Time for some pyrotechnics.
Remember hearing some rumblings about a Team Fortress 2 mod that intended to re-create the early days of Team Fortress 2? Mod team Eminoma released a work-in-progress version in 2015, but the project went dark for several years, leading many to believe it had simply died. Not so, however, as the full version released over the weekend – with a special Death & Taxes update to boot.
According to its FAQ, the idea with Team Fortress 2 Classic is to create a “re-imagining of the 2008-2009 era of the original Team Fortress 2”, including old features that were eventually scrapped, along with new weapons and game modes. This includes core TF2 modes such as Capture the Flag and Special Delivery, along with the mod team’s own additions such as VIP and Domination, or “two new teams in several existing modes”.
The final day! Day 4 of The Death & Taxes Update, the official release of Team Fortress 2 Classic, is now live!
— TF2Classic (@tf2classic) July 4, 2020
The Death & Taxes update, which took the team four years to complete, adds a huge amount of weapons, improved bots, and the new VIP game mode. You can find oodles of patch notes in the four separate blog posts for the update – a dream come true for any Team Fortress 2 player, quite frankly.
The mod team intends to release further updates in future, while a part of the project (Team Deathmatch Classic) has split off to be developed by another mod team called Compucolor Pictures. There’s no release date yet for the latter, but you can dive into TF2 Classic right now by following the installation instructions here (you’ll need to download SourceSDK Base 2013 Multiplayer to run the mod). Once that’s all done, you’ll be able to access the mod as a separate game within your Steam library.
Meanwhile, Valve is still battling an ongoing bot problem in the modern-day version of Team Fortress 2, with the latest update seeking to silence the noisy bots by preventing new free-to-play accounts from using voice chat. This appears to include restricting voice commands, which is bad news for legitimate free-to-play users, but might finally give medics some peace.