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Valve reveals new Ep 2 details

360, PS3 and PC - and it'll ship with Team Fortress 2.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

In a really rather exciting presentation at EA's Studio Showcase in San Francisco, Valve has announced that Half-Life 2: Episode 2 will launch on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC simultaneously - and that's only the start of it.

Studio founder Gabe Newell was on hand to deliver the news, and to inform the audience that the console version will come complete with the original HL2 and Ep 1 for "the entire Half-Life experience."

Newell also revealed that Ep 2 will ship with a brand new FPS game called Portal. Set in the Half-Life universe, it sees you armed with some kind of crazy gun which allows you to create, well, portals. You can use them to transport yourself across rooms, or to teleport an object from one place to another - perhaps so that it falls out of the portal you've created to land smack bang on an enemy's head, for example.

And that's not all... Remember Team Fortress 2? You might not, seeing as it was first announced more than five years ago. Well, it's nearly here at last - and will also ship with Ep 2. A short trailer revealed that there's a much more cartoony look to the whole thing; think bright colours, new lighting effects and a visual style that's not a dissimilar from that of hit Disney movie The Incredibles. Character classes include the Spy, the Sniper and the Heavy, plus a brand new one - Pyro - whose weapon of choice is a big fat flamethrower.

Visually at least, it's clear that Team Fortress 2 will take the series in a new direction; but Newell is confident that it's the right one, telling the crowd: "It's going to be the best looking and best playing class-based multiplayer game on the market."

Newell also revealed some more info about your actual Ep 2, confirming that it'll see you exploring areas outside City 17 once again. You can expect new weapons and new enemies, of course, plus a rather fancy new Cinematic Physics system. It was invented by Valve's Gray Horsfield; he used to work for visual effects facility Weta, and produced the destruction scenes in Peter Jackson's King Kong and the Lord of the Rings films. Should be good then.

Half-Life 2: Episode 2 is due out in time for Christmas, according to Valve - although EA has not announced a release date. While you're waiting, why not check out our recent interview with Newell and fellow Valve exec Doug Lombardi, if you haven't already.

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