Spooky season is upon us. I know this, in part, because someone has already covered the treehouse windows in cheap cobwebs and I can't gaze broodingly at the completely normal, not at all unsettling events of the outside world in 2019. But the real clue is Team Fortress 2's Halloween event, back once more with two new maps, a buncha hats and a temporary re-opening of every Halloween event from the past eleven years.
It's nothing special, really, beyond an excuse to dip back into backstabbing as the Spy. This is good enough for me.
Valve have been outsourcing Scream Fortresses-esses for years. We used to get rampaging headless axemen, bumper car battles , giant eyeballs and evil wizards. Nowadays they tend to rely on community-made maps and cosmetics.
It's a shame, but an understandable one. TF2 is ancient, and it's neat to get seasonal new stuff of any kind after twelve years.
The two new maps are called Laughter and Precipice, and I much prefer the former. It's a king of the hill map with a purple portal behind the capture point that you can traverse to become temporarily invulnerable and crit-boosted, only this may well not happen because traversing it involves platforming and sometimes having your head transformed into a bomb while being harangued by a talking flying book.
Precipice starts off as a mundane payload map where you have to push the cart in a mostly straight line. I'm sure something spooky happens once you're past the first stage, but I haven't had a chance to find out because my attempt at cart-pushing went too badly, and then when the sides switched cart-defending went too well.
Reddit user "xXMisterDiscoXx" has made a handy image of the new hats and such, again all sourced from the community. At first glance it seems tame, but then you see the genuinely chilling "binoculus".
As I argued last year, TF2 Halloween events are about swiftly-fading novelty rather than finely-balanced arenas. "Just dip your hand in the bag and see what bites you", I said back then. Look, I said it again.
Here are the patch notes for this year.