Team Fortress 2 gets Weta weapons

It's a month since Valve's Team Fortress 2 went free-to-play, and the company is celebrating this minor but welcome achievement with some of the DLC that's now powering the title financially. Of course, this being Valve, it had to be something a bit unexpected... to be precise, a set of steampunk-themed Dr. Grordbort's rayguns, previously only available to wealthy collectors of functionally useless knickknacks and fans of filmmaker Peter Jackson's Weta Workshop, which designed the weapons.

Above: The Righteous Bison, available free to Comic-Con attendees

Dr Grordbort's Victory Pack, available for the Soldier from item drops, crafting or for $29.95 from the in-game Mann Co. store, provides virtual versions ofDr. Grordbort's Infallible Aether Oscillatorsdesigned and manufactured by Weta, which is better known for providing the effects and props for Jackson's films. (Trivia: many of the explosion and gore effects for Valve's Source Engine were designed by Gray Horsfield, formerly Weta's leading destruction animator). Comic-Con attendees got the pack's signature weapon, the Righteous Bison, for free with a coupon available from Valve's booth.

The pack also includes the meatier Cow Mangler 5000 bolt-launcher, as well as a pith helmet, mutton-chop sideburns and pipe if you really want to take this old-time tomfoolery to its logical extreme. There's ashort comicproviding a token narrative justification for the weapons' inclusion in-game, but anyone liable to be enticed by the notion of %26ldquo;rayguns in TF2%26rdquo; need hardly be coerced...

Jul 25, 2011