Episode 2 TF2 Consoles and Portals

Episode 2 TF2 Consoles and Portals Episode 2 TF2 Consoles and Portals

Half-Life 2: Episode Two will be released for PC, X360 and PS3 and will include a free single-player game called Portals and the elusive Team Fortress 2.

Speaking at EA's Studio Showcase in San Francisco, Valve founder Gabe Newell stated that Episode Two will be released simultaneously on PC, X360 and PS3 while he added that the new episode will take the storyline of the battle between the forces of Earth and the Combine one step further. Valve has taken the controversial decision to forgo a fully developed Half-Life 3 and instead, to release episodic content that continues the saga of Gordon Freeman and his fight to save the planet. The first such episode was released this summer, its success proving the incredible popularity of the Half-Life franchise.

Next-generation console owners will have the pleasure of experiencing the entire Half-Life 2 package in one complete game as they will get a bundle of H-L 2 and Episodes One and Two. All versions of H-L 2: Episode Two will come with an extra F.P.S. game called Portals with gameplay focused around a portal-creating weapon which will also appear in Episode Two. From Mr. Newell's description and the video shown during the event we gather it will be a puzzle game that will require the player to use the portal weapon in order to get out of sticky situations. Most gamers will immediately spot the similarity of this title with Human Head's recent Prey but there seems to be more to this story. According to some, Valve has lifted the so-called portal technology off of a company called Nuclear Monkey Software (NMS). In April 2005 NMS released a game, Narbacular Drop, that featured portal effects. It is not clear whether Narbacular Drop preceded Prey since we all know that the Prey project has been in development for a long time. In any case, Valve now seem to have hired the MNS team and it is their know-how that has led to the portal mini-game and weapon.

The highlight of the event however, had to be the Team Fortress 2 announcement. Gabe Newell confirmed that the game will be ready for release with Episode 2. Originally hyped as a multiplayer action title that would follow the original Half-Life game, TF2 gradually faded and entered the DNF and, until recently, Prey occupied gaming no mans land. Now TF2 is set to make its comeback and Valve has a few surprises for fans of the original; the main point mentioned by Newell had to do with the unique feel of the game which will utilize alternative visuals and will steer away from realism. As a result TF2 will have a cartoony look to it which Valve has not fully explained yet but has compared it to Pixar animated movies. This is not as radical as some may think and games have tried that in the past with the NOLF franchise and Ubisoft's XIII the most memorable examples.

Valve will use its usual drip-feed method of providing news on Episode Two so stay with MG for all the latest.