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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darkxinos

I feel so sorry for Counter Strike players. They have been stuck with that game for ages. Someone should release them from the curse and show them that there ARE other games worth playing that they have sorley missed without knowing it.

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Rockclmbr6

Good thing Half-Life is completely awesome, since I already played through Half-Life 2 on Xbox and Episode One on PC since I never thought this would happen. But, YAY, cause now I have a reason to play through all these games again AND get Episode 2!! YEAHH!!

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spikerboy770

*head explodes*

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Devilwillcry

THANK YOU VALVE!!! it is great to see that valve is supporting nex gen consoles the best they can. this collection is excellent. I can barely run Half-life 2 on my PC, so a console version willbe nice. It would be nice if this game had cross-platform online play. that would be awesome. though PC gamers would own the console gamers. but wait, doesnt the PS3 support in-game mouse and key board. that would change things. anyways, cant wait to pick this game up for PS3, well.... when the PS3 comes out lol. it should be a bigger hit than the mediocore Xbox version.

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Dunmer_Lord

Oh, thank god, now i don't regret getting a 360, and Team Fortress 2, holy **** i can't wait, Team Fortress Classic, was the best game Valve ever made till Half-Life 2!

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yanks1100

I wonder if we get CS:S

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seanmcgeezer

this is sweet news

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ZosoFan

"AzPlaya That's lame. Just bring Episode 2, and not include the previous episode and the actual game? Color me dumbfounded. I don't care about CS that much, I want to play what people were calling the greatest storyline of an FPS without the downgrades of the Xbox 1. " Try Reading next time VVV 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

Avatar image for Dakotacs
Dakotacs

Brilliant!

Avatar image for AzPlaya
AzPlaya

That's lame. Just bring Episode 2, and not include the previous episode and the actual game? Color me dumbfounded. I don't care about CS that much, I want to play what people were calling the greatest storyline of an FPS without the downgrades of the Xbox 1.

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jonas__5

YES!!!!!!!!!!!! I´m so happy right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Maui00

awesome!!

Avatar image for PiNoYPrOjEcT
PiNoYPrOjEcT

SWEEEEEET!!!!! Even though I already have it for XBOX.. i'm itching to buy it for XBOX 360 with even better graphics!!!!!

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jak360

OMG!!!! half life 2 on the xbox360 rejoce!!!!

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XxSlimDoggxX

Do we get Counter strike source in the console package to ?

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superstud101

HOly cow, A guy at gamestop tried to convince me to pre-order this b/c it would include all the expansions...I had no idea it would inclose MORE than that.wow great news

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ryanjtravis

Hell yeah.

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Zero_Beat

The absolute best news for MONTHS!

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seanyp23

sweet

Avatar image for CrapfullyCrap
CrapfullyCrap

Whoa I don't know guys ... TFC2 characters look like PIXAR caricitures ? That sounds really cheesy, and NOT how TFC should be.

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OmahaGTP

My mouse can is itching to blow away idiots using controllers LOL. Small minded, much?

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SGTMUS

Lovely jubbley

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geebus

TEAM FORTRESS 2!!! I JUST WET MY PANTS!

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fodonico

AWESOME THAT'S ALL I'VE WANTED

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anypti

goo valve -_-

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Sandro909

Holy sweet merciful crap! AWESOME!

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OmegaDemon

Typo, various not carious ;)

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CassiusVII

umm k... i guess thats desent news

Avatar image for Xanog1
Xanog1

Very good news!

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TintedChimes

I just wish they'll come out faster.

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AbstractTerror

Omg so excited! woot

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Tensig

yhey

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djfidelone

love it.

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GS_darkplayer

Good thing i waited. And now i geting HL2 and HLe1 with this game.

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psycholphenomen

mmmkay