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.


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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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Avatar image for Checkmated

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for Checkmated

PC still the KING! Capable of playing anything!!! No boundaries!!! Upgradable make it so. But where's the PC Version???

Avatar image for Andron666

It's great. I played HL2 on the PC, but that was the last PC game I played through. So to get HL2 on PS3 with the new content will be great.

Avatar image for Disinfo

I guess for me anyways, I would have like to have seen the headline: "Valve planning Half-Life 3 for release in Fall 2007." I mean it is good financially for them to be milking HL2 for all its worth, but I would be much more excited to hear about the next HL instead of these ports and episodes.

Avatar image for Link_6512

Hmm, i really didn't have too many problems with Xbox HL2, except for the load times and no multiplayer and what not but that was about it. I hope they improve a few things in this bundle. Sure graphics will get a boost and all, but I guess since TF 2 is coming with it multiplayer is covered even tho it would be nice to see HL Deathmatch with it. Over all tho, i think this is gonna be pretty awesome, the only things im worried about are when it comes out and how much its costs but once its out, im playin it on my 360 for a LONG time...unless Gears is too engaging.

Avatar image for Flakor

Im happy about the news, but I feel sorry for the PC Gamers.

Avatar image for faldo674

i could have swore i had seen half life 2 on xbox 1. oh yeah thats right i did, and it fell out of the "bad pc conversions" tree just like counterstrike. i love valve for the way that they are allways updating stuff so we dont get so many bugs in the games. and the fact that i got lost coast and counterstrike source for free just for buying half life 2. but they need to stick to pcs. some people will just never learn. i hope they do it right this time. i shud have my 360 back by then. damn spring update screwed with the way the 360 reads the game cashe so i started getting BSODs and the red ring of light. :-( if only it was a pc...lol

Avatar image for cliff122316

honestly i would like to see valve release this package at more than 20$ for their sake. they release so many content bundles and free demos and updates over steam for cheap that i almost feel bad for them. valve is the only video game company in the world that i love to give my business to because of the great stuff they are doing.

Avatar image for zehoo

aha now that I've heard that the dod team are working on TF2 I'm a lot less excited about it.

Avatar image for nick1500

whoa the portal gun sounds like a real kick in the ass. i guess Valve must be given an award for their innovation. First we sam the loved by all kick ass gravity gun. And now this. Hell i have start updating my components to play this game at it is full potential. GO VALVE

Avatar image for darkfox101

god damn stealing PC games AGAIN!! :( o well i need 2 stop being a fanboy but i cant help it

Avatar image for XxAK47xX


Avatar image for vegnegun

Great, now I don't have to get a 360 to play HL: 2!!! PS3 all the way!!!

Avatar image for gitaruman

Sounds Great!! I'm a big Fan of HL series. I'm glad it's going to be on ps3. My lame PC won't run HL2, so I'll finally be able to have it. The new game play sounds awesome too. It's going to be great to see how creative developers can get, given the power of the PS3.

Avatar image for ramin2100

Man its gonna be awesome. and i think its as sharp as the pc cuz of the HDTV support and finally we can see the HL2 series on consoles.me and many others dreams r coming true. May the LORD bless u VALVE. Yeah !!! HAIL TO THE GREAT VALVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Avatar image for msatorn

I am glad to hear that Valve is giving the console players some love!!! However, I doubt that they will actually include Team Fortress 2 in the final package. Why would they, it looks like a stand alone game that could sell fine on its own.

Avatar image for Fire_Fly

Just today I was thinking of picking up Half Life Two but hearing this news made me reconsider. I might just wait for this "Uber" package.

Avatar image for 00Rambol00

This better be available to PC too, I hate it when games are exclusive to consoles.. .arghhh

Avatar image for schmootzig

I like that Valve keeps adding additional games / content with new releases ( or in some cases re-packaged games ) ... and while both of the additional games shipping with the PC version sound interesting, I hate to say it but the "Portals" game would have been a lot more exciting were it released "before" Prey -- the Valve game just sounds like Prey only the portal-gun replaces the HL2 gravity gun ...

Avatar image for Angurvadal_88

I hope this doesn't affect Valve's future games and plans by jumping into the console business... I'll be OK if there isn't a bad impact on Valve. Consoles are really p**sing me off right now, why can't they just leave PC Gaming alone. Gays.

Avatar image for maoven

I am a big Half-Life fan. And I think HL / HL 2 are PC games. I don't think it's a very good idea to make theese games on ps3 and 360. They have already made Half-life for ps2 and Half-life 2 for xbox and they were not too good.

Avatar image for mave198

All Valve has to do now is include CS : Source and Half-Life Source and Valve will be giving a Half-Life fan the greatest gift in the world.

Avatar image for sangoanuta

hated the TF2 graphics. hated hated hated. really stupid, good for kids. I was expectin`serious looking graphics, somethings like episode 2. Would be a lot better...

Avatar image for LiK


Avatar image for boxcarracer565

hmmm. i really dont care.

Avatar image for The1stFishBone

they should have held off on all these additional combination packages until the whole half-life 2 saga was complete. Or actually on 2nd thought episode 3 would be perfect for a marketplace download.

Avatar image for thekey

360 version for me of course......(Bells and whistles please!!!)

Avatar image for MasterKarl

Hapiness to the console plauers! Half Life is one of the best games. To have all HL2 saga in one "package" is a great idea... But, I think the best version will be PC... PS3 will make a great battle...

Avatar image for Ward_2_South

Finally, I'll be able to play Half-life for the first time since i switched to mac.

Avatar image for pauldutton

They seriously need CS:S on it. Think about all of the great Xbox Live stuff and features. If It had CS:S in it, I Would not be deciding weather I Should get it or not - because I can always get it for my Computer.

Avatar image for darthfrag

I'm already stoked for this, mostly because of the Team Fortress 2 portion. The original TF is still the standard by which I judge all team-based FPS, and I was genuinely sad when its sequel disappeared. Since my HL2 Xbox version irrevokably glitched out mid-game, I'll enjoy playing the hopefully-fixed 360 version, but I'm mostly looking forward to reliving the innovative and unmatched awesomeness of TF2. There hasn't been a class-based FPS that has come close to being as fun as Team Fortress Classic.

Avatar image for x-wing20

I'll be picking that one up for sure

Avatar image for Sydwynder

Sweet, sweet , sweet

Avatar image for LaP

lol bigelf72. You realise that if you don't own an HDTV your shiny PS3 and XBox 360 output at 640x480p too like the wii. Before saying other people suck be sure you don't man. Normal TVs have a resolution of 640x480. People without a HDTV actually run xbox 360 games at 640x480. Yes this is a crappy resolution. But this has nothing to do with the fact that Wii is capable to run a 2 years old engine like source engine. Yes you can forget HDR (i hate HDR btw it makes everything look even more like plastic), high res textures and AA 4x. But the Wii can run the source engine. God wake up man my old Duron 1GHz, Radeon 7000 with 512MB RAM was able to run Half Life 2. I don't say it would look good dude. In the end Half Life 2 doesn't look that good anymore. Current PC games released look better. Yes the wii has crappy and ugly graphics compared to Xbox 360, PS3 and current mid range PC. I said that just to make people like you realise the reason Valve will probably never make Half Life 2 for a nintendo console has nothing to do with hardware but more marketing and good business sense.

Avatar image for The_Code

Valve is good at this :lol:

Avatar image for gamer1

GO VALVE!!!! GO VALVE!!!! And I would probaly buy all three of these games seperately, but being released all in one package is crazy! What a deal!

Avatar image for robotikrocket

I don't know what to think. If you're reading this, you probably own a PC, and chances are you have already played Half-life 2. Unless there is a big graphical overhaul and a bevy of extra features, count me out. I already have Half-Life 2, Episode one, and am gonna get Episode 2 for $20. I'm not gonna spend $60 for a game I already have. Besides, Team Fortress 2 will probably come with Episode 2.

Avatar image for moocow21

Team Fortress 2 is ALIVVE! All I can say is I LOVE VALVE!!!!!!!!!!

Avatar image for protossdragoon

man i was just takling about this like a few days ago and i had no clue that this was gonna happen. its like a dream come true. TF2 rocks and i think episode 3 will be very good too. with the source engien i think valve is unstoppable.

Avatar image for protossdragoon

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for SuperBOB92

I'm still gonna get Episode 2 on the PC. It's cheaper and I already have both Episode 1 and Half-Life 2

Avatar image for KiTchMe

This is generous of Valve. I'm just wondering with Episode 2 having TF2 and Portal, what would the price be. If it's the same as Episode 1, then major respect to Valve...Also, those changes to HL2, I wonder if it's only gfx or there's more to it. Can't wait to see a video of TF2 and its 'unique-looking' characters.

Avatar image for PureLegend

Oh, this is very good news!

Avatar image for Foxtrot78

There is a TF mod already under development by a third party. << LINK REMOVED >> And it doesn't have the cartoony look like the screenshot GS has provided.

Avatar image for Azinokin

Well, belive it or not, there are people who arent willing to upgrade there peice of crap computers to play one game, but buy console ports so they dont have to upgrade.

Avatar image for Air-Hendrix

That's sad. They're getting HL2 now? Man, PC owns. We DO get everything first.

Avatar image for Linadain

you know what would be the best thing if you were allowd to play with PC, X360, and PS3 All at once. like a room would support 16 players have them mixed PS3 X360 PC ppl all in one room that would rock !! :)

Avatar image for jofy

I can't imagine playing this game with a controller,IT MUST BE HORRIBLE.Why do the consoles are always the last the receive the good games,I mean everybody have played hl2 already.

Avatar image for istidarkman

nice job