This might not be the big announcement from Valve we’ve all been waiting for, but it’s still a pretty big one.
Valve officially announced a new co-op mode for Team Fortress called Mann vs. Machine. Presumably, it’s something like the Horde and Firefight modes in Gears of War and Halo; the copy on the official site does refer to the robots as the “grey horde,” after all. The trailer depicts the red and blue warriors teaming up to stand against the robot hordes. The best part is, it arrives Wednesday, August 15th and is, of course, free to play. Please, come up with reasons not to play.
Information started to trickle out a few days ago as some intrepid Reddit users put together all the available information, assembling it conveniently on one thread.
The thread looks back as far as May 2010, identifying some of the robot heads in the Engineer Update trailer valve released. A year and some later, secret, normally inaccessible rooms were in some of the Team Fortress levels, as well. Valve knows their fans and knew it wouldn’t be long before the rooms were discovered. In one of the rooms, numerical codes on the walls were deciphered to show the first year robots were used to do work (1961) and the letters M V M.
Files were added in May of this year into an mvm subdirectory in the Team Fortress folders, and the Source Filmmaker released this summer included models of robot heads for the different classes.
Finally, last friday, blood splatters appeared on the Free To Play banners around the Team Fortress site that lead to an old-timey birth certificate and a Zephamiah Mann‘s will, and two comics were released (accessible on the official MvM page linked at the end of this post).
Valve managed to put together what is essentially a two-year-long ARG (Alternate Reality Game) and kept people guessing about some parts until almost the very end. Well done.