there any chance that this “event” is totally free of items that require payment or is this another TF2 money grab?

    • Megarlin says:

      You can play in the maps for free but you need to buy a pass to even have a chance to get the new crates.

      • Kollega says:

        And as I just saw, the blog post about the update literally features the phrase “Buy your Invasion Community Update Pass today!” How the mighty have fallen.

        • madeofsquares says:

          It does go on to say

          All proceeds from the sales of the Invasion Community Update Pass go directly to support the Invasion Community Update Team!

          So there is that.

          • Kollega says:

            I guess. But damn if TF2 isn’t a perfect cautionary tale regarding artistic integrity at this point =/

  4. LionsPhil says:

    I’m sure that chestburster thing has been around since the last big update.

  5. MrFinnishDude says:

    This isn’t the Halloween update! It’s a different thing!
    The Halloween update will come but it will be completely community made, no valve content involved.

  6. wyrm4701 says:

    Yeah, you’ve got to buy the token to make the new crates randomly drop, which you then have to pay more money to open. This coin-business is rubbish, and it’s why I stopped giving any money to TF2 (See: Ducks, Gun Mettle).

    New maps are lovely, though. I really like the invasion aesthetic. Shame Valve keeps trying to nickel-and-dime the playerbase away.

    • Distec says:

      Fuck that. I bought a Gun Mettle ticket and that ended up going to waste when I inevitably decided I wanted to play some other games. The MvM tickets are fine since those last forever, but I resent having to purchase something for a limited-time opportunity that I may not make good on.

      TF2 is still a fun game. I thought all the bitching about hats and drops was just that. But their newer monetization schemes really do blow, and it does make me not want to come back.

      • MrFinnishDude says:

        Valve is a business, a business uses potential opportunities to make money to make money. That’s just how it is and how it’s always been.

        • wyrm4701 says:

          Yeah, that’s like hearing people discussing a day at the beach and insisting they understand that water is wet.

        • Darth Gangrel says:

          Since when did that give anyone a reason not to complain? Seeing as this is the Internet, where people exaggerate or even make stuff up to be able to complain (or perhaps just troll), the “it always has/always will be like this” argument against complaining has no merit whatsoever.

          • MrFinnishDude says:

            Good luck on your worldwide communist revolution then

        • Distec says:

          Thanks for the insight. Clearly I was completely ignorant of business and money up until now.

          Keep up the good work?

      • c0000006 says:

        Does the stuff in the crates give any kind of advantage?

        • Jalan says:

          Nope.

          As far as this update goes, there’s only four weapon reskins and all of them are variations on existing stock weapons (pistol, bat, etc.) while the remainder of the crate contents are cosmetic.

    • Kollega says:

      People are finally getting tired of Valve’s attempts to “monetize” and “gamify” TF2 ever further. And that is a good sign. Never gave a single cent to TF2 cash store, because as a third-worlder, the virtual hats for $20 a pop (the original price of the Grenadier’s Softcap and other Polycount set hats), in a game that used to be pay-once and was my absolute favourite, felt like a spit in the soul.

    • Jalan says:

      This, while not going to seem like any less of a waste of money to those who view it and its kind in such ways, is marginally better than the duck journal.

      Assuming one buys it not for the crate madness factor but to support the community who put effort into making the maps (and whatever percentage of sales Valve takes out of that, of course), it turns out to be a relatively cheap strange item that you don’t have to wear (a plus for anyone who hates that aspect of the game). Everyone else either falls into the “gotta get them crates” crowd (whether they open them or sell them on the marketplace while the price is still viable) or the rest who check out the maps and don’t spend a cent.

  7. Solar Toaster says:

    Oh another moneygrab? Man TF2 has evolved into such a successful giant wallet.

  8. Kollega says:

    I wish this update was something more than a glorified crate-peddling scheme. But at least the aesthetics are half-decent on the items, even if among the new maps, only 2Fort Invasion looks like a thorough exploration of the theme.

    Hell… when I still played and cared about TF2, I always thought that the game should build towards storylines about alien activity. It only made sense with the game’s 1968 pulp-mags-meet-spy-fi setting. But I doubt we’ll be seeing any storyline bits regarding this update, because Valve have created a “canon” for TF2 that’s a lot more nonsensical than “aliens show up in a time and place iconic for its association with space exploration and the men in black.”

  9. Vesperan says:

    Idiot ‘newbie’ question:

    I was enjoying gun mettle (powerhouse map especially).

    So now with update that map is gone? (I cant find the map being played at all) Or is it just that everyone is hammering the invasion thing?

    ..because I don’t like the invasion thing, so if Gun Mettle is just gone, so am I.

    I swear this used to be a lot simpler when I started playing Team Fortress. TFC in 1999! There were servers and they played maps, and they rotated. Sometimes new maps came out, but you could still find the old ones. Making me feel old!

    • Gotem says:

      All the maps remain playable, but with every update everyone puts the event maps on their servers.
      Are you using the server browser to search for it?

      • Vesperan says:

        Cheers. Hopefully everyone is just playing invasion as it is new..

        I’m in New Zealand, so the amount of low ping (<100ms) servers with decent number of players in them is fairly low – it doesn't take much for a map to effectively disappear from circulation.

  10. Jalan says:

    Played for a short time on Watergate. If you immediately overlook the fact that a route out of each team’s spawn has a (left or right) side that leads nowhere and most of the water is confusingly ankle-deep, it’s not an unpleasant map to play on.

    It did take a moment before I realized what the objective was though, despite reading the brief instruction shown. Apparently just standing in the UFO beam while you have at least 1 bottle of beer will be enough to score a point, where I mistakenly assumed I had to jump repeatedly while in the beam to touch the UFO in order to deposit the bottles.

  11. 9squirrels says:

    I was hoping that this would be another MvM style game. A group of us from work get together once a week to play together, and we generally prefer to all be on the same team together.

  12. Nixitur says:

    Ah, another community update then? I recognize the names Harry101UK and Chaofanatic from the credits and have seen their work on Youtube. That’s pretty cool.

  13. rancer4 says:

    also breakign into someones house, and stealing their tv is a way to monetize. SOoooo. you don’t take someones game and steal it. they should give people 20 dollars or whatever they paid for the game whoever got the hat, to them if they give, or have the hat, deleted. that they gave to everyone, to make stealing it and saying its, free, or stolen to people. and sell crap which noone would care about. in a FIRST PERSON SHOOTER.