Team Fortress 2 revealed

Last week, in his signature ho-hum fashion, Gabe Newell (boss of renegade independent developer Valve) dropped the biggest bomb of publisher Electronic Arts' entire press event: the return of Team Fortress 2 for the PC, the Xbox 360 and the PS3. First announced over five years ago, TF2 has been missing-in-action ever since.

Newell shared a teaser trailer that marked the return of the seminal class-based team shooter. It showed that Valve has completely scrapped the gritty, realistic look of the original concept for the sequel. Instead, they've given all nine of the different soldier classes a cel-shaded look that closely resembles the style of the Incredibles movie. The trailer also makes it clear that Team Fortress 2 won't take itself too seriously; the game will be drenched in comedy, something that seems conspicuously absent from the genre today.

So check out the funny trailer by hitting the Movies tab above. You'll be introduced to the machine-gunning Heavy, the oh-you-got-me, possum playing Spy, the I-forgot-my-armor Scout and a TNT-slinging Demoman. Also returning: Mr. turret-happy Engineer, a rubber-gloved Medic, the (team, what team?) Sniper, the comically gung-ho Soldier and the flame-belching Pyro.

Team Fortress 2, Battlefield 2142, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic all sound like they'll be released dangerously close to one another. If you are a rabid fan of class-based team multiplayer games (and if your head didn't just pop), this is shaping up to be a brilliant year.

July 19, 2006