So what is MvM exactly? A 6-player co-op game mode which pits you and 5 other friends in a monstrous battle royale defense scenario, against Gray Mann’s menacing robotic hordes. Don’t let the trailer fool you, though – all 9 classes can be selected by the 6 players. I assume we will be able to change classes on the fly, as we would in regular TF2, and this will surely make for some very interesting co-op gameplay!
In between robot attack waves, players will be able to upgrade their abilities and their weapons, using the money the robots run on. And surviving all these waves will yield “incredible loot“, and a whole bunch of new achievements. Wait… new items and achievements? Ordinarily, I’d say Valve is pampering us… but items and achievements? Where do I sign up?!
The announcement was prefaced by the release of another storyline comic: “A Fate Worse Than Chess“. It stars Saxton Hale as he goes on a hunt on the last Yeti alive in the Kingdom of Bhutan… while Gray’s robot army lays waste to a number of Mann Co facilities. Not much interesting narrative to be found here, but if you like to look at Saxton Hale beatin up endangered species, while talking about killing robots, then check it out.
The vast majority of the robot swarms are essentially automaton renditions of the 9 classic mercenary classes, equipped with small-arms weaponry modelled off the stock/vanilla TF2 arsenal. As such, they might not pose that much of a threat, but that’s a very generous “might not” there.
However, there are a small number of Special robot classes, modelled off a variety of actual sub-classes within TF2’s metagame. Think of these as elite commandos that stand out among the other regular robots. Here they are:
The Steel Gauntlet – a Special Heavy bot. Very durable, heavily resistant to damage, and quite dangerous with its Fists of Steel.
The Heavyweight Champ – another Special Heavy bot. Attacks in large groups, using its Killing Gloves of Boxing.
The Bowman – a Special Sniper bot. Quick on the draw and deadly accurate using its Huntsman bow.
The Sydney Sniper – another Special Sniper bot. Shoots Jarate-coated darts from its Sydney Sleeper rifle.
The Quick Fix Medic – a Special Medic bot. Heals its robot brethren quickly and reliably, but its Quick Fix medigun cannot deploy Ubercharges.
The Uber Medic – another Special Medic bot. Deploys Ubers like a maniac, using the stock medigun
The Demoknight – a Special Demoman bot. Highly lethal sword-wielding psycho machine, capable of quickly covering large distances using its special speed charge. Uses the Eyelander and the Chargin’ Targe.
The Minor League Scout – a Special Scout bot. Throws baseballs to temporarily stun enemies, using its Sandman bat.
Both regular robots and Special robots have one mission: delivering a massive bomb to a conveniently bomb-shaped self-destruct receptacle at the center of the respective Mann Co facility. All robots can carry it, and it’s your job to make sure the bots don’t actually live long enough to pick it up.
Because the longer these robots carry the bomb, the more powerful they get, through three significant upgrade stages:
The first upgrade to a bomb-carrying robot is a defensive buff giving extra endurance and durability. This buff is shared with all nearby robots.
The second upgrade stage is health regeneration.
The last is… “full crits, all the time“. Eep.
There’s two other stand-alone robot types with their own unique roles, patterns and attacks:
The Sentry Buster – a walking bomb which actively seeks out Sentry Guns dishing out a lot of damage to the robotic hordes, and runs right at them. It takes a couple of seconds to arm and detonate, giving the Engineer time to act.
The Tank – the image at the bottom of the page shows snow tracks left by a massive treaded vehicle. There’s a sticky note in the picture, which says: “We don’t know what this thing is, but it’s big as hell, looks unstoppable, and […] it’s usually covered in [human blood]”. If it’s anything like the Tank ofthe L4D series, then we are most certainly in a world of hurt.
But it gets worse. On top of all that, there’s another catch, in the form of… Giant robots. They do… exactly what it says on the tin. Here are just three of the Giant robot classes:
The Rapid Fire Soldier – fires its rocket launcher as fast as a machinegun.
The Deflector Heavy – capable of shooting down projectiles such as rockets and grenades.
The Super Scout – moves lightning fast.
So as you can see, we’re quite screwed. Shadow of the Colossus ain’t got nothing on this stuff.
We can expect to see 2 other maps, as indicated from a hidden map stashed inside a secret area in Doomsday, a Special Delivery mode level released in the Pyromania Update. Here it is:
Of course, the one at the very top-right corner is Mannworks. The one on the middle and left is… “Death Pit”, “Death Hill”, or perhaps “Death Hut”, I think. The one on the bottom and right is probably… “Cactus Valley”.
And believe it or not, that’s actually it for today. Tomorrow, Day 2 will focus on “Mercs”, so we’ll probably get a peek at the fancy experimental R&D gear Hale and Bidwell mention in the “A Fate Worse Than Chess” comic. But then again, Day 3 appears to focus on “Bounty”, so maybe that’s where we’ll see the new items? I really don’t know.
But what I do know is this: this update is going to be absolutely monumental. If Day 1 was this huge, I can’t even begin to imagine how amazing Days 2 and 3 will be. Especially since Day 3 will bring us Mann vs Machine itself, on the 15th of August, fo’ free!
I’ve already got my co-op team set up – how about you?