So, Shacknews posted a lengthy preview of Team Fortress 2. At first, everything was normal, no different than what we expected. Multiple classes, fun gametypes, cool maps, protestations that the Medic is fun to play: everything was copacetic. According to the review, Team Fortress 2 will not feature cross-platform play. That's all well and good, except Valve -- developer of the PC and Xbox 360 versions (EA UK is handling the PS3 version) -- "regularly play cross-platform multiplayer games." Why then, are we denied such pleasure? According to Valve's Doug Lombardi, it "introduces more problems than it is worth." He further notes that Valve would only implement cross-platform play in a title that was designed for it from the start.
Ah well, looks like we'll have to be satisfied with fragging fellow 360 fanboys.
It seems Team Fortress 2 is fast becoming the best reason to own the Half-Life 2 Orange Box. In every preview of the game, various outlets are describing it as the most outstanding feature of the entertainment-packed package. With some particularly impressive visuals and reportedly rock-solid gameplay to boot, it's easy to see why. IGN recently got their turn to try out Team Fortress 2 and have done us the favor of breaking down every single character class in the game. With 9 classes from which to choose, finding your favorite might be a difficult task, especially considering that the support classes are actually fun to play.
Honestly, we're torn so many ways we don't know what to think. Do we pick the Demoman and his sticky bombs, the Pyro and his flamethrower, or the Engineer and his deadly turrets? What about the chameleon-like Spy, or the cool-as-nails Sniper, or the well-rounded Soldier? Of course, there is the Medic, who's capable of making players and himself briefly invulnerable, and there's the Scout, who can change direction mid-jump. Then again, there's always the Heavy Weapons Guy ... and his beloved Sasha.
Who's your favorite so far?
The Team Fortress 2 aesthetic has been compared to The Incredibles more than once, and it really shows up in this video, with amazing animation and some decent shtick. This video, to put it simply, is gorgeous. We wish there was more to say about it, but honestly, that's pretty much it. The facial animation is damned near perfect, and the character has real personality. Rather than spoil anything else, we suggest you go ahead and watch it. You'll be glad you did.
The Half-Life 2 Orange Box is starting to look better all the time, isn't it?
In a press release on Friday, Valve announced they are nearing completion of Half Life 2: Episode Two and is on schedule for its third quarter release this year. They go on to say that they spent time early on in the development cycle to get high quality concept art produced on vital areas in the game, so that everyone on the team would be able to share a cohesive vision and be able to bring it to life in the final product. Evidently, upon release we'll be able to make direct comparisons to these pieces with locales in the game. Either way, any news is good news when it comes to Orange Box. Except for delay announcements, which this is not, which is good ... news.
GameTrailers has posted an interview with Valve's Doug Lombardi discussing the upcoming Orange Box for Xbox 360. The Orange Box, for those who don't know, contains Half-life 2, HL2 episode 1 and 2, Team Fortress 2, and Portal. Lombardi talks about the revisions to the source engine since Half-Life 2 first launched and what is possible with multiple core processors. He discusses some of Gabe Newell's comments about the PS3 and Valve's current opinion of the Wii as well. Also, sprinkled throughout the video are some very pretty snippets of the games included in the Orange Box. For fans of Half-Life, it's definitely worth a look. Give it a watch and tell us what you think.
Kim Swift, Valve's level designer stated that Portal clocks in at around four hours to complete. As a standalone retail game, that would be quite disturbing, but given that it's accompanied by four other titles in the Half Life 2: Orange, we're a little more forgiving. Still, the game promises to be a bit of a mind-frack, though Swift promises that the difficulty curve isn't going to be overwhelming as the game teaches you to "think in portals". So, are you going to put into the better part of an afternoon into this when you pick up Orange later this year, or are you going to stick with Half Life 2 and its episodes with a side of Team Fortress 2?
Half-Life 2: Orange, as we now call it, has been forever delayed and will only show up much later this year. But what are eager Half Life fanboys supposed to do until that time comes ... wait? Yes, you will have to wait, but Valve understands your pain by offering some screenshot love. They just released a massive amount of screens from the Half-Life 2: Orange bundle including Portal and Team Fortress 2. All the games are looking pretty good, but Portal and Team Fortress 2 lack visual goodness that Half-Life 2 offers, which is probably intended. Check out the nifty gallery Joystiq put up and come back to post your thoughts on what is sure to be one great compilation.
Soon, Half-Life 2: Episode 2 will be making its way onto the Xbox 360 and will be bundled with a bunch of other goodies. And those guys over at Valve found an easy way to identify the new compilations ... by color.
The Xbox 360 (PC and PS3) will be getting what is known as the Half-Life 2: Orange bundle. Included is the original Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episodes 1 and 2, Team Fortress 2 and Portal. The orange package will set you back a reasonable $59.99. For our PC brethren they have one other option called Half-Life 2: Black. This bundle will include Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Team Fortress 2, Portal and will cost $39.99. The Black bundle is for those PC gamers that already purchased Half-Life 2 and Episode 1. Phew ... there you have it. But is anyone a little turned off by the whole color coding system?