Valve’s incredibly popular competitive multiplayer first person shooter game Team Fortress 2 has been going through an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) recently. As the ARG was being solved by the community, it became evident that a new faction in the game was going to be introduced. Valve has now released a trailer that confirms these findings, and shows off a new game mode titled Mann vs. Machine.

The new game mode is a co-op mode where you and five friends have to team up to fight a “desperate battle to stop a lethal horde of robots from deploying a bomb in one of Mann Co.’s many strongholds,” according to the official page for the update. Players can upgrade abilities and weapons in the breaks between waves. Surviving all the waves in a variety of missions earns the players new loot.

Valve admitted to the ARG yesterday. The Valve team was concerned that players would take weeks together to figure out the puzzle. According to an official blog post, the puzzle was the team's “most fiendishly difficult ARG yet, involving roughly 5000 individual pieces of data that had to be painstakingly collected and decoded by equipping specific items and then performing even more specific actions in-game”. The post states that the puzzle may have been needlessly complex and that some among the Team Fortress team were worried that they might have gone to an extreme with this ARG.

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Team Fortress 2 is now getting a co-op game mode!

However, in only twelve hours, players and ARG enthusiasts put the community’s collective brainpower together to solve the puzzle, which uncovered a mysterious link at 2:46 AM PDT on August 12. “Also, if we're being honest, a little giddy at the possibilities, because if you can apply yourselves this commandingly to a goofy online puzzle for a war-themed hat simulator, next time we'll think big and ask you to construct a manned space shuttle to Mars or something”.

Team Fortress 2 is one of the most famous multiplayer first person shooter games in the world. The game was originally sold as a part of The Orange Box in 2007. The Orange Box had five games: Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode 1, Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Portal, and Team Fortress 2. Since the game went free-to-play in 2011, Team Fortress 2 had taken over Counter-Strike as the most played multiplayer game, according to statistics on Steam, Valve's popular digital distribution service. Valve has supported the game ever since its release in 2007 with regular updates and new additions such as new weapons and new maps. The game also has a robust modding community that frequently adds new weapons and vanity items such as hats in the in-game store where players can buy what they’re interested in.

Team Fortress 2 revolves around two teams, Blu and Red, fighting it out against each other over territory. The game sports a cartoon look with gratuitous violence and a 1950s art aesthetic. Each team has nine classes for players to pick from, each class wildly different from the other in terms of gameplay and weapons. Classes vary greatly, from the slow but powerful Heavy wielding a minigun, to the lightning fast and easy-to-kill Scout, who runs around with a Shotgun.

Team Fortress 2 is a free-to-play title available on Steam. The Mann vs. Machine game mode will be released on 15 August.

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