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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ethermay

FINALLY. For those of you who played TFC tirelessly and waited hand and foot on the possibility for Team Fortress 2 only to see it shot down will NOW BE REDEEMED!!! Valve is SO good to their fans and gamers. We Love You Valve!! I AM ON THE BANDWAGON NOW! :D

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rmu2867

Sorry to be pessimistic but that's too much in one package. In Valve-time that equals delays, delays, delays. We waited forever for HL2 PC. Just do Half-Life 2 with the extra chapters and put the Team Fortress 2 and Portals in their own package. Maybe we'll see something this year that way.

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MarcoSnow06

This is great news for us console gamers who don't have a computer gaming rig at home. Nice one Valve!

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gogokun

HAllELE-FRICKIN" ULA(sp) never played PC versions of Halflife, heard Xbox version sucked. It won't on the 360!

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joe_92

Do you think there will be cross-platform multiplayer online?

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pwlodarczyk

I'm DEFINITELY buying the EP2 now. That was quite unexpected...

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j00n_

This is the greatest news ever! I want my PS3 now!!!

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Brainpr0n

So I will end up paying (um... math.... carry the one...) around 100 bucks and the console folks get it all for what, 59? Thanks valve. And its going to be on all three platforms at the same time? Thats interesting since there is still no official release date for the PS3. So if the game is ready before the PS3 is, are they going to delay it?

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jkovach82

If this game turns out to be any good, it might be the sole reason to consider purchasing a PS3.

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madamadam

Damnit they can play ep 1 and ep 2 in one package and and those of us that dont have the cash to go next gen consoles and are stuck on our pc can't. Not it to mention it also includes half life 2, ......... Sorry guys i guess its not such a big deal i guess i can just buy ep 1 and ep 2 and instal and play them apart from one another but i just had to get off my back how valve jumps from place to place.

Avatar image for WPack911
WPack911

Good God, Valve just Delivered the goods and added some sugar on top. I can't wait to play these games. All the endless pessimistic Valve fans it's time to get happy and get behind your game maker, they are showing innovation at that means they are working hard.

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swRanma

omg, i can't believe it, my wishes come true! Like they read my mind! OMG!!!!!

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rohver

Now thats more like it! I'm glad I waited for the console version of episode 1

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Silent1333

Holy crap!? Talking about good news! I hope they work out the bogging that hurt the Xbox vesion of HL2. God I totally forgot they even worked on making a Team Fortress 2, it's been so long.

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TheLordHimself

Release says Q4 2006. Will that mean it'll be out for PS3 launch?

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akif22

good news

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3_Simple_Words

Yes!!

Avatar image for tmansour
tmansour

I need those trailers! NOW.

Avatar image for payback_56
payback_56

Yea right, MGS4, Warhawk and Killzone are the only good games, only on ps3, everything else u can get on 360, plus games like Halo, Forza, Gears of War, saints row, and many other 360 only games....

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KillerKevin2006

Im getting a Playstation 3 for Half-Life 2 , Metal Gear Solid 4, and Resistance: Fall of Man. So the Xbox 360 is junk.

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rynmls

great game for the ps3...

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nuclearbomb2000

YES NOW I KNOW WHY I BOUGHT A xbox 360, but if they release this for maybe some 60$ what will be the price of half-life 2 standard

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Sevenik

That's too much good news from Valve!

Avatar image for dileepvr
dileepvr

I wish they somehow incorporate antlions into multiplayer as a controlable swarm just like in HL2. May be we could colour code them, or make them defense/offense only in certain maps, or a three team dash to the stash of bugbaits in the center of an abandoned beach shank sorrounded by antlion nests......

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bart008

This is awsome, I am so excited. But what about Episode 3? will it be in the marketplace?

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awangreen

AWESOME

Avatar image for selbie
selbie

I can't wait :D hail unt crowbar!

Avatar image for bildo2020
bildo2020

so yeah, whats going to happen to fortress forever?

Avatar image for Justlink619
Justlink619

Omg Ps3 is getting it! Thats freaking lame! Valve signed a deal with Microsoft not with Sony man! Xbox 360 will most likely have more players playing it than the overpriced Ps3! pfft u aint jacking me 100 dollars outta my wallet for this game for the ps3!

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Everon22

How much is it going to cost on the 360? If its $60, I'd stick with the PC version.

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loserboy8

At least 6 months? I'll be old by the time hl2 e2 is released!

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malester

tf2 looks **** retarded, tfc > tf2

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s2a

Why is it not on the Wii!!!!! I am gonna protest!!!

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agent401

This is great news. I loved Half-Life 2 on Xbox but don't have a gaming PC for the sequels, so this is a must buy for me.

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--Wolf--

Team Fortess 2 will flop. They've already ruined TF on Steam, nothing compares to Team Fortess Classic. And with Fortress Forever coming out soon, Valves attempt wont even come close to comparing the two.

Avatar image for kermit14319
kermit14319

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOGOMG!!!! All of it is coming to the ps3?!?!?! AWESOME!!!!!!

Avatar image for K1LLSWITCH
K1LLSWITCH

I hope that Half-Life 2, episode 2, will have some sweet online action. Everyone would be putting that Portal Gun to use. Either way, the gameplay just sounds insane! I already put this game on my tracking list here on Gamespot since it's now coming to consoles. Can't wait for more info coming this fall!

Avatar image for berkan-
berkan-

HOLY CRAP GOTTA GET IT

Avatar image for carpepoon
carpepoon

Excellent news

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Paper_Knife

yeah. on the ps3, baby.

Avatar image for BenTheJamin
BenTheJamin

ARE YOU KIDDING ME THEY ARE SELLING OUT TO THE CONSOLES! WHAT THE CRAP! THEY ARE RELEASING OUR PRECIOUS TEAM FORTRESS 2 ON A CONSOLE!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS AN OUTRAGE PC GAMERS HAVE BEEN WAITIN FOR YEARS!!!!!

Avatar image for zeck
zeck

whens this insaanity coming out?!!!!

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serioustom

that so cool.

Avatar image for gamingwarrior95
gamingwarrior95

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees! A dream come true. Half-Life 2 is finally coming to PS3! This is very exiting news for me. I absolutely can not wait.

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swat2k

dcoy8 its coming out on ps3, 360 AND PC!!!! damn, i dont know which one to get! have the extreme graphics of the ps3? have the sweet shooter controller with the 360? or have the mouse and keyboard preciseness on the pc?!?!? u forgot the extreme graphics of the pc. PC will always beat consoles in graphics 360 is good to not much diff from ps3.

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VincentV21

one word, that i rarely use describes this moment: Woot.

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Johnny156

wow...tomtomtom you need to play that game over again. Or at least buy a better PC. I don't know about you but I don't really remember loading screens in HL2. I wonder why, on yeah. Half-Life invented streaming content. You just need a faster comp. I know you can't melee attack in HL, I wish they gave Gordan Freeman a weapon to use...somethign strong...like open a wooden crate strong, but oh well.

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Astrodude_5

Am I the only one that's excited?

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1stpersonshoot

to comment on your comment, the specialness of half life 2 is the story. also, its not as fast paced as say, halo, so you cant just be like bam grenade. bam, smash your face in, bam snipe you while jumping 10 feet in the air while looking through a scope while getting shot at a lot. half life is different, \\. also, the physics and the puzzles are part of the revere. but mostly its the story, and the immersion. but yeah, ai need to move out of vehicles paths, and not just go omfg theres a grenade at my feet im going to put my hand over my face and hope that when it blows up 5 seconds later it doesnt send me into the air. also, it wouldnt be half life if it had mele attacks. c'mon, you got the crowbar for goodness sake. what more do you want?!?!?!

Avatar image for bossjimbob
bossjimbob

I have been waiting for this moment since I bought my 360. Thank you, Valve (and EA).