Monday, 18 May 2009

I, Spy

When the dust settles about the secret Spy update, I wonder if Valve has slipped in hints as to future spy equipment in plain sight.

Check out the clearance items (all 47c) at the bottom left hand corner of the Spy update page. While the crab walking kit is a spy-check out to the hilarious spy crouched holding a disguise kit animation 'bug', I would like to sugges the remaining equipment might be viable.

Here's how (all on sale equipment replaces the revolver).

Truth Serum cigarettes: When equipped, any enemy spy is rendered visible in their original form. Breath smoke on them to prevent them from disguising or going invisible - the spy coughs and swears in French while prevented from doing so. Because French is the best language to swear in...

Underwater Hypnopen: Shoot an enemy while you're underwater with this weapon, and they temporarily change team colour and become vulnerable to their own team's attacks (as well as blocking their team mates' path). Outside of water, the hypnopen works the same way, but with much less range.

Flamethrower Lighter: This shoots out a single jet of flame to set an enemy alight but also makes the enemy invisible while they're on fire - looking just like a burning spy of your team. Use the Flamethrower lighter when Pyros are around to distract them while you go in for the kill.

Ski mask Grappling Hook: I've suggested grappling hooks in TF2 before, but the spy needs it more than most to get behind enemy lines. If the grappling hook hits the map or building, the spy is pulled towards the building, if it hits an enemy player, they are pulled towards the spy.

While we're at it, the perceptive of you will have noticed an alternate sapper used in the Meet the Spy video. I'd suggest a throwable sapper which only disables equipment for a short time instead of requiring an engineer remove it, but allows the spy to do so at range.

And the Medic stealth kill suggests that the spy has an alternate, perhaps easier to use take down, instead of the butterfly knife he normally requires. This savate technique allows the spy to take down another player and assume their disguise without requiring the exactness of a backstab, but requires longer than the butterfly knife to successfully use and is stopped by the spy being damaged while he attempts to do so. The incentive: the spy can use this flawlessly while alone with his target, but not when there's someone else to protect them. The animation goes out to 3rd person view (just like the taunts) while the Spy executes the kill.



wlievens said...

I miss grappling hooks in shooters. Why again did game developers decide to abandon them altogether?

Unknown said...

Awesome! I always enjoy your articles on TF2.

orillian said...

They removed grappling hooks to prevent people getting outside the bounds of poorly designed game levels. :P

I really enjoyed the way they brought this update out! :) They had a bit of fun with it, and that's something you do not see from companies to much any more.