Posts Tagged ‘Team Fortress 2’

The 50 best FPS on PC

The best shooters endure. While the state of the art moves on in other genres and leaves old designs in the dust, it’s as fun to fire a well-made shotgun from an early 90s FPS as from one released today. For that reason, this list runs the gamut from genre classics to those released in the last year. There’s bound to be something for you inside.

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Undertale’s fan-game scene is alive, well, and has produced a full-length Team Fortress 2 crossover

The game's free, man

It’s hard to believe that it’s been two and a half years since Undertale was the talk of the town. While pangs of early nostalgia are still easy to feel, a recent return to the underground reminded me that yes, it really was every bit as good as the hype suggested. Possibly moreso, even – it’s a modern classic, which makes it quite unsurprising that its fans are still picking it apart and reassembling it in fun new ways.

Undertale’s fans continue to be an industrious and driven lot, using the game’s rich blend of gameplay systems and easily-written characters to piece together their own stories inspired by Toby Fox’s low-fi RPG opus. Among them, a full-length Team Fortress 2-themed retelling of the tale. Step inside for a tour of this and other great free games you could play today.

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The 2017 Saxxy Award nominees are in and I’ve already picked the winners

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Update: the official winners are now in.

If you haven’t heard of the Saxxy Awards, then you’ve been missing out. It’s an annual Source Filmmaker competition orchestrated by Valve, and I reckon this year has a particularly strong crop of nominees. The official winners will be announced later today, but who cares about that? I’ve saved Valve the trouble and already picked out the best ones below.

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We spoke to the co-director of Ready Up, a documentary showcasing competitive TF2

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Ready Up opens with a shot of the CS:GO grand finals at ESL One. The size of the stadium dwarfs the players on the stage, who all wear deadly serious expressions. There are thousands of people in the audience, many of them frantically waving inflatable tubes covered in sponsorship scrawls. A member of one team makes a clutch pistol play, and the room erupts in a roar of screaming and thunderous chanting. The player solemnly acknowledges the applause with a showboating chef kiss, but he doesn’t look like he’s having much fun.

Then, we change rooms. A few dozen people are sitting in front of a screen, watching their friends compete at a Team Fortress 2 LAN event. The players seem focused, yet relaxed. “Ah, I’m dead” says one of them, half-grinning at his misfortune. At the heart of the competitive TF2 scene, it transpires, is a community with bonds that transcend the tribalism you might see in other esports. I spoke to Alex “Dashner” Pylyshyn over email, who co-directed Ready Up alongside Ness “Uberchain” Delacroix, about the past, present and future of competitive TF2.

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The best PC game trailers ever

Buh! Buh! baa-dddaaah!

The game trailer is a sly creature. It wants to entertain you, to excite you, to embolden you with curiousity. But it also wants to sell you a bunch of code wrapped up in some 3D shapes. Some trailers turn out to be more artful than the game they’re hawking, others plant sneaky emotions in your head with music. However, some are better than others. Here are the best conflagrations of light and noise in PC gaming.

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2017 Steam Award winners include PUBG, Cuphead & Witcher

We’ve already seen which games sold best on Steam last year, but a perhaps more meaningful insight into movin’ and a-shakin’ in PC-land is the games that people feel warmest and snuggliest about. To that end, Valve have announced the winners of the 2017 Steam Awards, a fully community-voted affair which names the most-loved games across categories including best post-launch support, most player agency, exceeding pre-release expectations and most head-messing-with. Vintage cartoon-themed reflex-tester Cuphead leads the charge with two gongs, but ol’ Plunkbat and The Witcher series also do rather well – as do a host of other games from 2017’s great and good.

Full winners and runners-up below, with links to our previous coverage of each game if you’re so-minded. Plus: I reveal which game I’d have gone for in each category.
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These are the top 100 Steam games of 2017

Another year over, a new one just begun, which means, impossibly, even more games. But what about last year? Which were the games that most people were buying and, more importantly, playing? As is now something of a tradition, Valve have let slip a big ol’ breakdown of the most successful titles released on Steam over the past twelve months.

Below is the full, hundred-strong roster, complete with links to our coverage if you want to find out more about any of the games, or simply to marvel at how much seemed to happen in the space of 52 short weeks.

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Scream Fortress IX brings back every Halloween TF2 event

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As if the hordes of pyros weren’t scary enough, Team Fortress 2‘s Halloween event launched on Friday. Instead of doing something new, they’ve chosen to make every previous Scream Fortress – going back to 2009 – playable once again. Get your spooks in while you can, because the event ends on November the 8th.

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Pyros and spy lows: thoughts on TF2’s Jungle Inferno

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The match seems to be going terribly. My teammates don’t appear to be interested in defending the capture point, and about half of the enemy team have dominations – meaning they’ve killed the same player multiple times without that person getting revenge. Yet weirdly, the game continues.

I’m dead, tabbing through the viewpoints of everyone who’s alive, when I realise why. One of our Red pyros is dancing with six members of Team Blu, keeping them occupied through the use of a taunt.

Team Fortress 2 is weirder than ever.

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Team Fortress 2’s huge Jungle Inferno update out today

Today the Pyro will get a chuffing jetpack in Team Fortress 2 as part of the ‘Jungle Inferno’ update. This is a big’un, bringing one new Valve-made map, five new community-made maps, and the long-promised Pyro class update. All flamethrowers are being improved and the Pyro is armed with four new weapons too, from a beefy single-shot flamethrower to a cheeky slap (hey, it worked in Absolver).

The update was expected to launch last night but Valve delayed it for a little more testing, so it’ll now hit today. Read the rest of this entry »

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: Read the rest of this entry »

Making The Orange Box: how 3 Valve games became 1

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The Orange Box is one of the strangest quirks of gaming history. Never before had a developer released three brand new, entirely separate games at the same time in one package, and thanks to digital distribution, it probably won’t happen again. What makes The Orange Box truly remarkable though is that it contained two of the most-anticipated games of 2007, and what proved to be the biggest surprise hit of the year (some might argue ever).

The company was Valve and the games were Half Life 2: Episode 2, Team Fortress 2 and Portal.

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Blocktober: a beautiful insight into how game worlds are built

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Interested in how the games sausage gets made? Yes? Then you need to be following Blocktober. No? Then you need to be following Blocktober. It’s a hashtag – no, come back – on Twitter this month, at which level designers on games big, small and yowza, really big are showing off what their creations looked like before artists and graphics programmers went and covered up all the cleverness with prettiness. In other words, take a look at the component parts some of your favourite games are made of, and get a real sense of how much of what we take for granted as background scenery and pathing is meticulously built.

Also: some of these unclothed visions of games such Star Citizen, Titanfall, Homefront, Yooka-Laylee, Vermintide, Bulletstorm, Dead Space, Uncharted and many more look like escapees from a beautifully minimalist alt-dimension of games that I would love to visit.
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Former Valve artist’s portfolio includes mystery co-op fantasy game, rad female TF2 characters

Valve Software might possibly be making a cooperative fantasy game, or have at one time worked on, or thought about making, or doodled some ideas for one. This revelation comes from concept art in the portfolio of former Valve artist Drew Wolf. “The project was a fantasy adventure game centered around cooperative combat and driven by story,” he says, though he doesn’t explicitly say the character sketches were for Valve, simply referring it as an “internal R&D project”. So maybe it maybe it never got beyond the R&D stage, maybe it wasn’t even for Valve, or maybe it’ll be Valve’s next game.

The point is: oh hot damn, Wolf also drew some ace concepts for female Team Fortress 2 characters, come look at these. Read the rest of this entry »

Has Team Fortress 2 been improved by its updates?

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Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse.

This is RPS, so let’s get literary. Team Fortress 2 is the game version of the Picture of Dorian Gray — but in reverse. Read the rest of this entry »

Team Fortress 2 adds organ harvesting, many nerfs & more open development

Traditionally, Valve have maintained impossibly motionless poker faces about what they have planned in the longer term for Team Fortress 2 [official site] updates – something which helped to build insane degrees of anticipation back in the day, as we prayed and begged for videos and comics and guns and hats. These days, Overwatch seems to absorb most of the air in the room, and in addition TF2 is so fatted with stuff that it’s hard to get too excited about this or that being tweaked. That’s why the latest round of patch notes are semi-notable: they’re telling us what they’ve got in the pipeline before it gets sprayed into the game, as opposed to the usual after.
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Valve crack down on Team Fortress 2 skin gambling

Valve have started cracking down more on sites using Team Fortress 2 [official site] items as chips in virtual gaming. Last year they focused on skin gambling with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive items, amidst scandals, more scandals, and lawsuits. Even the Washington State Gambling Commission got involved, ordering Valve to shut it all down. While Valve don’t run any of these gambling sites, see, the sites do rely on Steam. Now, Valve are shutting down accounts associated with TF2 sites. Read the rest of this entry »

Good will to all teams in TF2’s new autobalancing

Team Fortress 2 [official site] recognises that yes, Smissmas is a time for gibbing your fellow man then leaving their labelled hunks under the tree, but also somethings for coming-together. Valve’s free-to-play FPS has kicked off its Christmas event with an update bringing the traditional assortment of new icy items but also handy features for casual play. A new team autobalancing systems gives players gifts if they even up teams, while Casual matchmaking now keeps players together after matches to pick a new map and go again. This should mean more fun, less yelling, and an end to the Red and Blu sides of the family glaring at each other across the lounge on Boxing Day. Read the rest of this entry »

Monday morning machinima: watch the Saxxy winners

What use are Saturday morning cartoons? Who’s even around to see those? Mate, what I need is Monday morning cartoons. Some short fun cartoons around 10 on my first day back at work sounds just the ticket. So come on, let’s enjoy the 2016 Saxxy Award finalists and winners. Valve unveiled this year’s finest Source engine machinima on Friday night after I’d already flicked a match into the RPS treehouse and walked away growling “See you in hell!” as it exploded behind me (I didn’t look, obvs – I felt the heat), which means they’re handily here for me today as I sit on the floor amongst ashes. Read the rest of this entry »

The History Of Overwatch’s Hero Abilities

Developers imitate each other, as do writers, musicians and artists, and Blizzard are the best in the business at it. No other company is so good at distilling the sweat of another’s brow and refining it into pure, unadulterated joy. Yet, while it’s easy to see in Overwatch the objective-based gameplay of Team Fortress 2, the team dynamics of League of Legends or the creative movement mechanics of 90s shooters, its various ideas can often be traced back much further, towards older games that the designers at Blizzard may never have played.

I’ve chosen ten abilities Overwatch’s heroes can perform and used them as the starting point for a jaunt through game history. What was the first game to feature grappling hooks, or teleportation, or time-rewinding? Find out below.

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