Game Review – Team Fortress 2: Mann vs. Machine



Team Fortress 2 is the best thing in f2p since… Well… There’s nothing better to play for free honestly. I’ve touted this game up and down so much its embarrassing, and since I’ve figure out how to make the PC game work with my Xbox 360 controller it’s just like the good old days on the Orange Box – meaning unending slaughter on online players at my hands. But anyway, like a good property should they are constantly doing things to keep their IP fresh – player created content, creative YouTube contests, new multiplayer maps and modes, etc. However two & a half weeks ago Valve released their most ambitious TF2 add on yet: Co-Op. So was it a complete success or did it not turn out as they — hah ha ha ha! I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I couldn’t keep a straight face, of course they succeeded, its TF2 for crying out loud. But for the sake of journalist integrity I’m going to review it anyway, but just don’t expect any surprises here.





As you all should know there isn’t much of a story in the game Team Fortress 2 but rather their awesome web comics they put out every so often. There was two to explain the situation of Mann vs. Machine, and since I’ve reported on those issues there’s no reason to go into detail about it. However here’s a quick rundown just to get the uninitiated acclimated. The Red and Blue leaders were taken out by their estranged brother: Gray Mann. His goal is two fold; to eliminate his brothers and be the sole living Mann (check) and to take over the arms dealing company Mann Co from Saxton Hale (Shirtless before Taylor Launter). Gray Mann plans to take Mann Co by force with robots, a lot of robots. The only ones who can stop them is the recently unemployed mercenaries (you know the Soldiers, the Heavy, the Scout, etc), since their bosses are now taking a dirt nap they’re schedule have just freed up for bot smashing.



Mann vs. Machine Co-Op is, at its core, a Gears of Wars Horde mode, but with a whole lot of awesome added to it. See the robots aren’t just fodder; they start as metallic clones of the mercs wielding stock and generation 2 weapons. That might not seem like a big deal, but when they show up, they show up it force and in numbers (especially in advance modes). What’s more they’ll pair up in classic and unique attack patterns to annihilate you; you think a skilled player team is a pain in multiplayer, in Co-Op the bots are merciless, efficient, and have very good aim.  Victory for the bots is only achieved however if they’re able to plant a bomb at a Mann Co facility and that’s where the players come in. In a team of six, players must defend one of three Mann Co locations in anyway they can: shooting ‘em, burning’em, stabbing’em, and so on. Defeated bots drop cash (don’t ask), and the bigger the bot, the better the blingatude. Now that cash isn’t just for sheez & cheese, you can put it to good use by upgrading your weapons and skills. That’s right you can actually make your chosen class even more dangerous then they actually are now. You think your Soldier armed with a Beggar’s Bazooka is a menace now; just wait til you updated that bad boy with a extended ammo clip – those bots will face down a near endless steam for rocketed fury! Extended ammo clips are only the tip of the upgrading iceberg; from damage reduction to teleport spawn abilities, all is available to give the mercs an edge because ladies and gentleman you’ll need them.








I told you not to be surprised here; sure at day one there were glitches and issues getting into rooms (and staying in them too might I add). Valve however solved most of those problems with quick and repeating patch jobs. Yes things still fall through the cracks sometimes, and snotty players will drop out and leave when things don’t go their way (or don’t feel like working as a team). Despite those judgments however you still get a truly excellent Co-Op experience that’s never the same way twice. The bots are challenging and intimidating, but still humorous in the ways that Team Fortress 2 is famous for. The merc upgrades add a new dimension you everyone’s favorite classes; either enhancing their weapons or making themselves less vulnerable to attack and damage. Also who can deny all the new swag we get for completing Mann Up mode. There’s nothing like showing off back in multiplayer that you’re a bad bass then with a new strange item decorated with decapitated bot bits or a metal doo-dad ripped from a smoking heep. And of course, like the whole game itself, is a free mode to get. So yeah Mann vs. Machine mode is a slam dunk, ace in the hole, sure thing that will do nothing but please gamers for hours on end. Join us now to fight back against the machine hordes today!




A moment of gaming reflection – Mann vs. Machine (TF2 Co-Op)


I love the new Mann vs. Machine mode in Team Fortress 2 (review pending); the carnage, the oil spray, the rage quitters who leave after losing one round in Mann Up mode (ok, so I don’t love that so much). As great as this mode is however it still suffers from glitching up every now and again. Crazy wait time for servers to open up, loss of sever connection during a game, lag, and more were present at launch. They were annoying sure, but in some ways they were hilarious. Case in point: finishing up the 3rd wave of Mannworks here, a Demo blew a Deflector Heavy all the way up into a bridge above – then it actually got stuck there. Sure it could still see and shoot us, but it couldn’t movie and as luck would have it he had the bomb. After having a good laugh at its expense and clearing out the rest of the bots we put it out of its mutated misery. Like most glitches found this one will be neutralized by Steam in futures patches, but on this day you can believe a robot can be one blown into a bridge by black scottish cyclops and phase into it by wacky programing – and that just makes me smile.


You can see the rest of the pics here.




Trailer-rama – Mann vs. Machine (TF2 Co-Op)


You know, with the latest battery of games shaking through the pipes like Guild Wars 2, Borderlands 2, and other non-sequel games you would think an almost five year game like Team Fortress 2 would lose some Steam (pun totally intended).  But nope, to date it is one of the few games out there with an almost unlimited amount of staying power thanks to its fans. Creating new stages, weapons and of course hats come from almost exclusively from the imaginations of fellow players. Steam however doesn’t sit on their hands either; they provide entertaining insight on the life and times of the Red and Blue mercs as well as their favorite arms dealer Saxton Hale via webcomic. However when they really want to drop the hammer they do so in a big way: enter Mann vs. Machine – Team Fortress goes Co-Op. That’s right people; no matter what color spectrum your merc sits on they decided to put their differences aside (for now) and work together to defeat a bigger threat: not getting paid… Oh and fighting an onslaught robotic doppelgangers from destroying Mann Co. Now it’s not my place to tell you all how all this came to pass (actually it is, but just this once I feel I would do the whole story little justice so…), below I provided links to the latest chapters in the TF saga that will fill you all in. Then get your butts to Mann Co. and start arming up – in a day and a half the robo-armageddon will be here.