There are a host of things I could say about tdm_watergate, but nothing compares to that damn voice. Actually the “WillFromAfar” emotive text-to-speech voice synthesizer from Acapela, probably used because the current voice actor’s strike makes it too difficult/pricey to find a real voice actor, much less Ellen McLain, it nevertheless succeeds at being completely obnoxious and out of place. First time I heard it I went to the mute menu to find out which person on the server needed to shut up forever.

I’m not even sure why the mapmakers decided it was necessary for an audio file to broadcast the presence of individuals on dah beem. The person immediately becomes the most visible person on the map as a giant glowing green tractor beam drags him into the skybox, not to mention the beercount starts changing on the HUD and a whirly noise plays anyway. There are so many ways they could have handled it without having to resort to Microsoft Sam. How about a text warning? How about NO warning; Ellen McLain doesn’t start whining every single time the droids are under attack in Robot Destruction, the game mode that was bastardized to create this new one.

Easily 50% less obtrusive than DahBeem's voice
Easily 50% less obtrusive than Will DeBeem’s voice

This guy’s not canon now, right? Who the hell would he even be in the scheme of things? Hopefully there are plans to remove him once the strike is over and Valve can bring Ellen in to record again, possibly on the side while she records for some other project. I doubt they’re done with her.

In other news, and I know this is really nitpicky and off-topic, but I’m a little unsure as to why 2fort_invasion is worthy of the complete Valve seal of officiality. It’s just a reskinned 2fort and there are literally dozens of those. It’s the most remade map in TF2 history except for orange, I personally have played on an Egypt version, a Minecraft version, a Medieval DeGroot-style version, a Construction version, a Team Fortress Classic version, mirrored version, friggin’ upside-down version…and that’s not getting into game mode switches like cp_2fort, arena_2fort, pl_2fort, plr_2fort, and mvm_2fort. It’s not like Valve themselves made this version; there are no new voice lines, no new mini-games and no tie-in comic. 2fort_egypt changes the map more than 2fort_invasion does. Though once Valve fixes the glitch where that map crashes hl2.exe on lower-end computers perhaps I’ll be able to play it and learn how wrong I was to doubt it.

Mark my words: This strange filter is going to become THE most expensive filter by miles.
Mark my words: This strange filter is going to become THE most expensive filter by miles.