Last night I was made aware of a countdown on the Team Fortress website. A very short countdown, in spite of having counters for days and hours. Although I was about to go to sleep at the time, 38 minutes seemed like a small disruption in my sleeping schedule.
That countdown lead to this video.
To usher in the umpteenth major update (they’ve kept this going for almost seven years now), Valve has made yet another addition to the expanding Team Fortress 2 lore. I’m only half joking. For a game that has absolutely zero in-game story, Team Fortress 2 has one of the most fleshed-out and entertaining narratives of any game claiming the title of ‘first-person shooter’, including but not limited to such elements as life extension machines, a wizard named Merasmus, an army of robots, and Australia.
This backstory got its start before the game itself was actually out, in the form of Meet The Heavy, the first in what has proved to be a slow but increasingly complex trickle of short films and comics based on the characters that make up Team Fortress 2’s roster – and several characters that have yet to make any appearance at all in the game proper. The ascendancy from Meet The Heavy’s simple, documentary-like interview to the elaborate bombast and absurdity of Expiration Date very much reflects the transformation of the game itself. As such, I thought now would be the perfect time to finally knock out that Outdated Review I announced a while back. It’ll be in two parts: The first will focus purely on the films and comics, which I am currently ploughing through again for research. The second will contrast the game’s beginnings in 2007 with its current state.
And now, back to that research I just mentioned. There’s… quite a bit to plough through here, considering how much time Valve likes to take between entries in the grand TF2 fiction. But then, seven years cam make a lot of stuff add up.