Team Fortress 2 Jungle Inferno update brings new short

The Team Fortress 2 [official site] gang are off to a lush tropical island to fight around the remains of Saxton Hale’s failed theme park Yeti Park in the next big themed update. The Jungle Inferno update will re-open Yeti Park as Mercenary Park, where mercenaries fight mercenaries (for control of capture points). Psst, that’s us. Five tropical community-made maps are coming too. As is TF2 tradition, Valve are counting down to launch day-by-day with collected teases, so more is to come. Dare I dream for the promised Pyro overhaul?

And yes, of course this means we have a fine new TF2 animated short to watch:

So! Yeti Park, a theme park which might look like Jurassic Park but is a place where disaster is supposed to strike, because how can you fight a yeti if it’s not loose? Well, Saxton Hale has hastily rebranded and now us mercenaries will be fighting across its grounds, visitor centre, and other areas which may well resemble Jurassic Park.

The five other maps are made by community members. Valve released the Jungle theme assets ages back, see, challenging people to produce more spec work. The five lucky ones are Attack/Defend mode map Mossrock, the Payload Race level Banana Bay, King of the Hill maps Lazarus and Brazil, and another splash of Jurassic Park with Payload map Enclosure.

The update page details more taunts too.

That’s quite a lot to have revealed on day one of four. Seems this update will be a big’un alright!

I do hope the promised Pyro overhaul will be part of this. You might remember that in 2016, Valve ran a community event to decide whether the Pyro or Heavy would get a big update with new weapons, rebalancing, and so on. Pyro won that but we’re still waiting to see what that will actually bring.

Rich McCormick revisited TF2 last month and, while he wasn’t best pleased with all the complications and cruft Valve have added over the past decade (yes, Orange Box launched ten years ago), he concluded that “modern TF2 is still wildly enjoyable at its best.”


  1. Kollega says:

    I’m wondering; are there any other people here who valued Team Fortress 2 for its qualities as a work of art, and wish it still functioned as a work of art (as it was on release), rather than merely as a license to print money via virtual hats and gamble-crates? I mean… if that was the case, this wouldn’t be a (purported) style parody of Jurassic Park. It would be a style parody of Thunderball and The Man with the Golden Gun. Surely I’m not the only one who would find that more appealing? I know I’d be all over that! Anyone else agrees?

    I’ll say though… if the whole thing with Evil Genius 2 works out, I am very, very likely to shut up about TF2 and go enjoy that instead. Who’s with me? :P

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      Not the only one. I liked the more focused original aesthetic.

      • Kollega says:

        It does make me sad. We bought a game that consciously strove to be a Bond spoof as painted by Norman Rockwell, and now it’s been turned into literally a generic F2P mess. Well, the character design is. The maps have mostly been spared, from what I’ve seen, but in an MP shooter, man can’t live on maps alone. And it does make me upset that good art was lost and amazing development opportunities were squandered.

        But hey! At least now we’ve got other games with cartoon graphics like that, and not all of them are F2P and awful, so there are a few to choose from.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      You just summarized the sentiment we’ve seen in every TF2 thread for the last decade or so… So, no.

      • Kollega says:

        First, just to be a prick: a decade ago TF2 just came out and everyone was heels-over-head in love with its art direction and gameplay.

        Second, there’s a bit from my personal experience. I’m pretty sure that when I complained about ridiculous hats, and then the cash shop and gamble-crates, as those showed up… I was pretty consistently booed for caring about the art or the monetization rather than “just enjoying the gameplay”. Even though the original TF2 was so damn good that the art and the possibilities for future developments were just as important as the gameplay. But then, that stuff simply got buried in a hatpocalyptic landslide.

        Honestly though? Gameplay isn’t everything. And it’s nice that some people agree. Good art direction, and good worldbuilding, are also to be celebrated, and I feel like TF2 is a great example of completely squandering both.

        • Coming Second says:

          People complained about hats the Batter’s Helm was added. Every fresh wave of haberdashery was met by one style expert or another shouting WE’VE GONE TOO FAR! So no, you aren’t the stalwart maverick you think you are.

          And if Valve had never added them, or worked out a relatively painless way of making money off of a decade-old F2P game, then yeah, TF2 would be perfectly preserved – and everyone would have stopped playing it about 6 years ago. You don’t like it anymore, that’s a perfectly valid opinion to have. To want it to have remained in a hermetically sealed environment because you have fond (and rose-tinted) memories of how it was on release is not.

          • Kollega says:

            Look, I’m not against cosmetic customization items. In fact, I loved the idea of different looks for classes based on player choice and the environments. What I am very much against are A) items that completely break the style of the game – like the Deus Ex promotional bundle or the Australian Christmas items – and B) turning the game into a hat shop by pushing said cosmetic items at every opportunity and then either gating them behind 100+ weapons’ worth of scrap or one-time easy payment of $20 per hat. And yes, that’s the most extreme example – but that was the original price for the Polycount pack hats, which included a minor gameplay set bonus too. And even if that was scaled back, well…

            Point is, I’d feel way better about hats in TF2 if they didn’t take over the game like some kinda virus (just look at all the hat-related stuff in the promotions and lore and tell me I’m wrong), and were… hm, how do I put it? Perhaps it’d be fairer to have free hat-earning tied to earned gameplay points, not playtime? And to not have gamble-crates, which was a (shameful) first in AAA market if memory serves, but just have pay-for hats available for a one-off price? That other game going by the initials of TF2* does that sorta thing, with cosmetics locked behind gameplay achievement and one-off-payment cosmetic bundles that you don’t have to gamble or scrounge for, and you know what? I am fine with that!

            So what am I saying? Things sure could’ve gone better. But as a song from one adaptation of Treasure Island goes: “Greed strikes hardeer than cholera / Greed’s the scourge of flibustiers! / Now repeat with us, dear sirs, our chorus to this song!”

            * It’s Titanfall 2. It’s damn good, because it also made its very core mechanics fun. And didn’t so far jump from “military science fiction” to “a story wholly about hats” for its plot. I like it.

  2. Seafoam says:

    Ah, trusty old friend. I had already given up hope and abandoned you ages ago.
    Sold all my valuable items, uninstalled you from a hard-drive that was your home for solid 8 years.
    Maybe it is time to visit you again, though with a weary heart I believe it might be the last.

    • Coming Second says:

      Jesus H. Christ, don’t play the free game if it’s going to be that much of an onus on you.

      • teije says:

        And to think the Second Coming of Jesus Christ happened on RPS! Hallejuah!

      • Seafoam says:

        I got the game with the original Orange Box, I saved up to it with my allowance and it was the first steam game I ever bought. I have something of a 2000 hours racked up on it, and a lot of great memories. I’m so happy to see it sprung back to life again, over a mega-update that lasts 4 days! The last update that long was the Uber/Free-to-play update back in 2011!

        Let’s just say the game has lot’s of sentimental value to me, is that too strange to you?

      • PseudoKnight says:

        A lot of us bought the game, then lost it under a pile of hats.

        • Seafoam says:

          I bought the game, and I thrived on the hats. Virtual stock market, trade servers, gaining real world money.
          Some people experience things differently I guess.

  3. LagTheKiller says:

    Eh good ol TF2. Your better days will never return no matter the amount of patches and new cow disintegrators. Why they wont start TF3? It is competition between Valve an Blizz (Warcraft3) for the most anticipated continuation of the decade?

    • Seafoam says:

      I would meme and say that Valve cannot count to 3, but the truth is that Valve just doesn’t make games anymore. Laid off most of their writing staff and such.

      • crazyd says:

        You really don’t need much of a writing staff to make Team Fortress 3.

        • liquidsoap89 says:

          The TF2 comics being pretty much the only written content from Valve over the past few years say otherwise!

  4. AngoraFish says:

    You’d think that a company with as much money as Valve might be able to find a real Australia to voice their Australian accent, eh?

  5. Sardonic says:

    If Pyro gets a jetpack, I might come back

  6. wyrm4701 says:

    I’d just like to be able to join a friend in-game without being told the server “doesn’t allow ad-hoc connections”. It’s incredible that Valve broke this simple function on their official, ‘casual’ servers. I don’t think I’ve played since that became a needless impediment.

  7. April March says:

    I have to admit, a new Payload Race map is pretty much the only thing that drew my attention.