Valve’s annual Christmas celebration has arrived, and it’s bringing some amazing content for almost every faction of the TF2 community. Those who wished for new gameplay content can enjoy three new weapons and a new game mode that uses two revamped versions of old maps. Those who wished for cosmetics will love the new festive weapons and 29 new wearables, not to mention the return of last year’s Stuffed Stocking and the addition of Australium weapons into the drop system of pre-Two Cities Mann Up tours.
The update also came with a smattering of balance changes revolving around the Demoman. Almost every weapon in his arsenal saw some sort of change, and unlike the recent reverted Demoman nerf, the community seems to be okay with most of them.
The new game mode, Mannpower! is playable via the Beta maps option under Quickplay, and is a reimagining of capture-the-flag with powerups players can earn by killing each other. Valve also seems to be taking the opportunity to test out some new ideas for TF2′s core map mechanics, such as granting a few seconds of Uber upon spawning, removing random crits and returning dropped flags to their base when touched by their team. I suspect Valve may be responding to Blizzard’s newly announced FPS Overwatch, especially with the inclusion of the allclass grappling hook, which really gives the gameplay a three-dimensional focus that previously only the explosive-jumping classes could enjoy. As someone who adoredTeam Fortress Classic for its mobility-based gameplay, this is nothing short of a Christmas miracle.