Previews

Team Fortress 2

We rocketjump into Valve's wacky-explosive multiplayer FPS! Plus: new high-res screens!

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AS GOOD AS A REST
One of the most important things for fans to realise as they wait with feverish anticipation is that nothing in TF is sacrosanct - changes and tweakage are afoot. The medic class, for example, has been thoroughly gutted and redesigned - and will no longer be able to spread disease as he once did. Similarly, the spy's ability to play dead is still up in the air - and now has a neat Predator-style way of merging colours with the walls behind him. The permanence of some of the grenades, for example the Engineer's EMP one, is even looking a mite shaky - although Valve are expecting to do something funky with the game's natty visuals and the disorientation grenade. Most important of all, however, is the fact that TF2 still has a fair chunk of development time to go - and when it does appear, don't expect it all to be in one go. TF2 will be initially released with Episode Two and Portal, but from then on there will be a definite drip-feed of maps and content via Steam.

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So there you have it: one of gaming's biggest mysteries now wide out in the open, and in a form that no bugger expected either. It's got genuine charm and it reeks of cool - but will Valve be able to appease noobs and fanboys in one sweeping '60s embrace? Here's hoping...

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