So here we are…did we ever think we’d make it?
After more than a year of development, many players stopped believing that another update would ever come to Team Fortress 2. It had been so long since the Meet your Match update, and Valve kept teasing what never seemed to be finished. I’ll tell you when they released that potential changelog back in June, I thought for sure that the update wasn’t far behind. But no, sadly it was another four months before the update would finally become live. So after almost a year and a half of wait time, and Valve clamoring for an extra day to “playtest”, we finally got it.
And I’ve gotta say, I like the update. There are faults, like how when it was released my contract kept being reset randomly in-game, and it took me 50 tries to queue for casual, and the game broke upon finishing a map. But hey, those issues look to have been fixed with a day one patch. So let’s talk about the content.
Holy s**t! This update actually adds a substantial amount of content! It’s the biggest update in a long while, and it feels good to see all this new stuff that we can play around with! We got 5 new maps in the new Jungle theme of Yeti park, four new weapons for the Pyro, a consolation item for the Heavy, and many new taunts to rejuvenate that pre-game conga feel that started so long ago with the Expiration Date update.
As far as the maps go, I haven’t even been able to actually play them online yet, but I did wander around them offline and I’ve gotta say, they’re pretty good. One thing I did notice though, was all of the maps felt pretty cluttered and close-combat. The maps all have you running through buildings and research labs, and then you get to the point which is in a semi-open area, but more akin to something like Turbine, except scaled down even more. And even on Banana Bay, everything is so close together, you leave the spawn and the enemy’s spawn is just right there. Valve did compensate the small map sizes by adding in verticality, Banana Bay is a twisting, winding, chaos that I can’t wait to play online. As for the style, the maps do a good job of creating that outlandish jungle feel while still making sure you know you’re playing TF2. Banana Bay, in particular, is my favorite, mostly because you’re on the coast in a bright and vibrant environment. Also, the payloads have to go underwater, something new to the payload mode.
So after rambling about the maps, how about those weapons? Well, after doing the contracts, I’ve gained a bit of a feel for the new weapons, and I was surprised to see that they weren’t really what I was expecting.
It’s pretty obvious that the Gas Passer and the Dragon’s Fury were meant to go together, so I used that combo, and what I found was:
A. The Gas Passer is a weird cross between the Jarate and the Conchorer. Wonky, but I can see it working in some capacity
B. The Dragon’s Fury feels kind of overpowered
These are just preliminary impressions, I don’t know what the meta will be yet. I’m just saying that if you’re a Pyro, and you wander into a room full of people who haven’t seen you, you start spamming the Fury, you’re going to get a lot of kills. Honestly, it feels ridiculous doing 300% more damage on someone on fire. Two shot a scout, he’s dead. Three shot a Pyro, he’s dead. Four shot a Heavy, he’s dead. The fire rate is pretty on par with the rocket launcher, so as long as you prance around like a ballerina, you get away with it. The problem is though, it’s short range is largely ineffective in long hallways, which happen a lot in TF2.
The other weapon that I really wanted to try out was the Thruster, which I was sure would break the game. Giving the Pyro a jetpack? What the f**k are you thinking, Valve? But no, they actually did it in a way that makes me not want to use the thing at all. First, you have to switch to it to actually use it. Second, the animation to do the jump is too long. Third, the animation to switch off the weapon is too long. I was hoping that this thing would be something that would change the meta, now I think it’s just going to fall into obscurity. I’m doing a full article on this weapon, so I’m not going to say anymore about it.
Well, I think I’ve said all I can about the TF2 Jungle Inferno update for now. I’d mention the taunts, but everybody knows they’re cool, I don’t feel like buying them so I’m just going to look on with envy as other players jackhammer out of spawn. Whatever, I’m just glad something new has finally come to TF2.
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