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 chromium42

So all of these goodies will ship in what...2009, if we're lucky?

Avatar image for MIRAGE__basic

OMG finally a TFC 2, i'll buy the package just for that! bout friggin' time valve!

Avatar image for PhoenixMDK

Bigelf72, no, the PC is *generally* the better platform for FPS, but not always. Halo, for example, is a far better Xbox living room experience than on the PC - and yes, I've tried both extensively. Alhough it is true that the mouse and keyboard combo is more accurate purely for shooting, the equation changes drastically when you factor in vehicles. However, that said, I don't think I'd want to play Half-Life on anything other than the PC. It's physics creates the sort of world I want to be right up close to and feel inside.

Avatar image for iloveFEAR

im sooooooooo gonna get dis game on the xbox360 i just dont like the ps3!

Avatar image for bigelf72

First off, FPS games are much better played on the computer....mice ftw...x and y axis controllers ftl. Second off, the Wii is a joke for anyone looking for good graphics Third, Gabe Newell is the man. Lap and yoshinatsu666... You guys are both....omg.....you guys just suck. Lap.....800x 600 is pathetic......640x480 is even more pathetic (you don't seem the realize that)......WII isnt a console for a lot of "M" games....hence why a lot of FPS games aren't for Nintendo (its a little kid console, cept for the Resident Evil series) Nintendo has admitted that there console doesn't promise the best graphics, but that it will provide innovative gameplay. Thus Wii isnt capable of the source engine. Yoshinatsu666....If you add up all the players that are still playing the original tfc and counter-stirke(1.5, 1.6 and source)......there are more players than people playing all the Unreal Tournaments(3 of them, Unreal Tournament/Gold, 2003 and 2004) and Halo's(1, custom edition and 2) combined. You must suck at fps games because anyone who is good knows that Counter-Strike is the game to play (takes real skill, not button mashing.)

Avatar image for _A13X_

yoshinatsu...... wow.... im not even going to say anything...

Avatar image for yoshinatsu666

WHY are the people blind??? Counter-Strike??? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!WORST FPS OF ALL TIMES, EVEN FOR ITS ERA!!! Unreal Tournament, Halo, Half-Life those are FPS but Counter-Strike??? JUST CONCENTRATE A BIT!!!

Avatar image for masterofTS

I will get it for PS3 for sure.

Avatar image for afro2005

u guys won't like it

Avatar image for Hitman101

TF2 Screenshot: << LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for LaP

wii has the power to handle source engine easily. when i got Half Life 2 i had a Duron 1GHz with a Radeon 7000 and the game ran fine in 800x600 middle quality settings. Considering the wii ouput 640x480 resolution i would not be surprised if it could handle Half Life with with max settings except for medium texture quality and no AA and no aniso. HAlf Life 2 is old story dudes. This game is old. My mid range computer runs this game all maxed with a fps over 100. can't wait to try TF 2 on my PC with DEDICATED servers.

Avatar image for Nub-Nubbly

hey thats cool stuff, im going to get it for ps3, it will look better than xbox360 and hopefully take full atvantage of ps3 with HDR and things like on pc

Avatar image for A7Xfan

Wii doesn't have the power to handle source engine unfortuenately but that doesn't matter to me because I have my computer which is even that great but can play these games.

Avatar image for Brentypoo

Im buying it for 360 no doubt! I wonder how much it will be...

Avatar image for tomarlyn

What about the Wii?

Avatar image for OmegaOrtega

Well the PS3 already has USB ports. Let's just hope Valve let's you use a mouse and keyboard. If you could I would buy the PS3 ver of the 360 ver just because of that.

Avatar image for BananaJuice

just give me a keyboard and mouse for my PS3 already, is there word on this

Avatar image for yetimaster12

great news indeed!

Avatar image for drangel_jam

can't wait

Avatar image for i_love_my_ds

thats seriously a lot of new content for just one episode

Avatar image for nitoblanco21

Counter-strike for the 360 n PS3 would b great..........???????????????

Avatar image for Foxtrot78

Valve, best...developer...EVAR!! Seriously, I have never had has much fun with any other game or franchise other as I have with the Half-Life franchise.

Avatar image for Karjah

that's a LOT of great content in one package. I'm already sold. I'll fully admit I'm a valve fanboy. :P Half life was a lot of fun.

Avatar image for UltimaCloudX

Valve showers us all with love. Thank you!

Avatar image for Zcrimson07

ahhhh shooot man this is gonna be dope as hell i cant wait. just wish they'd have included cs too (i mean it's a classic!)

Avatar image for pheww

will there be any mods like garrys

Avatar image for juanpacheco3012

i will buy the ps3 game .. it will be aweosme now player from sony or 360 can play Half life .. that's the best thing no lik Halo

Avatar image for deactivated-5add084b23cf4


Avatar image for deactivated-5cd28a1281d16

I know the guy who developes Portals.

Avatar image for hittin

Wow, I might actually get Half Life 2 on PS3 when I get my PS3. (Already have it on PC, but still)

Avatar image for hailltoyou


Avatar image for sol87

oooh i just had a awsome idea! how about hl2 for the WII! oooh that would be so awsome with that controller

Avatar image for SqueekyC1ean

TFC WAS THE BEST!!!! i always wondered what happened to that game =)

Avatar image for 3000s

I have not been so excited since I got my ps1 and ps2. Valve, you are the leaders in video games and don't ever fall below that. Half Life is the BEST game I have ever played. Thank you valve! Oh yeah can wait to get a PS3.

Avatar image for Gunfan9x19

Does this mean Steam is coming to the consoles?

Avatar image for DeusExMathias

Cool! And we'll probably only have to wait for about 5 years before we can play it!! Kick a$$!!! LOL Just kidding. I loved HL & HL2. I just hope they get it out in a timely manner. Go, Valve, go! :)

Avatar image for CDNBellicose

Team Fortress 2 i have been waiting for that for every thank youuuuu!!!!

Avatar image for Narasil

hmm, they already have hl2 for the xbox... oh well, i guess they werent satisfied with the frame rates.

Avatar image for MCCHA

That's a lot of gaming in one package. can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Avatar image for vanimar

So that means no wii-mote gravity gun? And valve prefers the analogue instead????? FPS with analogue? There will be some gameplay, will it not ? Or will it be just the routine hi res candy for our eyes to behold? What is wrong? Lack of creativity or is it just EA doing their usual magics? At least I hope the gameplay will be as good as the visuals for those lucky enough to buy the consoles. And for the sake of the PC gamers I hope Valve will not just toss them the cut out for consoles versions of the game. And just episode two for the consoles? Valve I respect you. But you are starting to be consumed.

Avatar image for Bazook

Oh yeah cool so why the hell can't the PC get a Half-Life 2 saga box-set like the consoles have

Avatar image for marco245

well, i think it will do well, resistance: fall of man, mgs4, motorstorm and half life 2 is my ideal package! i knew hl2 was comin to ps3 nyway, but all that! it will cost a ****load but it will be well worth it. the bad thing about the pc version is that they always take up at least 4GB, but with the ps3's capability, it will be brilliant, and with that blu-ray! *phwoar!* but i hope it will combine online play with all the consoles, cause you know how ps online is compared to the pc online, so it better appeal to the fans! ps: xb360 games are 74.99 euros in ireland, so i estimate hl2 for the ps3 will be 70 - 100 euros... NO FAIR!!!!!

Avatar image for greks224

Wow, that's some heavy news. I hope that it all works out. Don't feel bad PC gamers (I'm one too); more consoles for valve to install a fan base = (hopefully) more money, bigger studio, and more/ better games. I just hope they don't go EA on us and make cash ins. Portals sounds interesting, though kind of sounds like its ripping off Prey. The fact that you can MAKE portals is much more interesting though.

Avatar image for Bibiqum

*sigh* i see alot of people bashing the controller .. guess what the ps3 have a mouse and keyboard compability .. xbox 360 might get that in the future too if the succes is great on the ps3 with fps,rts.

Avatar image for wasupiadam

hmmm i wounder how the grafics on the PS3 and xbox 360 will look and how it will hold up

Avatar image for pustoi

NOOOOOOOOOOOO...why foockin team fortress ......MAKE COUNTER STRIKE pllzzzzzz