Half-Life 2: Episode Two - The Return of Team Fortress 2 and Other Surprises

Valve's Gabe Newell drops some major announcements regarding Episode Two, including Xbox 360 and PS3 support and the return of Team Fortress 2.

Valve founder Gabe Newell dropped a number of bombshells regarding Half-Life 2: Episode Two at EA's summer press event. Newell revealed that the vaunted PC first-person shooter franchise is going to arrive on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and that the PC and console versions will ship with not only a new single-player game called Portals, but also with Team Fortress 2, the ambitious multiplayer game that Valve tried to develop in the late '90s but that quietly disappeared later on.

Half-Life 2 fans are already aware of the episodic content that Valve is producing, in place of a Half-Life 3. Episode One, the first chapter, was released earlier this summer to great acclaim. Well, Episode Two won't just continue the story of Gordon Freeman, Alyx Vance, and the rest of humanity battling the alien Combine for control of Earth.

For one, Valve is planning to release Episode Two simultaneously on the PC, Xbox 360, and the PlayStation 3. And it wouldn't make sense to give the console players Episode 2, which is essentially the middle of the story, so the console versions of Episode Two will also include Half-Life 2, as well as Episode One. That's right, both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 players will be able to get their hands on the entire Half-Life 2 saga in one package.

In addition to that bombshell, Newell revealed that all versions of Episode Two will ship with a separate single-player game called Portals. This is something of an insanely inspired puzzle game that takes advantage of the Source engine, judging from the hilarious trailer that Newell showed. The trailer took the form of a training video for a new employee of an advanced corporation in the Half-Life 2 universe.

The video shows a diagram and explains that as an employee of this company, you may have to find the emergency exit to a certain room. However, there are often obstacles in your way, like a gaping chasm. No problem, because all you need to use is your Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device to create dimensional doorways that let you mess with reality. For example, if there's gaping chasm between you and your objective, just shoot a portal on the far side of the room, then shoot a portal open on your side, then enter the portal. You'll instantly transport from one side of the room to the next by walking through the portal (you'll even see yourself going through the portal).

That's the simplest example of how to use the portal gun. In other situations, you may be under fire by a gun droid. So all you need to do is shoot a portal open over the gun, then shoot a portal open beneath a crate, then watch the crate fall through the hole and crush the gun. It gets even crazier, and the diagrams shown in the trailer showed some incredibly crazy things that you can attempt, like creating a series of portals so that you're constantly chasing yourself. Some of the puzzles sound like they'll be "impossible," so the challenge will be to figure out how to use the portal gun.

This promises to be an incredibly puzzle-style first-person experience, which Newell says is part of the goal. "We wanted to take physics out of this domain as a tool that lets you bounce grenades around to how can we really change the game experience for our customers," he said.

Newell then dropped an even bigger bombshell by showing off Team Fortress 2. Those familiar with Valve's history know that Team Fortress 2 was an ambitious multiplayer action game that was supposed to come out after the original Half-Life. However, the game quietly disappeared after years of development, and it was assumed that Valve dropped the project.

Well, Team Fortress 2 is back and will be included with Episode Two, and it looks like nothing else on the market. Newell explained that Valve wanted to make this action game distinct, so the graphics (which use the Source engine) look like a Pixar-animated movie. To reinforce this, the various character classes in the game look like cartoon caricatures. These include the Medic with the huge needle or the Demoman with the sticks of explosives. Other classes include the Heavy, the Spy, the Scout, the Engineer, the Sniper, the Soldier, and the Pyro. Newell says that the goal with Team Fortress 2 is to create "the best-looking and best-playing class-based multiplayer game." Team Fortress 2 is certainly unique in appearance, so we'll see how it plays.

Valve will release more information about Episode Two and all this new content throughout the fall, and more announcements will be revealed as the year goes on. We'll obviously keep a close eye on it, so make sure to check back with us for more details.

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290 comments
cimbomboy2
cimbomboy2

HXCDEW "It's is obviously gonna suck on the xflop 360. PS3 all the way" honestly what do you base that on...get a life mate, other than trying to ruin other people's!

vasilis1993
vasilis1993

Awesome!!!Can't wait...I WANT IT!! xD

tegovoltio
tegovoltio

This is great, Half-Life and it's mods are the only reason I care about PC for gaming. It's awesome consoles are getting the episodes too. The portal concept looks sick I can't wait. I'm getting both a console version and the PC because of the mods and CS:S.

kill_switch_eng
kill_switch_eng

haha great i just brought half life 2 on the xbox.oh well,it wasonly a fiver,i might take it back and wiat for this,becuase its got some serious frame rate issues on the xbox,with the new versions best not have

mydasx
mydasx

tfc 2. nuff said. to all you n00bs, my hwg will own you.

mark_unix
mark_unix

if you have a 1080P TV set, a 640x480 output on that wil look like HUGE FRICKING DOTS.... yea once you see 1080P you'll know why you don't want 480P...

mark_unix
mark_unix

if you have a 1080P TV set a so a 640x480 output on that wil look like HUGE FRICKING DOTS.... yea once you see 1080P you'll know why you don't want 480P...

69-jay
69-jay

portals looks verry nice...

Manlymike17
Manlymike17

Wow this is one of those game packs that will make you say "Yea...I'm gonna record my whole experience of this on camera" This looks so awesome.

Tebbit
Tebbit

All right then, my two cents: First of all, graphics aint everything, as the wii will hopefully show, so quit moaning about 640x480. Due to my personal vendetta against the Xbox 360 I probably cant say anything good about HL2 for it. How are they gonna fit it all on a dual layer-dvd? (possibly on hd, but thats not out yet is it?) For the PS3, the storage will certainly be a factor, but by far the best choice will be the pc, and that 'tis be my choice. Valve is up their in developer history, along with id, Blizzard and Ion Storm (mostly, cough *Daikatana*), so I figure just let them get on with it and its bound to be good!

jackassultima
jackassultima

So awesome. definately gona get it for PS3. with the size of blu ray, it will probably all be on 1 disc which will be sweet.

HXCDEW
HXCDEW

It's obviously gonna suck on the xflop 360. PS3 all the way!

hush404
hush404

This is OMG Sh_t my pants awesome!!!

Joker8956
Joker8956

Wow this sounds perfect i'v always been a big fan of the half-life series and I cant wait to play it on my 360...

star77241
star77241

Portal looks really cool. I hope that they decide to make it for the Wii. It would work really well with the Wii control system.

nhlkoho
nhlkoho

to saf_jut below: more than likely this will be just a direct port of the PC version of the game. There is no way they are going to release this game on consoles with better graphics than the PC version. Half-Life is and always will be a PC game. I believe that they will hold off on any graphical improvements until episode 3 comes out.

lovett6699uk
lovett6699uk

Forget the new cartoon style of tf2 why not wait til fortressforever comes out if anyone has seen that then you will know that its tfc fully converted to source but looking a whole lot better. Shame they scrapped the original idea of tf2.

Zeke129
Zeke129

Thanks to my weak computer, I never got to play Half-Life 2..... Now that I hear PS3 will be getting the entire package, I'm very excited. Thank you, Valve! (And thank you EA, for not screwing the game up this time!)

xSpitFire3x
xSpitFire3x

sounds like a great deal, will probably get but will get episode two for PC aswell, just not the same controls and game on consoles.

ewjim
ewjim

That's GREAT!

saf_jut
saf_jut

i just cant wait after playing half life 2 on xbox i cant imagine how awsome the nextgen version will be like

K-Lev
K-Lev

Portal is my now best reason to get a *cough*overpriced*cough* PS3. The trailer just wowed me. It was funny and looked fun and really beautiful. Wish it came as a separate game ... that would be so freaking awesome.

rencie
rencie

Sounds very exciting!

DaNWiL27
DaNWiL27

I think i need a new pair of pants.

Ash16
Ash16

Wow, thats amazing news for PS3 and 360 fans. Now, I have to say, I never played the original TF but this new one looks awesome, what with the cartoonish style and character variety. As for Portal, it looks mind boggling, Valve has done it again.

fr34k3nm0h3k4n
fr34k3nm0h3k4n

I really don't care if its off topic, but all the ppl out there that are into console gaming, how much money have you spent on your live subscriptions? On a pc, as long as you don't get sucked into the mmorpgs, there aren't any extra costs, you buy the game, then you play it (with better speed and detail). .... and I can't wait to get my hands on that package.

neoand12
neoand12

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nappan
nappan

Team Fortress 2... with Source? I swear I'm going to cry I'm so happy. I'd totally given up on this!! I was VERY skeptical about "episodic content" but if this is how valve is trying to win us over... it's working! Portal sounds truly interesting too, I mean, really interesting. Hats off to Valve for actually doing new things with games, distribution, and really giving their fans some value for their money. I'd go on, but I'm getting a little verklempt... talk amongst yaselves!

radiostyle
radiostyle

can i play HL2 Episode 2 with ps3's motion sensor when ps3 and this game release? i really don't know how can i play FPS games with game console's controller. (because when i tried to play HALO2, i couldn' play well and also when i saw my friend to play it with his XBOX, i was suprised. i can play FPS games with my keyboard and mouse but i can't play it with game console's controller...)

Reezum
Reezum

I think I'm gonna explode, Team fortress was the greatest online experience I've ever played..... the only game to better halo2 in my eyes! I'm so happy! This is gonna be some package tho! I'll buy it even if it costs £100. I love halflife and potal looks good but I think I'm just gonna play TF2 for the rest of my life.... if its anything like TF1 its gonna be the best xbox live game ever. Halo 2 beware!

UnderWorldsFire
UnderWorldsFire

Frankly I am extremely pleased to hear that Team Fortress 2 is coming out as I am still a major fan of the game and I would also like to see a release of Counter-strike or DOD for not just the PC. Fair enough argument that a console player is no match for the mouse/keyboard setup but I despise the frequent comment on consoles only lasting until the next one is out. Now please tell me this how often does one have to upgrade their PC in order to play the latest shooters? more frequently than say the 4 years a console will last you? So a gaming console is worth the money if you ask me, I still have my Sega Mega Drive and N64, but I don't keep my old Computers!!! Ive went through 4 in the last 2 years and will probably need another soon.

Andrew0824
Andrew0824

But if you're a pc only gamer, you miss out on 3/4 of all the good games. The only consistantly good games on pc's anymore are shooters.

confirm1
confirm1

Hey Msjr? Let me enlighten you to something. Sure, I wouldnt mind an Xbox 360, I mean, you can play all the best current games on it. Buuuuuttt.... Where's it going to be when microsoft builds the next Xbox? In the trash. Yeah sure consoles are fun and all, but they only last you till the next one comes out. (that is, unless you're content with halo 2 for the rest of your life.) I mean, honestly, I have had the same PC for over 8 years, and i can still play the best games on it. HL2 runs great on it, not to mention rise of legends. Sure its getting a little obsolete, but i can still play music, record music, check my email, browse any web page i want to, and much much more. Be smart. Buy a PC.

Chuong19
Chuong19

I love my consoles as much as the next gamer, but first person shooters should stay on the PC. KB&M > controller, in this regard. I'm hoping they'll make it so that PC players can play against the console players in the multiplayer online matches -- that way, the Halo freaks can finally be put in their place. Who ever said controllers are the best way to play FPSs never played CS:Source. Speaking of which, they should include CS:S for the consoles too, just so the mouse&keyboard kings can really rub it in. I'm sure it won't happen though, 'cause Valve probably wouldn't like their 360/PS3 customers getting OWNED by the real hardcore gaming crowd. Oh, and btw msjr78, I'm glad you've got yourself a nice (low-end) $400 xbox360, but it's ridiculous the way you make it sound like you've got something better than the PC. In addition to playing games (with progressively better graphics than any console, given time and development), the PC can: browse the web, encode videos/music to whatever format, archive every file type imaginable, catalog a library of different media, edit photos and images, and create/install a plethora of MODs for our games, and so much more crap I couldn't list it all if I wanted. I love my Tekken, Street Fighter, and God of War, but there's no way I'd be crazy enough to live without my PC.

henkvn
henkvn

Man I can't wait for this.....

o0pIumM
o0pIumM

Yeah but go up against a PC player in Multiplayer and youre toast with that game pad. Its great that they continued TF 2, TF was the best mod ever made for Quake and it will be great to play it Valve style.

msjr78
msjr78

Hey Checkmated, and all you PC gamers. How much did you spend on your PC's collectively? A couple thousand? How much is that graphics card? I paid $400 for my 360 and now I get to play Half Life 2 also.

GaaraZanta
GaaraZanta

The Portal single player game looks awsome, hopefully in the future they will fleesh it out into multiplayer, now that would be intresting.

Kenzo287
Kenzo287

cant be on wii only because wii doesnt have enough power. i really wish this was on wii to but i also plan on getting a 360 and since my computer sux like nobody's business i can finally play half-life 2

IgnatiusX
IgnatiusX

Why not put this on the Wii? It's control setup is perfect for FPSes...

Oilers99
Oilers99

Portal is an amazing looking game. It's definitely one of the reasons I'm planning on buying a 360.

russoo
russoo

the portals will put a whole new spin the gameplay.

messin18
messin18

So valve is going to take some college kids idea from 2004 (even if they did hire them) and try to release it in 2007/08 and claming it’s revolutionary and innovative? Even though it does look cool it's kind of pathetic. You can play the game right now here: http://www.nuclearmonkeysoftware.com/narbaculardrop.html