Update, February 6, 2018: Team Fortress 2's Jungle Inferno Campaign ends this weekend.
The Jungle Inferno Campaign which arrived in Team Fortress 2 in Autumn last year, is about to come to an end. Valve posted yesterday to say that any special matchmaking options will come to an end this Sunday, February 11.
Team Fortress 2 is one of the best, but you're still spoilt for choice with free fun on PC.
While the event is ending, Jungle Inferno contracts will still be available for existing pass owners, and you'll still have access to the exclusive items in the Mercenary Park gift shop.
Unfortunately, however, you'll have to bid farewell to any Special Events matchmaking, but all six maps will still be available, sorted into their appropriate game mode groups.
Original story, October 21, 2017: In this scary new world of gaming titans, seemingly ruled over with an iron fist by the likes of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and its many millions of players, it's easy to forget that Team Fortress 2 - over a decade old now - has seldom left Steam's top ten most played games in all that time.
It looks like it might hold onto its place just a little while longer still thanks to the Jungle Inferno update, a major expansion for the free-to-play shooter, which went live just yesterday.
While the full patch notes for the Jungle Inferno update are extensive, here's the abridged version:
- 6 new maps - one from Valve, five picked from the community.
- 7 new taunts - two Valve-made, 5 community-produced
- 2 community-filled cases worth of cosmetics
- A metric buttload of tweaks, tuning and bug-fixes
- Many lesser-used weapons buffed, and a few nerfed too
- A major overhaul to the Contracts side-questing system
- 4 new Pyro gear pieces, effectively creating a whole new class
- 1 delicious, potassium-filled banana for the Heavy
For me, the biggest change here is the Pyro's new set of equipment. One new weapon, the Dragon's Fury, turns the Pyro into a longer-ranged combatant, mid-ranged fireballs instead of a solid stream of fire. It requires a lot more precision than the regular flamethrower, but consecutive hits increase damage done.
In the secondary slot, you have the Thermal Thruster jetpack, which launches you high into the sky for a brief moment, and deals triple your fall damage to anyone you manage to land on when gravity takes hold again. The Gas Passer fuel-tank leaves a toxic cloud of fuel floating behind you, sticking to enemies. If hit after being gassed, enemies burst into flames for extra damage.
For laughs, you've got The Hot Hand. It's just the Pyro's gloved hand, really. Slap the enemy for only mild damage, but you get a speed boost to get you out of trouble for your efforts, and the slap is shared for all to see on the kill feed.
Beyond that, the Pyro got a few more tweaks. The basic flamethrower has been revised to look and behave better. Burn time is now based on how much fire hit you in the first place, so a tiny lick of flame won't turn you into a towering inferno anymore. The Airblast has been tuned up as well, giving the player a little more control over where it fires.
It's good stuff all round, really, and it's great to see the Pyro given a little love, after seemingly every other class has seen two or three major revisions. The only question I have for Valve now is... where the heck is the last issue of the TF2 comic series?
Team Fortress 2 is free to play via Steam, and you can grab it right here.