Isn't it nice when companies become friends? Valve and Bad Robot, J. J. Abrams production company responsible for TV shows like Lost and movies like Super 8, have teamed up to produce a new mode for Team Fortress 2 [official site]. It's called PASS Time and it blends Team Fortress 2 with the "fast-paced sports of soccer, hockey and basketball."
PASS Time splits players into two teams as normal, but with goals at either end of the map and the ball somewhere in the middle. The player who picks up the ball gets health regeneration, a temporary speedboost, and visibility of every player on the map. If you melee kill the player with the ball, you steal it, whereas if you kill them with projectile weapons the ball is spilled and must be picked up from the ground. Whichever team scores the most goals, wins.
It sounds a little like old Unreal Tournament mode Bombing Run, though I suppose only in as much as they're both based on ball sports. The post on the TF2 blog about the mode is at least keen to stress the importance of passing and tactics, two things that rarely materalise amid the "run towards the ball" chaos of other similar games.
Development duties on the new mode fell to Escalation Studios, the company started by former Ritual Entertainment co-founder Tom Mustaine, although the design was handled by the bods at Bad Robot. They're looking to gather feedback on what they describe as an early version of the mode and have set up an email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, for people to write them with their suggestions, comments and third-act fixes for Star Trek Into Darkness.
PASS Time is out now and, if you're running Steam, Team Fortress 2 will automatically update.