Following days of furiously trying to piece together all of the clues left by Valve, we can at last say with certainty that the long-rumored “Mann vs. Machine” update for Team Fortress 2 is a real thing, and it’s headed to your PC on Wednesday.
All of the subtle hints and clues that seemingly indicated a Mann vs. Machine announcement culminated today with a Team Fortress 2 blog post confirmation. The update will be gradually detailed in the days leading up to release, as Day 1 (today) will see “Machines,” Day 2 – “Mercs,” and Day Three – “Bounty.”
The update, which will add a new map called “Mannworks,” will mark the first time RED and BLU are working together rather than firing mercilessly at one another. The Mann vs. Machine co-op mode will essentially work as as “horde” mode of sorts as players of both sides will cooperate to defend Mann Co. from an onslaught of robots bent on planting a bomb. Teams will have to use the breaks in battle to upgrade abilities and weapons. Surviving all of the waves will earn you “incredible loot” and new achievements.
The recently introduced Gray Mann, the long-lost third son of Zepheniah Mann and brother to Blutarch and Redmond, serves as the catalyst for the context of the robot invasion. Gray has built a force of powerful robotic soldiers to destroy Mann Co. altogether. As Valve details, every robot is modeled after a particular class of the Team Fortress 2 characters. Robots that act as the bomb-carrier increase in strength the longer they carry it, so it’d be wise to focus the majority of your team’s firepower on that specific robot.
New robot AI classes will also be added to the mix in order to implement a new degree of difficulty. The “Giant” will be an enormous damage-absorbing behemoth but is countered by its slow speed. “Sentry Busters” are “essentially a bomb on legs” and they can detect an Engineer’s sentry that is doing continuous damage to its robot buddies. Their primary attack is running at that pesky sentry and triggering an explosion. Valve also teases a class that is “big as hell, looks unstoppable, and probably runs on human blood,” showing a small picture that displays what appear to be tank tracks.
Valve has set the context for the new Mann vs. Machine update in Team Fortress 2 by releasing a new webcomic which details Saxton Hale’s fight with a Yeti and his advisement to the RED and BLU teams that they need to hold a truce if they are to have any chance against Gray’s larger and more powerful robot soldiers. Check out the Western-inspired Mann vs. Machine announcement trailer below and stay tuned as Valve rolls out the details in the coming days for the next big content update for Team Fortress 2.