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Team Fortress 2 is back, but in the worst possible way

Team Fortress 2 has fallen far from its glory days and that descent looks set to continue with this new collaboration no-one asked for.

Team Fortress 2 is back, but in the worst possible way: The Medic, in Funko Pop form, stands on 2Fort.

Team Fortress 2 has recently taken some serious body blows to its reputation. Thanks to a huge influx of bots disrupting the game, its Steam review score has plummeted into the ‘Overwhelmingly Negative’ category. Even a recent ban wave aimed at purging some of these botting accounts seems to have had little effect on the game’s poor sentiment. Now, with some of the poorest timing I’ve ever seen, a new Team Fortress 2 collaboration has been announced – with upcoming action game Funko Fusion.

That’s right, Team Fortress 2 is heading to the land of wide-headed vinyl creations, a move that’s surely not going to help shift the dial on the FPS game’s sentiment one bit. When Funko Fusion arrives later this year, PC players will be able to download a free piece of DLC which will let them play as The Scout, The Heavy, The Engineer, and The Medic.

While obviously Funko Fusion is being developed by a separate company and is entirely unrelated to the happenings on Team Fortress 2, the timing of this announcement cannot be overlooked. As TF2 players are struggling to find games – even following the recent ban wave, with rumblings of a new tide of incoming bots – a cheery tie-in with a game focused on figurines seems ill conceived. You have to wonder who precisely this is for, given fans are currently protesting Team Fortress 2 and signing petitions asking Valve to fix the game.

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In a way this type of crossover additionally reinforces the fact that Team Fortress 2 has come a long way from the lean, clear-to-read shooter of its early days. Putting its characters in a game based on a series of toys which personify the commodification of creativity feels like another step in that process, moving away from being all about Pyro air blasts and supercharged Heavies. It feels like the actual game of Team Fortress 2 is potentially being forgotten in favor of the idea of TF2 – especially since many devoted fans cannot currently play the game consistently.

Caveats do apply, though, and Funko Fusion may turn out to be a wonderful game that makes me eat my many, many TF2 hats. Funko Fusion launches on Friday September 13 and you can add it to your wishlist here and check out the TF2 crossover DLC here. Why not also keep tabs on the evolving Team Fortress 2 situation over on the official site.

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