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Published on October 31st, 2013 | by APant1

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To Hell and Back: Team Fortress 2’s Halloween Special

Every year since I bought Team Fortress 2, Valve has added something spectacular for Halloween. Everything from giant bosses to hoards of the undead to roulette wheels of status effects, it’s all fair game if it’s spooky and haunted. And piles of festive hats and costume items, naturally.

This year’s update added the one thing I always said was missing from TF2: The ability to kill people with magic spells. Yes, magic. Spell books are dropped whenever someone dies in the new map, Helltower (a haunted version of Hightower). Pick one up and you can cast one of a dozen or so spells like teleporting, hi-jump, bat missiles, and pumpkin bombs.

There’s a whole lot going on in the level. With optional areas that open up every few minutes, secret passages, and the general chaos of magic spells going off, it gets confusing. Once you play a few rounds it starts to make sense, and having a friend walk you through it makes it all the better. The actual spells themselves are very easy to use, as they mostly piggy back on systems that already exist in the game. I don’t think magic has any place in the normal game, but I would love if this opens the door for creative new weapons.

The conceit of the map is a bit odd, even for Team Fortress standards. After being murdered by their long-lost brother Gray, The brothers that hire the RED and BLU team continue to fight over their inherited parcel land as ghosts. They figure since they’re both undead, the first brother that gets sent to Hell loses their claim to the land. Confused? I wrote an overview of the history of Redford and Blutarch Mann’s fight over their spit of land in the New Mexico desert. I might leave you more confused, but that’s TF2 for ya.

As always, Team Fortress is available for free on Steam.


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