By Joseph Leray
On August 15 (that’s tomorrow!), Valve will be introducing a new cooperative mode to Team Fortress 2: Mann vs. Machine, a Horde variant that pits six players against waves of robotic doppelgangers intent on bombing Mann Co. facilities to smithereens.
Dubbed the Gray Horde, the robot menace mostly consists of regular robot foot soldiers that carry regular weaponry dragging around huge bombs designed to level munitions warehouses. Your job is pretty straightforward, according to Valve’s TF2 blog: “It’s up to you to stop them. And it’s up to a small cadre of Special Robots to stop you from stopping the regular robots.”
By and large, Mann vs. Machine doesn’t seem to stray too far from the Horde mechanics popularized by games like Gears of War 2: players earn cash by destroying robots, which can be used to upgrade weapons and equipment between rounds. Survive every round for even more loot.
For a somewhat absurdist account of Mann Co.’s backstory, Valve has helpfully provided some comic strips to get you squared away. And if you simply cannot wait another 24 hours to figure what our merry mercenaries are up against, here’s a rundown of the rather prosaically named Special Robots.
It’s worth noting that this marks the first time Valve has had to write enemy AI for a Team Fortress game. More importantly, there may be some sweet metallic hats in the offering.