Mann Vs Machine! First Thoughts and Gameplay!

“Wait isn’t that like the third one this summer?” I couldn’t believe the same developer that was known for be ludicrously slow at releasing things was having another update.

“Why are you complaining? It’s not like they’re charging us.” My friend had a good point, who doesn’t love free content updates?

It seems to be the summer of updates for Team Fortress 2. Starting with the cynical, “Meet the Pyro” video released earlier this summer, and followed by the Kong King map for sleeping dogs released last week, Valve seems to be rolling out the content for Team Fortress 2.

The newest edition, “Man vs Machine” puts a team of six players against mechanical doppelgangers. The goal? Stop the machines from planting a bomb. Players must survive wave after wave from an onslaught of metallic death. I loaded up my Blutsauger, and sharpened my Ubersaw to see what this new mode had to offer in terms of game play, that is once we finally found a server after almost two hours of searching.

The rules for Man Vs Machine are rather simple, stop the robots from planting the bomb, and blowing your team to kingdom come. However the robots don’t quite fight fair.

While not the brightest they do have giant versions of themselves (more HP and bonus abilities such as always crit), enemies that specifically blow up sentry guns, as well as tanks that slowly march towards your point. While the robots may seem silly and easy to defeat on the first few waves, they can quickly spiral out of control and take over your map.

Luckily the players aren’t without aid against the robot armies. Players earn money for each robot killed that can be used to augment their character’s weaponry or characters themselves. Upgrades include reduced damage from fire, increased movement speed, additional clip size, bonus damage, and even life on kill. Players can adjust and customize their character in multiple ways. Eventually I stopped healing all together on my medic and simply turned into a super health regenerating wall of needles.

Players have multiple ways in which they can upgrade their character, to fight off the robots.

Players can choose from several various maps and missions in order to play on and try and defend themselves. Some maps however are more difficult than others, if you’re not terribly experienced with this mode or TF2 in general, you’ll want to stick to the lower level maps until you gain your bearings. Every map however gives a clear indication of the route that the AI will take to plant the bomb.

Indicators on the map help players plan a strategy to defend against the robots.

However this doesn’t explain where every robot will go, and some robots (Looking at you spies!) will sneak around and try and ambush you from another angle. It’s required that you keep your eyes on all possible entrances, or try and pick them off as soon as they spawn.

My group of friends and I managed to complete the map DECOY and get mostly through COALTOWN before being being overwhelmed by the horde of metallic enemies. With Team Fortress 2 as well as the Man vs. Machine update being free, what’s stopping you from trying to out last the robot army?


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