Bloody huge TF2 update is out, hilarious

30 Sep

Holy cardboard cut-out cow, the Mann-Conomy update – at least 17 new items and a plethora of delicious new gamey features – has come out of nowhere. There’s so much in this update, I don’t feel bad busting out the bullet points to name the major inclusions:

– The winners of the Polycount Pack, their weapons and hat designs put through the well-oiled Valve gameplay attribute machine

– A trading system(gopping finally), so everyone can rush to give me their Camera Beards and Elvis wigs in exchange for my scrap metal and jars of Sniper urine

– A duelling mingame, wherein two players voluntarily simulate the tunnel-vision campaign of stalking and abuse caused by the existing Domination mechanic

– Goodie-containing supply crates and tags to customise any gear in your possession

– A Mann Co. shop, where impatient players can buy their way to hat-wearing glory with real cash monies. This, unsurprisingly, has caused the biggest eruption of rage, and whilst it’s true that my Pyro’s monocle and fake moustache combo is a little bit less special now anyone can just pay for a store-bought SHELL OF MY MIGHTY FACIAL HAIR, few items are actually held hostage to a fee – all but a few rare cosmetic items can be earned or traded for free. Besides, it’s not like, after the months and months that this stuff has been available, headgear is precious goldust anyway.

The shop is mysteriously shut for now, and the few servers in my favourites tab are all either full, empty or weirdly impossible to join. Unavoidably, then, my favourite part of the update thus far is the customary splash page and ceaselessly entertaining comic. Saxton Hale has grown from an obscure reference gag in the pages the Sniper/Spy update to one of the TF2 metaverse’s most loved and consistently funny characters. These days, the fearsome Aussie even has his own mod. He’s an underrated triumph of excellent comedy writing in games, and his increasingly heavy presence in TF2’s many updates pleases me no end.

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