It appears Merasmus is getting a little senile. Perhaps this is no surprise considering the millennia he’s spent upon this earth. His recent attempt at building a cursed carnival hit a stumbling block when he realized, much to his despair, he’d forgotten to place the carnival atop an ancient burial ground. For such is the way of the wicked wizard.
But a plan was forged, and Merasmus invited a familiar group of mercenaries to help fulfill his plan. In theory one doesn’t require an ancient burial ground. A recent one will do nicely. In fact even the burial part is unnecessary. All Merasmus requires is bodies – dead ones and lots of them. This is where you and your shooty uppy thing come in, because this is the CARNIVAL OF CARNAGE!
Here we are folks, Hallowe’en 2014 and what a celebration it is! Today the Carnival of Carnage was officially released and I was lucky enough to be in the right time zone to get an early shot at it. It’s a modified version of the sd_doomsday map, using the Special Delivery playstyle. Here’s how it works:
- At one end of the map is a giant hammer, the Strongmann. (Yeah, two Ns again…) It’s like one of those strength-testing thingies but really big. So big it can squish people and send out roaring shockwaves… at the touch of a big red button! A well-timed step can splatter your enemies into the second dimension.
- At the other end is a pile of Tickets, which replace the Australium case. These Tickets are needed to make the hammer work, which Merasmus tells you is the ultimate goal. Merasmus is not to be trusted!
- After much shooting (Snipers can be so annoying), blasting (so can Soldiers) and magicking (“Damn you, Merasmus!”), somebody will get the Tickets onto the platform behind the hammer. If players spend too long bickering and not enough time delivering them, Merasmus will cast a spell upon them all. He can enlarge their heads, restrict them to melee weapons only or submerge the entire map, making for some entertaining underwater gameplay.
Wait, so this is just a dressed-up Special Delivery map? There may be spell orbs floating around and the complimentary explosive pumpkins. It may possibly be the coolest-looking Hallowe’en map to date. But for some people that may not be enough. AHA! Did I mention the twist – the MASSIVELY PULSE-SHATTERING TWIST?!
This is no mere Doomsday re-hash. When the Tickets are eventually raised up to their receptacle on the Strongmann tower, that is not the end of the round! No, instead Merasmus transports you to a realm of unknowable insanity and evil: a BUMPER CAR TRACK!
That’s right, TF2 now has BUMPAH CARZ and there are three possible mini-games based around them. Every player is teleported within their own little car, which can drive with WASD, boost with the right mouse button, or cast spells as normal. And of course, all their heads are enlarged and they continue spouting proverbials at each over.
- Game the First: Collect the ducks. This one is quite simple, everybody drives around and crashes into each other. There are also some shiny ducks lying on the ringed track. The first team to collect 150 ducks is declared the winner and gets a point. Standard ducks are green, but shinier gold ones come out of enemy cars when you hit them hard enough. This is where everybody figures out how to drive and cause as much carnage as possible.
- Game the Second: Soccer. This one is possibly even more simpler. Everybody drives around and uses their BUMPAH CARZ to push a giant beach ball around a court. There are two enourmous mouths serving as goals, which belch out blood and bones every time the ball passes into them. First team to three goals wins.
- Game the Third. This one pops up in the final round of a game and is more difficult. Players are transported onto a grid of nine floating platforms, which are very easy to fall off. Or be pushed off. What’s more, every few seconds all the platforms drop down into a giant mouth except for one, which Merasmus warns you to stay on. Then all the platforms return but one. This cycle repeats until only one platform remains. From there spawns… horrified gasp… the Horseless Headless Horsemann! Yep, he’s back as a ‘boss’ again. Defeating him concludes the match, but will Merasmus ever be satisfied with the number of victims?
Some notes on the new stuff. There are a couple of new spells, one of which lets you use the BASE Jumper as any class. There are also plenty of new cosmetic items to grab, which I’m sure other SPUFers will talk about at length.
As for the BUMPAH CARZ, they’re not the easiest things to drive, but they’re just too much fun. You can jump in your car by pressing Space and use some car-specific spells, including a boxing glove that shoots out the front. On all three car games, it’s possible to knock enemy players off the track and into oblivion.
Any dead players become ghosts and said ghosts can float back up to the track. Upon contact with a friendly player, that ghost is re-incarnated and appears in their BUMPAH CAR once again. If absolutely everybody on one team ends up dead, it’s game over. This is especially important on the falling platforms, where it’s really easy to be killed by everything. There are also a bunch of new achievements, one of which promises a spiffing new cosmetic for your team winning all three car games.
So this year we’ve got a big hammer, awesome magic stuff and BUMPAH CARZ. I suggest you all get off this blog now and check out the update, because the Carnival of Carnage is the best Hallowe’en event yet. Maybe it’s not any more spine-freezingly scary, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.