Team Fortress 2 just had its 16th anniversary, with Tuesday, October 10 marking more than a decade and a half since Valve first released the superlative shooter sequel onto Steam in 2007. In that time we’ve seen Portal, Left 4 Dead, Half-Life Alyx, and both CSGO and Counter-Strike 2, but TF2 remains one of the best small-team, class-based FPS games in the world. And now, a whole new mode has been added to the official rotation. Long-time Valve and Source game fans might remember Zombie Panic, the classic Half-Life 2 mod that casts one team as the undead and one side as the survivors. In the latest Team Fortress 2 update for Halloween, better known as Scream Fortress, it feels like Zombie Panic is back. Welcome to Zombie Infection.
It’s been a surprising year for Team Fortress 2. First, Valve removed the player cap for lobbies in the FPS game, effectively turning it – if you wanted – into a crowded, chaotic battle royale. Now, with the spooky month officially upon us, a new Team Fortress 2 mode is available through matchmaking. Time passes. We’re still waiting for something, anything, regarding the likes of Half-Life 3 and a new Left 4 Dead. But with Counter-Strike 2 and now Zombie Infection, it seems like Valve hasn’t completely forgotten that it also makes games.
It works like this. The Red team gets a few short moments at the start of every round to prepare defenses. A handful of players are then selected to begin the game as zombies – anyone they kill moves to the Blue team and becomes zombies themselves. Red team wins if they survive until the end of the round. Blue team wins if they kill all the humans. Check out some Zombie Infection gameplay courtesy of YouTuber ‘Wallace Breen.’
Every Team Fortress 2 character has special zombie abilities. The Spy for example can mark humans that are within a certain radius, so zombie compadres can see where they’re hiding. The Sniper can spit a long-range acid ball, and the Heavy can easily destroy buildings and defenses.
Combined with five dedicated new maps, Zombie Infection is a fresh way to enjoy Team Fortress 2 after all these years. Though previously available as a custom game via community servers, Zombie Infection is available as part of Scream Fortress until Tuesday, November 7.